British tourists heading to Disneyland Paris say they are “heartbroken” about disruption due to strike action in France.
Travel to and from France has been severely disrupted from Thursday due to large-scale strikes in protest at President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the country’s retirement system.
Daryl Moran, an electrical engineer from Merseyside, said he and his family had their flights changed as they were travelling to Disneyland.
Mr Moran told the PA news agency: “It was a surprise for my eldest daughter, who is eight next week. She is absolutely heartbroken that we are missing a full day there now.”
The walkout has affected most of the Paris underground system, as well as Eurostar journeys and flights.
Air France said about 30% of its domestic flights would be cancelled, with Easyjet, British Airways and Ryanair also cancelling many of their flights to and from France.
Mr Moran said: “We should have arrived at Paris 9.30am local time, we will arrive in Paris now at 5pm local time. We have been at the airport since 4am.”
“We had no idea of the strike, we’ve received no emails off our airline Flybe nor the travel agent Hays Travel,” he claimed.
No tickets are available on Eurostar trains until Tuesday, with the company saying it had cancelled almost 100 services between now and then.
Sophia Massey, who is also travelling to Disneyland, said: “It’s a nightmare, I booked with Hays Travel for my daughter’s birthday and now we have to fly to Southampton and then connect to Paris from there, we are losing a day in Disneyland Paris.
“We booked this as a surprise, she’s in floods of tears.”
Eurostar will operate a reduced timetable until December 10, however some trade union leaders have said they will keep the strikes up until Mr Macron abandons his campaign promise to overhaul the retirement system.
Mr Moran said: “We are really upset as it has spoilt our surprise for our daughter and are a little annoyed that we’re losing a full day.”
Due to the anticipated #Frenchstrike, we will run a reduced timetable between 05/12/19 and 10/12/19. For more information on how your journey might be affected, please visit our information page: https://t.co/zTZVxvCE5N which we'll update regularly as the situation evolves.
— Eurostar (@Eurostar) December 3, 2019
A spokeswoman for Flybe said: “We continue to send alerts to all passengers whose flights have been cancelled as a result of this strike action and for whom we have the relevant contact details.
“We also advise our customers to continue to check our live flight information for the latest updates.
“Flybe will, as always, do everything possible to minimise the disruption resulting from this industrial action.
“We would however sincerely apologise to our customers whose flights are still operating but have been delayed because French airports have placed restrictions on the number of flights movements per hour they are able to safely accommodate.”
A spokeswoman for Hays Travel said: “In the case of the French strikes, we have not been contacted by the airlines or given any advice to pass on to customers.
“However our customers who are concerned are contacting us, and we are helping where we can to re-book and make new arrangements.”