SNCF France strikes January 2020

Widespread transport strikes in France in January 2020 are affecting a large number of trains, operators and routes. We will update this article as we receive more information about specific trains, claims processes, and other details.

Currently, the strike is only confirmed through 12 January, though many operators have closed the sale of trains through 19 January. For all operators, the best way to tell if your train is running is to check Oui.SNCF's dedicated strike page

Please note that in most cases the rail operators' liability to you as a customer is limited during strikes. If you miss a hotel booking, incur extra costs or miss a connection for a train unaffected by the strike, you should submit a claim to your travel insurer. 

General refund & exchange policies

In many cases, refunds are available via your Rail Europe UK account for trains affected by the strike. Exchanges outside fare conditions are not possible on our site, even if your train is cancelled. The best thing to do is change your ticket with staff at the station, or refund your original tickets and rebook them. 

Please see your relevant rail operator below. 

    The best way to tell if your train is running is to run a search for your train number and travel date on SNCF's website. Oui.SNCF also has detailed information about trains in, to and from France. Each day throughout the strike, information on trains for the following day will be made available at 17:00. SNCF have published the following details about upcoming travel:

    Note that SNCF have closed the sale of most trains on strike dates, so if you run a search on raileurope.co.uk and no trains appear, it's because they are no longer open for sale. It is not an indication that a specific train isn't running. You will need to check SNCF's site specifically to see if a train is not running.

    What to do if your SNCF journey is affected

    You can complete a full refund via your Loco2 account before departure. After your scheduled departure time, you must submit a claim. Please note that we cannot exchange tickets outside of fare conditions. 

    Please note that Eurostar are only offering refunds and free exchanges for cancelled trains.

    Eurostar have announced a normal timetable from 13 January.

    Eurostar have announced many cancelled trains. We have emailed all Rail Europe UK customers with cancelled trains through 12 January, and you can also check Eurostar's specific information here

    What do to if your Eurostar journey is affected

    If your Eurostar train is cancelled, you have a few options:

    1

    The fastest and easiest way to change your ticket is on Eurostar's Manage My Booking page. You'll need your 6-digit PNR (note this is not your RE- booking reference) and the surname of any passenger. Eurostar will change tickets free of charge, subject to availability. You can do this at any time before your original departure

    2
    You can change your tickets for free with a member of staff at the station. 

    3
    Eurostar have made some cancelled trains refundable via your Rail Europe UK account, so you can try there. Please note if you have a return journey and one leg is still running, it cannot be refunded via your account. You will need to submit a claim

    4

    If you don't wish to travel, you can submit a claim to Eurostar for your tickets.

    5
    We don't recommend you exchange your tickets via your Rail Europe account, as the fees have not been waived. 

    Thalys have cancelled a few trains, but fare conditions have not been waived via your Rail Europe UK account. You can travel on any other Thalys train with the same itinerary for free, and if you decide not to travel, exchanges are free. You should speak to staff at the station on the day of travel. However, only cancelled trains are eligible for a refund. 

    You can also submit a claim to Thalys; please see Submitting a claim to Thalys for instructions. 

    Due to the strike, Thello trains are closed for sale through 19 January. See Thello's detailed information here. Thello is offering the following bus replacement services:

    Paris - Dijon - Milan - Dijon - Paris.  

    • Coaches will leave from Paris Gare de Lyon Hall 2 next to platform 23.
    • Coaches will leave from the Dijon Ville station (31, cour de la Gare 21000 Dijon)

    To travel in one of the bus replacement services you should arrive at least 20 minutes before your originally scheduled departure time.

    The service between Milan and Venice is still by train, since this is a domestic Italian leg. You will transfer from the bus to the train in Milan. 

    If you prefer not to travel please contact us, so we can assist you in filing a claim to recover the cost of the tickets.  

    Please see the list of affected services below:

    • Exchange your ticket for another date:  
      • If you exchange your ticket before departure, it will be free of charge. 
      • If the exchange is made after the scheduled departure of the train, the exchange will be processed as normal and you will need to pay any fees and additional costs as per your fare conditions. 
      • You can exchange your tickets at the departure station.
    • Cancel your ticket and request a full refund:

    All tickets booked through Deutsche Bahn on strike dates should be fully refundable via your Rail Europe UK account. We will update this article when we have more details. Deutsche Bahn recommends postponing your trip if possible. 

    Tickets for onward travel

    If you have tickets for onward travel on trains which are scheduled to run as normal, refunds and exchanges are only permitted as per the fare conditions. We recommend that you submit a claim to your travel insurer if you miss connections for trains not affected by the cancellations, or incur any additional costs.

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