AIBU to want a refund on my non-refundable Eurostar ticket?

(47 Posts)
Nameexchange Wed 03-Sep-14 09:04:01

I booked 2 eurostar tickets for my DDs. Non refundable, non-exchangeable. Fair enough.

On the day, only DD2 could travel. Fine, I did not expect a refund. I did however expect her to be able to spread out over 2 seats with her stuff and to be able to even sleep a bit down to the south of France. After all, I had paid nearly £100 for that second seat, as well as nearly £100 for the first one.

But at the start of the journey, the passenger service agent asked DD2 to move her stuff off seat 2 and to let someone else sit in the (reserved for us) seat. DD2 protested that she had paid for the seat and had the reservation, but the PSA insisted and DD2 had no choice.

In these circs, should I get payment from Eurostar for use of MY seat which they clearly resold? I don't see why they should get to use the seat I have paid for when I, through the person of DD2, still have use for the seat I have paid for.

I quite understand someone else wanted/needed to travel and actually don't mind them reselling the seat but I do think Eurostar should pay me for using it. AIBU? I can't tell...

eachpeachpairplum Wed 03-Sep-14 09:06:45

Regardless of whether I'd paid for the seat I'd be disappointed to have raised a daughter that would rather see someone have to stand than give up a spare seat.

YABU

MrsCumbersnatch Wed 03-Sep-14 09:07:43

what a bloody cheek, of course they should refund you!

Nameexchange Wed 03-Sep-14 09:08:09

Nobody is allowed to stand on Eurostar!

I specifically said I didn't mind the seat being used but I do want to be paid for it if they do. Is that still U?

HaroldLloyd Wed 03-Sep-14 09:09:24

I think if it'd a no show you don't get the seat.

Though it seems harsh. I think I recall this being discussed on a plane thread before..

Not sure though.

eachpeachpairplum Wed 03-Sep-14 09:10:14

Your second ticket was non refundable. Of course they will re sell it if you can't use it. It's still non refundable.

Would you expect a refund on both non refundable tickets if neither dd could travel based on them reselling?

CinnamonVanilla Wed 03-Sep-14 09:11:36

Yes, that's why you got a cheaper ticket.

If you don't turn up, someone else can pay through the nose to book onto the next service. They hold the seat until check-in, though, so you can choose whether to board or not.

The seat was there to be used, right up until it was too late for you to board. Then they sold it to someone else. As the seat was made available for you, you have no recourse for a refund. It is, sadly, in the T&C's - and it's a major way that the Eurostar makes money on the non-refundable tickets.

WooWooOwl Wed 03-Sep-14 09:13:18

I don't think you should have a refund, but I do think your dd should have been allowed the use of the seat.

HaroldLloyd Wed 03-Sep-14 09:13:55

Yes thought so, I suppose your paying less for the ticket but taking a gamble due to it's non refundable nature, whereas if you buy a ticket that can be changed it's a lot more expensive.

AlpacaLypse Wed 03-Sep-14 09:16:47

Morally I agree with you, although I understand what Cinnamon says about the T&Cs.

What would they have done if you'd been like musicians on aircraft though, who've been known to buy a seat specifically for a valuable guitar?

JustAShopGirl Wed 03-Sep-14 09:21:27

then you have to check in the guitar like it is a person and it gets allocated a seat - sounds daft I know - but that is the way it works.

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Wed 03-Sep-14 09:23:17

Eurostar is international travel, so it's more like a plane than a train. If one of a party couldn't travel on a plane, it would be sold as a standby seat with no refund; this is the same.

Nameexchange Wed 03-Sep-14 09:29:20

Harold thanks. I might see if I can find any learning on plane seats.

Cinnamon thanks. Does it make a difference that the seat was not "made available" to us: my dd was asked to move her things off it. I guess I should read the T&C's

eachpeach no, I would not have expected a refund if neither DD had been able to travel as then I would have had no use for either seat and was fully aware the tickets were non-refundable.

Woowooowl "I don't think you should have a refund, but I do think your dd should have been allowed the use of the seat."

that is exactly what I thought before the journey. The fact that DD2 was then kicked off the second seat is what makes me think that Eurostar should pay me for it. Why should they have my family's seat for free when my family had paid for it and had a use for it? (Still not sure if that is U)

Eurostar have got back to me and explained that it was probably due to an "over-booking". No doubt, overbooking is a commercial risk that they calculate is worth taking, but I am still not clear why that means they can use my seat without paying me back for it when I still want to use it (by providing it to DD2 as extra space). I would have been happy to sell them the seat back if they wanted it badly....

