Eurostar bans travellers from taking spirits on board

24th June, 2019 by Melita Kiely

Passengers who wish to bring bottles of spirits on Eurostar trains may get a shock at the departure gate after the travel operator quietly changed its policy to prohibit high-strength alcohol on board.


Eurostar trains no longer permit spirits to be taken on board, and wine and beer have been restricted

Eurostar rolled out its new policy last autumn, but seemingly without a public announcement. Travellers can now only take bottles of spirits by using the company’s registered luggage service, Euro Despatch.

In a statement, Eurostar said: “The change to our alcohol policy was made in autumn last year. Alcohol is limited to one bottle of wine or four bottles/cans of beer per person.

“This decision was made to maintain a pleasant environment on board for all our travellers.

“Those who wish to take more with them for consumption at home can do so using our registered luggage service, Euro Despatch.”

Passengers recently took to Twitter to clarify what alcohol they could take on board, only to find the policy had changed.

One Twitter user, Mark Smith, travel writer and author of train travel website, wrote: “Eurostar has quietly changed its luggage policy, and now no-one is allowed on with even a small bottle of spirits given (or to be given) as a present for example. And no more than 1 bottle of wine. This is completely unnecessary. Eurostar is a train not a plane.”

A subsequent Tweet of his said: “This is completely out of sync with all other connecting trains: LNER or Virgin Trains or Chiltern Railways this side, SNFC TGVs or DB ICEs or Thalys on the other side. Eurostar is part of a network. Leaving such nannying to the airlines, trains should be relaxed and easy-going.”

Last September, London Cocktail Club created a winter cocktail menu for the cocktail bar in the business lounge at the London terminal of Eurostar.

In 2015, Eurostar launched its own gin in partnership with Silent Pool Distillers.

2 Responses to “Eurostar bans travellers from taking spirits on board”

  1. Keith Barker-Main says:

    ” Trains should be relaxed and easy-going” – argues Mark Smith. But one person’s ‘relaxed and easy-going’ is another’s ‘lashed, loud and obnoxious.” Perhaps Eurostar
    might introduce the equivalent of ‘quiet coaches’? A caner’s carriage, preferably a recommissioned cattle truck…like its drunken occupants would care or even notice?

  2. John Sweeney says:

    In answer to
    Mark Smith’s comments about his wishes to allow the free use of high strength spirits on the Eurostar, I wonder just how ‘relaxed and easy-going’ he would feel trying to escape a train fire in a tunnel? A train fire caused or made very much worse by spirits soaked carriage upholstery and carpets? The policy was no doubt changed in order to reduce risk of making fires any worse – on a train – in a tunnel. Now if Mr Mark Smith had neither an appreciation or an awareness of this then he does now. Should he, post to being enlightened with the above information, continue in his ‘relaxed and easy-going’ viewpoint of this already very high risk transport situation, bearing in mind there has already been one very serious fire on the Eurostar and several other smaller fires.
    In December 2009, 2,000 passengers were trapped for 16 hours after four Eurostar trains, travelling from Paris and Brussels to London, broke down. Power was lost, cutting off air conditioning, and passengers on the trains were evacuated to a service tunnel before being taken back to France on a shuttle. A diesel train towed two of the trains to the UK. Can Mr Mark Smith understand the death toll through smoke inhalation alone (not even with contact to excessive heat or flame) that could possibly occur given the physical medium through which he is travelling – I repeat again: a train, in a tunnel. The effect of speed is a very misleading phenomenon – whizzing through that tunnel at whatever super-fast speed these trains cruise at is all very well, but how about traveling through that very same tunnel at the average running speed of the modern, unfit, panicked human being – with say 400 or so of the same in front of you – all the while where that same tunnel is rapidly filling with toxic smoke that has just overtaken the whole group?
    When the post mortems have been completed do you Mr Mark Smith not suppose that someone is going to ask what, for want of a better word, buffoon, suggested the promotion of spirits for consumption on a train that goes through a very very long tunnel?
    I leave this airy thought with you Mr Mark Smith.

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