/ Eurostar ice axe policy

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TeeBee on 07 Dec 2012
Apologies if this has already been posted - I thought it might be of interest to anyone using the Eurostar to get to their winter climbing (especially since they're apparently going to be starting a service direct to the Alps). Courtesy of the MCofS:

http://www.mcofs.org.uk/news.asp?s=2&id=MCS-N10463&nc=Information%20for%20Members/
nufkin - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to TeeBee:

Thanks, that could save some unpleasantness. But £15 and check in 2 hours early? I ask you.
EeeByGum - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to nufkin: I read one hour. I guess if you don't like it, you could always fly instead?
mrchewy - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to nufkin: £15 for each direction...
Neil Williams - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to EeeByGum:

...and be bound by a very similar policy and very similar fee (unless you fly BA or similar I suppose).

Neil
CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:
you can pack your ice axes straight in to your hold luggage on an aircraft.
CurlyStevo - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to TeeBee:
I guess you would need to pack everything that could be used as a weapon in there, ice screws, files, crampons, walking poles (?), etc.
Neil Williams - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to CurlyStevo:

For which you will be charged a fee, if it's easyJet or Ryanair...

Granted, it's not quite the same practically, as on Eurostar you carry your baggage on. But in pure cost terms it's not all that different.

Neil
Indy - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Neil Williams:

Could I just ask... when flying if you put the items in Checked-in would you still pay the (sporting goods) fee? or is that just for larger items like ski's etc
Thanks
jhw - on 10 Dec 2012
I've ran a comparison of prices for plane vs train for a week's skiing and climbing in April and found that train worked out at around £200 whereas plane worked out at more like £300. This is carrying skis.
michaelmurray - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Indy:

I've packed axes, crampons, poles etc. into normal hold luggage on planes and haven't been charged any additional fees.
Indy - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to michaelmurray:

Thanks MM... things seemed to have changed since I was last on the Eurostar/plane

With all of these extra charges flying about was wonder if posting stuff would be a more economical option?
gethin_allen on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to TeeBee:
The policy of eurostar regarding sharps etc is rather confusing. It's highly likely that you will arrive with a bag full of sharp stuff on a train or by other public transport. How is a eurostar train any different to a normal train, it's not like a a plane where you could endanger the lives of every passenger and others (ie. in a hijacking scenario) if you were to go mental with an ice axe. And if you were planning such an act why would you bother buying an expensive ticket to get on eurostar when you could just get on a tube or a bus
Gas canisters I can understand but the rest just sounds like they've been taking tips from Michael O'leary.
Doug on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to gethin_allen: from what I can gather, this is a relatively new policy from Eurostar & completely different from normal policy on trains here in France where I've often taken axe & crampons on trains, both local, TGV & night trains & have seen others with axes attached to the outside of their sacs

But I've often felt that Eurostar think of themselves as closer to a plane than a train
Enty - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Doug:

Yeah same here. I travel back to the UK a couple of times a year with electrical tools in a small tool box.
I think once, about 3 years ago, I had my Stanley Knife confiscated when I changed from TGV to Eurostar at Lille.

E
Fat Bumbly2 - on 10 Dec 2012
In reply to Enty: Goons confiscated my camp cutlery at St Pancras this year. They also objected to my MSR gas stove, as the things you put your pans on was "sharp". I talked the prat out of that, but it was close.
dsiska on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Fat Bumbly2: Many things are sharper then the guys / gals working in check-in security. Such is life.
Robin VdH - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to TeeBee:

A couple of years ago I decided to go to the Alps in the summer by train. I thought it would be an interesting and fun thing to do.

The first leg of my journey was by Eurostar and I had to put my ice axe, ice screws, knife and walking poles in registered luggage. The need to do this wasn't well advertised - I had to make enquiries in advance to find out I needed to do it. Eurostar does seem to apply the same thinking to luggage as a airplane and so I imagine this stuff would have been confiscated if I had just turned up with it in my bags.

I was told that Eurostar couldn't put my registered luggage on the same train as me and if I wanted to have my stuff in Paris when I arrived, I would have to put it on an earlier train. Obviously I wanted my stuff there at the same time as me as I needed to get a connecting train. This meant that I had to go to the Eurostar terminal the day before I was travelling so I could send my registered luggage on ahead of me. On the way back I had hand in my registered luggage, get my train to London and then go back to the Eurostar terminal the next day to collect my stuff.

If all this wasn't enough, the registered luggage place in Paris is pretty hard to find and seems to shut entirely if the staff are off dealing with luggage.

I get why Eurostar might not want people taking ice axes, etc on a train, but not being able to put the luggage on the same train as you is really unhelpful and puts me off getting Eurostar for Alpine trips. Hopefully this has now changed, but I'd recommend checking with them before turning up at the Eurostar terminal.
Neil Williams - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Robin VdH:

The problem with Eurostar is that it thinks it is an airline. Not only that, but one that's several years out of date, back in the days of 2 hour advance check-ins and tons of paperwork.

I can check luggage on easyJet up to 40 minutes before departure at most airports and it will normally make it onto the same flight. Eurostar needs to catch up. Until then, if wanting to make that sort of journey "for fun" it'd start with an easyJet flight to Paris or Amsterdam depending on the destination.

Neil
DigitalSteak - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to TeeBee: Though I wouldn't recommend it now, in March this year I had axes, crampons, ice screws etc all in my normal luggage and no one said a thing. No one raised an eye brow while it was going through the x-ray machine..

After finding this thread, though, will probably use the registered luggage in future, just in case!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Neil Williams - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to cmaradcliffe:

It always used to be the case that E* security was very much aimed at catching people with explosives, which is the only threat they really need to care about in terms of carrying stuff on (no need to worry about someone taking over the train, as with modern train protection systems and an externally controlled power supply it's not as if you could do anything with it if you did). But security bureaucracy tends to be self-perpetuating, and now they seem more like airlines.

Neil
LastBoyScout on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to TeeBee:

Well, I suppose it eliminates the "hit and miss" jobsworth -v- common sense way of how different staff interpret their own rules at the check-in desk.

FrankBooth - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to TeeBee:

ridiculous. The list also mentions camping 'tools' - what does that mean?

"Eurostar have-a-ho-hero foils Al-Qaeda Rubber Mallet and Bed Inflator plot"

"This has been blown out of all proportions", remarked a spokesperson.
nufkin - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to Robin VdH:
> (In reply to TeeBee)

> I was told that Eurostar couldn't put my registered luggage on the same train as me and if I wanted to have my stuff in Paris when I arrived, I would have to put it on an earlier train.

This is what I thought was most silly - charging £15 but not being able to put your bag on your train. It's not an insurmountable problem, but it just seems like unnecessary hassle.
Neil Williams - on 11 Dec 2012
In reply to nufkin:

It's one of those great irritants of Eurostar, which is that unlike legacy airlines they make the assumption that nobody makes connections, when in fact because they are a train service people do.

Neil
Robin VdH - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to nufkin:

Absolutely - I thought it was stupid. If I had just turned up for my train and tried to check in something like an ice axe, I would have had to put it in registered luggage and it would have been sent on the next train. I would have had to wait in Paris for an hour or two until this train (with my ice axe) arrived. Why would it be so hard for a member of Eurostar staff to just walk my registered luggage to the train I was on?

I really hope that Eurostar has realised how silly this is and now changed what it does.
Neil Williams - on 12 Dec 2012
In reply to Robin VdH:

"
I really hope that Eurostar has realised how silly this is and now changed what it does."

I wouldn't hold out *too* much hope...

Neil

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