Eurostar Standard Premier Vs Standard: Is an Upgrade Worth it in 2024?

Are wondering whether to travel in Eurostar Standard or Standard Premier Class?

Then you’ve come to the right place. To compare the two, I travelled from London to Brussels in Eurostar Standard and back in Standard Premier as part of a one-week Belgium itinerary.

So is Eurostar Standard Premier worth it?

The bottom line is that an upgrade is worth it for the spacious, comfortable and more tranquil carriages. Whether the food and drink on the Eurostar Premier service adds value is more questionable. If the prices of Standard and Standard Premier are close, it’s a no-brainer.

Get the lowdown in my Eurostar Standard Premier review.

exterior of eurostar train carriage at station

Eurostar Standard Premier Vs Standard

Eurostar offers three travel classes: Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier

Eurostar Standard

inside a train carriage which is a factor considered in eurostar standard premium vs standard
  • Seats arranged in a 2 + 2 configuration
  • Food and drink available from the buffet car
  • Choose your seat for free
  • On-board free Wi-Fi
  • Flexibility to change your booking
  • Generous luggage allowance (two pieces of luggage up to 85cm long, as well as one small piece of hand luggage)

Eurostar Standard Premier

Think of Standard Premier as the Eurostar equivalent of an airline’s Premium Economy Class.

inside a spacious train carriage which is a factor considered in eurostar standard premium vs standard
  • Spacious carriages with comfortable seats arranged in a 2 + 1 configuration. Power sockets at the seat
  • Light meal and drinks served at your seat
  • Choose your seat for free
  • On-board free Wi-Fi
  • Flexibility to change your booking
  • Generous luggage allowance (two pieces of luggage up to 85cm long, as well as one small piece of hand luggage)

Eurostar Business Premier

The seats and carriage in Eurostar Business Premier are the same as that of Standard Premier. You pay a (hefty) premium for enhanced services and catering.

Eurostar Business Premier offers the following extras:

  • A three-course meal with champagne
  • Use of the Business Premier lounge in London, Brussels and Paris (those in Paris and London have their own cocktail bar)
  • Fully flexible tickets
  • Fast-track ticket gates
  • Boarding guarantee if you need to switch to another train
  • More generous luggage allowance

My Review of London to Brussels in Eurostar Standard Premier

Security and passport control

Checking in for your train involves three queues: one for the automatic ticket gates, a second for security and a final one at Passport Control. Only those travelling in Business Premier benefit from Fast Track entry.

When I travelled, Eurostar was facing well-publicised challenges imposed by passport checks for non-EU citizens post-Brexit. This resulted in lengthy queues, which I experienced at London St. Pancras.

Nonetheless, passing through security was quicker than at many airports. Eurostar places no restrictions on liquids or luggage size and weight, meaning you don’t have to decant toiletries into teeny-weeny bottles.

Departure area

The departure area at London St. Pancras Eurostar terminal was rammed. There were people sitting on the floor. Once I bagged a seat, I was reluctant to vacate it.

If you are gasping for a coffee and croissant, there is a small Pret.

On my return journey, Brussels wasn’t as busy.

Lounge access at both stations is reserved for those travelling in Business Premier.

Boarding the train

person boarding eurostar train

An announcement was made when our train was ready for boarding and this was also indicated on the screens in the departure area. Passengers in all three classes of travel on Eurostar board at the same time.

It was a short walk along a travelator to the platform level. At the door to the train carriage, a smiley attendant checked my seat number and ticked me off her list.

Eurostar Standard Premier train carriage

For me, this is the main benefit of Eurostar Standard Premier.

In Standard Premier, the carriage is far more spacious, its seats laid out in a 2 + 1 configuration compared with the 2 + 2 layout in Standard class. There are also single seats, perfect for those who are travelling alone or for business travellers wishing to crack on with some work.

The overhead storage easily accommodates a medium-sized suitcase. For larger pieces of luggage, there is a space at the end of the carriage.

Complimentary magazines are also available.

Eurostar Standard Premier seats

The seats in Eurostar Standard Premier are very comfortable, upholstered in brown fabric and offer lumbar support and a leather headrest. They are also wider and have more legroom than those in Standard Class.

single seat in eurostar standard premier class carriage
The spacious and comfortable seat in Eurostar Standard Premier Class

There is a generous pull-down table, footrest, two seat pockets and a separate drinks holder. A power socket and USB charging point kept my devices full of juice for the journey.

There’s even a mirror with a flip-down cover on the back of the seat in front.

Eurostar Standard Premier food

The complimentary meal service started as we glided out of Brussels Midi Station.

eurostar standard premier meal on a tray consisting of a quiche and salad, date slice and bread roll with wine and water

Although it was tasty, food portions have shrunk considerably since I started travelling on Eurostar (and they ditched the Champagne). Think of it as a better class of airline food.

From the choice of two mains, I opted for a leek quiche with beetroot salad. This was served with bread and washed down with a cheeky Bordeaux.

Dessert was a sticky date sponge, followed by a hot drinks service.

The Eurostar Standard Premier menu varies according to the time of day and the service on which you are travelling. You can take a sneak preview here.

For instance: I travelled from London to Amsterdam in Eurostar Standard Premier and during this four-hour journey there were two food services: breakfast soon after boarding and a drink and light snack service around three hours into the journey.

tray with pastry, fruit, yoghurt and orange juice on eurostar standard premier train
Breakfast in Eurostar Standard Premier
a packet of fennel crisps and a plastic glass and small bottle of rose wine
Food and drink service on Eurostar Standard Premier London to Amsterdam

Customer Service

I have travelled on Eurostar more times than I can count and customer service has always been excellent, regardless of which class you are sitting in. This was no different on both legs of this journey, with friendly and helpful staff.

Is it Worth Upgrading to Standard Premier on Eurostar?

a woman holding up a glass of red wine

For the marginal price that I paid (£20), upgrading to Eurostar Standard Premier was well worth it. You can check ticket prices on Eurostar’s website.

It’s a twist of travel luxury on a budget.

This upgrade buys you a light meal served at your seat, a comfortable and spacious seat and lower passenger density. The reduced carriage occupancy also means that there is less competition for luggage storage space.

But I value the intangible benefits of Eurostar Standard Premier. Its quieter and less frantic environment results in a more relaxed journey, and there is a feeling of exclusivity.

Ultimately, its value will depend on what is important to you. At £20, an upgrade to Standard Premier on Eurostar was a good use of my travel budget. But I may have felt differently if the cost of a Eurostar upgrade was £50 and beyond.

Can you upgrade your Eurostar Standard ticket?

It’s easy to upgrade your Eurostar ticket to Standard Premier after booking.

Simply log in to your Eurostar and navigate to Manage a Booking. Then, click on the button to upgrade to Standard Premier

You may also be able to upgrade your ticket on the day of travel. Arrive at the train station a little earlier than usual and head to the Eurostar ticket office.

Eurostar does not offer upgrades to Business Premier.

The Eurostar loyalty program

Eurostar has the equivalent of a frequent flyer program, Club Eurostar. For every £1 you spend on Eurostar travel, you’ll earn 1.2 points, which you can then use for ticket discounts and seat upgrades on Eurostar.

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at hello@theflashpacker.net or follow her on social media.

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