Have you been on the EuroStar train?

Old Jan 16th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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Have you been on the EuroStar train?

Just wondering if we should opt for the Standard Class service or fork out $1,608 for a family of 4 in the First Class section on a one-way trip from Paris to London. Is it worth paying that much? Is it roomy enough in the Standard Class section?

Thanks for the help!
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 03:43 PM
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I would not fork over the extra cash. The big difference is a meal served and slightly larger seats. The regular class cars are nicer then regular trains, more like economy class on an airplane. There is a dining car with counter service. It isn't grand, but the trip goes by fast. Unless you've got cash to burn I wouldn't put in the extra money for Eurostar. Also, I have found with the frequency of trains the standard class cars are not usually full, and I travel in Summer.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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You have got to be kidding!!

I've done both and for the short time of the journey it is not worth it...But whereever did you get that price for 4 people?
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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I traveled standard class RT London-Paris and was very comfortable. If this was a long, long ride, I'll probably consider paying extra for more comfort, but the ride on standard class was fine. BTW, I think that quote is outrageous. I paid $150/RT and that included a bus tour once in Paris.
 
Old Jan 16th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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We always go First Class (we have Carte Blanche status) and feel it's worth it--for us. Whether it's worth it to you is different, of course. But we agree with everyone else--those prices are ridiculous. If cost is a concern, buu the cheapest tickets you can find, probably a RT fare, and throw away the return portion.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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Lady,

I'm with everyone else, standard class is just fine. Also, you should be able to walk up to the ticket counter and get a lower cost than $1600. Have a good trip.

Greg
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:20 PM
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On my first trip to London from Paris my daughter and I went lst class, and on a subsequent trip with my husband we went 2nd class. The only difference was that in lst class we had a 4-course meal, wine, and the newspaper. 2nd class accommodations were just as nice, not cramped, trains just a new and clean, and you arrive at the same time.

Save your money and have a lst class meal when you arrive in London.

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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 07:22 PM
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If somebody's trying to rip you off for $400 each for first class, I'm trying to figure out how much they're trying to get from you for Standard Class. There is no reason to pay that amount for 4 tickets Paris to London. And please don't be foolish enough to pay more for one way instead of buying a special fare round trip and throwing the return tickets away!!
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 08:01 PM
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Four people can fly EasyJet from Paris to London for $167, including taxes. That's about one tenth of the price you quote. If you're intent on spending that money, the remaining 90 percent could pay for several days in a nice hotel. Why would you give it to a rail company for a three-hour trip?
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 12:17 AM
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I agree. Are you dealing with a travel agent or some other intermediary? If so, dump them, and book online direct (and it would be worth digging to find out if they're overcharging on anything else).

Depending on how far in advance you book and how much flexibility you want, you can get a London-Paris economy return for as little as £60-70 on the most restrictive conditions.

www.eurostar.com - and watch out for their slightly sneaky way of making you hunt for Standard Class fares.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 04:57 AM
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Hi Lady,

Someone has given you misinformation.

You can buy your tickets at www.eurostar.com.

The cheapest prices are the single day round trip tickets (as low as 15 GBP each way).

Your family of 2 adults and 2 youths could do the trip to Paris in standard class for as low as 236 GBP ($430).

First class would be 476 GBP ($860).


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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 05:24 AM
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By the way, while it is certainly up to the individual whether it is worth more or how much more it is worth to take First Class than Standard, let me assure you anyone who says there is NO difference except the meal, clearly has never traveled in both classes. The coaches for First are considerably more comfortable and larger seating, and the air conditioning (and I presume heating) are likely to work far better. Whether such things are worth it is up to the traveler. But don't let anyone tell you they couldn't tell any difference. That's just plain silly.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 05:46 AM
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We went first class London-Paris on Dec.18th 2004. The car we had was empty except for us and the meal was absolutely nothing to write about. You did get free wine and other beverages and the full attention of the staff. The seats were comfortable but you still sat knee to knee if you were at one of the "booths" in the train. Nothing terribly special.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 05:55 AM
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The first class carriages have 39 seats, 13 rows times 3 seats. The 2nd class carriages have 60 seats, 15 rows times 4. I have travelled second class Eurostar a number of times; it is certainly substantially more spacious than economy class on any airline that I have ever travelled.

Since the Eurostar are integrated train sets, 18 coaches plus two engines on the international services, 14 coaches plus 2 engines on the domestic UK services, it is hard to believe Patrick's claim that they intentionally installed less reliable heating and air conditioning for the second class carriages.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 06:06 AM
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I side with Patrick on this one. The couple of times I rode Eurostar in second class made me glad to be back in first for the rest of my travels. If you ride it just once or twice, or budget is your primary concern, then standard class is fine. But if you take it frequently, you come to appreciate the little differences. On a single trip, they might indeed be viewed as "nothing special", but on a regular basis, the little differences do add up. On my trip back from Brussels yesterday, for example, many of the second class cars were packed. First class was only about half full. It was quieter, there was room to work, it was more comfortable, and I do appreciate having service at my seat. First class usually has enough empty seats so that if you're not happy with a "knee to knee" seat, you can usually find another seat. That wasn't the case on the couple of times I rode in second. I was stuck in my "no window" window seat.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 06:45 AM
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We booked in 2nd class and were comfortable. Most of the time we sat in the car with the snack bar and looked out the big windows. We bought our one-way tickets in the states ahead of time and paid something like $100 each for them.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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The Eurail site says that a one-way first class ride can be had for £90 for those holding a Eurail, Interail, or Britrail pass.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 07:04 AM
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i've travelled many times in both classes and the only times i ever go 1st is if i'm not paying (business or free upgrade).

In the low times (winter) you can usually get a free upgrade if you book the entire trip (train AND hotel package) through eurostar holidays. I do this through the UK and usually pay about what you quote for first class and hotel for a couple of nights.

patrick...i don't think that the message is that there is NO difference between the two classes just that the difference is not that substantial (an opinion that i agree with). your seat is slightly bigger in first and of course the meal and magazines, however:

1. passengers seem the same in both...no quieter or more sophisticated passengers in 1st.
2. many trains (i believe they are slowly refurbishing them) are dirty and very worn across first and standard class...a greater disappointment if your travelling first.
3. I have never noticed a difference in aircon/heat in my MANY journeys in both classes.
4. the size of the seat in standard is plenty big for a normal sized person. of course, to have more room is always nice.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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Actually, I wasn't necessarily referring to comments made in this thread, walkinaround, as most posters did just discuss the "worth it" question. But I have often seen people here say that Standard is NO different than First, and I remember one who actually said the Standard cars were better than First. Huh? By the way, though here is one quote from above:
"The only difference was that in lst class we had a 4-course meal, wine, and the newspaper. 2nd class accommodations were just as nice. . ."

By the way, a couple years ago on a Saturday four of us took the late morning Eurostar from Brussels to London. We were the only four people in our entire First Class Car. There were bunches of school groups in some of the Standard class cars, and every seat seemed to be taken in the other standard class cars. The steward in our car sat and drank wine with us after he served us our "private" lunch. We definitely got our money's worth.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Wow! I must be doing something wrong on the pricing at Eurostar.com then! I used that site and pulled up a fare of 378 GBP (or $707.15 US Dollars) for Standard Class, one way from Paris to London and $1608 for First Class.

I wonder if maybe I accidentally checked a box for round-trip instead of one way? I'll have to go back and re-try it.

Thanks everyone for your opinions, experiences and help!
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