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

Q I paid £106 for a return ticket on Eurostar, but did not use the return half. Should I get a refund?

Eileen Hanley

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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