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Horizon

From A-Z, Everything you need to know about Eurostar's migration program and its impacts on SNCF DEA

A Quick Overview of the Horizon Project

What  

We're changing our inventory system from an aged SNCF system (Resarail) to a modern, SaaS solution called S3 Passenger (S3) provided by Sqills.

We're decommissioning the Elgar/Opera systems and replacing them with ‘Voyager’ the new Agent Portal

Why 

We're actioning this change because of the improvements required to enhance Eurostar overall distribution. In particular:

• Becoming more agile
• Improving time to market
• Regaining control of the data

• Equipping Eurostar with a future proof distribution platform

How

• Forming a close partnership with Sqills for implementation of the new inventory system
• Forming a close partnership with PAO to ensure third parties can continue to distribute our offer
• Creating new processes for business and systems
 

When

• The project launched in March 2018; we're currently working through Design & Implementation 
• Go-live date planned for 13 - 15 March 2020
 
 

Who

•A team of around 45 people composed of internal employees and contractors
•Working closely with our partners and distributors

Impacts for Indirect Channels

Impacts on distribution

  • S3 content is accessible for distributors via the SNCF distribution platform called PAO
  • The channels which currently have a direct connection to Resarail have to connect to PAO to continue selling the Eurostar offer
  • The available functionalities on PAO will have an impact on the available offer for the distributors
  • The distributors will take part in end-to-end tests to ensure that all systems will be operational at go-live
  •  

Impacts on the offer

  • Eurostar’s objective is to keep the offer as close as possible to the current one
  • Nevertheless, there are differences between Resarail and S3, which will impact some elements of the offer, including groups and through-fares
  • The offer configuration is nearly finished in S3
  • The 3 classes of services are maintained (Business Premier, Standard Premier, Standard) and the same ticket conditions will apply (fully-flexible and semi-flexible)
  • New products will also be integrated into the offer in a later phase

A zoom-in on PAO Functionalities | An Overview

Available for go-live

Sales

  • Booking Display
  • Information on products
  • TTL management
  • Point of Sales Management
  • Payment Methods
  • Currencies (€,£,$)
  • Reference Order
  • Print via eTAP
  • Void
  • Aftersales Override Profile (New Bypass)
  • Sales report
  • Micro-conditions

Aftersales

  • Exchanges
  • Cancellations / Refunds

Not available for go-live*

Sales

  • Through Fares
  • Split PNR
  • Seating functionalities

Aftersales

  • Split PNR functionality
  • Seating functionalities

*Eurostar has no view on the PAO development planning to develop these functionalities

A Zoom-in on PAO Functionalities | Go Live Missing Functionalities

Split PNR

  • The split PNR (manual or automatic split) which allows you to divide a passenger from a booking will not be available at go-live
  • This functionality will be developed as a top priority after go-live
  • The split PNR won't be used by the Eurostar channels (E.com & the Agent Portal "Voyager"). This functionality is developed exclusively for the PAO channels

Seating Functionalities

  • There will be no seating functionalities. The seating is handled by the algorithm in the new inventory system S3
  • You will be able to access the seat map only once the booking is issued, by going on "manage your booking" on the website Eurostar.com. Seat changes will also be available at a Eurostar station or via the Eurostar Call Center (via the Eurostar Agent Portal)
  • Passengers can also speak to the train manager on board to request a seat change, subject to availability
  • The "Close to" functionality does not exist in S3, so it won't be available

 

A zoom-in on go-live missing functionalities | With examples

Rules for Partial Aftersales

Example: I have got a London-Paris return for 2 passengers and I want to…

  • General rule: A PNR is heterogeneous when all passengers included in a same PNR do not have the same travel details
  • S3 and Voyager can handle heterogeneous PNRs and therefore can handle all after sales scenarios
  • Eurostar.com and PAO channels cannot handle heterogeneous PNRs and they cannot divide bookings to perform partial after sales
  • A workaround solution will be necessary for some after sales scenarios. More information will follow

 

Cross after sales: State of play at go-live

After sales in brief

  • You will not be able to perform after sales on bookings made by Eurostar channels (E.com & Voyager)
  • If necessary, Eurostar channels will be able to perform after sales on bookings made by PAO channels (if heterogeneous PNR, the only tool which can perform after sales is Voyager)
  • A workaround solution will be implemented for after sales operations which are not feasible via PAO channels

A Zoom-In on the Group Offer (Part I) | Distribution, Booking Horizons and ODS

What's a Group?

