Eurostar vouchers to refunds (for the cancelled Ski Train)
Monetary refunds for Eurostar voucher holders
Today, Eurostar emailed voucher-holders (who had ski trains cancelled in March or April, for example, due to the corona pandemic) with the following message:
“We’re writing to let you know that we unfortunately won’t be running our ski trains during the 2020-21 winter season. We’re sorry to get in touch with such disappointing news.
“This is a decision we’ve made with a great deal of sadness. It’s been an absolute pleasure to take thousands of travellers direct from St Pancras to the Alps over the years. But in the wake of the coronavirus and a challenging travel market, we’ve had to make some changes to our services, focusing on our main routes with the highest demand.
“We appreciate that this news comes at a time when you might’ve been considering using your eVouchers to book another trip on this route. You can still use your eVouchers to travel on any of our other routes instead, including our direct trains to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Disneyland® Paris. Head over to eurostar.com if you need a little destination inspiration.
“We hope you’ll accept our apologies and understand our reasons for making this decision.”
What Eurostar failed to tell voucher holders is that they are eligible for a monetary refund if they wish.
To be absolutely sure of this, I emailed the Eurostar Press Office this afternoon.
My question to Eurostar:
“Am I correct that a skier who wants a monetary refund instead, can request one, in accordance with European passenger law? I’m sure you are aware, but for reference: Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on Rail Passengers’ Rights and Obligations (“PRR”). This is a weblink to it: (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2007:315:0014:0041:EN:PDF)”
“Those that had accepted vouchers from last season’s cancellations, with the expectation that they could use them next year, can of course contact us for a refund. The best way for travellers to contact us is by using this form.
“We were not able to put a link because this is not a process which can handled automatically because these customers have already accepted and arranged for their previous compensation to be issued as a Voucher (rather than requesting a refund when their train was cancelled). It is a fraud protection measure to ensure that travellers aren’t able to request both a voucher and refund from a single booking.
“As always our customer team are very happy to deal with individual requests and we would encourage customers to contact us using the form on our website.”
Why on earth didn’t Eurostar didn’t make that clear to customers in the first place?