/ Channel tunnel

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jon on 17 Jun 2017
How flexible are bookings for the tunnel? For instance if you miss your reserved crossing, or if you wanted to extend a visit by say a couple of days? In fact, is booking absolutely essential or is it possible to turn up and just get on - and would this be more expensive than a reserved crossing? I'm aiming at sometime midweek to midweek, between 22h00 - 06h00 if that might make a difference. Prices I've turned up at the moment are €165 return. I should just add, I'm really not interested in a ferry...
Thanks
JLS on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:

I never done it but I've "heard" second hand that they are pretty flexible and tend to get you on the next train regardless of when you turn up and when you reservation is book for. I guess they just have the spare capacity to allow that to happen.
Lion Bakes on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:

Advanced bookings are cheaper. They are pretty flexible. I've turned up 12 hours early before and been underway within 15 mins of arriving at Calais. I've also turned up a bit late and got on the next train. Not sure about 2 days late though.

Lion Bakes on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:
Sadly the days of buying two day trip singles for £15 each are long gone. Tunnel coming up to 25 years service now.
Post edited at 15:04
Fraser on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

25 years?! You're kidding, I'd have guessed quickly at about 10!
Tom V - on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to Lion Bakes:

Agree.Short early arrivals are no problem at all but I've never tested their tolerance of hour late arrivals.
Doghouse - on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:

Any time early is OK and they will get you on the next train with available space as it frees up your original booking for them to potentially resell.

Never tried late but I suspect you would have difficulties arriving days late. Is it possible to contact them if you know you want to extend at the time and change the crossing data/time?
Dax H - on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:

I have turned up a day and even 2 days early and been charged between nothing and €10 for the alteration.
What I tend to do is book longer than I need the pay a small supplement when I decide it's time to go home.
Be aware though.
Last year I was booked for Saturday lunchtime but my estimation was I was going to get there on Friday at 9pm, with the last train being 10pm I decided to ring them and make sure I could change my booking.
The 9pm booking was going to cost €70!! But the 10pm was only an extra €7 and because as standard you have 1 hour either way of your booking time I still got on the 9pm train anyway.
Trangia on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:

I've never experienced serious difficulty in extending a stay (although I've never tried to do it for more than 24 hours) or getting an earlier train, and I've been using Le Shuttle two or three times a year ever since it started operating. When it's quiet, so long as you have a ticket, they will often let you onto the next available train without further cost. However in busy periods you may have to pay a surcharge.

I've also just turned up without a booking, when I was trapped in France due to my flight being cancelled during the Icelandic Ash Cloud, and managed to buy a one way ticket on the spot for a train departing within the hour.
Jenny C on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:
Pretty impressed with the flexibility, we always book our last possible crossing but aim to arrive early and hope to bring crossing forward. Have paid a minimal fee on one occasion changed booking foc on another.

Last year we lost the gamble as they were full and we had several tedious hours sleeping in the van before we could check in at home midnight with an 11 hour wait till our crossing. Barely got parked before someone came up and said there was space of we wanted to cross now and we drove straight onto the train.

Another benefit of tunnel is you don't get penalised for being in a van, you do have to say your height when booking but it doesn't impact on the cost.
Post edited at 19:52
jon on 17 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:

OK thanks everyone. Good to hear they are flexible to some extent and certainly a idea to book later than I need...
Like Fraser, I'd have said 10 years - 25 is amazing!
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L DanielByrd - on 18 Jun 2017
In reply to jon:

Good to know there's flexibility at the tunnel, am going on holiday soon with family and not everyone is on the same page as regards the schedule

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