Rail Europe Announces New Eurostar Fares

More Choices and Fewer Restrictions on Low Fares

WHITE PLAINS, NY — (MARKET WIRE) — August 01, 2006 — New fares for the high-speed Eurostar train linking London with Paris and Brussels mean more options for low fares, greater flexibility in choosing travel time and increased availability of low-priced seats, according to an announcement from Rail Europe, Eurostar’s North American representative. The new fares go into effect immediately.

Fewer restrictions for low fares

“One of the biggest differences is that there are fewer restrictions on the lowest fares,” notes Fabrice Morel, President and CEO of Rail Europe. Previously the lowest fares required travel during non-peak periods and were all non-exchangeable, non-refundable. Now the lowest one-way fares (London-Paris or Brussels) start at $89 US/$108 CAD (standard class, like 2nd class) or $158 US/$192CAD (1st class), and the lowest roundtrips are $96 US/$117 CAD (standard), $194 US/$235 CAD (1st class) without restrictions as to day and time of travel. Before, the lowest one-way fares were $90 US/$109 CAD (standard) and $170 US/$206 CAD (1st), and the lowest roundtrip fares were $90 US/$109 CAD (standard) or $190 US/$230 CAD (1st), but the one-way fares were restricted to travel on Monday-Wednesday 11am-3pm and the roundtrips required a minimum one-night stay.

There are also now nine roundtrip fares (all with no restrictions) compared to five (with restrictions) offered previously. Many of the roundtrip fares are now exchangeable and partially refundable, while before they were neither.

Book early for the lowest fare

Pricing on high-speed trains such as Eurostar is similar to airline fares in that there are a wide range of fares or “buckets,” when the lowest fare is sold out, the passenger gets the next higher fare, until those are sold out. “It really pays to book your Eurostar ticket as soon as you know your plans,” adds Morel. Eurostar tickets may be booked 9 months in advance from Rail Europe (www.raileurope.com), and if your plans change, most fares are now exchangeable.

More one-way fares for passholders and seniors (over 60)

Travelers holding a Eurailpass, France Railpass, BritRailpass or Benelux Tourailpass now have more one-way passholder fares; before there was only one passholder fare each in standard and 1st class — which meant these fares were often sold out. Passholder fares start at $77 US/$94 CAD (std) or $136 US/$165 CAD (1st) (the new passholder fares are $1-2 more than the old fares). Passholder fares are all exchangeable prior to departure (low-priced non-passholder one-way fares are not).

Senior travelers now have six fares, compared to only one previously, and senior fares are now exchangeable. They start at $89 US/$108 CAD (std class) or $141 US/$171 CAD (1st). More senior fares make it less likely that senior fares will be sold out on a particular train.

Lower price on Youth Flexi Voucher (for those under 26)

Eurostar has long offered an additional level of flexibility to travelers under 26 — the Youth Flexi Voucher — now $89 US/$108 CAD (previously $90 US/$109 CAD). While all other passengers must select the specific train(s) when they purchase a ticket, Youth travelers can simply buy this one-way voucher (in standard class) and turn it in up to 45 minutes before departure to get a seat on that particular train.

Traveling at speeds up to 186 mph, Eurostar makes the London-Paris journey in an astonishing 2 hrs 35 min, London-Brussels in 2 hrs 15 minutes on the fastest schedules. Travel times will shrink by another 20 minutes in 2007 when the last segment of high-speed track is completed in England. More than 65 million travelers have ridden Eurostar since its launch in 1994.

To book Eurostar tickets or for more information, consult a travel agent or call Rail Europe at 1-800-EUROSTAR (1-800-387-6782) in the U.S. or Canada or log onto http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/eurostar/index.htm (US) or http://www.raileurope.com/canada/rail/eurostar/index.htm (Canada).

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