Frequently Asked Questions About the Eurostar

  • What is the difference between 1st and 2nd class on the Eurostar (London to Paris or Brussels)?

    Eurostar offers 3 classes of service 2 for 1st class and 1 for 2nd class.

    Business Premier which offers priority express check-in at the terminals, a dedicated ticket desk for check in, access to the Eurostar Executive lounges, spacious reclining seats with generous legroom, wifi access at the terminals, a dedicated coach for business travelers, complimentary newspapers, 3-course meal with refreshments at your seat.

    Standard Premier offers spacious reclining seats with generous legroom, complimentary newspapers, and light cold meal with refreshments at your seat.

    Standard class (2nd class) offers generous legroom and access to a bar-buffet car where a selection of food and beverages are available for purchase.

  • Is Eurostar included with my rail pass?

    No, travel on Eurostar requires a separate ticket. However, many rail passes include discounted rates for the Eurostar called a Passholder fare. To see a list of passes that allow these fares select “details” when viewing fares with a pass.

  • What is an ABS fare?
    An ABS fare stands for "All Belgium Stations" and is a train ticket that will take you to any connecting city in Belgium within 24 hours of the date and time that you arrived in Brussels for no additional charge. The ABS fare is an "all in one" ticket and is less expensive than buying separate tickets. Please note, your Eurostar ticket will serve as the only train ticket you will require to travel to Brussels and onward to your connecting city (within Belgium) to complete your journey.
  • How do I book Eurostar through Rail Europe and/or on a GDS?
    Bookings can be made:
    • Online at
    • By phone at 1-800-EUROSTAR
    • Through all GDS systems (Amadeus, Sabre, Apollo, Worldspan) using IATA designator code 9F and printed on neutral ticket stock with ARC accounting code 814.

    Agents can also issue e-tickets for Eurostar through, by phone at 1-800-EUROSTAR and on the GDS systems (except Worldspan).

  • How do I purchase an ABS fare?
    ABS fares are available from/to your final destination in Belgium. Please enter the city of departure and city of arrival. Your search results will available ABS fares. The results will only include the Eurostar tickets to travel to Brussels and onward to your connecting city (within Belgium) to complete your journey.
  • How often does Eurostar run?

    From London to Paris and vice versa, Eurostar offers frequent service: every 30 minutes during peak hours and approximately once per hour during non-peak time. During the peak summer season, up to 24 trains run daily to Paris.

    From London to Brussels and vice versa, service is offered approximately every 2 hours. During the peak summer season, up to 10 trains can run daily to Brussels.

    During ski season, there are 2 trains each week to the French Alps.

    During summer, Eurostar offers daily service to Disneyland Paris and Saturday service to Lyon, Avignon and Aix en Provence 

    During winter, there is 1 train a week to Disneyland Paris

  • What are the meal options on Eurostar ?
    Compete list of special meals offered by Eurostar :

    Kosher - 48 hours notice

    Child - 24 hours notice

    Vegetarian - 24 hours notice

    Vegan - 48 hours notice

    Gluten Free - 48 hours notice

    Diabetic - 48 hours notice

    Low fat - 48 hours notice

    Low salt - 48 hours notice 

    Email address:

    To fill out & submit the form online - click here

    Disclaimer: Eurostar cannot guarantee to be able to meet all special dietary requirements and will advise if this is the case.

  • How do I request a special meal on my Eurostar trip?

    To receive a special meal you must fill out this form and either email or fax it to Eurostar.

  • How many pieces of luggage are we permitted to carry on Eurostar?

    Each traveler is allowed 2 pieces of luggage (children are allowed one piece of luggage) and 1 carry-on bag.

  • How old do you have to be to qualify for Senior Fare on Eurostar?

    A traveler qualifies for Senior Fares at age 60 and over.

  • What is the Eurostar Ski Train?
    The Eurostar Ski Train offers seasonal service to the French Alps. Trains run mid-December through mid-April. Trains from London depart on Saturdays at 10:00am. Train from the Alps depart on Saturdays at 10:45am or 11:09pm for overnight service.

    Eurostar ski destinations include Bourg St. Maurice, Aime La Plagne and Moutier S. Salins. Travel times range from 7 to 8.5 hours.

