Is Standard Premium on the Eurostar worth the extra price?

Businessman working IMG_4614If you travel to Europe via the Eurostar you might be tempted to go Economy class each time, on the basis that it is less expensive.  But is travelling Economy class a false economy when you consider your health and work productivity?

I travel on the Eurostar to Europe regularly so I can explore and evaluate the route, station facilities, services, food and local community.  On my last trip to Paris I decided to treat myself and ‘upgrade’ my usual Economy ticket to a Standard Premium ticket with the view of testing out whether or not paying slightly more would be a healthier alternative.  Here’s what I discovered.

Affordable Price.

I expected to pay much more for the higher class of travel, but I was pleasantly surprised the total cost one way was only £79.00 to Europe.  Admittedly, I booked the lowest price I could find and then used my loyalty points to bring the total cost down even further.  A remarkable bargain in the end, especially when one considers the cost of the normal standard class fare is often £69.50 and the first class being more than the budget would allow for the same time slot.

So what does one expect for a higher price ticket?  Well, for me it was comfort first and foremost.  The food was another top consideration, but just in case I didn’t desire the options on board I had prepared a backup plan.

Leg Room

I’m not a tall person by any means, but I certainly found the extra leg room a welcome difference.  I could spend the next 2 hours and 16 minutes with my legs stretched out and actually manage to do some exercises without being cramped by my briefcase.  Now you may think that it is only necessary to do exercises when on a plane, but if you’re sitting down for two hours or more then movement is very important to keep the blood circulating.

Seat comfort

The seat in Standard Premium was much bigger than in Standard class, and far more comfortable with soft puffy leather.  There was also an option to recline, making it easy to relax if need be.

Table Top

The table top was remarkably bigger, or so it appeared.  I managed to fit my 15-inch laptop to the side of table top at the same time as the meal tray directly in front of me.  More to the point the table wasn’t crammed by the seat in front, which allowed me to enjoy the meal with less fear of spillage.

Food and Drink

2015-10-13 11.50.23I emailed the day before to request a special dietary meal.  Unfortunately, I was too late as the rule is 48 hours’ notice before travel for such orders.  However, the caterers were extremely helpful and emailed over the menu so I could see if the items were suitable for my dietary requirements.  For someone wanting a low calorific option, this provided some insight into how one could manage their diet.   Nutritional information or a full list of ingredients weren’t emailed across, so if you have an allergy or more specialised dietary requirement, I would advise contacting the Eurostar at least two days in advance so they have a chance to prepare for your needs.

The food was ‘light’ in portion size, but for those with a higher calorific requirement extra bread rolls were available.  I enjoyed my main ‘meal’ and had a yoghurt with a muesli top (236 calories) for dessert which I had picked up en route in the departure lounge.

As for liquid refreshments, there was plenty to choose from.  For those not wanting any wine or alcoholic beverages, the options were plentiful.  I had already brought a bottle of water out of habit, but found this too was plentiful and provided as part of the ticket price.


Mistakenly, I assumed that Wifi would be available in the better class tickets.  This wasn’t the case so my ability to access and catch up on emails was still restricted to the terminal or another mode of connectivity.  The good news is new trains are coming in with Wifi throughout.

Overall impressions

It is a false economy to travel the least expensive price fare if it impacts on your physical and mental health in the long term.

So, if you’re travelling regularly on business and budget allows, then travelling Standard Premium may be more conducive to health, particularly if you are travelling on a day return or have further travel to make.  When all costs are taken into account (meal and beverages) it can even work out less expensive!

Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Author: Kathy Lewis, R.Nutr, BCApSc, MSc, MBA,
Kathy Lewis, Consultancy Director, enjoys a multidisciplinary career based on a portfolio of achievement.  Kathy is a Management Consultant for Executive Travel Wellbeing and Stress, Health Promotion Specialist, Consultant Nutritionist (Registered Nutritionist and World Public Health Nutritionist) and a Chartered Marketer with over 25 years of experience.   Her specialist areas include executive stress and wellbeing (including jet-lag and travel wellness),  travel nutrition, travel policies, corporate vitality, employee engagement, marketing and internal communications. Kathy holds several relevant degrees, Masters in Applied Psychology (MSc) with distinction for her research in Executive stress and maladaptive coping behaviours looking specifically at clinical work-based stress and the impact on healthy lifestyles, Masters in Business Administration (MBA), with distinctions achieved in Management Accounts, Statistics and Project Management, completed with a research-based dissertation in the marketing of healthy options in catering establishments, and a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and Food Science.Over the last 25 years, Kathy has worked as a consultant and advised in various industries, from travel, health and food to financial services and telecommunications, on nutrition, executive wellbeing, workplace health, change management, internal communications and employee engagement. She has worked with a variety of clients across local government, NHS, educational institutes, NGO’s, national and multinational companies. As a Management Consultant (post-MBA) Kathy was required to travel to several locations each week and in 2002 began her masters in Applied Psychology (& Health Promotion) as a result of observing the stress in senior managers.  She was awarded a distinction for both her research on work-related stress and maladaptive behaviours and her course work.  Prior to this, Kathy spent many years working with catering establishments to provide healthy options, and prior to this working in diet and fitness centres, following her degree in Human Nutrition and Food Science in 1989.   Combining all areas of experience and expertise was the obvious way forward, and subsequently founded the concept of business travel vitality and wellbeing. Kathy is a former Consulting Editor for Readers Digest Association Inc (USA) and Readers’ Digest UK (Vivat), as well as the former founding Non-Executive Editor for the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Food, Drink and Agriculture group. As an author, she has written a number of publications and a variety of articles in consumer publications and professional journals, with guest media appearances on a number of radio shows, including the BBC, London and regional radio.  She enjoys public speaking on a range of topics and is a regular speaker at professional events. Kathy is also the Vice Chair of The Caroline Walker Trust, Founder of the International Forum for Health Promotion and Education, a board advisor for the Tessa Sanderson Foundation and Academy, the Vice-Chair/former Chair for the Financial Services Board at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, former Trustee/Non-Executive Director for the Association of MBA’s (where she chaired the Governance Committee and was a member of the HR Committee and Strategic Working Party), former Honorary Secretary for the Institute of Health Promotion and Education, a founding Council Member of the Association for Nutrition. Kathy was also a committee member for the Food, Drink and Agriculture group at the Chartered Insitute of Marketing and a current Non-Executive Director at NZ Engineering. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Association of MBAs, Institute for Travel Management, Association for Woman Travel Executives, Nutrition Society, SENSE, World Public Health Nutrition Association, Association for Nutrition (UK) and International Travel Writers Alliance.  She is a former member of the Institute Institute of Directors, Royal Society of Arts and Institute of Health Promotion and Education.

1 thought on “Is Standard Premium on the Eurostar worth the extra price?

  1. Yes. It’s a good way to get to Paris, especially Eurodisney. here is some info about prcies//Information based on our recent experience. We discovered that the cheapest Eurostar fares of a329.50 each way are not always available on the day booking opens.For example, we needed to use the 13.41 train from Waterloo to Lille for our journey from north-west England to the south of France but were happy to travel on June 11, 12 or 13. When booking opened for these dates in mid-February, the outward journey cost a344.50 and this remained the case when our return journey became available, so we booked a return departing on June 11.A few days ago I noticed that tickets were available at a329.50 for this train on all these dates. We queried this with staff at the Eurostar terminal in Brussels on a recent visit and were told that the higher starting prcies were due to large group bookings being made as soon as booking opens. We were also told that sometimes the tour operators hand back unsold seats and so the best price can fall back to a329.50.Gill Charlton repliesEurostar confirms this experience: “On exceptionally rare occasions, this does happen. Eurostar sells tickets to the general public and also provides large amounts in block bookings to tour operators for onward sale. On occasion, these seats are not sold in their entirety and the tour operator will release them back to Eurostar. This sudden availability can result in a reduction in selling price for a small number of seats.”There is a new booking “tool” on Eurostar’s website ( to help customers find services in the next 120 days that still have tickets for sale at a329.50. To access this, click the “Latest Deals” button on the Eurostar home page, then click the “On a Budget” box that comes up and work through the monthly calendars showing days when a329.50 seats are still available.

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