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Eurotunnel problems

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hampshire
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Eurotunnel problems

We have been regular day trippers and short break takers to the calais and Boulogne area for years

We were loving Eurotunnel especially for a daytrip with the time saving BUT the last 3 trip have been spoiled by delays for which we never seem to get an honest answer as to whats happened it has happened to other friends too Do others have problems ??

Last night we were sent to SeaFrance because of the delays then got to SeaFrance to be told as Eurotunnel had given so many people vouchers to go there they had 3 hour delays also !!!!! So we went back to Eurotunnel and queued !!!! Not satisfactory at all as were queuing around Calais for over 3 hours ! So was wondering if this was as common as we think it might be ?

Had a great lunch in Cafe de la Tour in Place des Armes sat in the sun best Sole Menieure I have ever had !!!

Wont stop coming but all these delays do take the edge off

106 replies to this topic
UK
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51. Re: Eurotunnel problems

I think we must have been very lucky (maybe its the times we travel) I can honestly say that for many years now we've used the tunnell at least twice (return) a year, usually 3 or 4 times & we've never had any real problems. OK there's been the odd delay but we've also been able to get earlier crossings on many occasions. Even during the "difficult" times after the big fire a few years ago we didn't experience any real problems. Personally I prefer the quicker boarding, journey time & disembarking at the end of the crossing.

We haven't used the ferries for about 5 years, the last time the crossing was really rough & although this didn't bother us too much the sight & smell of other travellers being seasick was enough to put us off. 1 guy actually threw up all over the till etc in the shop & they had to close the place while they cleaned up!!

All in all we wouldn't really consider any other means of crossing just for the speed & convenience. We've been regular vistors to France for over 30 years now.

Edited: 28 December 2012, 21:07
Cardiff, United...
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52. Re: Eurotunnel problems

So our first Eurotunnel trip from the UK last week went brilliantly - much faster and more efficient than the ferries, leaving us more time on the continent to enjoy the holiday.

Now however we are sat in the cold carpark at Calais as Eurotunnel have generally failed all round. We were in the check-in queue an hour before boarding, as suggested, but in a 2 hour queue you obviously miss your train check-in time. Clearly you are no longer just a delayed customer, but due to the inability to process all of those delayed cars ahead of us, are now less important 'late arrivals'. Apparently the next available train for such travellers is in 8 hours! 1 train an hour in the busy post-New Year week is just silly.

Customer service desk is absolutely no help at all, providing most disgruntled travellers with a shrug and a drink voucher if you are lucky! The info displays are equally as uninformative.

I think we'll go back to the ferries. At least they tell you why things are going wrong and try to do something about it.

Dan

Rotterdam, The...
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53. Re: Eurotunnel problems

Dan

Sorry to hear of your misfortunes. Sounds very similar to that experienced on 27 Dec. What gets me is that logistically, this seems to me to be a simple service to operate (compared to say a busy airport). Yet their ability to deal with a crisis is just rubbish. And the lack of information makes it very frustrating.

Some years ago, I took the Eurostar from Brussels to London and we sat outside the tunnel for 2 hours due to a broken train in the weeks just after the fire when only one tunnel was open. The train guards kept us up to date every 30 minutes and we got a free coffee. And as soon as the length of the delay passed the scheduled 1h55m of the journey, we were all given free return tickets. Now that's customer service!

The EuroTunnel service has a place. When it runs, it's fast and for those that can't stomach the water it's a godsend. But heaven help you if there's a calamity.

Oliver

Chesterfield...
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54. Re: Eurotunnel problems

We crossed by Eurotunnel on Friday Dec 28th and were delayed for a couple of hours, according to the tannoy system, by 'a Shuttle technical failure'.

The main information boards also packed in for around half an hour and then when they sprung into life gave wrong information for around another 30 minutes.

While the boards were out no information was forthcoming by either tannoy or Staff and the car parks were getting to overflow proportions.

Eventually our letter was called and, because we were in a Motorhome, loaded last onto the Shuttle.

