It looks like September will be a rough month for Air France. Pilot strike action continues to disrupt scheduled flights on France’s national carrier, and it was announced yesterday that disruptions would continue until at least September 30.
At this point, Air France can only attempt to publish its operational schedule 24 hours in advance, though it has applied to have special provisions enacted that would enable the airline to have information regarding the number of striking pilots at its disposal up to 48 hours early.
For river cruisers booked on Air France to fly to Europe in the next week to catch their ships, the outlook is not at all rosy. Air France is, at this point, highly recommending that passengers slated to travel on the carrier between now and the end of the month switch their travel plans to after October 17, 2014.
Once again, river cruisers may find themselves stuck with few options unless they have purchased expensive trip interruption / cancellation insurance at the time of booking.
It’s situations like the one currently befalling Air France that can make good travel agents worth their weight in gold. If you’ve booked with a travel agent and are ticketed on Air France in the coming days, it would be well worth your while to have your travel agent look into airfare alternatives.
If you’ve booked independently, call the airline right away to see if there’s anything they can do for you to salvage your voyage. Air France wants – and needs – to do right by affected guests in this situation, so you may have more wiggle room than with storm or snow events in getting the carrier to place you on a SkyTeam partner – like KLM – in order to reach your destination.
Here’s what Air France is currently suggesting for booked passengers – and it’s neither straightforward nor easy:
As far as September 24 and 25 are concerned, our flight schedule is updated. – Last minute disturbances are not excluded. – Before you go to the airport, it is recommended to verify the information on operated flights. Our flight schedule is updated 24h before the departure, in the “Flight schedules” section and on our mobile sites.
Our teams are fully mobilized and make their utmost to assist you and minimize the impact of this industrial action on your travel plans.
If you are traveling on a flight operated by Air France, we propose you to modify your departure to avoid the period from September 15th to 30th 2014, with the following conditions: – You may postpone your trip until October 16th, 2014 included, at no extra cost in the same cabin, on this website, in the “Review / modify your reservations” section, on our mobile sites or from your travel agent.
In case of rebooking on flight operated by Air France from today to September 30th, please note that our Flights Schedule is updated 24h before the flight departure. Cancellations are therefore still possible until this update. We highly recommend you to postpone your journey either on another flight on the day of your original journey, or after September 30th.
– To postpone your trip as from October 17th, 2014, to change your origin or destination or if you no longer wish to travel, you can benefit of non-refundable voucher valid one year on Air France or KLM. In this case, please contact your usual travel agent.
– If your flight is cancelled or delayed by more than 5 hours, you can also request the refund of your ticket via “Consult/modify my bookings” section or contact your usual travel agency. Please favour this option rather than a rebooking before September 30th.The important thing: even if your flight shows that it is currently on-schedule, start planning for the worst-case scenario. Doing so just might save your river cruise vacation.
We’ll have more updates on the continuing Air France strike as they become available.