  • A group reservation is when there is a minimum of 10 passengers traveling together on the same train
  • Group rates include a 10% discount on the public adult price, and a 30% discount on the public child price
  • Group fares will exist in three classes of service: Standard, Standard Premier, Business Premier
  • Passenger types:
    • Adult  - 12 years old and more,
    • Child - from 4 to 11 years old
    • There will no longer be a youth fare
  • Specific products
    • Saturday Night Away: Valid for travel on any day of the week with a Saturday night included in the trip
    • Off Peak: Off peak fares are available on Monday and Saturday after 12pm, and all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Distribution

  • The Eurostar group offer will not be sold by SNCF channels in France at Go-Live, including Travel Agencies.
  • The Eurostar group offer will be sold by Rail Europe in international markets
  • The group offer will be sold by Eurostar. Group booking requests must be submitted via the booking form on Eurostar.com
  • The groups team at Eurostar can also receive group requests via groups@eurostar.com or by phone at + 44 (0) 3448 224 800 from Monday to Friday between 10 am and 6 pm.
  • There is no longer a dedicated groups through-fare range, and therefore no longer a Groups through-fare discount. The Eurostar groups department can book the Eurostar segment. SNCF Group Agencies (AGS) and appointed French travel agents who have access to the TGV Group offer will be able to make the TGV part of the booking in ResaRail.

Booking Horizons

  • Group bookings will be available for sale before individual bookings
  • Group bookings will be loaded 330 days before travel (as per today)
  • The opening of sales will be by period, as today. Periods to be defined

ODS

  • London/Ebbsfleet/Ashford <> Paris
  • London/Ebbsfleet/Ashford <> Calais/Lille/Brussels
  • London/Ebbsfleet/Ashford <> Rotterdam/Amsterdam
  • London/Ebbsfleet/Ashford <> Marne la Vallée (direct)
  • London/Ebbsfleet/Ashford <> Moutiers/Aime/Bourg St Maurice

The group French Provinces range will no longer exist, although we hope to develop a new commercial agreement with SNCF in the future

A Zoom-In on the Group Offer (Part II) | Seating and Technical Information

Seating

  • Seats are allocated at the beginning of the booking process
  • There are no seating functionalities ( for example 'close to', 'forward facing'specific seat and coach etc.)
  • PAO channels won’t have access to the seat map

Technical Information 

  • It is possible to combine several fare classes in the same PNR, provided they are in the same class of service (Standard, Standard Premier or Business Premier). For example: 10 x X price + 10 x Y price + 10 x Z price = 30 pax in the same PNR
  • S3 will return the overall price for the group, but will also show the passenger 1 = X price, passenger 2 = Y price, which will enable you to see the price detail per person
  • You cannot change the passenger type (from an adult to a child for example)
  • You cannot add a passenger to an existing PNR (you cannot book on 2 different booking horizon periods, you cannot add a return trip to an inbound in a PNR)
  • The price is guaranteed when the booking has been fare quoted. You cannot reprice a booking, and the booking will not be subject to changes in the fare ranges

A Zoom-In on the Group Offer (Part III) | Terms & Conditions and After sales conditions

Terms and Conditions

There is a unique set of terms and conditions for groups across all European markets, detailed below. Due to development planning for both PAO and distributors, it has been agreed that these rules will only be applied through Voyager for Eurostar channels from Go-Live. They will be applied by all channels by November 2020, to allow PAO and distributors to make the necessary adjustments.

Deposit

  • A deposit of 20% of the overall group booking value is to be paid up to 30 days after the booking has been created
  • If no deposit is taken within 30 days after the booking has been made, the booking is cancelled
  • Deposits are taken in the currency of the booking
  • If you change the booking before the deposit is paid, the amount of the deposit will be updated
  • Deposit functionality is not available via PAO at the moment

Balance

  • The full balance has to be payed 30 days before the departure date
  • If no balance is taken 30 days before departure, the booking is cancelled and the deposit is not refunded
  • If you change the booking after the deposit has been paid but before the payment of the balance, the amount of the balance will be recalculated and updated
  • If you change the booking after the deposit has been paid but before the payment of the balance, the date on which the balance is due will not change
  • For bookings made less than 30 days before departure, the balance must be paid upon creation of the booking

After sales conditions 

Commercial Offer 

Exchanges 

  • Tickets are fully exchangeable until D-30
  • Tickets are non-exchangeable between D-29 and D

Refunds

  • Tickets are 80% refundable up until D-30
  • Tickets are 50% refundable between D-29 and D-8
  • Tickets are non-refundable between D-7 and D

Processes 

  • You can exchange: date, time, one leg or the whole journey.
  • There are no fees for the exchange, but you have to pay the fare difference between the original fares and the fares available on the day. If the new fare is cheaper than the original, the fare difference will not be refunded
  • The exchange is performed in the same PNR
  • We can exchange to a different class of services (from Standard to Standard premier or Business Premier, or Business Premier to Standard) but the fare difference will never be refunded
  • If full payment is taken before D-30, the ticket conditions apply (i.e. 80% refund up until D-30, 50% refund between D-29 and D-8, and no refund from D-7 for European range)

A Zoom-In on Through Fares Offers | TGV & Thalys

All Eurostar through-fares offers will evolve with the change of the inventory system. SNCF will sell summated fares, with 2 reservations in 2 different PNRs

Groups and RIT

  • SNCF and Eurostar have not renewed their commercial agreement to create a new TGV through-fares offer for Groups and RITs. We hope to be able to set up a new attractive offer in the future.
  • Our current range remains valid for travel up until 31st October 2019, but you will no longer be able to book a connecting journey as a through-fare for travel from 1st November 2019.
 

