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Eurostar first class vs standard: Travel experts film a high-speed rail trip from London to Paris in the priciest and cheapest seats to see if a £130-plus ‘business premier’ upgrade is worth it

Travel experts film a Eurostar trip from London to Paris in the priciest and cheapest seats Travel experts film a Eurostar trip from London to Paris in the priciest and cheapest seats

Travel experts film a Eurostar trip from London to Paris in the priciest and cheapest seats

Ever wondered what it’s like to travel in Eurostar‘s swankiest class – business premier?

Two travel experts from The Points Guy lift the veil, and reveal whether it’s worth paying the extra, which can be over £130 more than standard class.

The pair film their experiences in business premier class and standard on a trip from London to Paris. Read on for more, from barely noticeable recline functions and food that ‘looks like a bucket of sick’ to swanky lounges and free onboard Champagne.

BUSINESS PREMIER 

Points Guy Editor Nicky Kelvin put business premier to the test, paying £325 for his ticket from St Pancras International to Gare du Nord.

He enjoyed a speedy security process, lounging around in the business premier lounge before boarding and was served Champagne at his seat.

Points Guy Editor Nicky Kelvin put business premier to the test, paying £325 for his ticket from St Pancras International to Gare du Nord. He's pictured above with his at-seat Champagne Points Guy Editor Nicky Kelvin put business premier to the test, paying £325 for his ticket from St Pancras International to Gare du Nord. He's pictured above with his at-seat Champagne

Points Guy Editor Nicky Kelvin put business premier to the test, paying £325 for his ticket from St Pancras International to Gare du Nord. He’s pictured above with his at-seat Champagne

Nicky said: 'On board, the seat is comfortable with plenty of legroom' Nicky said: 'On board, the seat is comfortable with plenty of legroom'

Nicky said: ‘On board, the seat is comfortable with plenty of legroom’

The food (above) in business premier? 'Plentiful, fresh and very tasty,' according to Nicky The food (above) in business premier? 'Plentiful, fresh and very tasty,' according to Nicky

The food (above) in business premier? ‘Plentiful, fresh and very tasty,’ according to Nicky

He told MailOnline Travel: ‘One of the biggest wins of business premier departing from London is being able to dodge the security queues at the station. I had access to a priority security lane, which had no queue whatsoever.

The lounge, meanwhile, ‘is a relaxing place to hang out before boarding the train and such a high-end lounge is rare in train travel’.

Nicky continued: ‘On board, the seat is comfortable with plenty of legroom and the food and beverage service is of a high quality – plentiful, fresh and very tasty.’

Nicky is pictured above in the business premier lounge at St Pancras International Nicky is pictured above in the business premier lounge at St Pancras International

Nicky is pictured above in the business premier lounge at St Pancras International

Any downsides?

Nicky said: ‘While business premier passengers benefit from a queue jump at security, there is no such benefit at passport control, where the queues were rather long, and there is no priority when it comes to actually boarding the train, although it wouldn’t make a huge amount of difference as boarding is relatively relaxed.

‘Also, the seat does not recline much and may become uncomfortable on longer journeys, such as to Amsterdam.

‘And the single seats have airline-style fold-down tray tables, unlike some other first-class train seats, which are a little roomier with a fixed solid table. The pair and quad seats seemed to benefit from proper tables and would be my choice next time.’

STANDARD CLASS 

Putting standard class to the test was Liam Spencer, who paid £195 for his ticket Putting standard class to the test was Liam Spencer, who paid £195 for his ticket

Putting standard class to the test was Liam Spencer, who paid £195 for his ticket

Liam said: 'My cabin offered a quiet, clean, spacious environment' Liam said: 'My cabin offered a quiet, clean, spacious environment'

Liam said: ‘My cabin offered a quiet, clean, spacious environment’

Putting standard class to the test was Liam Spencer, who paid £195 for his ticket.

He listed several plus points.

He said: ‘I was impressed with the diverse range of food and drink choices available in the onboard cafe. The menu featured a wide selection, from sandwiches and hot meals to fresh juices and a solid choice of alcoholic beverages.’

He opted for a coconut dhal curry, which he says ‘looks like a bucket of sick… but tastes better than it looks’, and a ‘refreshing’ gin & tonic – ‘a delightful treat in standard class’.

He continued: ‘My cabin offered a quiet, clean, spacious environment. I was fortunate to have a four-person table to myself, a rare luxury that gave me plenty of room for stretching out, using my laptop, and enjoying a peaceful journey. While this was certainly a stroke of luck, even with seat neighbours I don’t think I would have been short of space.’

Liam availed himself of the onboard cafe food and beverage options Liam availed himself of the onboard cafe food and beverage options

Liam availed himself of the onboard cafe food and beverage options

Liam's curry in a pot, which he said 'looks like a bucket of sick... but tastes better than it looks' Liam's curry in a pot, which he said 'looks like a bucket of sick... but tastes better than it looks'

Liam’s curry in a pot, which he said ‘looks like a bucket of sick… but tastes better than it looks’

Another upside to his trip was the check-in, security, and boarding process, which he described as ‘straightforward, unfussy, and stress-free’.

He added: ‘In contrast to the potential chaos at airports, international train travel offers a far calmer experience prior to reaching your seat.’

Any downsides?

Liam said: ‘It’s a shame that Eurostar doesn’t offer a service for ordering food and drinks directly to your seat. This option is available on various other train providers, including LNER.

‘And while the Wi-Fi was free, it was practically unusable due to how frequently it dropped out.’

The seat, too, came in for some criticism, with Liam declaring it ‘firm and inflexible’, with a recline button that was ‘essentially futile’. He added: ‘It barely shifted back more than a few millimetres when pushed down.’

For more from The Points Guy visit thepointsguy.com/uk-travel. To see the original TPG Eurostar video click here

Liam and Nicky are pictured here at St Pancras International before their jaunt Liam and Nicky are pictured here at St Pancras International before their jaunt

Liam and Nicky are pictured here at St Pancras International before their jaunt

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