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Upcoming Transportation Strikes in France [2020 – 2021]: Info & Best Tips

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10/22/20

1. French Transit Strikes & Paris Transit Strikes

Transportation Strikes in France Today
Transportation Strikes in France

Last update: 22 October 2020

Transport in France and in Paris is usually quite good but unfortunately, sometimes it is affected by strikes.

However, over time, we locals have learned to deal with French strikes. How? With the right information, a little bit of flexibility in our everyday life and lots of patience.

For example, if there’s a Paris strike today, some people living on the outskirts of Paris may decide to take a day off at work or to work online from the house to avoid the transportation hassle of this Paris transit strike.

Planning a trip to Paris soon? Go on reading this article on Transportation Strikes in France 2020, with the upcoming transportation strikes in Paris and France and our best tips for traveling to Paris during a Paris transportation strike.

Related content

2. Content of this Article

This article on transportation strikes is extensive and covers many topics. Learn what you can find in this article and what you won’t find:

» Paris Metro Strikes and other RATP services (RER, tramway, bus..) 2020 — Paris and the Parisian Region.

» Air France strikes 2020 — all France

» Other French flight companies strikes 2020 — all France

» French air traffic control strike dates 2020 — all France

» Paris Taxi strikes 2020 — Paris and the Parisian Region

» SNCF train strikes 2020 — all France

» Other train strikes in France 2020 — all France

This article does not cover foreign companies strikes covering France (e.g Deutsche Bahn or British Airways, both with connections with France).

This article on transport strikes in France and Paris contains lots of information and updates so we recommend using the Table of Contents on the top of the post for easier navigation.

If you are only interested in SNCF strikes or in Air France strikes our little sister France Bucket List has written two articles covering these specific transportation strikes in France:

Read about the Transportation Strikes in France and the Transportation Strikes in Paris. France and Paris Strikes Calendar and best Tips for dealing with Transport Strikes in France

France Strike Update & Paris Strike Update

The strikes shown in this article are strikes officially confirmed. No rumors, no guessing, only planned strikes. Unfortunately, some strikes in France have confirmed only 24 hrs in advance, when negotiations with the French State have failed.

If you are traveling to Paris soon, we recommend having a quick look at the France and Paris strikes update (especially chapter #3) a few days before your trip and then the day before your departure to check if there is any France or Paris strike update.

3. Calendar France Strikes & Paris Strikes [2020 – 2021]

Paris public transportation

Are there any strikes in France today? /Are there any Paris strikes today?

National Strike in France. 5 CGT federations call on employees from the sectors: construction, energy, metallurgy, public services, and transport to go on strike at the national level on Tuesday 3 November 2020. New!

They denounce the strategies adopted by large companies and they are worried about jobs and the service provided to users.

For the time being, there’s no more information about this strike. Keep clicking for the latest updates!

Strikes in Paris 2020 & Strikes in France 2020

NB: days marked in grey are weekends and holidays in France

» Scheduled train strikes in France: waiting for information

» Scheduled Paris Metro Strikes and other RATP services: waiting for information

» Scheduled air strikes in France: waiting for information

» Scheduled General Strikes in France: no General strikes planned

4. Traveling to France during an SNCF Train Strike in France

train station in Paris

TRAIN STRIKE DESCRIPTION: currently, there are no train strikes planned in Paris or France.


4a. Traveling to France with Other Trains FAQ

» Will my Eurostar /Thalys /TGV Lyria /Deutsche Bahn train be affected by the Transportation Strike in France? 

Even if these trains are not on strike, a French strike action could impact their ability to deliver the usual timetable. As a result, they may need to adapt its timetable during the strike days in France.


4b. What to Do during a Train Strike France

Are you traveling to/ from Paris by train during an SNCF strike? Check out our recommendations.

YOU HAVE NOT BOOKED YOUR TICKETS YET

Paris is always a good idea but it is even a better idea if there are no train strikes around. If there’s a transportation strike, France can wait.

