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French Air Traffic Controllers Striking Again Starting Tonight

March 30, 2016
5 min read
French Air Traffic Controllers Striking Again Starting Tonight
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Although there hasn't been a strike of US Air Traffic Controllers since 1981 — when 11,345 controllers were fired for refusing to return to work — today will mark the 43rd strike day since 2009 for French Air Traffic Controllers.

The strike is scheduled from 7pm Central Europe Time Wednesday until at least 6am CET Friday.

There is very little published about which flights will be affected by this strike. Thankfully, Air France reports that its long-haul flights to/from France and flights to/from Paris' main airport (CDG) won't be affected.

The latest strike caused over 1,000 cancellations and a lot of delayed flights. Image courtesy of FlightRadar24.
In addition to cancellations, the latest strike caused a lot of delayed flights as flights had to avoid French airspace. Image courtesy of FlightRadar24.

The latest French ATC strike — from March 20-22 — caused "over 1,000 flight cancellations and 500,000 minutes of delay" and affected over 1 million passengers, according to Airlines For Europe. And, the impact wasn't limited to flights to/from France, as flights had to awkwardly route around the uncontrolled France airspace.

Keep Europe Skies Open
Ryanair has launched a petition to try to prevent future Air Traffic Control strikes.

Want to take action on this situation? Ryanair has launched a petition to "Keep Europe's Skies Open," asking the European Commission from banning French ATC from striking.

Airline Travel Waivers

If you might be impacted by the strike, many airlines have set-up travel waivers to allow free rebooking:

American Airlines

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Airports affected:

  • Bordeaux, France (BOD)
  • Lyon, France (LYS)
  • Marseille Provence, France (MRS)
  • Nantes, France (NTE)
  • Nice, France (NCE)
  • Paris Charles De Gaulle, France (CDG)
  • Paris Orly, France (ORY)
  • Toulouse, France (TLS)

A one-time ticketing fee will be waived for travel changes if you:

  • Are traveling on an American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia flight.
  • Bought your original flight before March 29, 2016.
  • Are scheduled to travel March 31, 2016, to/through/from the affected airport.
  • Are flexible to travel March 30 - April 7, 2016.

Please call to change your ticket.

Air France

If you hold an Air France ticket on a domestic flight for a travel on March 31, 2016 and if you wish to modify your journey, we propose you the following possibilities, valid until April 02, 2016:

- You may postpone your trip until April 02, 2016 included, at no extra cost in the same ticketed cabin.

You can make these changes on this website*, in the "Your reservations" section, on our mobile sites or from your travel agent.

- To postpone your trip beyond April 02, 2016, 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 or Hop.


If your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, you are entitled to a refund. Even if your flight is not canceled, you may make a one-time change to your ticket without fee if you are scheduled to travel to, from, or through the following destination(s) on Delta, Delta Connection®, or Delta-coded flights.

Airports affected:

  • Paris Orly, France (ORY)
  • Marseille, France (MRS)


Due to a general strike in France with participation of the French Air Traffic Control from 330 March 2016 19:00 local time until 01 April 2016 06:00 local time the following Lufthansa flights between Munich and Marseille on 31 March 2016 had to be cancelled:

  • LH2260
  • LH2261
  • LH2264
  • LH2265


Because of a strike of Air Traffic Controllers in France, some of our flight schedules are temporarily disrupted. If you have booked a flight to, from or via one of the below mentioned locations on Wednesday 30 March 2016 or Thursday 31 March 2016, please see below rebook and refund options we can offer you. These options are only valid, if you have a ticket originally issued on or before Wednesday 30 March 2016.

  • Paris (CDG)
  • Orly (ORY)
  • Lyon (LYS)
  • Montpellier (MPL)
  • Nice (NCE)
  • Barcelona (BCN)
  • Madrid (MAD)
  • Bilbao (BIO)
  • Lisbon (LIS)

You can here check your flight status or view your flight details in My Trip. We are doing our very best to help you on your way again.

As of publishing, British Airways, Ryanair, United and XL Airways haven't issued travel waivers for this strike.

Make sure to use your Citi Prestige to book flights for trip delay/cancellation insurance.
Make sure to use your Citi Prestige to book flights for trip delay/cancellation insurance.

If your flight is delayed, make sure to check the benefits on the credit card you used to book the flight. If you used a Citi Prestige card to pay for your ticket, you may be covered for "up to $500 of necessary expenses" for a flight delay of just three hours!

Will you be affected by this France Air Traffic Control strike?

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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