Q. I'll be in London next week on business and am considering a side-trip to Paris. I've checked into Ryanair  and EasyJet but this is all so last minute, and the fares were kind of steep. Could I do better?

A. You sure can! Eurostar recently launched new faster service between London and Paris, with a travel time of 2 hours and 15 minutes. And we were able to find last minute fares for about $$80. That's a far better deal than what you'll find for last-minute trips on Ryanair or any of the budget airlines. But here's the trick: Don't book your ticket at the train station, get it online at Eurostar's US site, where the fares are a tad cheaper for those paying in dollars.

Another reason for taking the train: Once you factor in your travel time to one of London's fringe airports like Luton or Stansted, plus the arduous process of checking in and waiting in line again and again, your travel time will surely exceed the 2 hours and 15 minutes you could have spent comfortably on the train.

As airline folk, it's hard for us to say, but in this case taking the train is your best bet.

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