» Be Flexible with your travel dates. If you were thinking about visiting Paris (or France) but you have not booked yet, avoid traveling to Paris during French train strike dates.

Actually, the SNCF website usually does not allow any more bookings during French train strike dates.

» Consider Other Options, like traveling to /from Paris or France by plane or with your own car if you are traveling from the neighboring countries.

Click here to find cheap flights to Paris 

» France by Car. If you were planning a trip around France by train, you can replace the trains with a rental car. Touring France by car is a fantastic option because it is easier to go off the tourist path.

Click here to rent a car with RentalCars

YOU HAVE BOOKED YOUR TRAIN TICKETS TO /FROM PARIS

If you have booked your train during French train strike dates please don’t panic!

» First of all, check on the SNCF website the France train strike schedule, if your train is canceled or not. To do this click on “Train Number”, enter your train number (you can find this information on your train ticket), and then add your travel date. The system will tell you immediately the status of your train.

» If your train is not canceled don’t worry! Perhaps there will be some disruptions or delays but you should be ok.

» If your train is canceled, SNCF proposes different solutions:

  • You can exchange your train ticket at no extra cost. Just follow the instructions on the page and, very important, verify before the last click that you don’t have to pay anything.
  • You can cancel your trip and get a refund. If for any reason your ticket is stated as “non-refundable” or the website does not propose you a total refund (please verify this before the last click), contact them directly with your ticket reference number.
  • If you booked your train with Ouigo trains, contact them directly for an exchange or refund.

5. Traveling to France during Air Strikes in France

Air France Strikes

AIR STRIKE DESCRIPTION: currently, there are no air French air strikes planned in France.


5a. What to Do during Air France Strikes

GOOD TO KNOW: Many Air France flights operate on share code with other air companies (HOP!, KLM, Delta…). Air France flights operated by an aircraft and a crew other than that of Air France might not be affected by this Air France strike.

On the other hand, if one of these other companies (HOP!, KLM, Delta…) is operating on share code with Air France and they are using Air France crew or Air France aircraft, these flights could be impacted.

Check your e-ticket to understand who is operating your flight. Air France? Somebody else on share code with Air France? Check their website and, if your flight is affected, see what re-booking  /cancellation options they offer.

YOU HAVE NOT BOOKED YOUR FLIGHT TO PARIS WITH AIR FRANCE YET

» Be flexible with your travel dates. If you were thinking about flying to Paris with Air France but you did not book your flights yet, avoid traveling to Paris during Air France strike dates.

» Consider other air companies to avoid eventual delays or cancellations.

YOU HAVE BOOKED YOUR FLIGHT TO PARIS WITH AIR FRANCE ALREADY

First of all, take your e-ticket and check your flight status here to see if your flight is affected by the Air France strike or not. To do this, introduce your flight number and your travel date. The system will tell you immediately if your flight is delayed or canceled.

During Air France strikes you can anticipate, postpone, and cancel your trip easily online. 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, KLM, or HOP! flights.

5b. What to Do during Other French Air Strikes in France

Transportation Paris Airport to City

This chapter is dedicated to those strikes by French air companies (other than Air France) flying from /to France.

Each flight company manages airstrikes differently but the process to follow in case of strikes is always the same: visit its website, check if your flight is affected and if so, follow their instructions for a change or refund.

5c. What to Do during French Air Traffic Control Strike Dates

GOOD TO KNOW: France is the country with the highest number of air traffic controller strikes in the last five years, with 95 days of strike between 2010 and 2015.

These are the worst transportation in France strikes, with hundreds of flights from /to France delayed or canceled. Also, air traffic controllers strikes in France affect flights crossing the French airspace even if they are not flying from /to France. Flights crossing the French airspace might be delayed or re-routed due to the reduced number of planes that could be handled by the limited french air traffic controllers.

In other words: French Air Traffic Control Strikes mean chaos!

What to do during a French Air Traffic Control Strikes in Paris or France? We recommend following the France strike news, monitor your flight on the air company’s website, and consider their proposed options to change /refund your tickets.

