Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
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Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
Air France Strikes & French Air Strikes
Depending on your country of origin, traveling by plane will be your only choice to visit France. Among the numerous airlines flying from/to French airports is Air France, the French national airline.
There are many reasons to choose Air France for your next trip to France. Air France operates several flights every week – even every day – to Paris and beyond in France, giving you the freedom to choose the best time to fly. Also, Air France’s international flights are comfortable, especially if you book the upper classes. Finally, we love Air France’s food, which usually comes with French wines and cheese.
However, transportation strikes in France are not uncommon, and travelers flying to /from France with Air France or other French airlines might be hit by a strike.
Are you flying to France soon? Go on reading this article on Air France Strikes 2023, with the upcoming Air France strike dates and our best tips to survive. This article is complete with any other strikes or disruptions that might affect Air France flights – France airport strikes, French air traffic control strikes.
Last update: 17 November 2023
GOOD TO KNOW: Air France shares the Flying Blue loyalty program with Dutch KLM, with many flights in shared code. Also, Air France is a member of Skyteam, together with important international airlines such as Korean Air, Aero Mexico, KLM, and Delta.
Content of this Article
Air France flights are directly affected by Air France strikes. Additionally, other French strikes could also cause disruptions on Air France flights:
- Air France Strikes: Air France pilot strikes, Air France cabin crew strikes, or Air France ground staff strikes.
- French Air Traffic Control Strikes
- French Airport Strikes
- France General Strikes
This article does not cover information about KLM strikes, Transavia strikes, other French air strike dates, or strikes by airlines operating on a share code with Air France.
1. France Air Strikes & Air France Strike Dates 2023
Is Air France on strike today? Are there any air strikes or airport strikes in France?
» Air France Strike Dates 2023:
Air France, and in general, all airlines flying to /from France, will be impacted by the Air Controllers’ strike on 20 November 2023.
Following the call by the DGAC ((Direction Générale d’Aviation Civile) to reduce the number of flights in certain airports, Air France will ensure:
- all its long-courrier flights
- all its flights to /from Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
- 7 flights out of 10 to /from Orly Airport (ORY), Bordeaux Airport, Marseille Airport, Toulouse Airport and Nantes Airport.
Last-minute delays or cancellations, also in other French airports, are not to be excluded.
Air France passengers whose flights are canceled are usually notified in advance by SMS. Otherwise, check the Aéroports de Paris website and search for your flight using the search engine.
» French Air Traffic Control Strike Dates 2023:
Air Traffic Controllers are called to strike on 20 November 2023. This will impact air traffic flying to /from France.
Several unions intend to protest against the adoption on Wednesday of a bill aimed at forcing air traffic controllers to individually declare themselves on strike or not 48 hours in advance, as is already the case at the Parisian transport authority RATP or the railway company SNCF.
Airlines were asked to give up 25% of their flights on Monday, 20 November 2023, at Paris-Orly (ORY), France’s second-largest airport, and Toulouse-Blagnac (TLS). Carriers have also been called upon to reduce their flights to Bordeaux-Mérignac Airport (BOD) and Marseille-Provence Airport (MRS) by 20%, according to the DGAC (Direction Générale de l’Aéreation Civile).
“Despite these preventive measures, disruptions and delays are nevertheless to be expected,” inviting “passengers who can to postpone their trip.”
Finally, the DGAC warned that the activity of air navigation centers managing aircraft circulating in French skies would also be affected. In other words, the flight schedule of any aircraft (French or not) flying over the French sky can be impacted.
Airlines should individually warn travelers whose flight is impacted by the social movement. You can also check the status of your flight on the company’s website. Check out chapter #3.
Please note that Air Controllers’ strikes in France also affect flights crossing French airspace even if they are not flying from /to France. Due to the reduced number of planes that could be handled by the limited number of French air traffic controllers, any flight crossing French airspace might be delayed or re-routed.
» French Airports Strike Dates 2023:
Nothing to report at the time of updating this post.
If you have a flight from /to any of the Paris airports, check out the flight status on the website of your air company and arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight for long-haul flights and 2 hours before a domestic flight.
2. What To Do if Air France is on Strike
GOOD TO KNOW: Many Air France flights operate on a share code with KLM, Delta,…). Air France flights operated by an aircraft and a crew other than Air France might not be affected by this strike.
On the other hand, if one of these other companies (KLM, Delta…) is operating on a share code with Air France and using an Air France crew or an Air France aircraft, these flights could be impacted. We recommend checking their websites and considering the re-booking options they offer if your flight is affected.
If there’s an Air France Strike, the first thing that you should check is who operates your flight. You will find all this information (flight operated by XX) on your e-ticket.
a. You have not booked your flight to France with Air France yet
» Be flexible with your travel dates. If you were considering flying to Paris with Air France but have not booked your flights yet, avoid traveling to Paris during the Air France strike dates.
» Consider other air companies, French companies, or companies from other nationalities to avoid eventual delays or cancellations – Click here to browse other air companies flying to France
» Consider other means of transportation (if possible). Are you traveling to France from a neighboring country? Consider other transportation options like trains, buses, or shared cars.
The train, for example, is the best way to get around France, and there are many good international train connections with countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain – Click here to browse train companies traveling to France
b. You have booked your flight to France with Air France
When an issue could affect Air France’s flights, there is usually a warning on the top of the Air France website (Flash news). Click on this ‘Air France news’ to read about the Air France strike.
» Check your Air France flight status. Take your e-ticket and look for your flight number (e.g., AF1234). To see if your Air France flight is affected by the Air France strike, introduce your flight number and travel date on this page and click “Search.” The system will tell you immediately if your flight is delayed or canceled.
» Different options. You can anticipate, postpone, and cancel your trip easily online during Air France strikes or France air strikes followed by Air France. With Air France, you can even change your origin or destination, and if you decide to do this, you will get a voucher valid for 1 year that can be used on Air France or KLM flights. Check all the possible options during Air France strikes here.
c. Air France Flight Cancellation Compensation
Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. If your flight to /from France is delayed more than three hours, you may be entitled to as much as $700 if your flight has been delayed, canceled, or overbooked within the last three years.
TIP: If your flight to /from Paris or France was delayed 3+ hours due to a strike in France, we recommend checking your case with Air Help. Air Help is the world’s #1 flight compensation company. Since its foundation in 2017, Air Help has helped 16M+ air passengers – Click here to check if you are eligible for compensation
3. What To Do If There’s a French Air Traffic Control Strike
France is the country with the highest number of air traffic control strikes in the last five years, with 95 days of strikes between 2010 and 2015. These are the worst transportation strikes in France, with hundreds of flights from /to France delayed or canceled. Air France’s flights from /to France will be affected if there’s a French Air Traffic Control strike.
a. You have not booked your flight to France yet
» Consider other means of transportation (if possible). Are you traveling to France from a neighboring country when French air strikes are planned? Consider other transportation options like trains, buses, or shared cars.
b. You have booked your flight to France
» Follow the strike updates. We recommend following this post on Air France strikes and Air strikes in France. You can also check your Air France flight status on the website and consider their proposed options to change /refund your tickets.
4. What To Do If There’s a French Airport Strike
In case of a French Airport strike, flight schedules could be affected depending on the service on strike –airport workers, customs agents, or luggage handlers. Generally, you should expect disruptions or more extended delays on everything.
If there is a strike at the French airport of your departure, we recommend arriving at the airport well in advance. Check-in online at home or in the hotel and, if possible, travel only by hand luggage.