Eurostar4Agents
Brussels engineering works November 2019

From Thursday 31st October to Monday 4th November
From Friday 8th November to Tuesday 12th November 2019

Please click here for more information.

Horizon

PROGRAMME HORIZON: LAUNCH DATE DELAYED

We have taken the decision to delay the launch of Programme Horizon, which was due to take place in November.

As you know, Programme Horizon involves the replacement of our inventory and distribution systems, which underpin everything we do. That’s why we need to be absolutely confident we have done all we can to manage the associated risks before we decide to launch. Our latest readiness assessment showed we need to carry out further testing and training, and finalise functionality in several areas of the new systems.

Next steps

Over the next week, our teams will be focusing on the revised plan and key actions to determine to new timeframe for the programme. Once the new timing has been confirmed, we will let you know.

A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE HORIZON PROJECT

What

We're changing our inventory system from an aged SNCF system (Resarail) to a modern, SaaS solution called S3 Passenger (S3) provided by Sqills.

We're decommissioning the Elgar/Opera systems and replacing them with ‘Voyager’ the new Agent Portal

Why

We're actioning this change because of the improvements required to enhance Eurostar overall distribution. In particular:

• Becoming more agile

• Improving time to market

• Regaining control of the data

• Equipping Eurostar with a future proof distribution platform

How

• Forming a close partnership with Sqills for implementation of the new inventory system

• Forming a close partnership with PAO to ensure third parties can continue to distribute our offer

• Creating new processes for business and systems

Who

•A team of around 45 people composed of internal employees and contractors

•Working closely with our partner

IMPACTS ON INDIRECT CHANNELS (OVERVIEW)

Impacts on distribution

  • Elgar is decommissioned and will be replaced by a new tool call “Voyager”
  • We are undertaking end-to-end tests to ensure that all systems will be operational at go-live

Impacts on the offer

  • Eurostar’s objective is to keep the offer as close as possible to the current one
  • Nevertheless, there are differences between Resarail and S3, which will impact some elements of the offer, including groups and through-fares
  • The offer configuration is nearly finished in S3
  • The 3 classes of services are maintained (Business Premier, Standard Premier, Standard) and the same ticket conditions will apply (fully-flexible and semi-flexible)
  • New products will also be integrated into the offer in a later phase

IMPACTS ON INDIRECT CHANNELS (VOYAGER)

Voyager is the future platform that will replace Elgar. It is intuitive and user friendly.

Voyager access

  • Via weblink
  • Login & password connection

Training strategy

Train the trainers
Training material: user guide, tutorial videos

Elgar migration

  • Elgar ticketed and provisional bookings will be retrievable on Voyager
  • Aftersales will be possible on migrated bookings

Manage Your Booking

You will be able to make the following aftersales on Voyager, subject to aftersales conditions defined by Eurostar:
  • Exchanges
  • Upgrades
  • Cancellations
  • Seat Changes
  • Name Changes

In times of disruption, you will have the possibility to exchange your passengers’ bookings according to the terms and conditions of that particular disruption (new OFE - called Aftersales Override Profile)

More information will follow in the regular newsletters about “Voyager”

Voyager

Zoom on go-live changing functionalities

Split PNR

  • The split PNR functionality which enables you to divide a booking will not exist
  • You will not need to split bookings to perform partial aftersales as you will be able to perform aftersales within the same booking for specific passengers leading to different travel details.

Seating functionalities

  • You will have access to the seat map on Voyager before and after completing a booking
  • The “close to“ and “specific seat” functionalities do not exist in S3 and therefore won’t be available. But you can use the seat map to select or change seats

Rules for partial after sales

Example: I have got a London-Paris return for 2 passengers and I want to…

  • General rule: A PNR is heterogeneous when all passengers included in a same PNR do not have the same travel details
  • S3 and Voyager can handle heterogeneous PNRs and therefore can handle all after sales scenarios
  • Eurostar.com cannot handle heterogeneous PNRs and they cannot divide bookings to perform partial after sales

Zoom on through-fares offers (TGV/Thalys)

All Eurostar through-fares offers will evolve with the change of the inventory system.

Public

  • Eurostar and TGV/Thalys through-fares offers for individuals will also evolve. It will be necessary to book the routes in a summated way, that is to say that there will be two tickets with a price for each of the journeys, unlike today where there is a fare for the whole end-to-end trip.
  • The current through-fares offers remain on sale in Resarail for sales up until 8/11/2019 with travel dates corresponding to the booking horizon (D + 90 for the TGV and D + 120 for Thalys).
  • Any booking already created must be issued before 08/11/2019 and will be migrated to the new inventory system. No exchange will be possible after 9/11/2019. A workaround will be implemented via Eurostar channels (excluding Eurostar.com) for any after sales of Through-Fares created prior to migration.

Zoom on the ABS/ADS offers

ABS/ADS - RIT AND PUBLIC fares

The Any Belgian station and Any Dutch station offers consist of booking a specific Eurostar train as well as an Add-on which enables a passenger to travel to Any Belgian/Dutch Station via Brussels.

