Friday, October 12, 2007

No Strain by Train

I made an interesting discovery today concerning flying cheapy RyanAir as opposed to going on SNCF and Eurostar to London. I am taking the boys over for Christmas and today was the first day we could reserve SNCF tickets for that period. I think the reservations opened at midnight but I'll be damned if I'm going to stay up until the early hours to make a train reservation. How sad is that??

Anyway, by way of comparison, I checked with RyanAir yesterday to see how much it would cost. To start with, I'd have to go from Marseille because the Montpellier flights have been cut right back to Thursdays and Sundays. Going from Marseille involves parking costs, autoroute tolls and diesel, and takes 90 minutes to get there.

The listed price on the internet was a tempting 29.99Eur per person each way. Then, of course, you get the taxes. Then you have to pay 18Eur for each piece of hold luggage, plus, if we want to sit together, a further 6Eur each for priority boarding, each way.

Taking a taxi to get to and from Stansted is another £50 or so. Total price: 550Eur for three plus the fact that the boys would be in the wrong place upon their return because they would have to go straight back to Paris to be with their father for New Year.

The SNCF/Eurostar option, going via Paris so I can drop the boys off on my way back is roughly 530Eur plus Underground tickets on my Oyster card. If we take a taxi from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon it'll be marginally more expensive, then, but much more comfortable, much less hassle, and much better treatment from staff. For me, there's no comparison, AND my carbon footprint is that much lower so enabling me to go around with a saintly expression on my face.

I'm that well-organised, n'est-ce pas?! Necessity is, as you know, the mother of invention and it is an extra joy that one can be 'inventive' with a clean (earthly) conscience...


  1. I took a train (well, two trains really - Eurostar & TGV) from London to the south of France last summer and it was great. Very comfortable and none of the hassle of checking in and going through security checks again and again. I say definitely go for the train option over Ryan-bloody-air.

  2. Signed and sealed, Tinsie. My Visa card is still recovering...

  3. Just exploring the options myself. Since I don't have the old saturday night stay, it's v expensive either way. But in all likelihood, the lack of airport unfriendliness and the potential to sleep on the train are additional arguments beyond the beautiful carbon footprint.


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