At the end of my long weekend in London, where I stayed at InterContinental London – The O2 and undertook many fun activities, we wanted to return early to Belgium. Alas our Eurostar train got cancelled. What to do in this eventuality?
What happened? In the morning of 24 June a power outage in the Channel Tunnel linking the United Kingdom to France caused many delays with Eurostar trains. Our train got cancelled. Obviously, St. Pancras International quickly became overcrowded. There were many questions and rumours. So, what to do?
1: Keep calm
Really. Panic, anger, distress and other (negative) emotions don’t help. Keep calm, keep your head cool and assess the situation. Don’t go waisting your emotions.
Eurostar personnel will do its best to help you. Shouting at them or threatening them won’t motivate these attendants to make an (extra) effort.
2: Pay attention
Why is your train cancelled? If it’s a technical failure on the train itself, you will get on board another one. Is the tunnel closed without any reopening in prospect? Then consider looking at other modes of transport.
But before looking into that ‘Plan B’, look at possibilities with Eurostar.
Listen to announcements. Also listen to rumours but try to doublecheck them. People interpret what they hear how they want to hear it.
3: Be patient and be proactive
You are not alone wanting to be helped. Be patient. But don’t be idle. As we were two, Steve stayed in line while I scouted other possibilities. By spreaking personally to an attendant I got a new booking on the next train.
We actually quite quickly got a new booking, but it was in Standard instead of Standard Premier. So what? We would get in Brussels.
5: Ask for compensation afterwards
That night I sent an email to the Eurostar customer care regarding our downgrade, seeking compensation. Afterwards. On sight, getting home was our priority.
6: Be prepared
A lesson I learned with this incident is: be prepared. Have your mobile phone fully charged, be on time at the station. Have mobile internet and phone credit. Have a credit card.
These quick tips will help you when your Eurostar gets cancelled. They just are common sense, really.