Travel in France Has Been Paralyzed by a Nationwide Strike — Here's What to Know (Video)
Travel around France will prove difficult this week as workers participate in nationwide strikes over pensions, affecting flights, the public transit system, and the city's most beloved tourist sites.
Nine out of 10 high-speed SNCF trains will likely be canceled this week, while Air France estimated about 30 percent of its domestic flights would be canceled, state-run outlet France24 reported. Additionally, Eurostar service between Paris and London will run on a limited schedule through December 10.
In Paris, only five of the city’s 16 metro lines were running. Workers said they were prepared for an “unlimited” strike that could paralyze the country for days, if not weeks, according to The Associated Press.
Popular tourist sites like the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d'Orsay and the Palace of Versailles temporarily closed on Thursday due to the strike.
Garbage collectors, air traffic controllers and primary school teachers are also joining the strike, which is predicted to last through the weekend, but could go longer. Paris Metro workers announced their strike would continue until Monday, December 9.
Visitors to France over the next few days could see a country at a standstill. Passengers whose travel is canceled due to the strike should contact their airline or train service to inquire about a refund or to postpone their journey.
“Please also be aware that public transport services will be affected by the strike,” easyJet airline advised its customers. “We recommend all customers allow plenty of extra time to get to the airport and consider alternative transport options where possible.”
All airlines that operate within the European Union are required to refund any unused parts of your ticket or book you on the next available flight if travel is canceled. Inquire about flying an airline alliance partner if your airline is not operating flights.
If your trip to France is coming up within the next few days or weeks, consider purchasing travel insurance that will compensate you for travel plans disrupted by strikes.
Marches are planned on the east side of Paris from Gare du Nord to Place de la Nation on Thursday evening, according to Le Monde.
All shops along the route, and along the Champs-Elysees, will be closed.