Traveling Through France? Check Your Flight Status!

It looks like it’s going to be a pretty rough week for travel to/from/within Europe, as the French air traffic controllers are on strike through tomorrow, Thursday, April 9, 2015. As a result, airlines have been asked to halve their flight schedules through tomorrow, to make things go as smoothly as possible.

The dispute involves plans to raise the retirement age for air traffic controllers from 57 to 59 (oh, the horror!), and for what it’s worth further strikes are planned for April 16 through April 18 and April 29 through May 2.

For example, here’s how Air France’s operations are being impacted:

Following the strike action launched by one air traffic controller union for the period from Wednesday 08 April early morning shift to Thursday 09 April 2015 end of night shift, the French Civil Aviation Authority gave instructions to all airlines to update their flight schedule for April 09 to/from Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly as well as for the following airports: Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Nice and Nantes.

As a consequence, we plan to operate for April 09:
– our whole long-haul program
– 50% of medium-haul program to/from CDG
– One flight out of four to/from Orly
– 40% departing and arriving from other French airports

So if you’re scheduled to fly through France today or tomorrow, be sure you check your flight status to see if your flight will operate as planned or not.

While you’re not entitled to EU261 compensation in the event of union action, airlines should be willing to rebook you on another airline in the event that your flight is delayed, and also have the obligation to put you up in a hotel.

Have you been impacted by the French ATC strike?

Comments

  1. Ben,

    I saw in one article where the ATC’s are planning a second strike for late April or early May. I’m starting my trip to Spain and Portugal next week, flying out via KLM through AMS. But coming home on the 27th, I’m on AF through CDG. Have you seen/heard/read anywhere when that second strike might be? Just want to plan waaaaay far ahead and think of options in case there is a second strike.

    Thanks, Matt

  2. “The dispute involves plans to raise the retirement age for air traffic controllers from 57 to 59 (oh, the horror!)”

    Indeed. Very trivial being expected to extend your working life by two years when real people are concerned with real problems – like whether Krug’s been withdrawn from an airline lounge.

  3. The dispute involves plans to raise the retirement age for air traffic controllers from 57 to 59 (oh, the horror!),

    Well, in their defense, I seem to recall air traffic controller being listed as the world’s most stressful job.

  4. Yeah, I think I vote for keeping the retirement age at 57. Who wants an older, pissed-off, burned out 59 year old in the tower?

    Also, isn’t it about time working people stood up for themselves? The “race to the bottom” in wages and living standards has got to at least be slowed down. Good to see the workers in Europe push back.

  5. Worth noting this doesn’t just affect flights within or connecting through France, as it has a waterfall effect on a lot of intra-Europe travel. My AMS-MAD flight today on Air Europa was delayed 2 hours as a result of the strike, and the departures board at Schiphol showed about 80% delays.

  6. Ben,

    Just got back yesterday on a DL 744 CDG-DTW in Delta One. Lucky I didn’t wait another day, Im sure the airport would have been mayhem!!

  7. “The dispute involves plans to raise the retirement age for air traffic controllers from 57 to 59 (oh, the horror!)”

    Do not forget how stressful, challenging and exhausting the job as an ATCO is.

  8. Hey RoloT, sometimes when people get older they don’t get “pissed-off” and “burned out”, they get calmer, more efficient, and more focused.

  9. @ Matt — As of now they’re also planned for April 16 through April 18 and April 29 through May 2.

  10. @threre. Simmer down fella. When I said “pissed-off” I was referring to the fact that they would have to work an additional two years to earn their retirement, thus being pissed off. Also, ATC is a job that one reaches peak experience at about 10 years of service, with a high burn out factor.

    By the way, I’m in my mid-50’s so save your ageist stuff for somebody younger.

  11. was impacted by this yesterday flying TLS-FRA-IAD on LH. our first leg was delayed an hour or so and my wife and I had resigned ourselves to missing our connection (and losing out on the upper deck 747-8 experience), but thanks to LH and Fraport’s German efficiency, we were personally escorted from the tarmac through immigration and to our connecting flight.

    quite the opposite experience of what we would have expected in a US airport.

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