5d. Are you Entitled to Compensation if your Flight is Cancelled or Delayed by French Strikes?

European Regulation EC261 covers delays (3h+ delay at the final destination), cancellations, and denied boarding. It applies to:

  • Flights departing in Europe regardless of the airline (French overseas territories included).
  • Flights flying into Europe on a European carrier.

Non-EU-citizens or business travelers can also apply for flight compensation if they meet one of the two cases above.

Airlines are not always obligated to offer compensation following a strike because strikes are usually considered to be ‘extraordinary circumstances’. These are situations beyond the control of the airline and can include adverse weather conditions as well as certain strike action.

But when a flight is delayed or canceled due to strike action taking place by the airline’s own employees (eg pilots, airline staff), then the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers.

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+ of air passengers.

Click here to check if you are eligible for compensation 

6. RATP Paris Metro Strikes

GOOD TO KNOW: The metro in Paris is managed by the company RATP. RATP is responsible for most of the public transport in Paris, and in the Parisian region. RATP includes the Paris Mero, tram, bus services, and part of the Réseau Express Régional (RER) network.

RATP METRO STRIKE PARIS DESCRIPTION: currently, there are no RATP strikes planned in Paris.


6a. How to Get from Airport to your Hotel during a RATP Strike in Paris

Transportation from Airport to Paris

GOOD TO KNOW: The line from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris city center and beyond to Paris Orly Airport is operated half by SNCF (from CDG Airport to Paris Gare du Nord) and half by RATP (from Paris Gare du Nord to Orly Airport and the end of the line). This means that when SNCF or RATP are on strike, this connection is disrupted or suspended.

Train Connection CDG Airport to Paris
Train Connection Paris CDG Airport – Paris

ALLOW EXTRA TIME TO TRAVEL FROM PARIS TO AIRPORT

During a transportation strike, Paris will be served by fewer trains, tramways, and buses running. Also, the train interconnection (RATP – SNCF) at Gare du Nord might be suspended.

In any case, expect the working trains or buses to be cramped to the point to let them go and wait for the next one.

Check RER B’s schedule and the specific metro line or bus line schedules during the strike before leaving your hotel and allow extra time to reach the airport.

CONSIDER PRIVATE /SHARED AIRPORT TRANSFERS

During the last Paris transport strikes, taxis were working just fine but the taxi request was much higher than the offer and it was necessary to book their services well in advance.

Get ready for higher prices on services like Uber. During the transportation strike of September 13, the prices for both Kapten and Uber were reported as being 2-2.5 x normal rate when people were able to secure rides.

Book an airport transfer and avoid the strikes hassle. The good thing about Paris airport transfers is that their price does not change because of a strike AND their service is not affected by the Paris strikes. Whatever happens during a transportation strike in Paris, your driver will be there at the airport or your hotel waiting for you.

We like  Welcome ‘s transfer services for private transfers, Welcome has good cars and the best English speaking drivers in Paris. 

Other transfer options:

» Book a shared transportation service with Get Your Guide. This option only costs 6€ more than the Airport-Paris ticket and avoids you all the strikes hassle.TIP: We recommend booking these services in advance, especially during the Christmas holidays. Christmas in Paris and the last days of the year are peak season in Paris, with many people traveling.

CONSIDER A PRIVATE TRANSFER AIRPORT – DISNEYLAND PARIS

Book an airport transfer and avoid the strikes hassle. The last thing you want to do after a long flight is to fight for getting a bus or a train to Disneyland Paris, especially if you are traveling with kids, seniors, or a lot of luggage.

The good thing about Paris airport transfers is that their service is not affected by the Paris strikes. Whatever happens during a transportation strike in Paris, your driver will be there waiting for you.

We like  Welcome ‘s transfer services for private transfers, Welcome has good cars and the best English speaking drivers in Paris. 

BUY THE PARIS CITY PASS, WITH SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS + AIRPORT TRANSFER

Paris City Pass

If you are considering the purchase of a Paris Tourist Pass, have a look at the Paris City Pass.

