My review of Eurostar’s London lounge, and how to redeem for Eurostar tickets

This is my review of the Eurostar lounge at London St Pancras International station.

I was over in Paris a couple of weeks ago, a trip which will form the basis of a few posts over the coming days.

I travelled out and back on Eurostar – out in Standard Premier and back in Business Premier.  I will be comparing the two, as well as looking at the Paris lounge.

First, a quick reminder of how you can redeem points for free Eurostar tickets.  You really need to read this post, this post, this post and this post which ran on Head for Points last year which explains everything in detail.

In summary, though, your options are:

Use Avios via avios.com – the points required are based on the cash price (roughly 0.6p per Avios), return tickets only, Standard and Standard Premier only, tickets not refundable or changeable.  The upside is that any train is available as long as you have enough Avios to pay!

Use American Express Membership Rewards points for a direct redemption – it costs 15,000 points for Standard class return or 30,000 points for Standard Premier return.  No one-way trips, no mixed class trips.  It can only be booked on trains where cash tickets are still very cheap, which reduces its value.  This will get you roughly 0.5p per Amex point.

Use American Express Membership Rewards points transferred to Eurostar Frequent Traveller – one-way and return tickets are available, all classes are available, very good availability, you need a  fixed number of points per seat so the value varies depending on the ticket cost on the day, tickets can be changed once for free

Use American Express Membership Rewards points transferred to Nectar – you receive a fixed 0.5p discount per Nectar point / Amex point.  Only Standard and Standard Premier available, you must book a return ticket.  Any train is available and you can pay part cash, part points if you prefer.

I used the third method.  It cost me 2,150 Eurostar Frequent Traveller points for my ticket to Paris – outbound Standard Premier @ 900 points, return Business Premier @ 1,250 points.  I had to transfer over 32,250 Amex Membership Rewards points to get 2,150 Eurostar Frequent Traveller points.

The cost of a cash return in Standard Premier was £204.  Assuming the extra value of Business Premier is worth £50 (ignoring the real cash price) it was £254 of value.  That works out at 0.79p per Amex MR point – not the greatest value in the world, but preferable to using ‘real’ money.

The Eurostar London lounge

It is important to note that Standard Premier tickets do not get lounge access.  I was only allowed in because I have an American Express Platinum card.  This allows the holder (no guest) to use any Eurostar lounge.

Given that the lounge was planned into the St Pancras terminal when it was converted, it is a surprisingly odd shape.  It is on two levels, very long and very narrow.  The plus point is the huge amount of daylight it gets, overlooking the street facing toward Kings Cross.

This is the lower level.  Note the roomy chairs:

Eurostar lounge St Pancras London 2 review

This is the upper level:

Eurostar lounge St Pancras London review

Do NOT come here if you are hungry!  This is the entire extent of the food offering at 8am on a weekday:

Eurostar lounge St Pancras London food review

This is the strongest part of the offering – a fantastic free magazine selection.  Here is my top tip – the best selection is upstairs, not downstairs:

Eurostar lounge St Pancras London magazines review

It is a perfectly pleasant place to pass half an hour before your train departs.  You wouldn’t want to spend the morning there, though.  Standard Premier customers must clear security 30 minutes before departure, so you are likely to have enough time to pop in.

Tomorrow I will take a look at the (frankly shocking) food offerings in both Standard Premier and Business Premier!

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Comments

  1. FIRSTclstraveller says:

    Just to clarify – is the lounge before or after security?

  2. Do they check the name on the Amex Platinum or can you just flash it?

  3. ukflyer says:

    I used Eurostar a month ago and visited the lounge with my Amex Plat.The lounge was ok food and drinkwise.
    I sat upstairs opposite the magazine section when I saw a little mouse appear from under the seats. I alerted staff and they told me it happened regularly and they didn’t do anything.
    I wasn’t impressed.

  4. Lady London says:

    gross. makes you wonder how clean the kitchen part of the lounge is.

    • squills says:

      Yet to see a mouse that can prise off the cap of a wee bottle Stella 😉

      • They don’t need to rip the top off, they just need to piss on the bit that the drink touches when it comes out. Or the outside of the packet of crisps you’re going to touch.

        Best thing that mice can do is eat the pretty blue mouse food and wander off and die very horribly elsewhere.

  5. I booked a Eurostar ticket to Brussels with Avios recently and received a free one one way ticket as compensation since the train was delayed by over an hour in Folkestone. We were on the first train, so the delay didn’t really matter, but I think 1.5 return tickets for free is a pretty good deal!

  6. I recently obtained a Eurostar ticket using the same method as described here – the transfer of points from Amex took about 5 days. Worth bearing in mind when planning travel.