French general strike hits London travellers


housands of UK travellers were hit by disruption caused by the start of a general strike in France on Tuesday.

Dozens of flights and trains were cancelled and ferries were delayed due to French workers taking industrial action in protest at President Emmanuel Macron’s situation to raise the pension age from 62 to 64.

Air traffic controllers and rail staff were among those who walked out.

EasyJet and British Airways cancelled at least 18 and 13 flights respectively between the UK and France, affecting passengers flying to and from Bristol, Gatwick, Heathrow and Luton Airports.

Air France axed four flights between Heathrow and Paris.

Under consumer law, affected passengers were entitled to be re-booked on to alternative flights or offered a refund, but will not be eligible for compensation because the cause of the disruption is outside the airlines’ control.

A easyJet spokeswoman said: “Impacted customers are being notified in advance and offered the option to change their flight for free or receive a refund.

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

Eurostar cancelled 16 of the 26 trains scheduled between London St Pancras and Paris.

A further six due to sprint between London St Pancras and Brussels were also cancelled.

Eurostar warned passengers that the general strike in France “could extend beyond” Tuesday.

It will “involve disruption across multiple sectors, including national rail services and it will maintain an impact on the availability of some of our crew”, the company added.

Ferry passengers travelling between Dover and Calais were told to expect disruption on Tuesday.

P&O Ferries advised that “all non-essential travel is rescheduled to an alternative date”.

Its sailings were delayed by up to 65 minutes.