For the customer, only one global price is seen for the entire journey, though he will receive two barcodes for the booking:

  • one for the Eurostar leg
  • one for the Belgian/Dutch leg, that holds the travel time and date information based on the Eurostar segment

The Belgian/Dutch leg can be used within 24 hours of traveling with the Eurostar segment

These offers will be accessible by UK Travel Agencies

On-Hold Rules

Default expiry rules (technical TTL)

Eurostar has defined generic expiry rules (equivalent of the RésaRail notion of Ticket Time Limit) which apply at all times:

On-Hold rules

On top of these default expiry rules, Eurostar has defined extended rules to allow more time to complete the payment. These rules (called on hold rules) are defined by combination of product range (e.g. Public or Group) and sales channel (e.g. PAO or Voyager). For each combination of product range/sales channel, up to 2 rules were defined by EIL based on the time of booking and departure date of the train (e.g. up to 30 days before departure date). This granularity allows us to apply different rules when the booking is made closer to departure date

Below you will find details of on-hold rules applicable to non-digital channels, per product:

For Public fares:

  • if you book more than 30 days before the train departure, the booking will expire 7 days after it has been created if no payment has been received
  • if you book within 30 days before the train departure, the booking will expire 72 hours after it has been created or 2 hours before departure (whichever comes first), if no payment has been received

The TTL will appear on screen during the booking process, please take note and ensure ticketing before TTL

Use case for on-hold rules

Example with Public booking rules for a non digital channel:

If you book between 180 days and 30 days before departure (long duration period)

  • Your booking is put on hold for 7 days after its creation date.
  • That rule is available up to 30 days before departure date.
  • You have to pay the full amount before the end of this period in order to confirm your booking.
  • If no payment is taken, then the booking is cancelled.
    • NB: If you book e.g. at D-31 your are still in the long duration period and therefore your booking is put on hold for 7 days.

If you book between 30 days and 2 hours before departure (short duration period)

  • Your booking is put on hold for 72 hours after its creation.
  • This rule is available up to 2 hours before departure date.
  • You have to pay the full amount before the end of this period in order to confirm your booking.
  • If no payment is taken then the booking is cancelled.
    • NB: if the booking is made between 74 hours (72+2) and 2 hours, it is put on hold but the expiry time of 2 hours before departure kicks in. If for instance your booking is created 48 hours before departure, you actually have until 2 hours before departure to complete then payment (which means that your booking was actually on hold for 46 hours)

If you book less than 2 hours before departure

No on-hold option is available. The booking will expire 60 minutes after it has been created

Zoom on the group offer

Booking process:

You will still make group bookings via the Eurostar Groups department. You can submit a booking request via eurostar.com Groups webform, or email groups@eurostar.com. Our team is also available over the phone from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm on + 44 (0) 3448 224 800.

We will require at the point of holding a booking the accurate passenger breakdown between adult and children as this can no longer be amended once bookings are held.

Booking conditions applicable from 11th November 2019:

Deposit:

  • A non-refundable deposit of 20% of the overall group booking value is to be paid up to and no later than 30 days after the booking has been created. You will be given a date for payment at the time of holding the reservation, which may be slightly earlier than the 30 days due to bank holidays/weekends.
  • If no deposit is taken within 30 days after the booking has been made, the booking is automatically cancelled.
  • If you change the booking before the deposit is paid, the amount of the deposit will be updated
  • If you change the booking after the deposit has been paid but before the payment of the balance, the amount of the balance will be recalculated and updated. Please note the deposit is non-refundable per ticket, so any deposit paid for tickets which are then cancelled will be non-refundable and will not contribute towards the remaining balance.

Balance:

  • The full balance has to be payed no later than 30 days before the departure date
  • If no balance is taken 30 days before departure, the booking is automatically cancelled and the deposit is not refunded

For bookings made less than 30 days before departure, the balance must be paid upon creation of the booking

After sales conditions:

Exchange:

  • Tickets are fully exchangeable until 30 days inclusive before outbound travel
  • Tickets are non-exchangeable between 29 days or less before outbound travel
  • You can exchange the date, time, one leg or the whole journey
  • There are no fees for the exchange, but the fare difference between the original fares and the current availability of the new service will be charged. Please note that if the new fare is cheaper than the original, the fare difference will not be refunded
  • We can exchange to a different class of services (from Standard to Standard premier or Business Premier, or Business Premier to Standard) but the fare difference will never be refunded if the new ticket is at a lower price than the original

Refund:

  • Tickets are 80% refundable up until 30 inclusive before outbound travel
  • Tickets are 50% refundable between 29 and 8 days before outbound travel
  • Tickets are non-refundable between 7 days or less before outbound travel
  • There must be at least 10 passengers on the reservation travelling together at all times. No refunds are possible if they reduce the group size to under 10 passengers.
  • You cannot cancel one leg only, the whole booking has to be cancelled if claiming for a refund

Payment of the deposit and the final balance:

Please note that it will be your responsibility to ensure that the payment is received on time.

Any payment to be made via business account or card must be done by phone to avoid missing payment deadlines and bookings expiring.

All reservations paid by BACS must be received and cleared by the due date, you must allow sufficient time for this to arrive we do not take any responsibility for any payments not reaching us on time and we would need to rebook at current availability.

Destinations and fares:

For travel after 31st October 2019, we will be able to make bookings to direct Eurostar destinations only.

Please note that youth fares will no longer be available.

Please contact groups@eurostar.com should you have any questions.