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One of Those Weeks on the Road
Sunday, May 6, 2018 -- It could be one of those weeks on the road, so I thought it wise to update you on several situations that could complicate our travel.
AIR FRANCE STRIKES
The situation: Air France has been hit with 13 days of strike this year. Employees are seeking a 5.1 percent raise in 2018 while management is offering 7 percent over four years. After calling a snap vote over management's proposal, Air France chief executive Jean-Marc Janaillac resigned on Friday after employees overwhelmingly rejected the offer.
What's next: More strikes on Monday (May 7) and Tuesday (May 8). The airline claims it will be able to run 87-99 percent of its flights. Don't believe it. They haven't managed that strong a schedule on the earlier strike days. You can see what AF is saying at https://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common/page_flottante/hp/news-air-traffic-air-france.htm. Delta, a SkyTeam partner of Air France, has issued a travel waiver.
FRENCH RAIL STRIKES
The situation: French railroad employees are vehemently opposed to changes to labor rules proposed by French president Emmanuel Macron. Unions have been striking for months and recently launched a series of strikes on two days out of every five. Job actions at this level are expected to continue into June. The strikes have crippled French rail service at all levels and even led to cancellations on Eurostar and international trains connecting to and through the French rail network. That includes Eurostar to/from Belgium, the Netherlands and England.
What's next: Additional rail strikes this week on May 8, 9, 13 and 14. Eurostar information on schedule changes is at https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption/service-information.Domestic French strike information, including the major TGV routes, is at https://en.oui.sncf/train/strike.
ITALY AIR STRIKES
The situation: Who knows? Do Italians really need a reason to strike--or have a reason that is explicable to the Anglo mind, even Anglo minds sympathetic to the way Italy works?
What's next: Italian air traffic controllers are set to strike nationwide on Tuesday (May 8) from 10am to 6pm local time. Ground staff also will strike at the following airports: Pisa; Milan/Malpensa; Florence; and Ancona-Marche. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have travel waivers posted on their respective Web sites. Alitalia? C'mon, man, you know better than that ...
HAWAII VOLCANO AND EARTHQUAKES
The situation: On the Big Island of Hawaii, Kilauea Volcano has erupted in a new area. The massive volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983, but the new region activity on Thursday (May 3) destroyed some homes and blocked roads. There were also two earthquakes, magnitudes 5.1 and 6.9, on Friday (May 4).
What's next: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is closed, although it may partially reopen as early as Monday. The island's two airports, Kona on the west side and Hilo on the east side, continue to operate normally. No flights have been cancelled and resorts and hotels remain open and accepting guests. United and Hawaiian airlines (which fly to both airports on the Big Island) have issued travel waivers. So has American Airlines.
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