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eurostar or raileurope

I am wanting to book 6 tickets from London to Paris on the eurostar on August 1. I tried on the eurostar website but was unable to book them; too far in advance. I then called the number in the guidebook and was able to hold 6 tickets through raileurope. After doing research on several sites I'm not sure they are reliable. The price I was quoted seems good $65.00 one way, leaving midday. From what I understand even they cannot book the tickets yet. How can they issue me tickets with seat numbers and all when they are unable to book that far in advance or can they? The tickets are on hold as I wait to decide.

Posted by
5262 posts

Jeane,

You can actually purchase tickets on this RS website as he partners with 'RailEurope'.

I just did a search for August 1, and tickets are $56 one way (economy class) on this link given on RS article:
http://ricksteves.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

Read this article: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/buying-tickets

As far as I understand it, 'RailEurope' is a booking company
& Eurostar is (an independent) train company. Sometimes you can get a better deal booking directly with Eurostar but according to their website:

Tickets go on sale between 138 and 190 days before departure. We price the tickets on our trains based on demand and availability, with cheaper tickets often selling out quickest.

So you cannot purchase tickets on the Eurostar website yet but you may be able to in a few days.
I did a search & it looks like you can buy tickets about 6 months out.

$56 for a one way ticket is a good price. So you may want to purchase them or wait a few days & see what happens.

I'm sure others will chime in with more info for you.

Happy travels!

Posted by
10403 posts

Purchase your tickets from the Eurostar website 6 months out for the best price. There's no reason to buy them before that. You can choose your seats at the time you buy your tickets. Buying from a third party will cost more.

Posted by
7078 posts

"$56 for a one way ticket is a good price. So you may want to purchase them or wait a few days & see what happens."

$56 is the cheapest ticket you can buy 6 months out - $54 if you're over 60. I don't think waiting would make any difference. I am curious though, as is the OP, how others can sell tickets before the 6 month time frame on Eurostar website. Do re-sellers have some special ability to do this?

Posted by
1072 posts

I would take anything RailEurope say with a bucket load of salt, I've seen quite a few complaints about them "selling" tickets they don't have, on some of the other travel forums over the years.

Posted by
16894 posts

There should not be any difference in the ticket you receive either from Rail Europe or from Eurostar; their ticket issuing database is closely tied. A few Eurostar departures go on sale up to 9 months ahead, then more options become available later for the same starting/best price. It is possible that Rail Europe is only holding your request, to handle later, and not actual assigned seats. But if they did quote you car number and seat numbers, then there's no reason to think the agent made that up.

Posted by
117 posts

We booked our tickets through Rail Europe about three months in advance @ $70 per person. I tried Eurostar first, but the transaction wouldn't go through. The ticket prices at that time were the same for both vendors.

I would use them again.

Posted by
5262 posts

Laura,

It is possible that Rail Europe is only holding your request, to handle later, and not actual assigned seats. But if they did quote you car number and seat numbers, then there's no reason to think the agent made that up.

I did a search for August 1, and tickets are $56 one way (economy class) on this link given on RS article:
http://ricksteves.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

So since RS has a partnership with RailEurope does that mean that if one wants to purchase tickets thru this RS website, the tickets will be 'held' until a specific date?

Would you please explain how it works?

Thanks Laura!

Posted by
9 posts

The tickets are on hold only because I needed to check with the rest of my group to make sure everyone agreed on the times and price. Once I send my credit card information the tickets are mine.

Posted by
7078 posts

Jeane, I don't think Raileurope is not reliable regarding the sale of tickets, if they're selling them, I'm sure they are authentic tickets. However, if you're ready to pull the trigger on a particular train date/time then I would not pay $65 for the tickets if I could get them for $56 on either RS website or Eurostar website.

Posted by
9 posts

I just checked the Eurostar site. The site will not let me book a ticket for that far out. I was just curious so I did try to book a ticket for the the week before.The site will allow it but the price for the ticket leaving at 11:30 is $227.00 per ticket! The raileurope site will let me book one at $56.00 for the date and time I'm interested in. Just wondering why the big price difference?

Posted by
2796 posts

Good question why there is a price difference. You are selecting a prime ticket-Saturday, mid summer, mid day. Since the link with the RS RailEurope is actually letting you select and buy 6 seats at $56 each, ahead of the 6 month standard, perhaps you should grab this before it disappears on you, and worry about why you are being allowed to do this later.

Posted by
5262 posts

Jeane,

I would definitely buy the tickets for $56pp now from the RS website.

Refer to my post ( 1st post) above where I gave you the link.

This is Laura's reply to my question ( see my 2nd post above):

"Eurostar hasn't updated their web site to show these, but they are for sale, probably by phone as well as on our site."

Hope this helps!

Posted by
5262 posts

Jeane,

I just contacted Raileurope to ask for details on purchasing tickets in advance

& I was told that one can generally purchase train tickets up to 9 months in advance.

Please note: don't try to purchase it right now (5:30pm CST) because they are performing "the nightly maintenance of their website"

So the nightly maintenance is from 5pm-7pm CST. You should be able to order your tickets after this time.

BTW, the $56 pp price is a "web only special" & you cannot get this price by phone.

Best of luck to you!

Posted by
9 posts

Thanks everyone for your input. We finally purchased our tickets for $65.00 each from Raileurope. We have the tickets in hand and are so looking forward to a great trip!