    Travelers taking the Ski Train are allowed to bring an extra piece of luggage, such as skis or snowboards, on the train. This allows travelers to take a total of 3 pieces of luggage, plus 1 piece of hand luggage.

  • On Eurostar, what are the differences between the Business Premier, Standard Premier, and Standard Classes of service?

    Business Premier class is dedicated to serving the business traveler with its superior service. Business travelers can expect a nonsmoking car, fast lane check-in, use of the Executive Lounges, breakfast or a 3-course lunch or dinner with choice of entrée and wine, complimentary drink, newspapers, Wifi access in the terminal and lap top sockets on board the train.

    Standard Premier tickets provide complimentary food, beverages, and newspapers while you relax in your reclining seat.

    Standard Class offers comfort, convenience, and value. Enjoy the bar car, or purchase snacks and refreshments from the trolley cart when it comes to your seat.

  • When are meals served on Eurostar?

    Breakfast is served before 11:00 a.m.; lunch is served between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00pm A snack is served between 2:00pm and 4:30pm Dinner is served after 4:30pm

  • What is the refund and exchange policy for a Business Premier, Standard Premier, Standard, Youth, Pass holder or Senior Fare on Eurostar?

    Business Premier Fare is an unrestricted ticket. It is fully exchangeable and refundable.*

    Standard Premier Flexible Fare is fully exchangeable and refundable.*

    Standard Premier Semi-Flexible Fare is exchangeable for a fee and is partially refundable.*

    Standard Premier Non-Flexible Fare is non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

    Standard Flexible Fare is fully exchangeable and refundable. Standard Semi-Flexible Fare is exchangeable for a fee and is partially refundable.*

    Standard Non-Flexible Fare is non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

    Youth Fare (for travelers up to the age of 26) is non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

    Pass holder Fare (issued in conjunction with an appropriate rail pass) is exchangeable once before the original departure date and is non-refundable.

    Senior Fare (for travelers 60 years of age and over) is non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

    *All exchanges and refunds must be received and processed by Rail Europe no later than 60 days after the original train's departure date.

  • What is the Eurostar Direct Service to Provence?
    For a limited time each year (see below for details) Eurostar operates a direct service to Avignon. This service runs on Saturdays, with direct trains from London or Ashford. Trains depart at 7:15am from London and the return service from Provence departs at 4:38pm. Travel time 5 hours and 53 minutes.

    The return journey to London or Ashford requires an hour and half stopover in Lille, during which travelers must go through the UK immigration security and passport checks.

    This Eurostar service is available for travel from June 28, 2014 until September 13, 2014 for Avignon.

  • What is the Eurostar Disney Train?

    The Eurostar Disney train runs daily between London/Ashford/Ebbsfleet and Marne-la-Vallee. The train travels in the morning to Marne-la-Vallee and returns in the evening. The train has Standard Premier and Standard class seats available and offers a Disney pack for families with children under 7, available at the Disney Express Counter.

  • What is the Channel Tunnel?

    The Channel Tunnel (also known as “The Chunnel”) consists of 3 interconnecting tubes: a rail track for travel in each direction and one service tunnel. The length of the tunnel is 31 miles long, but only 23 miles are underwater. The average depth is 150 feet under the seabed. The Eurostar only spends 20 minutes of its journey in the tunnel.

  • What is the minimum time allowed for check-in on Eurostar?

    The minimum check-in time for travelers with Business Premier tickets is 20 minutes. For travelers boarding ski trains, and travelers holding regular tickets, check-in time is 45 minutes.

  • Can a traveler take a car on Eurostar?

