Eurostar embarks on class 'Reinvention'

31 May 2005
  • Traveller research drives creation of three new classes of service
  • Eurostar bucks industry trend with significant investment in business product
  • New-look traveller experience begins on September 1

Eurostar, the high-speed train operator that links the UK, France and Belgium, is to divide its first-class into separate business and leisure carriages, seating travellers depending on their key reason for travelling. The changes are part of a £1 million per train investment to upgrade its business offering.
The fresh approach follows the results of Eurostar's largest ever research study among travellers and potential future Eurostar users, who pointed to a need to tailor the product for the differing requirements of business and leisure travellers.
The research concluded that travellers want separate business and leisure carriages. Whereas business travellers wanted to be as productive as possible on their journey, leisure customers called for greater indulgence.
From September 1, Eurostar will be making the following changes, shedding the terms 'First-Class' and 'Premium' and embarking on three distinct new classes
Business Premier (the highest class of service):

  • 10 minute fast-track check-in through passport control
  • Exclusive lounge access (and for Carte Blanche card holders)
  • At-seat meal/drinks service and new express breakfast option
  • Power sockets at-seat (UK and Continental sockets)
  • Newspapers/magazines on-board
  • Optional chauffeur service, at additional cost, to and from station in each direction (up to 4 journeys)

Leisure Select:

  • 30 minute check-in
  • Larger seat pitch for extra comfort
  • At-seat meal/drinks service
  • Power sockets at-seat (UK and Continental sockets)
  • Newspapers/magazines on-board

Standard:

  • 30 minute check-in
  • On-board bar-buffet offering light meals, snacks and drinks

Ticket prices will be based on how far in advance bookings are made and the level of flexibility/exchangeability required.
Paul Charles, Director of Communications, Eurostar, said: "Business customers want choice, not the restrictions of a single class of service offered by many airlines. While some airlines are losing their share of business flyers, our significant investment reiterates our long-term commitment to this market and shows that we truly understand the needs of business travellers."
He added: "As competitor airlines de-invest in their short-haul service, this raft of changes now makes Eurostar the first choice for business. We will continue to bring long-haul standards to short-haul travel."
"What we are particularly pleased about is that our refocus on the needs of the business market has not been at the expense of our leisure travellers, as their specific requirements are also at the heart of our reinvention."
Eurostar's entire fleet of 27 trains is currently being refurbished, with new interiors in all classes plus the bar/buffet cars.
Ticket sales for Eurostar's "reinvention" open on June 3rd with the new services beginning on September 1st 2005.
Eurostar switches its entire operation to St. Pancras International in 2007 when the high-speed line is completed. Journey times to Brussels will be 1h53m and to Paris 2h15m.
Editor's Notes:
1. Eurostar is the fast train service linking London, Ashford, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Avignon, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar was named "Train Operator of the Year" at the National Rail Awards 2004; "World's Leading Rail Service" in the 2003 and 2004 World Travel Awards; "Best Rail Network" at the Business Travel World Awards 2004 and "Best Rail Operator" at the Travel Weekly Globe Awards 2004.
3. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are two entirely different companies with two different management teams. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's largest customer.
4. To book tickets for Eurostar, or to find out more information, go to www.eurostar.com , call 08705 186186 or contact your travel agent.