What do people do if they need 2 seats for medical (or size) reasons? Can they expect to be told to give up the second seat to someone that Eurostar have overbooked?

Nameexchange Wed 03-Sep-14 09:30:16

Ah, cross post about musicians. Maybe if you need 2 seats you book it in your own name twice??

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Wed 03-Sep-14 09:37:18

All travel is overbooked. Airlines etc keep detailed data on how many flexible and non flexible ticket holders actually show up on any given flight and book additional passengers in line with this data. Mostly this works; if they ever have more people turn up than they have seats, frequent flyers are upgraded, lowly ticket holders (hopefully volunteers) are compensated with vouchers and found seats with other carriers etc etc.

The economics of the travel industry are dependent on selling each seat 1.x times, in order to practically get close to full capacity.

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Wed 03-Sep-14 09:40:03

And of airlines etc were prevented from doing this, prices would rise. A full fare Eurostar ticket is probably about £260, isn't it?

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Wed 03-Sep-14 09:42:47

Name, yes, you'd have to have two I your name, I expect, or customs would be expecting a Mr Guitar from the passenger manifest!

Nameexchange Wed 03-Sep-14 09:43:14

ABI understood, and I would have been happy had they said to DD2 "please may we use your other seat? We will offer you £x to do so" and had she agreed. She would no doubt have accepted a very modest sum for being, as you say, a lowly ticket holder, and Eurostar would have made some more money. But it seems like Eurostar want to have their cake and eat it in these circumstances.

I have found this in T and C's:

"Tickets ... made out in a passenger's name, are non-transferable and may only be used by the person for whom the ticket has been purchased."

I don't think it applies as we had not tried to transfer the ticket to have someone else travel - we just wanted to make use of the second seat we had booked. DD2 was not attempting to use the second ticket, just the seat. ?? I think perhaps now IABU??

CinnamonVanilla Wed 03-Sep-14 09:43:59

From memory, I think things like guitars have to pay a full-price, and have to check-in in the same way as humans to prevent their seat being reallocated.

I think that you're only entitled to a seat if there is a person to fill it, and that if nobody checks in, you are no longer entitled to the space - you can't, in essence, buy two cheap seats to give yourself more room. Do check that, though, because it's been a while since I delved into their T&C's, and they might have changed.

If you have a medical requirement, or you won't fit into one seat, you have to call for a special booking process - and the accompanying increased fare.

Doobledootch Wed 03-Sep-14 09:48:59

Well technically you were trying to transfer it to your DD2, you had only paid for your DD1 to use that seat in which case YABU.

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Wed 03-Sep-14 09:49:30

Grr, it lost my post.

The airline compensates you if you are there ready to travel with a valid ticket but it has no space for you. So if dd1 had arrived but been "bumped" from the train, she would have been compensated as the train company would have breached its contract.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Wed 03-Sep-14 09:51:18

I work in a Hotel. We offer refundable and non refundable rooms. Had you not checked in for your bedroom, it would No Show. Whether we then subsequently sold that room.or not is irrelevant - you failed to use the facility. You chose a noj refundable rate and as such are not entitled to a refund.

ABlandAndDeadlyCourtesy Wed 03-Sep-14 09:52:00

Also, I think each seat belongs to its passenger so any compensation would have been due to the seat owner (DD1) not DD2, her neighbour.

Nameexchange Wed 03-Sep-14 09:54:22

thinkivebeenhacked what if you had booked a double room for two guests and only one guest showed up? Wouldn't you expect that single guest to be able to use the whole double bed rather than to have to budge up for an overbooker?

(lighthearted, just in case anyone thinks I am serious)

MsGee Wed 03-Sep-14 09:54:53

Hmmn, we travelled on Eurostar this weekend and my MIL was booked to travel with us. At both London and DLP they checked her in so we would have the extra seat that we paid for (we didn't request this, explained when they offered that the person was not even alive, never mind with us, and they still checked her in).

So given our situation I think you should have been able to use the seat.

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