Protests and Strikes Across France Disrupt Travel and Daily Life

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Large-scale protests: Approximately 740,000 people across France are protesting against President Macron's new pension policy, which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64.
Widespread disruption: The protests are causing disruptions to public transportation, air travel, and daily life in major cities such as Paris, Lyon, Nantes, and Bordeaux.
Increased security measures: The French Interior Ministry has deployed 13,000 officers to contain the uprisings, and the U.S. Embassy in Paris has issued a demonstration alert.
Impact on tourism: Travelers may face disruptions, but major museums, attractions, and commercial businesses remain open. Air France plans to operate most flights, offering refunds or flight credits for cancellations.
Ongoing strikes: The protests are in response to pension reforms, with no indication that the government will abandon the initiative. Travelers are advised to prepare for disruptions and stay informed about planned industrial actions.

 

Approximately 740,000 people protested across France against President Emmanuel Macron’s new pension policy, which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Demonstrations have taken place in cities such as Paris, Lyon, Nantes, and Bordeaux.

The French Interior Ministry has deployed 13,000 officers across the country to contain the uprisings.

More protests are scheduled to take place on April 6, which could disrupt services like public transportation and air travel if union workers walk off the job.

Garbage Collectors End Strike

In Paris, garbage collectors ended their strike on Wednesday, which had been ongoing since March 6.

The strike was in response to their proposed retirement age being raised from 57 to 59.

Travel Advisory Issued by U.S. Embassy

The U.S. Embassy in Paris has issued a “demonstration alert” due to ongoing demonstrations in the city.

Reports of trash and vehicles being set on fire have been received.

The embassy warns that additional demonstrations could take place around Paris and in other major French cities.

The U.S. State Department’s France Travel Advisory remains at Level 2, advising travelers to exercise increased caution due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Air France has announced that it plans to operate all long-haul flights, all flights to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, and about 80 percent of flights between Paris-Orly and other French airports.

Strikes and Protests Affect Transportation and Tourism

Travelers to Paris and other French cities may face disruptions due to the protests.

Air France has announced that it plans to operate all long-haul flights, all flights to and from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, and about 80 percent of flights between Paris-Orly and other French airports.

Passengers experiencing flight cancellations can opt for a future flight credit or a full refund.

Major museums and attractions in Paris remain open during regular operating hours, but travelers should check daily for updates on opening hours and operations.

Stores, restaurants, and other commercial businesses are still open.

Protests and Strikes in Response to Pension Reforms

The current protests in France are a response to Macron’s government passing a bill without a vote in the Assemblée Nationale that raises the retirement age for most workers from 62 to 64 and requires citizens to have worked for at least 43 years to access a full pension.

The government has given no indication of abandoning the pension reform initiative, and the nationwide protests and strikes are expected to continue at least through the end of the month.

Preparing for Travel During Strikes

Travelers to Europe are advised to pack their patience and prepare for disruptions due to ongoing strikes.

It is important to stay informed about planned industrial actions and adjust travel plans accordingly.

In case of flight or train cancellations, airlines and train operators are obligated to arrange alternatives or issue refunds.

Purchasing a “through ticket” and travel insurance can provide additional protection for travelers.

Craig Miller

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