All European rail tickets have a varying degree of flexibility, and this is related to the price you pay.
For example, if you want to have the flexibility to exchange or refund your ticket, opt for the most flexible ticket type as you go through the booking process. These tickets are generally the most expensive but offer the most flexibility.
If you are more concerned with booking the cheapest fare available, and don’t need such a high degree of flexibility, then opt for the least flexible ticket types, which are generally the least expensive.
Say you plan to travel from the UK to Paris on Eurostar in three months’ time. The best fare is for a non-flexible ticket.
If you miss your train or otherwise have to postpone or cancel your trip, you won’t get your money back for your unused ticket. That ticket only applies to you travelling in a specific seat, at a specific time, on a specific day.
A fully flexible Eurostar fare is always more expensive. That’s because it lets you exchange or obtain a refund for your unused ticket*, even up to two months after the train has departed.
Most people when they buy a ticket are as certain as anyone can be about their journey plans. So non-flexible tickets booked in advance help to keep your travel costs right down.
But if you know that your plans could change at the last minute, you might choose to spend the extra money on a flexible ticket*.
For example, business travellers may have meetings rescheduled at short notice. For them, the option to take a different train or to cancel altogether is a necessary expense.
When you search for tickets on this website, you’ll be presented with a choice of ticket types from least to most flexible. In most cases these will vary in price from least to most expensive.
‘Open’ tickets are offered on some routes, where other ticket types are not available. You can refer to the fare conditions to see what ticket type the prices relate to.
*Admin fees apply