The Paris City Pass is like a magic wand for Paris. Apart from the skip-the-line tickets to the Louvre Museum and Montparnasse Tower, the pass comes with a FREE airport transfer from Charles de Gaulle or Orly to the city center, plus a 3-day valid Metro card.

Finally, the Paris City Pass includes a Seine River cruise and a 20% discount on Paris top tourist attractions.

Find more information and buy your Paris City Pass with Airport Transfer

FLYING EARLY IN THE MORNING? CONSIDER A HOTEL NEAR THE AIRPORT WITH SHUTTLE SERVICE

If your flight is leaving Paris early in the morning, have a look at the hotels near your Paris airport, at least for the last night.

Sleeping in hotels near the airport eliminates the stress of having to wake up early in the morning and the transportation hassle during a strike day in Paris.

Another advantage of hotels close to Paris airports is that they usually propose very competitive prices because most tourists opt for a hotel located in the city.

Finally, most of these hotels also provide a free airport pickup /drop-off if you book it in advance.

Here’s the list of our favorite hotels near the Paris Airports, all with FREE airport shuttle service:


IN CASE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE THE RER TRAIN AIRPORT – CITY DURING A RATP STRIKE

If you feel adventurous and want to travel from airport to your hotel during a transportation strike, you need to check 2 things beforehand:

» Is the interconnection SNCF – RATP suspended? You will find this information at the beginning of chapter 6. When the interconnection is suspended at Gare du Nord, there is always SNCF or RATP staff wearing yellow vests (but these ones are kind people!) to tell travelers where to go to proceed with their journey. Sounds complicated? Not really, but it is annoying to go upstairs or downstairs, especially if you are carrying big suitcases or backpacks.

» Is the closest metro station to your hotel open? During transportation strikes, some metro stations may be closed so make sure you know where to stop to reach your hotel before taking the metro.

6b. How to Get from Train Station to your Hotel during RATP Paris Strikes

Train stations in Paris are all within the city so in normal circumstances you are going to take the metro to reach your hotel. However, during a RATP strike, metros will be less frequent, more crowded and some metro stations may be closed.

CONSIDER A HOTEL NEAR YOUR TRAIN STATION

If you can change your booking, we recommend looking for a hotel near your train station, a hotel that you can reach on foot. Pack light and save time and lots of stress with a hotel conveniently located near your train station. This will be especially helpful when you need to take the train back home: you don’t want to miss your train!

Hotels located at less than 1 Km from Gare du Nord:


Hotels located at less than 1 Km from Gare de l’Est:


Hotels located at less than 1 Km from Gare de Lyon:

6c. How to Get around Paris during RATP Paris Transport Strikes

Strikes Paris
Monday, 9th December. People waiting to go down to the platforms on line 7

BE FLEXIBLE

During a Paris Metro strike, there will be fewer trains running so the waiting time between trains will be longer and the metro platforms will be more crowded.

If you are traveling around Paris during Paris Metro strikes, be flexible AND patient. Avoid transportation peak hours (from 8.30 am to 9.30 am and from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm) and open your mind to other transportation options or to change your sightseeing plans.

WALK, WALK AND WALK

Walking Distances in Paris from Châtelet
Walking Distances in Paris from Châtelet

If the weather in Paris is good, we suggest walking as much as you can. Walking times between distant points within Paris are not long and in many cases, walking distances between metro stations are usually less than a 10-minute walk. 

TIP: Check out this metro map, with the walking distances between metro stations.

CONSIDER OTHER TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

If you are staying in the central arrondissements of Paris and the weather is good, you can also consider other alternatives to the metro, tram, or buses. These alternatives include Paris by bike, walking (walking is great in Paris!), or electric kick scooters for adults.

Click here to rent your bike in Paris!

CONSIDER A GUIDED TOUR OUT OF PARIS WITH PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION

What to do in Paris if you cannot move around? If you were considering to see something else than Paris, a guided day tour with transportation can be a great idea during a day of transportation strike in Paris.

