Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Why Eurostar customers have become accustomed to wasting tickets if plans change
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 11 January 2013
Q I paid £106 for a return ticket on Eurostar, but did not use the return half. Should I get a refund?
A No. The price range and ticket rules on Eurostar are extraordinary. The ticket that most of us buy is the non-flexible return, costing as little as £69 return (or, in the current promotion, £59). A “semi-flexible” return costs about four times more, ie £250. You can get a partial refund if you don’t use the inbound half of a semi-flexible ticket, but it’s a measly £87. So I (and lots of other Eurostar regulars) have become wearily accustomed to wasting tickets if plans change.
This is in sharp contrast to, say, easyJet, who will allow you to change any flight for a fee of £35, plus any increase in the fare originally paid. Some people have taken advantage of the fact that there is no matching of the ticket and passport, and have sold unwanted halves of tickets, but this contravenes Eurostar rules.
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