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eurostar from Brussels Midi to London - 1 adult, 2 toddlers - will they make me pay for an extra seat?

(13 Posts)
thedevilsinthedogstail Thu 15-Sep-11 14:37:36


I want to travel from Brussels Midi back to the UK and have 2 children under 4. Eurostar say you need to have one adult per child - has anyone travelled alone with 2 children from Brussels and were they forced to buy another seat?

FootballFriendSays Thu 15-Sep-11 14:41:40

I travelled alone with 2 children, although one was over 4 at the time.

natation Thu 15-Sep-11 17:11:04

Very much dependent upon whether the Eurostar staff spot you with more than one under 4 - both at check-in and later on the train. If they do, they could oblige you to pay for a ticket on the spot and that really could be costly. And if there are no seats left, it would mean you would not be able to travel or have to leave one child behind. Sorry I can't be more positive.

RuthChan Thu 15-Sep-11 22:01:08

Yes, on their site they say that only one child can share a seat with an adult. Therefore the second child has to buy a child's ticket regardless of their age.
I travelled on the Eurostar last year with 2 under 4. I bought one adult and one child's seat. I wasn't certain they'd let me on the train without the second seat as it's pretty obvious when you go through how many people and how many tickets you have.

laptopwieldingharpy Thu 15-Sep-11 23:35:19

why would you want to travel with 2 under 4's on your lap?
buy a seat.

mumblechum1 Thu 15-Sep-11 23:37:13

Is that what the OP is asking though? I thought she was asking whether she needs to buy 4 rather than 3 seats.

Of course toddlers each need their own seat, they'd be unbearable otherwise

natation Fri 16-Sep-11 05:58:01

I've managed journeys with 2 under 4s on my lap before. It depends on how unbearable you find your children I suppose! I've never done it on Eurostar though.

The OP says she'll be alone (ie 1 person) travelling with 2 under 4s. 1+2=3. Eurostar allow under 4s to travel for free if accompanied by an adult to one child, so in the OP's case, 1 child goes free and 1 has to pay. She can take the risk to not but one of the children a ticket, but check-in staff might notice as you have to place a ticket in the self check-in barriers for them to open and the barriers are monitored, alternatively a staff member takes your ticket and opens the barriers. So if the OP succeeds in managing to get both children through without staff noticing, then she has to cross fingers there will be a seat next to her free on the train, because if she does put 2 on her lap because there are no spare seats, then Eurostar staff in the train might see her doing this and check her lack of 2nd ticket.

Good luck OP, wave to my hubby as you pass through gare du Midi!

rushingrachel Sun 18-Sep-11 18:11:16

I've taken both mine on Eurostar twice (one is nearing 7 months, the other is just 3). I booked a seat for the toddler on both occasions. 1 adult to 1 infant is Eurostar policy and if you got stopped they'd have the right to charge you or stop you getting on.

I find it hard enough getting kids, bags and buggy on the train on my own without having a row with the staff about fare dodging for infants. Anyway, if you go in standard these days the carriages are always packed because the euphimistically entitled "standard premier" is so expensive. So even if you managed to get on with 2 under 4s there is a high likelihood you really would have to have them both on your knee and those could be the longest 2 hours of your life .... not to metion the torment to the person next to you.

mumblechum1 Sun 18-Sep-11 18:34:20

rushingrachel, yes, that's what I meant about free range toddlers being unbearable - for the other passengers!

natation Sun 18-Sep-11 19:09:32

Rushingrachel, if you are able to get to Midi for the 6.51, it is rarely more than half full on departure from Brussels, but does pick up passengers in Lille, so you get at least a half hour in peace and cross fingers that it does not full up too much in Lille, it doesn't usually fill up in Lille on week days. The 8.05 is the only non stop train to London and is only ever full during school holidays. The absolute worst trains out of Brussels are the 17.59 onwards, especially on weekends, full of Lille commuters, business passengers and weekenders in the UK.

xpatmama Thu 22-Sep-11 22:44:25

I have this new trick where i book tickets with the deutschbahn website pretending to go to and from Aachen - and somehow this means that you get seats for everyone although you only pay for yours (if you have children under 3 etc). also a cunning means of getting ok priced tickets sometimes (google the jon worth blog for more details as to how to do this, you need to tick various boxes to make it work). was quite surprised to discover on my last trip that we had four seats reserved instead of two having only paid for two adults!

natation Sun 25-Sep-11 11:33:29

Xpatmama, what's the cheapest you've ever managed to get your Eurostar tickets for when bought Aachen-London?

PS a word of warning for anyone thinking of doing the Brussels-London route, or for that matter Paris-London route. Colleague of mine just had to pay £250 for the cheapest available return ticket from Brussels to London during the Olympics and he usually pays £59 return on a staff discount.... so imagine just how much it is going to cost for tickets bought nearer to the time of the Olympics for Eurostar. I bet the ferries and Eurotunnel are also going to cash in heavily and put restrictions on use of frequent traveller tickets (which are at a set price). I'm now not so despondent at not getting Olympic tickets.

xpatmama Sun 25-Sep-11 22:19:09

Recently paid 120 return...only a few weeks before travelling. basically teh cheapest you can get is 100.

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