Travel Alert January 2020: Industrial Action in France Causes Flights to Be Canceled

Here we go yet again.

A call for labor strikes has been issued by members of trade unions in France starting today, Tuesday, January 14, 2020 and lasting through Thursday, January 16, 2020, during which public servants and private sector employees will once again protest their anger pertaining to pension reforms by the government — including air traffic controllers — and the industrial labor action has already affected air travel for the day, as flights to, from and within France have already been delayed or canceled.

Travel Alert January 2020: Industrial Action in France Causes Flights to Be Canceled

Air France Boeing 777-328ER airplane

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

This notice is currently displayed at the official Internet web site of Air France at the time this article was written:

In the context of a national call for strike action in France on 14, 15 and 16 January 2020, which is relayed by French Air Traffic controllers, we expect some disruptions on our short and medium haul flights schedule. We plan to cover our entire long-haul flight schedule.

Our teams are fully mobilized and will do their utmost to assist you and minimize the impact of this industrial action on your travel plans.

If you wish to change your flight to an earlier or later date, you may do so free of charge.

Along with substantial disruptions of train services and bus services, motorists should expect a traffic nightmare in the form of gridlock on streets, boulevards and highways.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to France over the next few days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this industrial action which may adversely affect your travel plans.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are five airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of the pending industrial action in France:

  • Delta Air Lines has issued travel alerts for all short-haul flights and medium-haul flights operated by Air France for Monday, January 13, 2020 through Thursday, January 16, 2020; and Thursday, January 23, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Air France has issued a travel alert for airports throughout France for Tuesday, January 14, 2020 through Thursday, January 16, 2020; and tickets may be reissued for rebooked travel, but no specific final date has been given. If you are affected, call the airline for specific information.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has issued a travel alert for airports throughout France for Tuesday, January 14, 2020 through Thursday, January 16, 2020; and Thursday, January 23, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • Iberia has issued a travel alert for airports throughout France for Tuesday, January 14, 2020 through Thursday, January 16, 2020; and Monday, January 20, 2020 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • easyJet has issued a travel alert for airports throughout France for Tuesday, January 14, 2020 through Friday, January 17, 2020; and tickets may be reissued for rebooked travel, but no specific final date has been given. If you are affected, call the airline for specific information.

Summary

France once again joins other countries — such as Colombia, Italy, Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Germany, Honduras, Ecuador and Bolivia as nine of numerous examples — in experiencing civil unrest and industrial actions in recent months.

In fact, a similar strike will occur in Italy today, Tuesday, January 14, 2020 as well — but fortunately, that strike will only occur between the hours of 1:00 and 5:00 in the afternoon during that one day.

Other airlines which serve France may also issue travel alerts — and travel waivers — for Tuesday, January 14, 2020 through Thursday, January 16, 2020 as a result of the strike.

The legislation of European Union regulation EC 261/2004 requires airlines operating in Europe to ensure that passengers are rebooked on flights to reach their final destinations at the earliest opportunity possible — even if those flights are operated by other airlines. That is another option which is available to you if you are affected by the aforementioned strikes. If you do decide to file a claim and the airline refuses it, you can complete and submit this complaint form

…and as outlined in Article 9 of that regulation, you may also be eligible for what is known as Duty of Care during an extensive delay of your flight — which may include the reimbursement of such items as meals and lodging after you first pay for them.

Although your flight may not be affected, if you have travel plans to, from or within France on those days, you may want to consider changing them.

All photographs ©2008 and ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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