    No, Eurostar does not transport cars. You can transport your car on Le Shuttle, which carries cars through the Channel Tunnel. For reservations with Le Shuttle, please call 08705 35 35 35 or at

  • Does Eurostar offer any special travel accommodations for disabled travelers?
    Yes, the following is available:
    • 2 wheelchair spaces per train (on coaches 9 & 10)
    • Allowance for guide dogs:
      • Please note that no pet or animal of any sort (except guide dogs) may be taken on Eurostar services. There are special discounted fares for a companion while the disabled traveler pays the regular fare. After confirming the space for the disabled traveler, adjacent seating space will need to be booked for the guide dog (free of charge). Guide dogs must comply with existing Pet Travel Scheme regulations (must have a microchip, an official entry/re-entry certificate, certification of treatment against ticks and tapeworm, pet travel scheme declaration for completion by person bringing guide dog into England).
    Please note, all special travel accommodations for disabled travelers traveling on Eurostar must be booked through Rail Europe Contact Center at 1-800-622-8600 in the USA, 1-800-361-RAIL (7245) in Canada.
  • If I am exchanging my tickets in Europe will I be charged any additional fees?

    If you purchased an exchangeable ticket, you will not be charged a fee in France or Belgium. Tickets exchanged in Britain will be assessed of £3 fee for credit card transactions of £30.00 or more. Travelers have the option to use debit cards or cash at no additional cost.

  • Are there discounts on train tickets?

    Yes. There are discounts available for certain train tickets.

    The first type of discount is for advanced booking. This applies mostly to high speed trains and night trains that require reservations. For these trains, within the same category of service, rail carriers set aside different groups of seats at different prices. The cheaper seats have a limited availability or are reserved for sale within a certain time period before the train departure. Once this group of cheaper seats has sold out, or the booking window for those seats has passed, the next group of seats goes on sale, at a higher price, and so on. The closer to the departure date you book, the more expensive you will find the seats. This is why we always encourage you to book your seat in advance to get the best price.

    In addition, certain trains offer discounts for youth, child or senior travelers. We always attempt to find the cheapest fares for your traveling party and get you the discounts you’re eligible for. This is why it’s important to accurately indicate the composition of your traveling party when requesting fares and schedules from our website. You may also have to enter the age of certain travelers, so we can determine whether they’re eligible for certain age-related discounts.

  • Do I need to do anything to my train ticket before boarding the train?

    If you purchased and received a paper train ticket in the mail, there is nothing further you need to do.

    If you purchased a print at home e-ticket, be sure to print your ticket before you leave home and keep your train ticket safe and secure. For Italo tickets, just print your Rail Europe email confirmation which includes your unique e-ticket confirmation code(s). This e-ticket confirmation code along with your photo i.d. will be checked when on the Italo train.

    If you purchased a print at the station e-ticket, you’ll need to visit a self-service kiosk to print your train ticket (remember, you’ll need the e-ticket confirmation code included on your invoice). When retrieving your e-ticket in France at a SNCF kiosk, you will need to “stamp your ticket” (composter votre ticket as French say) prior to board the train. Would you have any problem to do so, just ask the conductor of the train to do it for you when you board the train.

    View this video for tips on how early you should arrive at the train station, activating tickets & passes, and more!

  • What do I do with my luggage?

    Once onboard you’ll need to find a place to put your bag(s). Small and medium sized bags typically fit on racks located above the seats. Larger suitcases and items can be stored in racks found near the train door entrance.

    In addition, you’re responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.

    If you’re traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or a TGV, you’re limited to two large items per traveler (maximum 85cm in any one dimension), plus one small item of hand luggage. On most high speed train there’s room for luggage above the seats and for larger items at the end of each coach.

    Be advised that when traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or any French train, you must properly label your bag(s) with your first and last name. In general, it is a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.

    If traveling within Switzerland, our “Fast Baggage” option may be a convenient alternative for you.


  • How early should I arrive at the train station?

    We advise travelers to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. This allows you time to clear any security checks and locate the platform where your train will be departing. If you are departing from a larger train station (typically a city’s main station) and need to activate your rail pass prior to boarding, you will want to arrive even earlier to make sure you have enough time to get your rail pass activated and avoid doing a luggage-hauling sprint through the station.

  • Can I choose a specific seat when booking a train ticket?

    At this time, we are unable to offer this service. Unlike airlines, most rail carriers do not offer the possibility to select your specific seat.

  • Do I need to buy a train ticket for children or infants?

    In general, any traveler that will occupy a seat needs to purchase a train ticket. Children under the age of 4 may travel on your lap, though the exact age can vary by rail company. If you want them to have a reserved seat on a train that offers or requires a reservation, you would need to pay the same price as an older child on most trains.


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