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What’s faster? Watch us race from London to Amsterdam by plane and train

July 07, 2022
4 min read
What’s faster? Watch us race from London to Amsterdam by plane and train
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In our latest YouTube video, we follow in the footsteps of our previous races to Paris, Leeds and Heathrow and race from London to Amsterdam.

Train travel is a hot topic right now due to both sustainability and recent airport disruptions and strike action in the U.K. So it was a timely test of whether (or not) a train service could beat a flight in a race to this popular European city.

Setting off from London Bridge in central London, Liam Spencer took the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to London City Airport (LCY) and flew with KLM to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) before taking a local train to central Amsterdam.

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I jumped on the tube to join the Eurostar service from St. Pancras International train station which took me directly to Amsterdam Centraal Station. It was then a sprint to the finish line at Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

You can watch the whole experience and find out who won right here on YouTube:

Nicky Kelvin — train

We paid:

  • Eurostar (Business Premier ticket): $358.70 (299 British pounds).
  • Tube: $2.08 (2.50 British pounds).
  • Total: $360.32 (301.50 British pounds).

While my premium ticket was expensive, the Business Premier experience was excellent. There were long queues at St. Pancras and I was able to avoid them because of the ticket I held which was a huge help, especially as I was in a rush.

The lounge in the Eurostar terminal was a pleasant way to spend the short amount of time I had before boarding, and the train itself was incredibly comfortable.

The food and beverage offering was also solid. Arriving smack bang in the middle of Amsterdam having already cleared customs and immigration in London was wonderfully efficient and convenient.

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Related: London to Paris and beyond: Eurostar guide for families

The experience wasn’t perfect, though. The train to Amsterdam routes via Brussels and at three hours and 55 minutes it is rather long, especially in comparison to flight times that clock in at well under an hour.

There are also limited direct train options between London and Amsterdam.

Liam Spencer — plane

We paid:

  • KLM Flight: $323.91 (270 British pounds).
  • DLR: $4.32 (3.60 British pounds).
  • NS Schiphol train: $5.84 (4.87 British pounds).
  • Total: $334.07 (278.47 British pounds).

I loved that London City Airport was super easy to get to using the DLR service from Bank. If you’re near the city center, it’s by far the most convenient airport to fly out of.

The flight itself was extremely quick and comfortable. We were only in the air for 45 minutes, but the cabin crew still had time to bring out a drink and a snack for every passenger.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport leads directly into Schiphol train station, meaning it was a breeze transferring from plane to train for the final part of my journey.

Related: Is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Europe’s best airport for a layover?

On the downside, London City Airport was absolutely packed and there were long lines at the bag-drop area. Luckily I was only traveling with carry-on luggage, but I could have faced lengthy lines had I needed to check a bag.

The flight took off a little late, at around 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time, and $323 was a fairly expensive fare for such a short, one-way flight.

Watch more:

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees