Travelling to France has become increasingly difficult over the past week and holidaymakers are facing at least four more days of strike action. The national protest against pension reforms is yet to be resolved and as a result hundreds of flights and rail services have been cancelled.
Air France workers and Air Traffic Controllers are the latest to walk out, which means strikes are greatly affecting air travel. Those due to travel by air should check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport. In the event of flight delays and cancellations, it is the airlines responsibility to rebook passengers onto alternative flights or provide full refunds of any unused tickets. Refreshments and overnight accommodation may also be available if necessary.
Thousands of trains have also been cancelled including 80 Eurostar services running between London, Paris, Belgium and the Netherlands. Eurostar has released a warning stating that services will be heavily disrupted from the 9th until 12th December 2019; a reduced timetable has been put in place. The Eurostar service update states ‘there will be major disruptions to Metro and RER services in Paris and connecting trains to all destinations within France’.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are advising travellers to check the websites of transport providers for the latest information on travel disruptions. The FCO has also said there will be ‘further disruption and cancellations to Eurostar services between London St Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord’. Passengers who have booked to travel to or from Paris via Eurostar should make sure they check the website for service updates before heading to the station.
Passengers that are due to travel on the Eurostar service in the coming days, and whose service has been disrupted, can exchange or refund any unused tickets on the Eurostar website within 60 days of purchase. It may also be possible to postpone journeys for those who are due to travel during the period of strike action at no extra charge.
Travel insurance, that was purchased after the strikes were announced, will not cover industrial action. Having said that, the travel insurance company may offer compensation in the event of a delay. Eligibility will differ between policies, so check the cover carefully before submitting a claim. More on departure delay.