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David Jun 27th, 2001 04:24 AM

Train or plane? Paris to London
Hello Fodorites, my wife and I will be taking our first ever trip to Europe in late July, and we are considering options for traveling from Paris to London. <BR><BR>One-way flights are $120 on British Midland and round trip on Air France $128.<BR><BR>Would you suggest flying or taking the train? If flying, do you have any comments about British Midland or Air France (have not flown either)? (And is it a problem to book Air France round trip, and not use the return segment?)<BR><BR>It seems like a flight might be faster or more convenient; but we've never taken a train before and maybe that is the better choice?<BR><BR>Appreciate any suggestions.<BR><BR>David

s.fowler Jun 27th, 2001 04:34 AM

First of all -- you're going to have a wonderful time!<BR><BR>Okay -- the advantage to the train is that you take it from the center of one city to the center of Paris. The eurostar isn't cheap -- but it's comfortable and relatively painless.<BR><BR>Both British Midland and Air France are good airlines -- well reputable at least:) -- Both airlines use Heathrow for their Paris/London flights.<BR><BR>In the end it will take about the same amount of time either way -- check the eurstar fares and see how they stack up against the flight fare plus the cost of getting too and from the airports.

greg Jun 27th, 2001 08:30 AM

Unless you are staying near airport at each city, I can't imagine why you want to go thru hassles of flying, even though it will be moneywise cheaper and "perhaps" faster. <BR>From Paris to airport, you have to go thru hassles of getting there by taxi or by RER. Go thru hassle of checking in luggage. Sardine canned for a short hop over the channel. Hassle of getting checked luggages, if any. Then a taxi thru a traffic jam into London or use the underground or an express train.<BR><BR>Even a 2nd class seat on Eurostar gives plenty of room, comfortable seat, quiet, air condition, and ability to walk around (as opposed to breathing diesel fume in a hot taxi moving at a snail speed on Peripherique to the airport!)

natalie Jun 27th, 2001 09:56 AM

I would suggest the Eurostar also hands down. The train is basicly a stress-free ride with beautiful scenery along the way. The Paris airport is a nightmare! Have fun!

Chris Jun 27th, 2001 10:11 AM

Eurostar! When you factor in the travel time to the airports, waiting around, etc. the train is much faster. Plus, make sure the flights you are looking at go through Heathrow and not Gatwick. Travel from downtown London to Gatwick is long and pricey (I think about $20. Plus the Underground from downtown to Heathrow can be long and a hassle too. The Eurostar is the best! And sometimes they have two for one specials. Also, you can earn United freq. flier miles on Eurostar. Take the train!!

Thyra Jun 27th, 2001 10:16 AM

Train train train! It's such a pain to drive out of city center... try to find your gate, get ticketed, go through security, wait for your plane, wait to board, wait to take off... fly... wait to disembark etc etc.. I think you get the idea. The chunnel by comparison is a cake walk (we've taken it twice). From Waterloo to Paris city center is just an,,, I believe 4 hourish train ride and you are only actually "under" water for about 45 minutes of that time, the rest of the trip you are free to look out the window and most importantly stretch out your legs! We are planning on taking the Eurostar in Spring from London to Belgium.

Tony Jun 27th, 2001 05:55 PM

Thyra..<BR><BR>Your preference for the train is spot on, but your timings are a little hazy. The train ride London to Paris is exactly 3 hours, and you are in the tunnel itself for only 20 minutes.

David Jun 27th, 2001 09:54 PM

All... thank you for your advice. Train it is!<BR><BR>thanks again,<BR><BR>David

elvira Jun 27th, 2001 09:57 PM

Eurostar, hands down. Got on downtown, get off downtown. Scenery vs the seatback 12" from your face. Two exits on every car vs the one funnel. Bar car whenever you want vs collecting your half-full soda can to prepare for landing.<BR><BR>If the train is delayed, you can walk outside and see Paris.

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