SNCF strikes latest

Discussion in 'International Transport' started by peteb, 14 Dec 2019.

  1. peteb

    peteb Member

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    Not sure if there's a thread covering this generally? My son travelled Geneva to Lyon yesterday 13/12/2019, trains replaced by bus service, not a usual SNCF bus. Onward to St Etienne was possible by train but on the Lyon to St Etienne route it appears to be peak hours running only on weekdays.
     
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  3. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    Hope Eurostar will run aus normal on the 31st.
     
  4. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    Last edited: 16 Dec 2019
  5. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    They're operating 90% of trains at the moment, and have been for the last week or so. Having looked at the list of the cancellations recently, it seems that they're cancelling the same trains from one day to the next so that will give you an indication of whether your train is vulnerable for the chop.
     
  6. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    Eurostar are now advising about cancellations until the 18th December, rather than the 17th. I'm travelling on that day to Brussels, but thankfully my morning train from Ashford hasn't been cancelled!

    I really hope the disruption doesn't get extended again - I'm travelling back on the Friday 20th on the 17.56 from Brussels to Ashford - that train won't run until the 19th so if the disruption does get extended, that train is likely to be cancelled. Bit of a worry!
     
  7. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    Useful updates from SNCF today (Mon 16 Dec). They're able to give a bit more advance notice about what will run over the Christmas period - for TGVs anyway.
    • Depuis le 13 décembre, la circulation des TGV visibles sur nos différents canaux d’information et de vente est garantie pour des voyages jusqu’au mercredi 18 décembre inclus.
    • Le mardi 17 décembre, la circulation des trains sera garantie pour les vendredi 20, samedi 21 et dimanche 22 décembre.
    • A partir du jeudi 19 décembre, la circulation des trains sera garantie pour les journées des 23, 24, 25 et 26 décembre.
    Translation

    If a TGV is showing as available to book on our website, we guarantee it will run, as long as you check
    • on 13 Dec for travel up to 18 Dec
    • on 17 Dec for 20-22 Dec
    • on 19 Dec for 23-26 Dec
     
  8. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    Yes. SNCF are now quoting 2/3 Eurostars running, which is down from 9/10 (although looking at Eurostar, it doesn't look anything like as bad as that).

    Certainly looks like your train is a possibility for the chop, so it's worth planning now for what your rebooking preference might. Go earlier or later to St Pancras and catch Southeastern back to Ashford?
     
  9. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    Eurostar disruption now extended yet again to the 19th. It seems pretty likely to me it will be extended again to the 20th, meaning my 17.56 train from Brussels is very likely to be cancelled.
    I probably won't find out if it's been cancelled or not until I'm abroad tomorrow, so it will be fun trying to get good WiFi or data to try and sort it out on my smartphone. Hopefully I will just be able to get on to another train, but only if there are enough seats, and only if Eurostar can deal with my request amongst the hundreds of others. I'm also staying in Aachen, which adds to the difficulty. It's these kind of worries I really don't need when trying to enjoy my short break.

    Of course my problems are nothing like the nightmare it is for people like Paris commuters....
     
  10. TRAX

    TRAX Member

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    The strike is extended to at least the 24th.
     
  11. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    Might try and book a flight from Brussels to London then, and get my money back for the Eurostar. I don't fancy my chances of trying to get put onto another train when so many other people will be trying to do the same thing.
     
  12. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    Now currently wondering about booking a flight (then cancelling the Eurostar to get the money back), or pay the £30 to change my ticket for another train. However that is depending that the same trains will be cancelled on Friday (which seems likely, but who knows, they could rearrange things). I wouldn't want to change my train, only for them to cancel the one I've changed the ticket to!

    Or I wait until they announce the cancellations, and they try and change it for free, if there is availability and if they are not inundated with requests, all while being stuck in Brussels. Hmmm.
     
  13. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    I'm travelling on the regularly condemned 1258 St Pancras to Brussels with an Interrail on the 28th but frankly any train after 1258 is fine by me. I'm in Standard Premier so hoping a seat will be available somewhere.

    Stupidly however on January 12, I'm travelling Strasbourg-Paris then Paris-London on the 13th. There's a distinct temptation to bin the whole lot off and avoid France entirely there, lose £84 on my hotel and chalk it up to experience.
     
  14. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    alex397 - Eurostar are currently offering free changes for travel booked up to the 20th.
     
  15. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    Thank you mad-rich, but looks like I won't need to now .

    Disruption for the 20th has been announced, but it's just affecting four Paris trains (it has been decreasing everyday). This means the 17.56 from Brussels will now run. I feel very lucky as it is the first day this week that this train will run!

    Before it was announced though, a staff member said if it was cancelled, they would have put me on the 17.00 from Brussels which stops at Ebbsfleet, then give me a voucher for the high speed back to Ashford. They seemed confident that would work too. Good customer service I thought.
     
  16. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    Eurostar now have cancellation lists and free exchanges covering the period up to 28/12.
     
  17. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    A request - if there's anybody who has a Eurostar booking between now and 28/12, could you have a look at Manage My Booking and see what the terms of change are.

    Completely fee-free changes to any train on your route, or do they just waive the change fee (but charge you the fare difference)?

