The Eurostar service is a high speed train that links the United Kingdom with France and Belgium. The trains were first introduced in the mid nineties, and run on the UK's first high-speed rail line.
Eurostar operates a Frequent Traveller Programme. Customers who use the service regularly receive loyalty points for every journey booked. These points may be exchanged for free journeys on Eurostar, and cardholders may take advantage of Business Lounges, get commission-free currency, reduced check-in times and reduced hotel and car rental rates.
Standard and Standard Premier passengers should arrive at the station no later than 30mins before the train is scheduled to depart. Business Premier passengers can check-in up to 10mins before departure.
The check-in process involves an airport style passport check before passing through security scanners. Passengers then enter a waiting area before boarding the train around 10-15mins before departure.
The majority of Eurostar trains consist of Standard Class seating, which is perfectly comfortable. When booking tickets, passengers are able to choose which seats they would like to occupy on their journey. Standard Class seats are generally aircraft-style, with two seats next to each other (one aisle seat and one window seat). A small number of table seats (two sets of two, facing each other) are also available in Standard Class carriages.
Tip: When choosing your seats, look towards the middle of the train, as there tend to be some older Leisure Select carriages available for Standard Class passengers. These carriages have bigger seats and more spacious layouts, but are a little bit older than other parts of the train.
Standard Class passengers are able to buy food and drinks from the on-board bar, which is fairly reasonsable value, but you may wish to bring your own refreshments with you to cut costs! Power sockets are available by the side of your seat, and luggage racks are found at the end of the carraiges.
Standard Premier carriages offer bigger seats than Standard Class, with sets of two and one in each row, and a few more table seats available. Both individual seats and seating pairs are offered in a range of formation, including single seats across tables. Complimentary magazines are available to passengers, and a light (cold) meal and drinks are served at your seat.
Business Premier carriages are pretty similar in terms of space and arrangement to Standard Premier. Business passengers are able to take advantage of the Business Premier Lounge at the station (which includes a complimentary bar and refreshments), as well as access to WiFi in the Lounges and complimentary newspapers and magazines on board. Business Premier passengers can also take advantage of a full meal served at their seat.
Luggage & Facilities
Passengers are permitted to carry two pieces of luggage and one piece of hand baggeage on board (additional baggage may be carried for an additional charge of £25/€40 per item). Labels should be tied to every piece of luggage.
Bicycles may be transported on Eurostar in a number of ways. If you have a folding bike, all you have to do is fully fold it and put it in an appropriate bike bag. You can then bring it aboard as a piece of your luggage. Alternatively, on routes between London and Paris and London and Brusseuls, you can reserve a space for your bicycle. This service is charged at £30 per journey, bookable over the phone or in person, and you need to provide a Eurostar ticket reference number when reserving the space.
The alternative option is to transport your bicycle as a piece of registered baggage. Eurostar guarantee that you bike will be ready for collection within 24hrs of its registration. This service can be booked on the day of travel, or in advance of your journey so that it is ready for collection when you arrive. The charge for this service is £25, and you will need a Eurostar ticket reference number to book your bike in. Tandems are not permitted unless they can be disassembled to the length of a normal bike.
Food and Drink
Standard Class passengers may take advantage of the on-board buffet carriages on each train, serving a range of cold food and drinks. Standard Premier passengers receive a cold meal, served at their seats, along with a choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Business Premier passengers are able to choose from the on-board menu, and will be served at their seats along with their choice of drinks.
Travelling with Pets
Domestic animals (excluding guide dogs) are not permitted on Eurostar services.
WiFi / Internet
Most Eurostar stations offer wireless internet access. Access is provided by Kizoom, The Cloud, SFR and Telenet. Access is charged at Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Paris and Brussels, but free at St Pancras International.