Air France Cabin Crew Are Starting A Week-Long Strike

Filed Under: Air France, Unions

It’s a day that ends in “y,” which means European aviation is experiencing a major strike.

This time around it’s the Air France cabin crew on strike, and it’s expected to last a week. The dispute is over their new contract, which is supposed to kick in as of November 2016.

Air France flight attendants will be on strike from July 27 through August 2, 2016.


You can find the full details of Air France’s strike on this webpage, which will be updated with the most up to date flight cancellation details. Here’s how Air France describes the strike as of now:

For July 27, we plan to operate more than 90% of our long haul flights, 90% of our domestic flights, and more than 80% of our medium-haul flight to and from Paris – CDG.
However, there may be last-minute cancellations and delays. Difficulties with crew compositions may also limit the number of passengers per flight.

Update of our flight schedule for July 28 is on-going.
For the next days, according to the estimate of the number of employees on strike, our flight schedule will be adapted accordingly and published the day before your departure.

Customers affected by the cancellation of their reservation will be informed the day before departure, using the contact details provided in the reservation file (phone and / or e-mail). We invite you to keep them up to date.

In the meantime, we would like to assure you that our teams are fully mobilized and will do their utmost to assist you and minimize the impact of this industrial action on your travel plans.

Air France's new business class cabin - available using SkyMiles

As you can see, for today Air France is operating 80-90% of their flights, so hopefully they operate at least a similar number of flights over the next several days. This will still inconvenience tens of thousands of passengers, but is better than all flights being canceled.

It’s also unfortunate that this comes during a very busy summer travel period when lots of families are taking vacations, but unfortunately that’s part of the point of the strike — it’s more effective if more people are impacted… at least that’s how they view it.

While strikes aren’t eligible for Regulation 261/2004 cash compensation, the airline still has the obligation to accommodate you on the next available flight and provide you with hotel accommodation. So if your flight is canceled, Air France should pay for your hotel, or accommodate you on the next flight, even if it’s not on Air France or one of their partners. It goes without saying that this may take a bit of pressuring, since typically airlines prefer to book you on their flights, and not the flights of partner airlines.

Air France also has the following waivers in place:

What commercial measures are being implemented?
If you wish to postpone your trip, we offer you the following commercial measures.
If you have planned a trip on an Air France flight between July 27 and August 2, 2016:
– You can bring your trip forward on 26 July 2016, or postpone your trip from 3 to 12 August 2016 inclusive. You can change your reservation at no extra cost in the same class of travel.

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

– You can also postpone your trip beyond 12 August, 2016, change your origin or destination or if you no longer wish to travel, you can receive of a non-refundable voucher valid one year on Air France, KLM or Hop!
In this case, you may contact your travel agent.

Bottom line

While the strike is expected to last a week, as of now we don’t know how many flights will be impacted, and also don’t know if it will actually last for the entire week, or if they’ll come to an agreement before then. Too bad nothing good seems to come of these strikes a vast majority of the time…

  1. OMG, this is cringy.
    I enjoyed AF’s La Premiere cabin, when I traveled with my aunt on the 777-300ER (Best and Beyond) between JFK and SIN.

  2. Better to know when Air France is not on strike. This is the 5th in the last few months.
    Irresponsible is the first thing coming to mind.

    Even more when their country is being hitted by a drop in tourism.

  3. i will fly AF this week from LAX to CDG, could it be a potential cancellation? I haven’t received any information from airlines yet

  4. Ben – with these strike reports, you rarely provide any details on the nature of the strike. Maybe its because you don’t want to be seen to take sides. However I think it is possible to be neutral and still report on the content of the strike. So in the nature of public service, here is a little summary from the Guardian:

    ‘Unions representing about half of the strikers said last Friday the stoppage would go ahead after lengthy talks failed to bring a breakthrough on renewing a collective labour accord on rules, pay and promotions which expires in October.

    Both sides failed to agree on the terms of their new agreement. Management want to limit the extension of the agreement to 17 months, whereas unions want between three and five years.’

  5. Strikes in France are completely different than those in the US. The Verizon strike, which I witnessed when I was in New York, was designed to shame Verizon and generate sympathy.

    Strikes in France designed to extort concessions. That is why they occur during major events. Air France went on strike during the World Cup in 1998. There were a number of strikes designed to maximise their annoyance during the Euro Cup in June. There is even a practice of preventing the management of a company from going home until that there are satisfying results. The union call this negotiating. I call it kidnapping. Odd, there are no strike during July and August.

    Back to flying, I personally know a woman who worked for Air France. She was ground personnel who handled passenger boarding at the gate. She loaded a plane once only to have the pilot walk out of the cockpit and tell her that he was going on strike. It makes you wonder if France ever got out of the 1930s.

  6. Your lack of insight in how strikes work / how european strikes work in particular never ceases to amaze me. Better to just not comment that make snarky comments with an ellipses afterwards.

  7. Yesterday we took a Air France flight to the middle east, and they operated with 4 cabin crew members. Supposedly those 4 voluntary crew members was the minimum they were allowed to fly with. The whole joke was that 2 full meals were supposed to be served and all they ended up serving was one cold snack, and that was in business class!!

  8. After we got screwed by AF when 2 years ago they went on strike for 3-4 weeks or so, and they only cancelled our flight the day before departure, I swore I would never fly with them again. Therefore our next big trip to TLV was on Aeroflot (JFK-SVO-TLV). A month before departure I called Aeroflot and asked: “is everything OK with the flight? No change in anything?”. The agent actually did not understand why I asked. He said: “of course everything is OK. Your flight will leave as scheduled. Why are you worried?”. When I said that AF cancelled our flight because they went on strike, he said that that is something I do not need to worry about with Aeroflot. And indeed that is exactly what happened – our flights were on time. I do not remember ever hearing Aeroflot going on strike (or any other Eastern/Central European airlines to that matter.

  9. the worst airline in the world ! They don’t call it “air chance” without good reason. Totally inconsiderate to customers and they care not.

  10. Good you mention the European compensation rules. AF is actually misinforming those customers, whose flights do get cancelled. They have to give you the choice of a rerouting OR a full refund of the unused parts of the tickets. Here they are trying to get away with giving people an AF voucher, so that they have to spend the money on AF again. The refund has to happen within 4 weeks. And they are legally obliged to inform customers of these rights up front.

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