Watch Out For Travel Chaos In France Due To Strikes

Week long strikes have begun in France in protest of new labor laws that were introduced (basically no longer impossible to fire someone).

France Strikes

The strike will also affect French airports and limits the use of French airspace. This will lead to flight delays and cancellations.

You should check with airline if your flights to/from France will operate tomorrow (will affect neighboring countries too).

British Airways has issued a travel waiver for flights to/from France and both Madrid and Barcelona:

A general strike, including air traffic control trade unions, is taking place across France on Thursday 19 May which will have an effect on our flights.

As a result, the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC) has mandated the cancellation of a number of flights for all airlines using French airspace.

Unfortunately, in addition to cancelling some flights to and from France, other short-haul flights may also experience some disruption, given how many flights would normally use French airspace.

There may also be some disruption on roads and public transport to/from airports if the strike goes ahead, so customers should allow extra time for their journeys.

We will be using larger aircraft, where possible, to help affected customers and are doing all we can to reduce the levels of disruption.

We have put in place a revised flight schedule for Thursday, however we recognise the uncertainty the situation is causing and have introduced a more flexible rebooking policy.

Rebooking options

Any customer due to fly to or from any French airport as well as Madrid and Barcelona on Thursday 19 May, regardless of whether their flight is operating or not can bring their flight forward to Wednesday 18 May or move it back to a date up to an including Sunday 22 May. All rebookings are subject to availability.

Check the status of your flight

Please keep checking the very latest information about your flight before travelling to the airport.

And here’s the information from Air France:

In the context of a national call for strike action on Thursday 19 May, the DGAC (French Civil Aviation Authority) has requested airlines to adapt their flight schedule to and from Paris-Orly airport.

Impact on our flight program will be limited on Thursday, May 19, 2016. We plan to operate :
– Our whole long-haul flights
– All our flights from and to Paris – Charles de Gaulle
– 85% of our domestic flights to and from Paris – Orly

The update of our program for Thursday, May 19 will be adjusted May, 18 at midday. Last-minute delays and cancellations can also be expected.

We invite you to privilege check-in online. Please take your precautions to arrive to the airport as public transportation could be disrupted.

Before going to the airport or train station, we advise you to check flight and train information updated in real-time on our website, in the “Flight and airport info” section.

How to stay informed?
We have an “AF Connect” service which directly informs you in 13 languages all around the world on your mobile phone or e-mail. To be notified personally, we invite you to update your contact information (phone and / or e-mail) in your reservation file on our website.

Moreover, if you hold an Air France ticket issued on or before May 17, on a domestic flight to or from Paris Orly for a travel on May 19, 2016 and if you wish to modify your journey, we propose you the following possibilities, valid until May 21, 2016:

– You may postpone your trip from May, 18 to May 21, 2016 included, at no extra cost in the same ticketed cabin.

You can make these changes on this website*, in the “Your reservations” section, on our mobile sites or from your travel agent.

– To postpone your trip beyond May 21, 2016, to change your origin or destination or if you no longer wish to travel, you can benefit of non-refundable voucher valid one year on Air France or KLM or Hop.

Our teams are fully mobilized and make their utmost to assist you and minimize the impact on your travel plans.

We thank you for your understanding.


The labor laws have been too rigid in France leading to unwillingness for the companies to hire new employees on permanent basis (difficult for the younger employees).

It is unfortunate that the unions have decided to disrupt businesses.

You should check if your flight is affected. Remember that the EC 261/2004 compensation doesn’t apply in the case of strikes but they still have duty to care and rebooking on alternate services/airlines required.