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Posted by
854 posts

Oh Jesus. My luck these will fall on every day but I need to travel this summer.

Posted by
2347 posts

Brings back bad memories. We took the RS Spain tour a few years ago, but started out with a few days in Paris. Had train tickets to Barcelona then this rolling strike business started. The SNCF site showed the status but it changed every day. We absolutely had to get to Barcelona that day. I purchased refundable airline tickets as a backup, very expensive. With hours to spare we found the train would go. Canceled the plane tickets (Veuling took a very long time to refund my money). Anyway, if your travel plans are not flexible, have a backup plan but be prepared to bleed money. I never did find out what my travel insurance would have covered if we had to fly.

Posted by
911 posts

May/June 2016 I got to almost experience the Rail & Air Traffic Controller strikes. The rail strike began on the day we were leaving Colmar back to Paris, luckily for us we were departing at 11:00 am & the strike began at 7:00 pm. The ATC decided not to strike on our departure day, but were moving it to the following week. Dealt with the Air France pilot strike as well in 2014, the strike ended the day before we were departing & our flight was a go.

Posted by
2545 posts

75020--you say that this SNCF strike doesn't affect the RER system but I had read that several lines or parts of the RER are controlled by SNCF:

RATP manages 65 RER stations, including all stations on Line A east of Nanterre-Préfecture and those on the branch to Saint-Germain-en-Laye.[3] It also operates stations on Line B South of Gare du Nord.[4] Other stations on the two lines and those on lines C, D and E are operated by SNCF. Of the RER stations operated by RATP, 9 have interchanges with Métro lines, and 9 allow transfer to SNCF's Transilien service.[5]

Can you confirm that the RER will not be affected by the main strike? I don't see this in the English link you posted. We have a flight out of CDG to the US on May 4th, one of the strike days.

Posted by
775 posts

Sorry, I forget that some RERs are exceptions and are run by the SNCF. Hope that doesn't cause problems.
Confusing, isn't it? If this helps, May as strike plans go is a long way away and lots can happen between April 4th and your need to be at CDG in May. And it would be good to make back up plans featuring other ways to get to CDG although limited service on the RERB will be available.

Posted by
2545 posts

75020-- I think you've edited your last response and it now says there will "limited service" on the RER B. Does this pertain to the route from Gare du Nord to CDG, this the part I read belongs to SNCF? That was my original concern. I know to be patient and see what happens and I know to have an alternative plan but with the strike being May 3 and 4 I really don't want to spend my last 2 days in Europe at an airport hotel or in hideous traffic on the 4th because the roads are clogged with individuals trying to get around without the trains... Thanks for helping people try to stay informed.

Posted by
1516 posts

75020 thank you for the updated info. As it stands now, our travel dates are one off from the proposed strike dates so I'm not too worried yet. I hope it doesn't spill over to the metro. It seems so "civilized" (so French!) to provide a calendar of the dates so we can make other plans.

Posted by
12 posts

Allan, when you cancelled your tickets with Vueling, how did you do it? Website or called them?
I am thinking about purchasing a back up plan , and if I have to cancel that day, I need to know how to do it.
I have read that they are bad at refunding money. Any suggestions? Did you purchase the tickets on their website.
The "excellance" category is fully refundable ,I hope.

Posted by
2347 posts

I booked and cancelled via the website. When I cancelled the website acknowledged it but after 24 hours I had not gotten an email conformation. I spent a lot of time on the phone with reassurances from them that the tickets were indeed canceled and the money would be refunded. I made notes of when I called and who I spoke to in case I needed to have the credit card company deal with them. As I recall it took about 2 weeks for the credit to show on my card. These were very expensive tickets and there were 4 people traveling, so I stayed on this.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks Alan

I think I should purchase tickets for that day ,as it is one of the strike days
and if the strike is settled before my date I can cancel and if my train was to go on the day
of the strike. I would purchase air tickets late in the afternoon to give myself time to
cancel if needed as I have a 10 am train. Did you book on Vueling.com? I am leary of
foreign websites. I could always cancel at the airport in London if the strike was settled before I get to Paris.
I hate unknowns, so I would rather be prepared and have a back up plan.

Did you get a full refund?

Posted by
1 posts

Do French rolling strikes generally affect inter-country rail travel? I have Paris-to-Venice tickets on Trenitalia for May 3, which is one of the announced strike dates.

Posted by
3 posts

I'm trying to figure out if we should change our plans. We have TGV Lyria tickets to Lausanne Switzerland booked for one of the strike days. We have many other connections via train once we arrive in Switzerland, so that part is super stressful. I just looked at airline tickets to either Geneva or Zurich and they are very expensive, especially the cancelable ones.

