A warning to those of you scheduled for travel in France in early May: pilots from all airlines are threatening a unified strike. That could spell disaster for air travelers in France and flying French carriers around the world.
The French Parliament is considering a new transport law that would group pilot unions with other larger trade unions. The goal behind the proposed law would be to streamline negotiations, where the government often finds itself in a mediation role between employees and employers.
But pilots fear that by grouping them with unions, their unique voices would be drowned out. Thus, a notice of strike has been sent to the Transport and Labor Ministries as well as to French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.
This early notice gives both sides time to work out a compromise but be advised that the strike would occur from May 6th to May 11th. It would include the following airlines:
- Air France
- Aigle Azur
- XL Airways
Don’t Panic, Just Be Prepared
I can make all sorts of jokes about the French love for industrial action (a polite word for strikes), but at this point, we can only speculate if a strike will actually occur.
In these sorts of situations, I like to plan for the worst. That means I won’t cancel plans until a strike is confirmed, but I would look into other options. If you’re booked on Air France, that might involve being rerouted on Delta or KLM.
We’ll just wait and see right now, but it will not hurt to have some back-up flights in mind. If your travel plans are flexible and the strike does occur, you will likely be offered a refund or date change at no charge.
Strikes are annoying…to put it mildly. Last time I was impacted by an Air France strike, EasyJet came to the rescue. That likely will not be possible here, as pilots from both airlines are considering a strike. The key is simply to be prepared: let’s wait and see if the pilots actually strike.
image: Air France