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Having traveled with Eurostar May 2022, and about to book a new travel with them, I wonder if the advised 'be at the station 60 to 90 minutes before the train leaves' is a cut off time.

I will have to travel by public transport to both start points, across London on my way back home. I do not mind to plan to be there 90 minutes before the train leaves but with public transport you always have to consider the risk of a train not going or being delayed, in which case you may arrive at the station with less than 60 minutes, but with some time before the train actually leaves.

When waiting for the train to leave last May I saw people arriving and checking in till shortly before the train left but I could not see whether they were a special class with a shorter deadline.

So my question is, what is the actual shortest time to check in, assume the cheapest ticket class, and if it makes a difference, Amsterdam and London St Pancrass.

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3 Answers 3

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The gate closing times are shown at https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/travel-info/your-trip/check-in and for the cheapest tickets are 45 min at Amsterdam and 30 min at St Pancras (more expensive tickets have an extra 15 minutes). I don't know how strict they are with these.

If you'll be travelling to St Pancras by train, it's worth buying a ticket to "London International CIV" as it means your ticket will be valid for a later Eurostar train if delays on the UK network mean you miss your train. Further details are here. I don't know if something similar is available in NL, I would be interested in finding out.

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  • Can you buy a London International CIV ticket separately from your international train ticket? I need to buy the international part soon, it is available already, the UK tickets will not be on sale for a while yet, (at least I do not expect them, as they are for after the new schedule in December.)
    – Willeke
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 11:17
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    Yes, in fact I think you have to buy it separately, they don't sell Eurostar+domestic tickets in a single transaction any more. It's an open ticket not for a particular train, so the schedule change shouldn't matter, but equally there's no rush to buy it as it doesn't get more expensive at the last minute. The further details on the further details page ( seat61.com/… ) says a bit more. It's several years since I last bought one, so I'm not completely up-to-date any more, but the seat61 website probably is.
    – djr
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 11:39
  • I tried today to run a 'what if I bought today' try and could not get a ticket for after the change of schedule at all and could not get the London International CIV option to work, not even following the information of the seat 61 site. So I will need to try again when the actual tickets come for sale.
    – Willeke
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 17:15
  • @Willeke Coincidentally I came back from the UK to NL on Eurostar today. I was going to buy a CIV ticket, but the ticket office was closed when I got there so I just bought the regular ticket from a machine. So I also can't tell you anything more.
    – djr
    Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 20:16
  • @Willeke I took the Eurostar again at the end of September. This time the ticket office was open when I got to my local station, and I was able to buy a ticket to London International CIV.
    – djr
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 19:53
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I have used the Eurostar train in the end of November 2022 Amsterdam to London and early December 2022 London to Amsterdam and the time on the ticket is clear.
The ticket gates close 30 minutes before the train is planned to leave, the passengers are still asked to arrive 60 to 90 minutes before the train is planned to leave.

Checking in starts at least 60 minutes before the train is due to leave, but it might be 90 minutes in Amsterdam.

I was able to look out in Amsterdam towards the entrance to the entrance gates and at 30 minutes before the start there were no passengers outside. In London I could see the inside of the entrance path and there it was also just about 30 minutes before departure that the stream of passengers stopped, not as sharp as it does take a bit of time to get through the system.

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  • Last travel London to Brussels the check-in opened two hours before travel but they had only one other train leaving within that time (and they did start checking in the next train before the first left.)
    – Willeke
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 16:34
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There's normally a member of Eurostar staff by the ticket gates asking if anyone is booked onto the next train, then shepherding them through to the front of a security queue. I'd never advise turning up with fewer than 30 minutes spare, but I suspect you could reliably get through in 15 minutes. Of course every so often you'll be refused.

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