Disruption to Eurostar services due to French rail strike

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A wave of rolling strikes have been announced by French rail workers, starting in March and running right through to June.  Eurostar have announced that some of their services will be affected and trains could be cancelled.  They have said that they will run as many services as they can but will publish any cancellations on their website and on twitter.

The affected dates are shown below:

I was actually due to travel on the Indirect service from Ebbsfleet to Disneyland Paris, changing at Lille, on Tuesday 3rd April.  Due to concerns about the strikes, I decided to speak to Eurostar to find out if our train would be affected.  I first spoke on the online chat, who informed me that they would not know, until much closer to the date, if my train would cancelled.  They informed me that if I phoned Customer Services, they would either refund me, or move me to an alternative train if I wished.

I spent the afternoon looking at alternatives, including pricing up the Eurotunnel and ferries.  There was no way I was going to cancel the trip! Flights were too expensive, and there is also the threat that flights would be affected by the strike action too.

After much deliberation, I decided to phone Eurostar and see what alternatives they would offer.  I cannot praise Eurostar Customer Services enough.  The man I spoke to was so helpful, he arranged for us to be switched to a train the day before at no extra cost.  When I looked at the booking confirmation, the price difference was over £700 and he had moved us for free! An added bonus was that our journey from Lille to Disneyland is now in first class as the standard carriages were all full.

My advice, if you are concerned, is to definitely speak to Customer Services and see what they can do to help.  I am now even more excited about my trip than before due to gaining an extra day.  I have had to pay the cost of an extra night at the hotel but if my original train is cancelled then I may be able to claim this cost back on my travel insurance.

Of course, our original train might just run without any changes, but I didn’t want to risk leaving it until a last minute cancellation, and other alternative routes being fully booked.  My advice to anyone travelling on a potential strike day is to have travel insurance and to look at other options in advance.  Good luck!

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