Eurostar domestic sales gone?

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island

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I've heard a rumour that Eurostar Domestic sales (the source of LNDON ESTAR CIV tickets) has closed down. Anyone know any details?
 
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jamesontheroad

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Yes, as of 15 July Eurostar Domestic Sales has closed.

You can only buy UK add-ons as part of a booking with Eurostar. Forcing customers towards more expensive Eurostar tickets, because the 12 week booking horizon is much shorter than the Eurostar one.

The Man in Seat 61 has tweeted a few times about this. Only Eurostar could sell ESTAR CIV; some retailers like Loco2 can sell London Int'l CIV, which is not the same thing.
 

didcotdean

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Presumably you can still buy London International (CIV) tickets from TOCs, though?

You can but the prices can be very different.

For example travelling from Oxford, an ESTAR CIV standard single was £9 compared with £32.50 for London International CIV. Although admittedly you can get a return for £33.60.
 

hantsman1205

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You can but the prices can be very different.

For example travelling from Oxford, an ESTAR CIV standard single was £9 compared with £32.50 for London International CIV. Although admittedly you can get a return for £33.60.



Basingstoke was around £8 for a single Estar CIV, that was an advanced/off peak ticket. That Fare has gone from BRfares now.
 

DEE-DE

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Basingstoke was around £8 for a single Estar CIV, that was an advanced/off peak ticket. That Fare has gone from BRfares now.

I can still find it.

I am not happy about this either even though I usually travel to/from Dundee where the fare available at the ticket office is now the same as the one bought from Eurostar. It is quite convenient to buy from Eurostar themselves when you are outside of the UK at the time of booking and it means I should be able to pick up my ticket at Brussels where I have a long wait anyway. I was never able to just buy my Eurostar tickets in one go as I always travel between Germany and somewhere in the UK other than London (except for when DB still sold international tickets for the UK). Also I've got a 16-25 railcard meaning I have to book in person anyway. And in the past year I've made two journeys where there was a difference between station bought and Eurostar bought, from Penzance and Cambridge.
Going south it doesn't really affect me too much most of the time because I tend to buy sleeper tickets with a morning-to-early-afternoon break in London. But northbound I am really quite annoyed about this. The Eurostar domestic office was great with the best service I've ever had on the phone.
Unless Eurostar replace this with some service that sells the same stuff I might have to fly more often.
 

33Hz

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Annoying to log in here and see this.

Firstly, every time I phoned I got through to "Bob" who was the absolute epitome of old school customer service. I hope he is still employed there somewhere.

Secondly, there are non-DB scenarios for which the website booking doesn't work - for example starting in one location and returning to another.

The difference in price between the Eurostar CIV and Ldn Int CIV is outrageous. I hate to think how much I wasted on the latter before I discovered the way to get the former.
 

pne

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I only had the opportunity to talk to him once but I also remember that it was excellent. And he clearly knew his stuff.
 

dggar

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I only had the opportunity to talk to him once but I also remember that it was excellent. And he clearly knew his stuff.

I would second that.

Have E* stopped doing tickets for seniors (over 60 or 65)?
the web site only seems to give the option of adult over 26.
 

sarahj

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Only info I've ever seen on the subject:

Eurostar extension tickets
After a recent review of Eurostar tickets, it has been noted that a large number of tickets to London Estar CIV have been sold to Eurostar customers. Tickets to these destinations are purely for sale on the Eurostar website only.
Customers wishing to purchase tickets to London St Pancras for onward travel to Eurostar should be sold tickets to London Int CIV.
 

33Hz

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So now we have a situation where there are an extremely limited number of through journeys on the Eurostar website. For example, on Monday I can only find a through domestic journey leaving my home station at 5 am and none offered for the rest of the day.

If I want to take a Eurostar at any other (read sensible) time, I now have to buy a Euro High Saver to London Int (CIV). Before I was paying £18 return, now it's over £40.

It's becoming harder and harder to justify over flying tbh. They are pricing themselves out of the market.
 

me123

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What is the logic behind this move? Was ES subsidising these fares?

Brexit.

I have no idea if this has anything to do with anything (I strongly suspect it isn't), but I'm sure that's the excuse that will get wheeled out if this becomes more prominent.
 

Merseysider

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Basically a fare increase of at least £20 that's gonna put me off Eurostar. If so, sod it, I'll fly.
 

33Hz

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Just fell victim to this again...

Last month I saw that the only through ticket to my domestic station on my day of choice was the last train of the day. This was despite there being full availability on Eurostar and the connecting Thalys.

I contacted customer services and they told me it was a website bug and if it happens again to call and quote a code to get £10 knocked off.

So I am trying to book now and the same thing is happening again. This time I've checked and it is pretty much the same for the next 10 days. Only the weekend has more availability.

I called the booking line and the guy told me it was totally down to availability and he was seeing the same thing on their internal system. He advised not to book via him anyway as there was no guarantee they would be able to send me a ticket to print by tomorrow afternoon!

Honestly it's a mess. How to take a good thing and ruin it.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And when I contact customer services again:

All UK Domestic fares to which we have access are obtained via commercial agreement with the different UK domestic operators and can vary based on how much availability is provided, the cost and which times offered combine best with our trains.

This does mean that sometimes trains to which we might previously have had access can sometimes no longer be available for certain periods.

Added to this timetables for the winter are different from the summer which means that some trains that might previously have been combinable no longer are.
 

Groningen

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This may explain something!

Cross-Channel high speed train operator Eurostar is to reduce the number of services it operates by 8% and intends to cut 80 jobs.

From Railway Gazette this morning.
 

plcd1

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http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/high-speed/single-view/view/eurostar-to-cut-services-and-jobs.html

EUROPE: Cross-Channel high speed train operator Eurostar is to reduce the number of services it operates by 8% and intends to cut 80 jobs.

‘This is a challenging environment for all travel companies and we need to manage our costs very carefully’, Eurostar told Railway Gazette. ‘That’s why we are looking at the size and shape of our business. We are committed to minimising the impact of these changes on our colleagues and our current focus is on managing any reductions through voluntary redundancies and sabbaticals as much as possible.’

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association trade union said the cuts followed a ‘severe reduction in passenger numbers and revenue’ in 2016, which had led to the Eurostar ‘significantly reducing costs in other areas’ before announcing the job losses.

Eurostar had reported in August that passenger numbers in Q2 2016 were down 3% on Q2 2015 to 2·7 million, with sales revenues 10% lower at £208m. CEO Nicolas Petrovic attributed this to terrorism, uncertainly arising from the UK vote to leave the European Union, and a slowdown in traffic from world markets.

Eurostar told Railway Gazette that another factor in the cuts was the delivery of the Siemens Velaro e320 trainsets, which have more seats than the original fleet meeting the same capacity can be provided with fewer services. So far 11 of the 17 Siemens trains have been delivered. A programme to refurbish the original Class 373 trainsets continues, with the third refurbished e300 expected to return to service shortly, but Eurostar is still deciding how many trainsets would be refurbished in total.

The job losses are to affect onboard and station staff, the Times House headquarters in London, Temple Mills maintenance depot and the Eurostar Contact Centre. TSSA has agreed to a period when staff can express interest in voluntary severance, except at Times House where specific individual roles will be identified.

Doesn't look good at all.
 

Peter Mugridge

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"...same capacity can be provided with fewer services..."

This is a mistake in the making; a lower frequency will result in fewer of the higher priced flexible tickets being sold.

They would do much better with a heavily marketed "pile 'em high, sell 'em cheap" approach to attract people who have not tried the service before.
 

33Hz

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Certainly explains why they are taking so long to do the refurb and I've questioned the wisdom of scrapping perfectly good trainsets when your finances aren't stellar elsewhere, but I can't see that it is directly related to the situation with ATOC.

It must be in ATOC's interest to encourage additional traffic to St Pancras as well.
 

Blinder

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Eurostar telesales are moving to Roumania in 2017. 100+ Uk jobs going, mainly at Ashford
 

33Hz

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Trying to book a through ticket from my local station for August 18th. Eurostar says the first day with availability is the 20th. This is a joke.

Of course I can buy a full price CIV ticket for the 18th, but that is just as expensive as a normal any time single. It basically doubles the cost of the whole trip.

Is there any way at all to access the older low cost CIV tickets that Eurostar domestic sales used to be able to supply?
 

Fiyero

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I tried for days and days to book a ticket with connections, none available on the website (even for different dates!). Tried online chat, they said to phone, tried phoning and never got through. In the meantime the train I wanted went up a lot so ended up just booking another one without connections (to avoid that fare going up too!)
Is there any way to add the Eurostar CIV ticket on now?
 

33Hz

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Is there any way to add the Eurostar CIV ticket on now?

You should be able to get the Euro High Saver CIV from your local station but unfortunately not the super cheap Estar one. Not even Eurostar could add that when they admitted it was their website's fault I couldn't buy it.
 

jon0844

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I was recently told you can get them on the Eurostar website. If that's not the case then something is very wrong, as I don't believe stations can sell them at the current time.
 

Fiyero

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I was recently told you can get them on the Eurostar website. If that's not the case then something is very wrong, as I don't believe stations can sell them at the current time.
I tried over several days and they were never offered even though the window should have been open. Annoyingly there was never a useful error message.
Just booked £5 Advance tickets from Southern which work out much cheaper (but a more restricted slower journey)
 

33Hz

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I was recently told you can get them on the Eurostar website. If that's not the case then something is very wrong, as I don't believe stations can sell them at the current time.

The Eurostar website sells the cheapest "London ESTAR CIV" tickets that were previously available to add on to every/many destinations (certainly any I tried) and were also available through the domestic telesales line if you already had a PNR 6 character code from a Eurostar booking. With the latter it was also possible to buy singles from/to a different start and return station, for example if you were leaving from work but returning to home.

Now it seems that there are strict quotas for these London ESTAR tickets, sometimes whole days are not available, and they must be purchased at the same time as the Eurostar portion as a through ticket. I have been told buy Eurostar customer services that I should call them if I do not see what I want, but in my experience they never find anything I can't and it seems they just look at the same website!

I was also not able to find any at all on SWT during late July / early August. The website gave me a strange (and not the usual quota issue) error number. Like the poster above, I just had to go ahead and book an ever increasing Eurostar ticket rather than wait for them to sort out their website issues.


However, there is another class of CIV ticket called a "Euro High Saver" and these can be purchased as walk-up fares at any station. They are valid if you have the Eurostar booking. They are typically double the price of the London ESTAR variant and as much as an off peak ticket. I believe they have time restrictions, but it seems railway staff don't know this. The only advantage they have over a standard off peak it seems is the CIV protection in case of a late train. The one time I was late for a Eurostar because of flooding, Eurostar staff in St Pancras wanted to check this before putting me on the next train.
 
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