As anyone in Paris already knows, tomorrow is the first day of a major transportation strike that could potentially last for a very long time. I wrote a little warning about this for Budget Travel (excerpted below), and I’m getting ready to experience the mess first-hand as I fly into CDG airport on Wednesday and join the huddled masses searching in vain for a cab. Wish me luck!
The French are going on strike (again). What will happen to travelers?
French railway workers are gearing up for a major, open-ended strike, one that will have significant implications for anyone traveling to France in mid-October. The reason: President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to raise the retirement age from age 60 to 62. The country’s largest transport union CGT has pledged to defend this retirement age (the earliest among European nations) by stopping work at 11:30 p.m. on Monday, October 11 for an indefinite period of time.
What will this mean for travelers? Let’s begin with the situation at the airports: the suburban train that connects both Orly and Charles de Gaulle with the city of Paris will probably not be running on October 12. This RER-B line is typically the “most affected” (not working) train route during any strike. Those willing to shell out the €40-60 for a taxi will have to wait in line with hundreds of others travelers who share the same idea. Cheaper alternatives, in the form of buses and shuttles into the city, will be over-crowded and will also require significant waiting. What’s more, these airport buses and shuttles only deliver travelers to certain spots within the city, and it’s uncertain whether the subway (Métro) will be available to help them reach their final destination.
> Continue reading at Budget Travel