Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Does Eurostar allow travel with Greek national ID cards?
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
Thursday 11 July 2013
Q In a couple of weeks' time I will be traveling with a friend from London to Paris on the Eurostar. I am a British passport holder but he has a Greek national ID card which he assumes will be enough to travel with. The Eurostar website, however, states "All passengers, including infants, are required to have either their own valid passport (or national identity card for French and Belgium passengers)". The national ID card here is only mentioned for French and Belgium citizens and not other EU countries.
I have contacted Eurostar themselves but they do not comment on entry requirements and I have found it impossible to get through to anyone at the French embassy. Do you know if Eurostar accepts national ID Cards for travel?
A I managed to get a response from Eurostar on your behalf and was told: "We only accept passports and French and Belgian national ID Cards, so this passenger will need to travel with their passport."
I then asked why, when EU citizens could travel freely to the UK by air or ferry with only national ID cards, travellers from all but two of the 28 member states needed passports to use the Channel Tunnel train. I was told: "Our policy when we launched was 'passports only', we then made exceptions to French and Belgian nationals only as France and Belgium are our core routes".
Sorry. All I can suggest is that you fly or travel by ferry. Meanwhile, I would welcome reports of experienced by travellers with only ID cards - at what point were you turned away? Or, perhaps, did you persuade the immigration officials to let you through?
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