Eurostar becomes only London-Paris/Brussels operator to avoid call centre charges
Transparent credit card charge set lower than airline competitors
Debit card bookings remain free – ensuring customer choice
Eurostar, provider of high-speed, carbon neutral rail journeys between the UK and the Continent, will from 17 August scrap its £5 booking fee for all ticket reservations made through its UK-based call centre.
The removal of the charge will enable travellers to make journey enquiries by telephone and complete their reservations at the same price as booking via the Eurostar.com website.
At the same time, Eurostar is introducing a charge of £3 per credit card transaction for all bookings by phone and on the internet – which is significantly lower than any of its airline competitors. The charge will offset most of the costs levied on Eurostar by the credit card companies.
However all bookings by debit card remain free, ensuring that Eurostar travellers can continue to avoid any extra charges, and reflecting also the much lower costs levied by the banks for this type of payment card.
Nick Mercer, Commercial Director, Eurostar said: “We’re scrapping the fee for booking through our British call centre in order to give travellers even better value and service. The costs levied by credit card companies are out of our control and we are having to pass these on, but we want travellers to have the choice of avoiding extra charges and thus all debit card bookings will remain free.”
A survey shows that Eurostar’s charges are much lower than competitors who operate from London to Brussels and Paris. The difference is even greater when two or more people are travelling.
Operator Call centre fee Credit card charge Debit card charge
Eurostar Free £3.00 per total transaction Free
BA £5.00 per person £4.50 credit card fee per person Free
Bmi Free £4.00 per transaction or person Free
Easyjet £7.50 per leg = £15 per return ticket 2.5% of total cost of transaction £2.95 fee per transaction
Ryanair £20 per booking £5.00 per leg = £10 per return ticket per person £5.00 per leg = £10 per return ticket per person
Air France £10 per person No additional credit card fee. £4.00 per person for website bookings only and isn’t charged by the call centre
Brussels Airlines £14 quoted as the booking fee but only £6.00 on line
Credit card fee not charged via the call centre as only credit cards can be used. If travelling BXS-LON-BXS then 5 Euros credit card charge applies
Debit cards can’t be used for LON-BXS-LON
(Information obtained from the relevant web-sites and call centres on or before 7 August 2009).
The £3 credit card charge per transaction will be clearly signalled throughout Eurostar’s online booking process avoiding the practice elsewhere of extra charges appearing at the last minute before confirmation of a ticket reservation.