I was really looking forward to a nice, scenic double decker train ride in a 4 person area with the table for my family. Now I am bummed because even if we do get to take a train (what I've read says TGVs will be running, just not all of them) we may not get the seats we booked, seats together or even a seat! And now I will be stressed thinking about if we will be able to make all the connections to get to our final destination (Wengen). We already have airbnbs booked or I would seriously considers switching days!

Posted by
775 posts

This site has just published information on exchanging tickets or getting refunds for travel between April 3rd and April 29th for TGV and intercities non exchangeable or non reimbursable included

Also stated is the encouragement to void your train travel plans for March 22 (conseillons vivement . . . . I love French)

This is a good link to bookmark
https://www.oui.sncf/train/greve

Posted by
51 posts

So per the calendar, my 5/27 Paris to Avignon TGV should be fine, but my return Avignon to Paris on 6/2 could be an issue. Thoughts? Is it too early to cancel, or should I just plan to drive to MRS, and flight to CDG?

Posted by
6885 posts

Swagmaster—we have the same issue on April 4th but plan to hop on whatever train is running and just go. There are empty seats, rumble seats, and worst case scenario you sit on your suitcase in the aisle. You know 48 hours ahead how many trains are going, like 1 out if 2, etc. You could go ahead and buy a plane tix but what if AF or the air controllers strike— no guarantees.

Posted by
5354 posts

I'm with Bets -- we're rolling with the punches. May have to take a taxi from CDG to Paris on April 23. Hoping that there's some train running to Strasbourg on April 28 (have alerted the hotel) And SNCF says it's too early to know about May.
Are we having fun yet ?

Posted by
2466 posts

There will be no service from Gare du Nord, period.
There will be extensive rolling strikes for the RER A, B and C.
There will be limited service for air traffic controllers.
There will be limited service for the bus and Metro, too.

And I'd be prepared to take advantage of the refundable SNCF tickets, if you have them.
www.francetvinfo.fr/economie/greve/greve-des-transports/professeurs-cheminots-controleurs-aeriens-qui-va-faire-greve-jeudi-et-vendredi_2664190.html
You can translate it using Google.

Posted by
6885 posts

For clarity: chexbres is referring to today, March 22. The extent of the strikes on future days is unknown at this time.

Posted by
2006 posts

Merci Kateja, chexbres, 75020 and Bets! Having up-to-date info is so valuable while planning a trip for friends for May and for my trip next month. I couldn't manage without you!

Posted by
22 posts

I arrive at CDG from Florence on May 3. If there is no Metro or RER service, is Le Bus or Uber a good option?

On May 7th, I need to catch the Eurostar from Paris to London. Is the Eurostar part of the strike?

Thanks.

Posted by
16782 posts

I'd say that the fast, international trains are usually less affected during a strike, but the links provided above do show a portion of international service to be cancelled today.

Posted by
2466 posts

www.lebusdirect.com/en/contact.html - it's all there, in plain English.
I'd just take a regular Parisien taxi, or the bus.

Uber cannot pick up at CDG, unless you have paid for their services ahead of time. And it will be a zoo, trying to find the driver.

Posted by
52 posts

I am arriving at CDG on April 4 which is a rail strike day. I was planning to take a taxi to my hotel near the Gare de Lyon. I am concerned that I will have trouble even getting a taxi because RER B will most likely be (almost) shut down. Does anyone know about the taxi situation yesterday at CDG? Were taxis operating “normally”? Will it likely be difficult to even get out of the airport? Thank you!

Posted by
6885 posts

Jaimemayo, you need a new thread if you want several answers. Your situation has a lot of variables. Time of arrival? Will there be a demonstration that day? Will the demonstration route go near Gare de Lyon—it did yesterday. In your shoes, I’d just climb aboard the Air France bus, or whatever it's called nowadays, and have it take you to the Gare de Lyon stop. Chexbres posting said the Garede Lyon bus was running as normal but there would besome disruptions.

Posted by
52 posts

Thank you, Bets. I appreciate your answer. Right now I am in the process of rebooking my trip. A vacation is supposed to be fun and worrying about strikes lessens the fun :). For those in my shoes, I was able to get credit for my hotel stay, even though both stays were nonrefundable. I thought it wouldn't hurt to ask the hotels if I could get credit because of the strike and both hotels agreed but said I would have to rebook soon. I think I will have to start booking flexible rates from now on. I know France is famous for strikes but I go to France a lot and had never been affected by them....until now. Lesson learned :/ Oh, and the SNCF is offering full refunds right now even if your ticket is nonrefundable.

Posted by
1209 posts

To quote (from memory) RS lui meme: "If you don't like strikes, go to Switzerland."