Plane vs train: Travel experts race from London to Brussels, pitting a Eurostar against an Airbus A320
- Points Guy UK raced from the Houses of Parliament to the European Parliament
- They paid £208 for the journey by plane and £288 for the trip by train
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Given how fast and convenient Eurostar services are, is there any point in flying from London to Brussels?
Travel experts from The Points Guy UK (TPGUK) set out to discover what sort of competition a plane puts up against a 186mph city-centre-to-city-centre train in a fascinating video race from the Houses of Parliament in London to the European Parliament.
One team member flew on a Brussels Airlines Airbus A320 from Heathrow Airport, the other on a state-of-the-art e320 from St Pancras International.
Nicky Kelvin, the head of TPGUK, took the plane, paying £208.60 altogether. The breakdown? He paid £2.60 for a Tube train from Westminster to Paddington, £25 for the Heathrow Express service to the airport, £140 for the Heathrow to Brussels flight and £40 for a taxi from Brussels Airport to the European Parliament at Place du Luxembourg.
Nicky Kelvin (above), the head of TPGUK, took the plane in a London-to-Brussels video race between a Brussels Airlines A320 and a Eurostar, paying £208.60 altogether
This is Nicky’s seat on the A320, which he describes as comfortable for a short flight
Air we go: Nicky’s A320 awaits
He told MailOnline Travel that the upsides of the trip were the ‘incredibly short flight time’ – often less than 40 minutes – the comfort of the flight, considering how short it was, and that reaching Place du Luxembourg by taxi from the airport was ‘easy’.
‘Heathrow could be a difficult, inconvenient or expensive departure point to reach for some,’ he said. ‘And although this journey went smoothly, there is more potential for issues or delays with security, aircraft issue, air traffic control, baggage and immigration.’
Liam Spencer took the Eurostar, paying £288.60 altogether.
The breakdown? He paid a £2.60 fare on the London Underground from the race start point of Westminster, £276 for a Business Premier ticket on the Eurostar service from St Pancras International to Brussels-Midi, which included priority access and a comprehensive food and beverage offering, and finally a £10 cab from the train station in Brussels to the finish line.
And the verdict? Liam was generally very impressed.
He told MailOnline Travel: ‘My Eurostar ticket included fast-track security, which meant I could head straight through passport check to the lounge. The queue for those with a regular ticket was enormous and I saved at least half an hour thanks to my Business Premier ticket.
Liam Spencer marvels at the ‘proper’ cutlery used on his Eurostar service to Brussels
Liam is impressed with his Eurostar service, but laments that the Business Premier seat ‘doesn’t feel noticeably better than an economy one’
Liam tucks into a three-course meal on his Brussels express
Liam paid £276 for a Business Premier Eurostar ticket
‘The Business Premier Lounge was the perfect place to relax before my journey. I particularly enjoyed the fresh smoothie bar.
‘And being served a three-course meal on a train was a first for me and it really elevated the luxury feel of my experience. I was served a tasty pumpkin mousse followed by roast chicken and potatoes.’
The main downside was a seat that Liam lamented ‘didn’t feel noticeably better than an economy one’.
Who won? The plane – just.
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