It must be the peak travel summer season in France. You would know it by the fact that Air France cabin crew is starting 7 day long strike today affecting tens of thousands (if not hundreds) passengers.
The airline expects to cancel roughly 30% of the short/medium haul flights and 10% of the long haul ones.
You can access Air France’s website here.
Here’s what French media website The Local writes (access the full article here):
According to initial estimates, the company said Monday it would have to cancel some 30 percent of domestic and medium-haul flights and fewer than 10 percent of long-haul flights.
Launching a strike in the middle of summer is “total nonsense”, said AirFrance CEO Frederic Gagey.
Last summer Air France flew an average of 1,000 flights a day, carrying some 140,000 passengers.
Flights to European destinations, north Africa and Israel will be affected, as well as some routes in Asia and Africa, the company said.
At issue is the duration of an accord setting working rules, pay and promotions that is due to expire in October.
Here’s what info Air France has up on their website:
Update on 26 July, 02:30 A.M. local time in Paris
Further to the call for strike action issued by several airline cabin crew unions, for the period from July 27 to August 02, our flight schedule operated by Air France is disrupted as of Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
Please note that Air France flights operated by an aircraft of other airlines, including HOP!, KLM and Delta, are not affected by this strike.
For July 27, we plan to operate more than 90% of our long haul flights, 90% of our domestic flights, and more than 80% of our medium-haul flight to and from Paris – CDG.
However, there may be last-minute cancellations and delays. Difficulties with crew compositions may also limit the number of passengers per flight.
Update of our flight schedule for July 27 is on-going.
For the next days, according to the estimate of the number of employees on strike, our flight schedule will be adapted accordingly and published the day before your departure.
Customers affected by the cancellation of their reservation will be informed the day before departure, using the contact details provided in the reservation file (phone and / or e-mail). We invite you to keep them up to date.
In the meantime, we would like to assure you that 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.
What commercial measures are being implemented?
If you wish to postpone your trip, we offer you the following commercial measures.
If you have planned a trip on an Air France flight between July 27 and August 2, 2016:
– You can bring your trip forward on 26 July 2016, or postpone your trip from 3 to 12 August 2016 inclusive. You can change your reservation at no extra cost in the same class of travel.
You can make these changes on this website*, in the “Your reservations” section, on our mobile sites or from your travel agent.
– You can also postpone your trip beyond 12 August, 2016, change your origin or destination or if you no longer wish to travel, you can receive of a non-refundable voucher valid one year on Air France, KLM or Hop!
In this case, you may contact your travel agent.
What should you do on the eve of your trip?
Before you go to airport, if the flight is “operated by Air France”, we recommend that you check the information of about your bookings on our website or mobile app in the “your reservations” section.
If your reservation is cancelled, we recommend that you do not travel to the airport. Our staff will do their utmost to offer you an alternative solution.
Otherwise, you will be able to change your flight independently on our website, or contact your travel agent.
We sincerely hope that your flight will operate as scheduled and apologize for any inconvenience this strike action may cause you.
What the Air France doesn’t tell you here is that they do have obligations per the European Union legislation EC 261/2004. The requirement to compensation in cash doesn’t apply due to possible delays/cancellations but all the other requirements still do.
The airline is required to rebook you to your final destination at the earliest possible option that suits you best. This means that they are required to rebook you on airlines outside of the Air France-KLM and SkyTeam such as Lufthansa and British Airways if required. I doubt that their website is capable of handling changes such as these, however, and you may insist.
Air France also has duty to care requirement. If your flight is canceled, they are required to provide hotel accommodation along with the meals and ability to call for free (some minutes per day).
In case your flight is canceled and you no longer wish to travel at all, you are obviously eligible for full refund.