The most popular day trips from Paris are covered by all the tour companies in the city so prices are usually very competitive. Also, some of the guided tours come with pick up /drop off at your hotel.

Check out the most popular Paris day trips

7. Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) in Paris Strikes

Paris stations closed

GILETS JAUNES DEMONSTRATIONS DESCRIPTION: currently, there are no Gilets Jaunes demonstrations planned in Paris.


7a. How to Get around Paris during Gilets Jaunes Demonstrations

Gilets Jaunes demonstrations usually take place on Saturdays, in central places like Concorde, or Champs Elysées, but also on the outskirts of Paris and on the main road accesses to Paris.

There are no transportation strikes in France or in Paris directly linked to Gilets Jaunes but some streets of Paris or roads around Paris might be blocked to transit because of the Gilets Jaunes. What does it mean?

» It means that the Paris bus services and especially the bus services to the airport might be disrupted and the itinerary slightly modified to avoid the blocked streets or roads.

» It means that some central metro stations in Paris (e.g. Concorde, Champs Elysées) might be closed during these demonstrations in Paris.

TIP: Allow more time for your travels inside Paris but especially on the way to the airport

Did you find our Strikes in France 2020 – 2021 and Strikes in Paris 2020 – 2021 article useful? If so, share it with your friends through your favorite social media, thanks! 

Click here to read more Paris Tips

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Join France Bucket List – Our France Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join France Bucket List our France Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to Paris or France!Some interesting articles in the blog

France Bucket List - Facebook Group
  • Read why Paris is always a good idea here
  • Explore Paris by Arrondissement here
  • Check what to eat in Paris here


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  • Jim
    05/04/2018 at 7:12 am

    Hi,

    I need to leave from Paris to Bern, Swiss on 28May, as everything has been booked and can not be canceled, what is your suggestion as we hit the strike day? Thank you very much.

    • WorldInParis
      05/06/2018 at 11:20 am


      Hi Jim! Are you traveling by train or with Air France? Strike days does not mean that everything is blocked. Only a few flights or trains are canceled. The first thing to do is to check if your train or flight is affected and if so, check with the company what options you have. Good luck!

  • Mari
    04/30/2018 at 2:27 pm

    Would like to know if buses run from Paris to the Disneyland Park. If so will buses run during strike days?
    Thanks

    • WorldInParis
      05/01/2018 at 5:21 pm

      Hey Mari. Are these buses private buses or public buses? Do you know the company name? If so, the best way to find it out is by checking their website

  • Jene Studer
    04/16/2018 at 1:38 am

    Roissey Bus is not affected by strike is it? How about HOP Airlines?

  • Karma
    04/14/2018 at 4:47 pm

    Hi thanku for ur tips. We are travelling to Paris on 23 rd April strike day , will our connecting flight to Nice be affected .thanku

    • WorldInParis
      04/14/2018 at 7:06 pm

      Are your connecting flight with Air France? If so, check if that specific flight is concerned or not (it is explained in the post). If it is not an Air France flight there should be any problem.

  • Uditha
    04/11/2018 at 6:04 pm

    hi,
    thanks for detailed guide. We are supposed to travel on 18th April which seems to be a strike date. what will be best way to reach hotel ? will metros work in strike days and what is best option to travel within city during strike dates ? also we plan for disneyland and versailes visits. if any of those collide with a strike date , is there any alternate cost effective options to travel to these attractions ?

    • WorldInParis
      04/12/2018 at 8:07 am

      Hi Uditha,
      You will find on the article some alternatives to public transportation:
      -private or shared transfer from airport to the hotel (we give a couple of options, links on the post)
      -if you are considering to buy skip the line tickets, consider the Paris Sightseeing Pass which also includes transfers airport-city center-airport in the price (link on the post)
      -no problem with metros as long as you don’t use them during the rush hours
      -day trips can be tricky, especially because we want to leave early in the morning and this is the worst time to travel during strikes. Prioritize days without strikes, or consider guided day tours (Versailles)

      • Uditha
        04/12/2018 at 8:10 am

        thank you very much for comprehensive answer.