    Can you re-book within the period up to the 28th, or are they forcing you to re-book outside the strike period?

    Can you switch between Paris/ Brussels service, or are you stuck with your original route?

    Many thanks. Just trying to plan ahead for my journey to the Alps on 1 Jan. There are some workable options, but most rely on taking an earlier Eurostar and at the moment that would be ~£70 per person.

    __

    For what it's worth, SNCF seems to be promising completely free changes/ refunds up to 5 Jan for anything booked on their website. My existing booking for the Paris-Briançon sleeper (booked on Raileurope) appears to have become refundable too, even though it's not been cancelled (yet...).
     
  18. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    If Eurostar will not run in the 31st, I would have to book a last minute flight :(
     
  19. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    It looks like only a few cancellations per day on Eurostar at the moment. With free rebooking.

    I have a backup flight booked on BA (using Avios) that I can cancel 24 hours before departure.
     
  20. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    I may be the only person reading this thread ;) but in case it's useful to others...

    Eurostar Rebooking

    My departure (1 Jan) is now within the strike waiver period. Although my train isn't cancelled, they're allowing free rebooking onto pretty much any Paris service. Any day in the next 180 days, including within the strike period. However:

    Original route only - they won't let me change to Lille
    One rebooking only - if I make a change today and subsequently find it doesn't connect with an SNCF service, tough
    Must travel in the original direction Paris-London-Paris

    The policy is not a published anywhere. I had to resort to DMs on twitter to get this information out of them.

    I will leave it until the last possible minute, when I have some certainty about which SNCF services are running, (but will there be any availability on the Eurostar?) but I suspect I will fly this time and rebook Eurostar for a trip in the summer.
     
  21. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Member

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    There also seems to be a limited effect in Thalys. Is the website info reliable as to cancelations?
     
  22. williamn

    williamn Member

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    Is the strike continuing into January? Am supposed to be travelling Paris to Geneva on 4th...
     
  23. alex397

    alex397 Member

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    So far disruption is up to the 3rd Jan for Eurostar. I'd keep checking their service updates page though in case that changes
     
  24. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    How reliable are the cancellation schedules currently posted in the sense of being the only cancellations on the day? I'm travelling to Brussels on Wednesday, and back on Friday and while they're not currently shown as being affected, I'd rather take advantage of the free cancellation if there's a serious risk of disruption to what is a short trip.
     
  25. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    International trains seem to be worse affected than domestic French services. TGV Lyria is 1 train in 3 at the moment, so you should bank on yours being cancelled.

    You can check if it's running over the next few days here: https://www.sncf.com/en/booking-itinerary/search-train-number but I don't think they have anything firm for the 4th yet.
     
  26. mad_rich

    mad_rich Member

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    On Eurostar? I think they're pretty consistently keeping to the revised schedule. If your train is not on the cancellations list a few days out, you're probably OK.

    Do note that they're not offering free cancellation unless your train has actually been cancelled. They're offering free rebooking. And it's a one-time thing only. You can't change your mind again in a couple of days.

    I couldn't trust the SNCF schedules enough, so I have cancelled my SNCF trains, and 'parked' my Eurostar booking - to be rescheduled for another trip any time in the next 180 days, choose the dates within 60 days.
     
  27. scarby

    scarby Member

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    Talks are not set to resume - who knows why - until January 7, so unless there is an unexpected development, then yes.
     
  28. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    This was the experience of a friend who travelled to/from Paris either side of Christmas. Their Eurostars weren't cancelled and ran unaffected by the strikes.

    However, on arrival at Gare du Nord they had a 70 min wait for a taxi followed by a 50 min journey to get as far as Austerlitz.

    So even if Eurostar is unaffected, be aware that making a connection across Paris can be difficult and unpredictable.

    I reckon you've made the right choice!
     
  29. sprunt

    sprunt Member

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    Yes, Eurostar. Thanks.
     
  30. williamn

    williamn Member

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    Not sure if the strike is easing a little but the TGV I am supposed to be taking to Geneva ran today and is scheduled to run tomorrow. Fingers crossed...
     
  31. mds86

    mds86 Member

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    Has anyone been successful in receiving a refund for a cancelled Out/SNCF train by claiming after the date of travel or for having to purchase a higher priced ticket for another train? I was on holiday in Italy over the New Year and was due to travel on the 07:39 from Turin to Paris on Sunday 5th January. On New Years Eve I had an email saying the train was cancelled but I never picked it up until the Saturday. Only having my phone with me I thought I would leave claiming for a refund until after I got home but I'm not sure how to do this. After searching for other rail connections to get back to London on Sunday, I ended up having to fly and also forfeit my Paris to London Eurostar ticket. When I did get home, the ticket that was shown on the SNCF website now seems to have lost the ability to be refunded even though the train never ran in the first place!

    On my outward journey I was booked on a Paris to Strasbourg train on the 28th December and that was also cancelled but as I was at home, I was able to find space on another train that day for a higher fare but I have also not been repaid the difference in price yet. I sent all this information on a message to them via their website but have yet to receive a reply. Also tried calling their phone line and seem to get nowhere but then it is all in French! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     

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