News Digest: Will Strikes Affect Christmas Travel To France?



News Digest: Will Strikes Affect Christmas Travel To France?

Proposed airline strikes could mean travel delays over the festive season, plus how much can you expect petrol, energy, and food prices to rise in 2023 and how to watch the 2022 World Cup and the Paris Olympics 2024 in France. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Travel difficulties this Christmas?

If you’re travelling to or from France over the festive season, the good news is that you won’t be subjected to the strict Covid-19 travel rules that affected travel last year. However, there could still be a few potential problems facing travellers in the coming month, most notably the threat of further airline strikes. This time, the strikes are being proposed by workers for Air France, Easyjet, and Ryanair, all airlines which operate a large number of flights to the UK, as well as other international flights. For the moment, official strike announcements have not been made, and they may still be cancelled (fingers crossed!) if the associated unions can come to an agreement, but if you are flying with any of these airlines, keep an eye on your emails in case any changes or cancellations are made to your booking.

In other travel changes, it’s worth noting that French airlines have now ceased operating or reduced flights on certain city-to-city routes within France – part of a nationwide campaign to encourage train travel. For travel between France and the UK, Eurostar, Eurotunnel and ferry services have also been reduced to help prevent over-loading border staff and counteract the additional time needed for border controls post-Brexit. Passengers are being advised to arrive at the port or station 90 minutes prior to boarding if travelling during the Christmas/New Year period. We also recommend booking your transport as soon as possible – don’t leave it until the last minute!

2. Rising prices in France in 2023

Many of us have already been tightening the purse strings in 2022, as rising inflation rates have sent prices of petrol, energy, and other essentials soaring. Thanks to various government subsidies and tariff freezes, many living in France have been protected from the worst of the price hikes, but, unfortunately, this looks set to change as we head into 2023. The government have been warning the public of tariff increases and reduced subsidies for several weeks now and this week, E.Leclerc CEO Michel-Edouard Leclerc joined in, predicting a “tsunami” of price rises next year. So, what can we expect?

For most households, the most notable increases are likely to be seen on:

  • Energy bills: state-regulated gas and electricity tariffs are set to rise by a maximum of 15% from January, with the government estimating a monthly increase of around €20 per household.
  • Petrol bills: Government subsidies on petrol will end in January, adding an estimated €5 to the average tank of petrol (and it’s already risen an average €12.50 per tank from prices at the beginning of November)
  • Groceries: Food prices in France have been steadily climbing since the start of the year, and there will be no slowing down in 2023. Leclerc estimated a 20% rise in fruit and vegetable prices and 15% on meat and dairy products.

3. Watching the World Cup in France

If you’re in France and hoping to follow the 2022 World Cup football matches, you can watch many of the live matches (including all of the France, UK, and USA, and some Canada/Australia group-stage and round-of-16 matches) on free-broadcast channel TF1. TF1 will also broadcast three of the quarter-final matches, the semi-finals, and the final. For full access to all World Cup matches, you’ll need to take out a subscription for beIN Sports.

Tonight’s England vs Wales match will be broadcast at 8pm French time on TF1.

4. Paris Olympics ticket draw opens

From one international sporting event to another: if you’re hoping to snag tickets to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, now’s the time (well, almost!). From December 1st, members of the public can register for the official ticketing draw to be in with a chance to purchase some of the one million available tickets for the events.

You can sign up via the Paris 2024 website between December 1st 2022, and January 31st 2023, and the draw takes place on February 15th 2023, for Club Paris 2024 members (you can become a member here, if you’re interested) or February 19th for non-members. Keep an eye on your email, as lucky entrants will be informed via email.

If you are successful, you will then be given a specific timeslot in which you can access the ticketing sales website for 48 hours. You can then go online and book your digital tickets for the events of your choice (depending on availability). All tickets cost €24 each.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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