  • imports news
    04/10/2018 at 5:10 pm

    Amazing! Its genuinely remarkable article, I have got much
    clear idea regarding from this article.

  • ANITHA DILIPAN
    04/10/2018 at 12:36 pm

    We have booked train tickets from paris to zurich on the 28th April, which looks like is not gonna work. Can you suggest anything else. Journey by bus seems very tedious and by flight very expensive. 🙁

    • WorldInParis
      04/10/2018 at 9:00 pm

      Can’t you change your travel dates? There is also the shared car option (bla bla car)

      • ANITHA DILIPAN
        04/15/2018 at 1:08 pm

        We have booked the bus. Travel dates not in a position to change becos all accomodation fixed and we are travelling to other countries as well. So looks like have to bear with the long bus journey. 🙁

        • WorldInParis
          04/15/2018 at 3:42 pm

          Sorry to hear that. Good luck! 🙂

  • Robin
    04/09/2018 at 5:31 pm

    I’m supposed to be flying into Paris on May 8th and taking a flight to Tel Aviv that day, then flying back to Paris on May 16th for 4 days. Have you heard anything about Air France strikes for the month of May yet?

    • WorldInParis
      04/10/2018 at 9:02 pm

      No sorry. I update the post as soon as I I know something else. Stay tuned…

      • Robin
        04/11/2018 at 1:41 pm

        Thank you, I’ll keep checking here. This site is awesome!

        • WorldInParis
          04/12/2018 at 8:08 am

          Glad it was helpful 🙂

  • Celine
    04/06/2018 at 9:46 pm

    Wow! This site is fantastic. We’re are a bit freaked out, having booked flights and hotels for smack in the middle of the strike, but now we feel more hope! Thank you so much for the comprehensive, practical help! (Geee, I wonder if anything has changed in Paris since I was there at 16 in 1970. If the McDonald’s is gone, I’ll be very happy!)

    • WorldInParis
      04/07/2018 at 7:44 pm

      McDonald’s is still there, and (#spoiler) there is even worse!

  • Chitra
    04/06/2018 at 12:16 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the information. I will be travelling to Paris in the month of May this year. I wanted to know if the Paris metro also is on strike?
    Thanks!

    • WorldInParis
      04/07/2018 at 7:45 pm

      Yes but nothing to worry if you are traveling out of the rush hours

      • Janos
        04/10/2018 at 8:39 pm

        Might be i am wrong, but should i understand the metros don’t operate on strike days?

        • WorldInParis
          04/10/2018 at 8:58 pm

          Yes, they do operate but there are many metros and more cramped. Honestly, so far it was OK with metros as long as you stay out of the rush hours

  • Kelly
    04/05/2018 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for your general tips. If I have an Air France flight already booked for Saturday, May 19 at 1pm and a hotel already booked near the Eiffel Tower, what do you suggest is the best way for me to get to the airport during the strike and how long do you think it’ll take to get to the airport? Any advice would be appreciated!

    • WorldInParis
      04/12/2018 at 9:32 am

      Hi Kelly, somehow I missed your questions! We recommend shared or private transportation from the airport to the hotel. There are a couple of options in the post, if you may want to check. By public transportation, during a normal day, I’d say around 1hour (RER B + metro). During a strike day, it can be anything. If you take a transfer, my GPS says it’s a 37 mins ride from Airport to Eiffel Tower but it also depends on the traffic and if you take a private or shared transfer with other people.

      • Kelly
        04/14/2018 at 4:21 pm

        Thanks for the advice. We ended up booking a private car to take us to and from the airport. Fingers crossed!

        • WorldInParis
          04/14/2018 at 7:07 pm

          Good luck! 🙂

  • Veronika Primm
    04/05/2018 at 10:36 am

    This is so insane with the strikes, isn’t it? I’m so glad I don’t have any travels planned in France in the upcoming months. Good luck dealing with all that!

    • WorldInParis
      04/07/2018 at 7:46 pm

      I wanted to travel but planning a trip during these months is too hard 🙁