Essential Booking Tips

Choice of seat

Standard Class Seats:

  • Coaches 5 & 14 have UK and European power sockets for laptops / phones
  • If time is short on arrival in Paris/Brussels, book the front coaches 14, 18 or 17

More Essential Booking Tips

First Class: Standard Premier Business Premier First Class

  • Coaches 7 -12 have UK and European power sockets for laptops / phones
  • Solo seats – seat 61 is preferred by solo passengers
  • If time is short on arrival in Paris/Brussels, book the front coaches 14, 18 or 17
  • Club Duo arrangement are two seats opposite each other with a table.
  • WIFI is not yet available


Important advice for booking French Rail – Domestic Tickets

  • You must use the French Rail – French Language Site to obtain the best fares and schedules.
  • You will be asked: “Sélectionnez le pays de réception ou de retrait des billet” (Select the country of receipt or withdrawal of the ticket)
  • Choose FRANCE.
  • If you choose GRANDE BRETAGNE you will be sent back to the UK site of French Rail

Regional Stations – split tickets

  1. Use Rail Europe to obtain a through price and suitable connecting schedules
  2. Use Eurostar to price a ticket to the mainline Paris/Lille/Brussels stations
  3. Price Rail Europe and the national rail company for onward tickets

Booking to mainline stations: Lille, Paris, Brussels

  • Always compare Eurostar and French Rail. They use different reservation systems and may offer different fares and availability

Benefits of booking direct with Eurostar:

  • Option to book Rail + Hotel for further discounts
  • The system warns you if there are less than 10 seats
  • Fixed £4 credit card charge, debit cards are free
  • Choice of window/aisle/solo seat preference
  • Specific seat selection at the 3rd booking stage
  • SMS text message option in case of delay/cancellations
  • Print ticket at home (or office!) option, free of charge, and go direct to check-in!
  • Ticket on departure, also free of charge, but you must bring the card used for payment (and the owner of the card).
  • Telephone support: 08432 186 186 from 8am to 7pm Mon-Fri, 9-5 Sat/Sun

Benefits of booking with Rail Europe

Rail Europe is the UK arm of French National Railways – SNCF

Our comparison discovered that Rail Europe was cheaper for journeys to beyond Paris/Lille/Brussels, but the web site doesn’t have many of the functions that the Eurostar site does, especially seat selection and ticket delivery options

  • Free tickets-on-departure or first class post £1.95, special delivery £8.00
  • Credit cards 2.5% charge, debit cards free.
  • No Amex cards for payment
  • No specific seat requests, just a random preference at basket stage
  • Book by phone, £8 booking fee. You can view the random seat selected at
  • Telephone Support: 08448 484 064. Within 7 days of departure 08448 484051