Individuals

  • Eurostar and TGV/Thalys through-fares offers for individuals will also evolve. It will be necessary to book the routes in a summated way, that is to say that there will be two tickets with a price for each of the journeys, unlike today where there is a fare for the whole end-to-end trip
  • The current through-fares offers remain on sale in Resarail for sales up until 8/11/2019 with travel dates corresponding to the booking horizon (D + 90 for the TGV and D + 120 for Thalys)
  • Any booking already created must be issued before 08/11/2019 and will be migrated to the new inventory system. No exchange will be possible after 9/11/2019. A workaround will be implemented via Eurostar channels (excluding Eurostar.com) for any after sales of Through-Fares created prior to migration.
More information will follow

Rules of Eurostar on-hold Reservations on S3 (Part I) | On Hold Rules

Default expiry rules (technical TTL)

Eurostar has defined generic expiry rules (equivalent of the RésaRail notion of Ticket Time Limit) which apply at all times:

On-Hold rules

On top of these default expiry rules, Eurostar has defined extended rules to allow more time to complete the payment. These rules (called on-hold rules) are defined by combination of product range (e.g. RIT) and sales channel (e.g. PAO agent). For each combination of product range/sales channel, up to 2 rules were defined by EIL based on the time of booking and departure date of the train (e.g. up to 30 days before departure date). This granularity allows to apply different rules when the booking is made closer to departure date.

Time of booking

If the booking is made anywhere during the long duration period, the on-hold duration of that period applies (e.g. x days/hours).

Two options then:

  • A short duration is defined: when a booking is made during the short duration period, the on-hold duration of this period applies (e.g. y days/hours) up to the end of the short duration that acts as a purge to all bookings. At this point, all bookings must be paid and ticketed or are cancelled.
  • No short duration is defined: the same purge logic explained above applies at the end of the long duration period.
 
  • Closer to departure, no on hold rules are defined. The technical TTL then applies (30 or 60 minutes)

Rules of Eurostar on-hold reservations on S3 (Part II) | Digital, SBT & Non-Digital

Below you will find details of on-hold rules applicable to digital channels, per product:

  • Public and corporate bookings will expire 30 minutes after they have been created if no payment has been received (technical TTL)
  • For RIT fares:
  1. if you book more than 2 hours before the train departure, the booking will expire 2 hours after it has been created if no payment has been received
  2. if you book within 2 hours before the train departure, the booking will expire 30 minutes after it has been created if no payment has been received

Below you will find details of on-hold rules applicable to SBTs:

Below you will find details of on-hold rules applicable to non-digital channels, per product:

Use case for on-hold rules

Example with Public booking rules:

If you book between 180 days and 30 days before departure (long duration period)

  • Your booking is put on hold for 7 days after its creation date.
  • That rule is available up to 30 days before departure date.
  • You have to pay the full amount before the end of this period in order to confirm your booking.
  • If no payment is taken, then the booking is cancelled.
    • NB: If you book e.g. at D-31 your are still in the long duration period and therefore your booking is put on hold for 7 days.

If you book between 30 days and 2 hours before departure (short duration period)

  • Your booking is put on hold for 72 hours after its creation.
  • This rule is available up to 2 hours before departure date.
  • You have to pay the full amount before the end of this period in order to confirm your booking.
  • If no payment is taken then the booking is cancelled.
    • ​​​​​​​NB: if the booking is made between 74 hours (72+2) and 2 hours, it is put on hold but the expiry time of 2 hours before departure kicks in. If for instance your booking is created 48 hours before departure, you actually have until 2 hours before departure to complete then payment (which means that your booking was actually on hold for 46 hours)

If you book less than 2 hours before departure

No on-hold option is available. The booking will expire 60 minutes after it has been created

Example with Group booking rules via a non digital channel:

If you book between 330 days and 60 days before departure (long duration period)

  • Your booking is put on hold for up to 60 days before the departure date.
  • You have to pay the full amount before the end of this period in order to confirm your booking.
  • If no payment is taken, then the booking is cancelled.

If you book less than 60 days before departure

No on-hold option is available. The booking will expire 60 minutes after it has been created

Example with RIT booking rules via a non digital channel:

If you book between 330 days and 50 days before departure (long duration period)

  • Your booking is put on hold for up to 50 days before the departure date.
  • You have to pay the full amount before the end of this period in order to confirm your booking.
  • If no payment is taken, then the booking is cancelled.

If you book less than 60 days before departure

No on-hold option is available. The booking will expire 60 minutes after it has been created