Behind us on the train were two and a half empty coaches that could have carried around an extra dozen or so cars and I would like to know why they couldn't have been occupied by some of the backlog of passenger's cars.

We will continue to use Eurotunnel because, in my opinion, it's easier, simpler and less stressful to go with our dog by train rather than take a ferry.

But Eurotunnel really can't cope when anything goes wrong – we've never had any problems at the Calais end of the Tunnel – so why are there constant problems on the UK side?

Discuss!

Tampa, Florida
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55. Re: Eurotunnel problems

" it's easier, simpler and less stressful to go with our dog by train rather than take a ferry."

And that statement has a huge impact for us -- we're headed to England this summer with our dog, so I've been watching this thread with great interest.

Edited: 06 January 2013, 12:12
Chesterfield...
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56. Re: Eurotunnel problems

We used to use the Ferries and Hovercraft (remember them?) - until the day we left home, 220 miles from Dover, in fine bright weather only to find a force 10 gale blowing in the Channel when we arrived at the Port.

Nothing was leaving or arriving at Dover Port for the foreseeable future and we were stranded dockside.

We were only going to France for a weekend break and the chances of getting over the Channel for the next day or two were negligible.

A quick phone call to Eurotunnel and we were booked on the Train and arrived only a couple of hours after our original debarkation had we been able to go by the Ferry.

Since then we've gone by Eurotunnel at least 4 or 5 times a year with very little problems most of the time.

Once an 'incident' in the Tunnel, some illegals had decided to walk through it, meant a long delay but at least inclement weather doesn't stop the Trains.

Since we've taken the dog, five years and counting, the Tunnel has been well worth the extra cost.

Only a 35 minute journey with him staying with us, in the car or the Motorhome, and neither him or us getting stressed about the smooth quiet crossing rather than a longer Ferry crossing that can often be bumpy and noisy on the Car deck.

We often have problems with the length of journey time.

Although every one of the 220 miles are on Motorways there have been - due to congestion, roadworks, Dartford crossing, accidents and comfort breaks – variations with a fastest time of 3 and three-quarter hours and a maximum time of 8 hours.

We just don't know how long the journey time will be and Eurotunnel's reasonably flexible regulations allow us to be put on an earlier Train if we arrive at the Terminal early and a later Train if we are delayed for whatever reason.

Except for major problems like last week at the Terminal we've never had to wait more than an hour or so and have usually been allowed straight through to embarkation.

Missing a booked Ferry by just a few minutes can result in a many hour wait before being allowed on the next Ferry – and that's presuming the Ferries aren't fully booked.

I'm not trying to sell or advertise Eurotunnel but their service suits us and we will continue to use them on a regular basis – warts and all!

Tampa, Florida
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57. Re: Eurotunnel problems

thanks, Keith -- I'm sure I'll have more questions as summer gets near..but this is a huge help.

Languedoc-Roussillon...
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58. Re: Eurotunnel problems

Dan, that sounds a really dreadful experience. I hope you'll be contacting Eurotunnel in writing to complain about your treatment.

Rye, United Kingdom
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for Dover, Rye
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59. Re: Eurotunnel problems

Thanks for your positive reply Keith :)

Cardiff
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60. Re: Eurotunnel problems

Eurotunnel are a complete disaster area!! I travelled from the Alps – Merribel on Saturday 5th January. When arrived in the Tunnel area there was a queue on the motorway to the ticket area that took us 4 hours to negotiate. Eurotunnel’s website said the waiting time was 90minutes. The cause they said was essential maintenance!!What incompetent planning – essential maintenance on one the busiest days of the year!! The truth we were told by an officer at passport control was a breakdown in one of the tunnels by a euro star express at 10:00 in the morning!! The most frustrating thing was that when we got through to the car holding area before boarding it was completely empty!! 20 lanes each holding 20 cars that’s room for at least 400 cars. The mismanagement of the Eurrotunnel process is appalling!!

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