We decided to create a new blog post in response to the events from Friday night where thousands of travelers were left “stranded” due to an unexpected halt in service from Eurostar.
In this post we will cover delays in travel and what are some practical solutions that passengers have at their disposal to deal cut out their lost expenses.
Eurostar delay London-Paris
If you live in London, where Friday night's events took place, there’s a good chance you have used the London underground system more than once- it simply is a fast and convenient way for tourists to see the city on a time budget and for commuters to get to work on time.
However if you stop any regular commuter on his tracks and ask him if he/she was ever experienced delays, you will probably not be disappointed with the response. Just as any network, with such a large infrastructure, delays are inevitable- this is common knowledge. What is in fact interesting about delays (if anything) is the effect this type of event has on the passengers.
We aim to offer you some information about how to deal with train delays better in the future. For this reason we will cover Friday night’s events from the perspective of the travelers who were unfortunate enough to experience it.
The passenger's side of the fence
Coming back to the passengers stuck in London on Friday night, it is not a difficult mental exercise to put ourselves in their shoes. As soon as the London-Paris Eurostar seized it’s service at 3:15 PM, they found themselves waiting for “something” to happen in order for them to resume their journey as quickly as possible. But things did not turn out in their favour as the service took more than 3 hours to get back online and even then with severe delays.
In order to be able to empathize with these passengers let us stretch our imaginations and assume a couple of realistic scenarios of who these people might be. Picture first the businessman that has a deal to close in the morning in order to keep their company going;
Picture the mom with young toddlers going on vacation; the elderly couple; the disabled and the lists goes on. You get the picture.
What all the above people have in common is that they were firstly starved of vital information about what their options are after the seize in service happened. As a result, the majority of them resorted to either calling or accessing the Eurostar website and Twitter in a desperate search for information - but as you can expect, due to the great volume of requests, both the lines, website and Twitter crashed. Our travellers were now stuck and had to figure out their own food and accommodation.
Shedding light on the matter
Below we compiled a list of useful information anyone should know about train delays and how to at the very least cut your losses:
- When delayed you can usually use your ticket to hop on another train
- In most cases you can claim money back after 30 minutes of being delayed
- You will usually get at least 50% back
- Most ticket types are eligible for a refund
- Rules may differ with seasonal tickets
- Most companies will pay out for strikes
Regardless of how we look at it, we can all agree that train delays can represent a serious problem and that in the future train operators need to make sure that they provide their customers with vital information of what's going on- at the very least.
We would also like to take this time to encourage you to read our first article in which we discussed how a taxi sharing service (substitutable with other services, for example Deliveroo) can ease the pain of a disruption and help you save even more money and precious time (and hunger) in situations like these.
To sum up Friday night’s events; they London-Paris route was reopened at 6:15 PM and is still running. Not all passengers were able to claim food and/or accommodation vouchers on time from Eurostar.
For those of us that had a good night sleep, this event should be considered a wake up call so that we can start planning how to prevent future inconveniences.