Should we book Eurostar Tickets via a Travel Agent?

Posted on September 2nd, 2017. Written by bookingbusinesstravel.

Booking Eurostar online is very easy. So, what are the benefits of requesting (and paying for) a travel agent, or a management company to do so on your behalf?

Every booking scenario is different so we recommend you choose with the following observations in mind.

Benefits of online:

If you are shopping for lowest fares then visually, it is easier to research fares online than to ask a travel agent to provide you with prices. Online, you will see a very clear comparison of the train fares including cheaper options or alternatives either side of the requested trains. You will also see the comparison of standard class versus first class. Travel agencies will struggle to convey this much information, whether by phone or email.

However, once you have decided on the best options, should you also book online?

If you are 100% definite and need to book immediately, then perhaps the answer is yes. This may typically be the case if you’re booking a holiday where all the arrangements and time-off has been secured.

The lowest Eurostar fares are available from or the SNCF site Voyages SNCF or the Belgium Site, SNBC. I do not recommend booking via online travel agents as you’ll pay more.

If you are booking business travel, you may require more flexibility so you need to consider the following pros and cons

Benefits of using a travel agency to book Eurostar

Flexibility and Service:

Agencies use reservation systems that have the ability to “hold” seat reservations and fares for you whilst you firm up the other arrangements.

For departures departing with a month of your enquiry, up to 3 days. For departures outside of a month, the agent should be able to hold the reservation for up to a maximum of 4 weeks before you need to commit to the booking.

This provides time to convey the information to the traveller and for meetings and other arrangements to be finalised before issuing the tickets.

This flexibility can save you money in the long run too, because prior to issuing tickets, you can amend the trains as much as you want without penalty.

Note that all Eurostar tickets are non-refundable once ticketed and change fees apply so if meetings are rescheduled it could be costly to change or the ticket may as well be thrown away.

Not only do the above benefits provide flexibility and service-levels that you cannot achieve online, but also, there will invariably be a cost saving too.

Let’s say you’re looking for travel in a month’s time and let’s say there is only one seat left on the lowest fare on the train that works for you. Your agent will be able to hold that seat until you commit to it. If that decision to go ahead is made several days later, then that one seat would have long gone if the agent hadn’t held it for you and the new fares would be considerably more expensive.

Note that agency reservations systems can only book up to 4 months in advance so if you need to book further in advance, and for critical dates such as Christmas or New Year, then booking online is the only option available.


This entry was posted on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 at 8:50 am and is filed under Booking Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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