Travel disruptions are like tax audits – you never want it to happen to you but there’s always a chance it could. If you are planning a trip to France within the next few months, be warned, you may have more than your usual share of travel disruption. Starting this month, the country’s transport workers are calling for strikes for two days out of five until June. That’s a lot of cancelled trains! Depending on the progress of the ongoing labor negotiations, the strikes may ease or intensify over the coming weeks. If you’re planning to go to France soon, read on for five tips to help you better manage your trip.
1. Pressed for time? Turn on your travel app notifications!
There’s an app for everything – even business travel. Connect to the local transport applications and turn on notifications for departure confirmations, delays, cancellations and refund eligibility. Egencia travelers have their own app to manage last-minute reservations, get notifications in real time on delays or flight cancellations, and even find practical alternatives for ground transport through Uber or Citymapper. Enabling alerts on your phone can help you get ahead of the crowd to easily make the changes you need. Need more support? The Egencia AssistMe feature of the app connects you to a team of travel consultants, ready to answer your call with one click!
2. Bookmark your travel provider’s site.
We know that half of business travelers like to turn to their device or assistance on the road. Getting the latest information on strike-related disruptions is easier than ever by consulting your travel provider’s website. Here are a few good ones to have on hand if you’re making your way to France:
- sncf.com for trains
- RATP for public transportation in Paris
- parisaeroport.fr or fr.flightware.com for airports
As you prepare for your trip to France, here are some extra insider tips:
- The national rail service, SNCF, updates its schedule at 5 p.m. the day before a planned strike day with any cancellations or time changes incurred due to the strike.
- Make sure your contact details are included in your reservation so the airline can contact you directly about changes in schedule. Airlines like Air France contact their travelers directly by email or SMS to warn them in case of cancellations or delays and offer them alternatives.
3.Update your traveler profile.
It’s helpful when your travel provider knows you and knows where you are. Updating your profile information with your travel agency or travel provider will help get you fast service when you need it. Egencia customer service is available 24/7 to assist travelers, wherever they are. When you book your trip in the Egencia platform, our travel consultants know who you are and where you are going as soon as they answer your call for help.
4. Adjust your attitude and bring on the bleisure.
Traveling is also about adopting the right attitude required in every situation! In the midst of travel disruption, delayed flights or cancelled trains, sometimes, the only thing you can do is wait. Arm yourself with patience and a Zen attitude, focusing on the pleasant part of your journey. We’ve found that 68 percent of our travelers extend at least one business trip a year for leisure, also known as “bleisure.” Why not use your downtime to sightsee, shop or try new restaurants while you’re in France? If you happen to be in Paris or nearby, click here for our city guide with dining recommendations and must-see attractions.
5. Postpone the trip if possible.
If you have some flexibility, the best way to decrease your chances of being affected by strikes is to reschedule your travel plans. Some airlines will allow you to travel at another time with no extra fees. With Egencia, it’s easy to rebook your flight with online air exchange. We also offer many hotel properties with free cancellation. Check the specific conditions with your travel provider, and plan your journey another day, if possible. See below for the calendar of planned French public transport strikes for April through June (days in red indicate planned strikes).