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train question from Brussels/Paris and Paris/London

train question from Brussels/Paris and Paris/London

Jan 30th, 2003, 07:34 PM
  #1  
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train question from Brussels/Paris and Paris/London

We are planning to get from Brussels to Paris on Thalys, and then take the Eurostar from Paris to London, where we'll fly home. Is there any advantage to booking tickets in advance? We will be traveling the 3rd week of May.
Barb_in_Ga is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 11:22 PM
  #2  
 
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I'm pretty sure this topic has been covered in depth on this board already (if you do a search for Thalys or Eurostar you'll probably come up with some useful information).

Anyway, in my opinion it is definitely worth booking in advance as you will be able to get reduced rate tickets. However, there is nothing to stop you buying your tickets on the day if you are not sure of your exact travel times.

Eurostar tickets can not be booked more than 90 days before departure (according to their website) so you're a bit early yet, anyway.

The easiest way to purchase Eurostar tickets is via www.sncf.com (the French rail network) - you can opt to pay by credit card and then collect the tickets from the station (any French station) before you leave, using the 6-letter booking reference issued when you reserve the tickets.

Another reason you might want to book as early as possible is that in May, there are several public holidays in France, and people tend to travel a lot on and around these dates, meaning that the trains can get pretty busy.
hanl is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 11:23 PM
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I understand that you won't be coming back to Brussels on Thalys? Then there is no price difference. You will have the business class fare at about 63 euro one-way.
So-called mini fares are obtainable for a number of seats for return tickets only. They must be booked ahead (2/3 months in advance) and the cost for the return ticket would then be 54 euro.
These are the prices in 2nd class.
Don't know about the Eurostar but I don't think there is any advantage in booking in advance.
Of course it's always advisable to book your ticket as soon as you are in Brussels.
MyriamC is offline  
Jan 31st, 2003, 06:54 PM
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Thanks for the help. I found the 63 euro fare for Thalys, but couldn't find a fare for Eurostar since it's more than 90 days out. I did plug in an alternate date just to see a Paris-London fare, and it came up over 300 euro for one way! Is that possible? We prefer to take the train, but if that fare is right, I'll be looking at easyjet. Train experts--any ideas on usual cost for 1 way Paris-London?
Barb_in_Ga is offline  
Jan 31st, 2003, 09:11 PM
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Eurostar fares are like American airfare, one ways on weekdays can cost more than a roundtrip with a saturday nite stay and some fares are only valid for certain days and times. Early morning and late afternoon are peak travel times and have higher train fares and are excluded on ultra cheap tickets. There are just as many business travelers (if not more) as leisure on the Eurostar, that's why there are different fare structures. If your flights and hotel dates are set I would purchase the tickets in advance. Don't know the current fares off the top of my head but you could buy a cheap 14 day apex fare roundtrip for about $100. Just book the return train after a saturday and discard the return ticket or save it as a souvenir. If you do choose this route you must be set in your plans. If you decide to change your train, you will probably have to purchase an all new ticket (just like nr apex airfare). It could be cheaper to fly from Paris to London. Hope it all works out
SpongeBob is offline  
Feb 1st, 2003, 04:35 AM
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IMO it's indeed cheaper to fly Easyjet than to take the Eurostar.
My VirginExpress ticket last october from Brussels to London was the same price as a Eurostar ticket.
MyriamC is offline  

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