Brits face travel chaos due to French air traffic control strikes

Brit holidaymakers returning from Easter breaks face fresh travel chaos due to French air traffic control strikes with BA cancelling or delaying flights and easyJet and Ryanair warning of flying schedule disruption

  • Passengers have reported cancellations and delays across the majority of flights
  • Have you been affected by the strikes? Email [email protected] 

Britons are enduring Easter travel chaos after becoming stranded in France due to air traffic control strikes – with BA cancelling and delaying flights while easyJet and Ryanair warn of disruption.

Passengers have reported last-minute cancellations and significant delays across the vast majority of flights both sides of the Channel.

British Airways is understood to have cancelled 18 flights today and easyJet a further six, impacting hundreds of passengers, with the disruption likely to continue through the duration of the walkouts.

The industrial action has caused the main routes to and from France to be placed out of use, meaning all flights across French airspace have been impacted. Some flights have been cancelled, while the majority are having to use longer and more congested routes to get to their destinations.

easyJet has also reported disruptions, warning passengers that its service in and out of France is ‘significantly reduced’, while Ryanair has been forced to cancel 3,400 flights in the first three months of the year.

Have you been affected by the strikes? Email [email protected] 

British Airways is understood to have cancelled 18 flights today and easyJet a further six, impacting hundreds of passengers

British holidaymakers say they have been left ‘stranded’ and having to instead book the Eurostar at an ‘extortionate’ price just to get home, with others facing a desperate search to find accommodation for the night.

Taking to social media, one said: ‘British Airways, So, you canceled my flights for today, I can’t find any customer service at CDG, I can’t get in touch by phone, and I want to know where I’m going to sleep tonight.’

Another said: ‘easyJet PLEASE sort your phones and app out. Just arrived at Bristol airport and our flights are cancelled but we can’t rebook because no one is here.

‘Our children’s long awaited Christmas present of a trip to Disney is now ruined. Many sad families here.’

A third added: ‘Appalling treatment by British Airways. Flights from Paris to London cancelled last minute today. 

‘Rescheduled for 24 hrs later. Refund option not working, staff not taking calls. Daughter stranded on her own so booked Eurostar at extortionate price. What’s your advice?’

Other passengers said  they had been delayed more than three hours without any vouchers for food or had been given no notice their flight had been cancelled.

A BA spokesman said: ‘Like other airlines, due to the continued French Air Traffic Control industrial action we’ve been forced to make a small number of adjustments to our schedule. We’re sorry for the disruption to our customers’ travel plans.

‘We’ve contacted affected customers to inform them of their rights and offer them options including a full refund or rebooking onto an alternative flight.’

A statement from easyJet added: ‘Due to national strike action in France impacting transport services including air traffic control on 13th April, airlines have been requested by the French authorities (DGAC) to make some cancellations to their flying programmes which means six flights to and from the UK will no longer be able to operate. 

‘Impacted customers have been notified in advance and offered the option to change their flight for free or receive a refund.

‘We advise all customers travelling on April 13 to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker on our mobile app or website for live updates. 

‘As national and local rail services may also be affected, we recommend passengers plan their journey in advance and to allow extra time for their journey to and from the airport.

‘While this is outside of our control, we would like to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience they may experience as a result of the strike action.’

Tension between airlines and French controllers has been a recurring issue but escalated this year as the controllers joined strikes over planned changes to the retirement age.

It comes as workers are mobilising against the flagship reform of Macron’s second term, which lifts the retirement age by two years to 64 and means that from 2027 workers will have to work for longer to receive full state pension benefits.

In France, air traffic controllers can retire at 57 and are exempt from Macron’s plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. But many are walking out ‘in solidarity’ with other sectors. 

Have you been affected by the strikes? Email [email protected] 

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