I had travelled out to Amsterdam in Business Premier (see the review here) but wanted to compare this with the less expensive Standard Premier. At the time of writing (in October), Eurostar’s departures from Amsterdam to London are either 1347 or 1847.
The Eurostar platform is 15b at Amsterdam Central, with the platforms and check-in one level up from the ground floor. You can access 15b either via some tight stairs or a well-hidden and slow lift on the other side of the corridor. Currently, Eurostar is asking customers to arrive up to 120 minutes before departure because of Covid document checks. I was on the 1847 departure and when I asked why it was so busy I was told that it was because many people had missed the first departure because of problems with the required travel documents.
Once you go through security and have your passport checked you are in a distinct building on platform 15b and if it is busy you are unlikely to find anywhere to sit. It means that it is a good idea to bring some drinks and perhaps food with you, since you may be waiting here for nearly two hours and there is only a vending machine. (The barcode on your ticket will allow you in and out of the gates at Amsterdam Central and there are lots of shops, bars and cafés offering takeaway.) Business Premier passengers have access to a lounge, but you will not get access unless holding that ticket or alternatively being a member of various European rail recognition programmes. Unlike at St Pancras, an Amex Platinum card does not get you access.
There are 16 coaches in total, with 15 and 16 being Business Premier, and 14 and 13 being Standard Premier. My coach was 14, which was pretty much directly outside the waiting area, so it was only a short walk to board the train.
The seat is the same as in Business Premier with the only difference being the carriage number. Business Premier and Standard Premier carriages are at either end of the train.
FOOD AND DRINK
Almost as soon as we set off, the staff went around with a choice of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and the food was served quickly. As with the London St Pancras-Amsterdam service, the menu was accessed through a QR code, which didn’t work on my phone. The food offering was a Mediterranean vegetable and feta strudel with an apricot tart for dessert. The drinks service seemed identical to me, with the exception of Champagne not being offered as it had been in Business Premier.
Before departure we were warned that there would be a 30-minute wait at Brussels to change staff, and after the initial offer of drinks there was no other service until after Brussels. This was quite a long wait for food, especially for those who had arrived early at check-in, since it was around 2115 before the food was served. There is no ‘call’ button such as you would have on an aircraft, so if you want any service at other times you have to go and
look for the staff. I never had any luck in finding them, probably because they had gone into other carriages to continue the service there. As this was an autumn journey, there wasn’t much to see through the window, but I used the wifi to work and later read my Kindle to pass the time.
Unlike the journey out to Amsterdam the day before, thankfully there were no delays and we pulled into London St Pancras on time.
Standard Premier is excellent value for money, although I would advise taking perhaps a drink and some snacks because with Covid-19 requirements and the current menu offering, there are long waits for food and drink, and not much of it when it comes.
- BEST FOR Comfort of seat and value for money
- SEAT CONFIGURATION 1-2
- PRICE Internet rates for a midweek return Standard Premier class fare from Amsterdam to London in February 2022 started from £89 each way
- CONTACT eurostar.com