On Wednesday 27th November, French farmers will be protesting against the French government for a better deal and protection against cheap agriculture imports. The demonstrations will be staged by members of the National Federation of Farmers’ Union (FNSEA) and will involve; severe delays on trains, metros and buses, road blockades and strikes by airline staff.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a warning to British travellers and holidaymakers who are either in or on their way to France. The demonstrations have become violent in the past and are likely to do so again. According to The Independent, Eurostar staff will be operating as normal, however there will be disruption affecting London to Paris services on the 5th and 6th December. Travellers are advised to check services before travel as Air France staff announce plans to strike.
Similar protests are expected in other parts of France, some of which will be staged by the Yellow Vest (Gilets Jaunes) movement. The movement has been protesting over the past year with some demonstrations resulting in violence. The FCO is advising travellers to ‘avoid demonstrations wherever possible and follow the advice of local authorities.’
If you are flying to France over the next couple of days, you should contact your airline and check for changes to your flight. Strikes are often considered to be ‘extraordinary circumstances’ (an event that is outside of the airlines control), in which case airlines are not required to offer you compensation in the event of a delay or cancellation.
Travel insurance will not usually cover the cost of alternative transport due to disruptions caused by strike – however, you may be offered a small amount of compensation for refreshments – as long as you are already checked-in before the delay is announced. If you are caught up in the strike action and wish to cancel your holiday, your travel insurance may not cover this. = Having said that, if your policy covers ‘cancellation for any cause beyond your reasonable control’ you may be entitled to a refund for the cost of any pre-paid, non-refundable expenses which would include; excursions, car hire or accommodation – provided the policy was purchased before the strike was announced. You may also be entitled to ‘trip disruption’ cover if you haven’t been offered alternative transport by your airline within 24 hours.