Sparpreis ticket, seating on Eurostar

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by BahrainLad, 27 Nov 2018.

  1. BahrainLad

    BahrainLad Member

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    I've just booked a Sparpreis from London to Hannover in First Class, with the first segment on Eurostar. It's dumped me in Coach 1, Seat 55 (Standard Premier) which seems to not have a window.

    What would be the best way to go about trying to change the seat, or is it impossible? St Pancras isn't too much of a detour for me so I could always pop into the booking office in person.
     
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  3. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    According to Loco2 you cannot change your Eurostar seats through their Manage my booking website if you hold a DB Sparpreis.

    Your best course of action would be to go to a booking office.
     
  4. BahrainLad

    BahrainLad Member

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    Thanks will pop in then one evening on my way home.
     
  5. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Do let us know how you get on as I was almost confronted with this issue myself (it was resolved when I checked the seating plan closer so no change was needed but still)!
     
  6. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    This was a serious issue when I travelled and couldn't be undone. Our reserved seats were terrible, and we had no opportunity to change them in advance (though we tried, many times) or on the day. I raised this problem on an existing thread about Eurostar, but was told that it is a problem that doesn't exist and a 'hyperbole'.
     
  7. D6700

    D6700 Member

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    On the one occasion I had a DB First Class ticket including Eurostar, I had a windowless seat allocated, although I only discovered that after boarding. I went back to the customer host, who had a seating chart and asked her if it was possible to move. She was very helpful and I was able to choose from a selection of seats.

    When I've travelled in Second Class, if I've not fancied the seat I've been allocated, I've hung around until just after departure and looked for a better one. Obviously, this is dependent upon the train not being full - and there is always the chance you could be moved on if the train picks up elsewhere.
     
  8. 317666

    317666 Established Member

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    I find that I'm routinely given a seat with no window using Sparpreis tickets, in either class. On one occasion, me and a friend booked a first class London - Köln ticket and it put us in Business Premier! The train manager reluctantly let us stay there, after somewhat rudely lecturing us about how lucky we were and that we shouldn't have been in there...
     
  9. Gerald Fiennes

    Gerald Fiennes Member

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    Unless you are travelling on Friday or Saturday am in the next few weeks (Xmas markets traffic) or Mondays before 1000, I think you will find that you will have a choice of seats on the ES train in practice....
    Given the byzantine steps that have had to be taken to connect DB's booking system with ES's (which is still based on something called Elgar, first planned by the UK InterCity sector in 1991), consider it a minor miracle that you are able to book a place at all!
     
  10. BahrainLad

    BahrainLad Member

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    *Cough* well as it happens, yes, I’m leaving on a Friday morning at 1058 and then arriving in Hanover at 1928 by way of Brussels and Cologne. Hopefully I can get a seat with a window on the Eurostar leg but no great loss I suppose.

    The booking process was not without problems. Originally I wanted to leave London at 0858 arriving at 1728, but when I got to the final payment page (having requested at seat on Eurostar and selected all my seats on the two ICE sectors) I decided to go back and double check something (as per Seat61 you apparently used to be able to choose a different credit card to use for ID, which I wanted to check, but it doesn’t seem to exist any more.) Anyway the site had a moment so I cleared everything from the basket and started again - but from then on the booking engine wouldn’t let me select any seats on the 0858 itinerary claiming all the trains were full. Loco2 however would have ... I think ... sold me the ticket, but with no seat selection at all.

    On checking Eurostar’s site the 0858 to Brussels that day was showing a cool £224 one way for Standard Premier, which must be nearly full price, so I presumed all the Sparspreis ticket allocation had gone. So I’ve ended up on the 1058-1928 itinerary instead.

    Complicated!
     
  11. BahrainLad

    BahrainLad Member

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    Oh, and lo and behold, the site seems to be fixed now and the 0855-1728 seems to be available to select seats and presumably, book.
     
  12. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Probably because your first booking wasn't instantly deleted when you cleared it, and was the only seat available. Happens on other operators too.
     
  13. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    Elgar, that takes me back, had some mates who worked on that. One eventually wound up doing reservation systems for SNCF in Paris
     
  14. Dougal2345

    Dougal2345 Member

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    To be honest, having been on the Eurostar a few times now, the novelty of looking out of the window has evaporated. It's a very dull journey, scenery-wise.

    I generally have a quick peek out when there are some domestic lines to be seen in Kent, when crossing the Medway, and at the tunnel entrance and exit in the hope of seeing one of the big Bo-Bo-Bos.

    Then in France & Belgium there really is "nothing to see here", just flattish, featureless fields, with sound barriers appearing to block the view just when there might be a village or something to look at.

    It's only worth looking out again when you start slowing down in the suburbs.
     
  15. AY1975

    AY1975 Member

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    Another potential problem when booking a DB 1st class ticket including Eurostar, is that the DB website does not appear to have any facility to tell Eurostar if you need a special meal (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc).

    If you book your ticket via the Eurostar site (which only offers tickets to a very limited range of destinations in Germany, and even then it doesn't always work) you can log in to your bookings and add a special meal request, but the DB site, and other booking sites such as loco2.com, do not appear to offer such a facility.

    I suppose you could try going onto the Eurostar site and clicking on the live chat in the bottom right-hand corner (or going to the Eurostar travel centre at St Pancras in person) to sort it out, but there's no guarantee that this would work. They say they need 24 hours' notice for a vegetarian meal and 48 hours' notice for all other special meal options.
     
  16. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I’ve found Eurostar’s Twitter team to be excellent - able to change my seat on the day of departure even when I had a DB ticket - I imagine they’d be able to help with meals too.
     
  17. BahrainLad

    BahrainLad Member

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    Well, I didn't bother changing my ticket in the end. And seat 55 in coach 1 has enough of a window to see out of, so I was happy.

    All in all I found the trip great fun. The only slight issue was that we were 58 minutes arriving into Hannover, because we hung around at Hamm for almost an hour waiting for the other portion of the ICE to arrive and hook up. DB say they offer 25% refund for journeys delayed by 60 minutes, do you think it's worth trying to claim or will they be very precise about it?
     
  18. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    You can always try, of course, but expect your claim to be denied.

    It's odd that they chose to hold your train in Hamm for an hour, I can't think of much reasons to do that beyond operational requirements (driver of the other portion signing off at Hamm, no replacement available).
     
  19. BahrainLad

    BahrainLad Member

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    Do you mean that normally the two portions of the train would have just continued to Berlin separately? Interesting. I had assumed they would always need to join together.
     
  20. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    Delaying all passengers for an hour doesn't sound like good customer service to me, I can't imagine DB doing that unless the impact of not doing so is worse. If there was no relief driver available they might have had to cancel the late portion in Hamm, which would be a major inconvenience to everyone on board that part.
     

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