france-strike:-travellers-stranded-as-trains-and-flights-cancelled

Thousands of British travellers have had their travel plans wrecked as the nationwide strike in France intensifies.

For the past five weeks, transport to and within France has been disrupted in coordinated stoppages in protest against proposed pension reforms.

Thursday has been chosen as a day of action, with more workers walking out than usual.

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While no Eurostar staff are involved, the cross-Channel train operator has been hit by restrictions on the number of trains able to run on the high-speed network.

The operator has cancelled eight trains between London St Pancras and Paris, and a single round trip to Brussels.

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Passengers can be transferred to alternative trains free of charge or receive a full refund.

Travellers booked on the weekend overnight ski trains to the French Alps have been told they will need to leave work early on Friday 10 January and pay for an extra night in a hotel.

The usual Saturday night Eurostar train from Bourg St-Maurice to London has also been switched to a Sunday daytime service.

Thousands of airline passengers have been hit by a walk-out by air-traffic controllers. 

British Airways has cancelled 12 flights between Heathrow and France: three round-trips to Toulouse, and return flights to Lyon,  Marseilles and Nice.

BA has also axed a return service to Geneva and to Barcelona, because these pass through French airspace.

Toulouse is particularly badly affected, with easyJet grounding a round trip from Gatwick.

Air France plans to run almost all its flights, apart from a 10 per cent reduction in domestic services. 

The French airline said: “Last-minute delays and cancellations cannot be excluded.

“Our teams are fully mobilised and will do their utmost to assist you and minimise the impact of this industrial action on your travel plans.”

Passengers who want to switch to later days to avoid the risk of disruption may do so free of charge.

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