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Eurostar Trains Stop WiFi in Standard Class Due to COVID19 ? UPDATED

Monday, August 10th, 2020 (8:04 am) - Score 7,736
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In an odd development Eurostar has blamed the Coronavirus for their decision to disable wireless broadband connectivity (WiFi) in their Standard class train coaches. Meanwhile those travelling in Standard Premier and Business Premier are apparently immune and can still surf the internet (bandwidth allowing).

Normally those commuting on Eurostar should be able to access the EurostarTrainsWiFi (SSID) service, which is supplied to their trains via a track-side network of 3G and 4G based mobile broadband cells. But in an unusual development the operator has given the vague excuse of the COVID-19 crisis for the reason why they haven’t extended this to Standard class.

NOTE: In case anybody has forgotten (unlikely), Eurostar carries people to and from the UK and Europe via the Channel Tunnel.

Writing on Twitter the operator said: “As a result of coronavirus we have had to review and amend some of the services we offer and at the present time we are only able to offer WiFi in our [Standard Premier and Business Premier] carriages. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused.” Well, that makes about as much sense as dancing naked on lava.

The unusual change is one of several of adjustments that have been made as a result of COVID-19 (here), which among other things includes a requirement to wear masks, new seating arrangements, extra hygiene measures for catering and social distancing etc. But we normally wouldn’t expect this to be a problem for WiFi connectivity. Suffice to say that social media has not been terribly forgiving.

Stefan said:

“Either you are doing something extremely customer-hostile to save money or there’s been a woeful miscommunication somewhere.”

Toby Leonard said:

“Could you please ask the person who made this decision how Covid affects WiFi signals in economy cabins – and not – Business class cabins?”

Alayer said:

“It is part of the MD strain of covid19. This is the Mobile Device Strain. People in first class will have an individual Sanitized VPN included with their WiFi protocol. They only have a limited number of these.”

Needless to say, we’ve already contacted Eurostar and are hopeful that there will be a more logical reason for their decision. Just to be clear, Eurostar’s website normally says: “Our new and refurbished trains have free wi-fi throughout.

UPDATE 11th August 2020

So far nobody in Eurostar’s media office has bothered to return our hails, but as if by magic their social media team have today done a U-turn: “We are pleased to say that WiFi is now available on board and is free throughout all classes of service.” But they still haven’t explained why COVID-19 was preventing them from doing this before.

Leave a Comment
22 Responses
  1. Avatar Jay says:

    Load of bull

  2. Avatar LiamG says:

    They’re still charging the usual upgrade prices for each of the classes… yet, they can’t serve food or drink in any class.

    My guess is they’re just trying to do something to make people still pay the upgrade fees.

  3. Avatar joe says:

    “Well, that makes about as much sense as dancing naked on lava.”

    What you do in your free time Mark!

  4. Avatar Packet Switched says:

    Will this prove that plenty of people find a standard mobile phone signal both much preferable for security and quite adequate for signal.

  5. Avatar Steve says:

    Tbh using eurostar doesn’t make much sense to me right now anyways… A flight from Paris to Heathrow costs less than the Eurostar atm, my friend left me in Paris next to Gare Du Nord last week and his flight from CDG was pretty empty so enough room to social distance.

    Cost less to fly from CDG to Heathrow and use LNER to Leeds, than Eurostar simply to London.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Don’t worry, HS2 will make it soo much more affordable in 50-100 years/if they ever finish it.

  6. Avatar Carla Gomes says:

    To be honest, WiFi onboard has always been nearly impossible to get even before Covid! I think out of the 26 round trips I made last year I was only able to use their WiFi 3-4 times. As per the onboard meals twice I was missed out. Once my fellow passenger complained so they served us but by then we didn’t have time to eat.
    Paying for Premier is not very good value for money at the best of times.

    1. Avatar Fouzi says:

      Hi Carla it’s not true i work on-transit train from London to Paris using my work phone with train wifi and alway we had Wi-Fi on board unless sometime under the channel propably you loose the connection as the Eurostar mention it and said sometime you have try againt to re-connet due to technical under the channel and that’s normal.
      Many thanks

  7. Avatar Pezza says:

    So we’ve already had those claim the virus is racist, now Eurostar are claiming it’s classist too! Man that’s one intelligent virus eh? Wonder what ‘ism’ it’ll choose to selectively infect next?

    These companies are coming up with all sorts of crap to blame on the virus, it really does make them look like the utter idiots they are and just damages their image in the public’s eyes.

  8. Avatar Will says:

    I don’t think there is need to use wifi on those trains. It is my understanding that EE and Vodafone have full 2/3/4G in the north running tunnel, whereas the French networks have coverage in the south running tunnel. Even if you are using a laptop, it is easy enough to tether to a phone.

    I’m not sure of the situation with Three and o2.

    1. Avatar Mike says:

      If you’re on O2/Three you’ll probably need WiFi regardless.

    2. Avatar Stewart says:

      As a user of O2 and 3 I can confirm that O2 does indeed have coverage though the tunnel where as my 3 sim card did not appear to have service EE and Vodafone are also fine

  9. Avatar Nighjel Farrajh says:

    Eurostar?!… EUROSTAR???!!! The very word MAKES ME SICK! The whole commie tunnel should be filled with concrete, keep-out the invading hordes! Rule Britania, God save the Queen and my best buddy Trump!

  10. Avatar Joe says:

    The wifi never worked properly in the economy cabins, so nothing really changes here.

  11. Avatar Billy says:

    Obviously the virus has mutated from being spread by 5G, to now being spread by WiFi.

  12. Avatar Chris What no wifi Sayers says:

    It’s been nigh on 24 hours scine @Mark Jackson filed this report, I’m sure Mark would have left an update if Eurostar had provided one, clearly Eurostar are happy to demonstrate a complete lack of customer care. Clearly a case of annoy your fee paying customers, talk about not encouraging repeat business.

    1. Avatar David Cragg says:

      They have announced today that wifi is available to all.

      https://twitter.com/Eurostar/status/1293140655959617536

      “We are pleased to say that WiFi is now available on board and is free throughout all classes of service”

  13. Avatar Andre says:

    COVID: every company’s excuse for providing crap service.

    1. Avatar David Cragg says:

      Amazing how things change 🙂

      https://twitter.com/Eurostar/status/1293140655959617536

      “We are pleased to say that WiFi is now available on board and is free throughout all classes of service”

  14. Avatar Joe says:

    I assume this is to do with them trying to reduce costs by reducing the amount of mobile data they have to buy to serve the in-train wifi?

  15. Avatar Ed Richardson says:

    I presume that because they’ve asked that only people who have to travel do travel, and they’ve cut the service back to only a few trains per day, the concentration of business use will be very high on each train. Hence the onboard wifi is maxxed and rationing it to first class is a predictable move.

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