France: Strikes disrupt travel

Updated 19 April 2018 (10:00 AEST)

It’s that time of year again. If you are travelling through France over the coming months you should prepare for the possibility of major travel disruptions due to strikes.

Read more: What are my alternative transport options?

Travel by air

Staff at the national carrier, Air France, have announced strikes on the following days:

Friday 23 March
Friday 30 March (Good Friday)
Tuesday 3 April
Saturday 7 April
Tuesday 10 April
Wednesday 11 April
Tuesday 17 April
Wednesday 18 April
Monday 23 April
Tuesday 24 April

We expect that the airline may be forced to cancel up to 30% of all flights. If you have made a flight booking with Rome2rio that is affected by delays or cancellations, please contact us at flights@rome2rio.com with your booking details, as you may be entitled to a free change or cancellation.

French air-traffic controllers may also announce additional strikes, similar to the one on 23 March which cancelled approximately 30% of all flights to/from major French airports.

Read more:
Train travel in France: A guide to SNCF
Getting around France from Paris, by train

Travel by train

In protest of new labour laws being proposed by President Emmanuel Macron’s new government, French rail workers have raised the bar by announcing a wave of rolling strikes over the next three months. They plan to strike for two days out of every five, starting from Tuesday 3 April until Thursday 28 June, which will be their longest in decades.

In the calendar below, the planned strike days are outlined in pink. Please note that this calendar might change in the coming months.

SNCF Strike Calendar

The exact impact on rail services may not be known until 17:00 (5 pm) on the day before travel when SNCF (the French rail carrier) will know how many workers have answered the unions call to walk out. The most recent information we have regarding strike cancellations by train type/region is as follows:

TER 2 of 5 trains operating
Intercités 1 of 4 trains operating
TGV (Eastern France) 2 of 5 trains operating
TGV (Northern France) 1 of 3 trains operating
TGV (Western France) 1 of 3 trains operating
TGV (South East France) 1 of 3 trains operating
OUIGO 1 of 3 trains operating
Eurostar 4 of 5 trains operating
Thalys operating almost as normal
Lyria (France-Switzerland) 1 of 3 trains operating
France-Italy No trains operating
France-Germany 3 of 5 trains operating
France-Spain No trains operating

You can check the status of your train on the following websites:

  • SNCF (French Rail): SNCF website. This contains information about trains up to 24 hours before departure.
  • Eurostar (UK-France/Belgium/Netherlands): Eurostar website. This contains information about trains up to 24 hours before departure.
  • Thalys (France-Belgium-Netherlands-Germany): Thalys website. This contains information about trains up to 4 months before departure.

Rome2rio customers that wish to adjust their journey in advance can do so as per the normal fare conditions. However, if your train is cancelled you have the following two options:

  1. Exchange tickets at the station for an earlier or later service, subject to availability. Trains may be busy and seat reservations cannot be guaranteed during strike action. No compensation can be claimed should you not find a free seat onboard, as this national strike is beyond the railway’s control.
  2. Apply for a refund by sending an email to tickets@rome2rio.com.

Travelling during a strike is not always pleasant, but Rome2rio aims to make it as seamless as possible.

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