Strikes in France - compensation from SNCF for flight?

  • 18 March 2023
  • 9 replies

I have seat reservations a train from London to Paris and Paris to Barcelona tomorrow. Due to strike action in France the train from Paris to Barcelona has been cancelled.

As this is the start of my trip, I am going to have to fly from London to Barcelona and then continue my Interrail journey from there.

I have filled in the Interail delay compensation request form online in the hope that they will refund me for the seat reservations and the lost travel day.

Would it be possible to get a refund from SNCF for the last minute flight from London to Barcelona? If so, how would I contact them?

Not a good start to my trip (especially as I wanted to avoid flying!)

Thanks in advance for your help.


Best answer by cdwatkins19 19 March 2023, 08:44

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9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Not an answer to your question but make sure to deactivate you mobile pass and any active travel days before midnight CET.

Badge +5

There is no chance of SNCF making any gestures to you. You are entitled to the seat reservations fees. Check out your insurance policy to see if that covers you.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

Sorry to hear that the disruption impacted this leg of your trip. I totally understand why you'd want to pan the plan to go through France, but you would have the right to be put on another train (at no extra cost) if it happens again. 

Where did you buy your seat reservations? Badger the original seller for the refunds for those.

Consequential costs like flights aren't going to be refunded by SNCF or Interrail. The suggestion to check your insurance in that case is a good one. 

Thanks everyone. I have applied for a refund for my seat reservations and I will make a claim on my travel insurance for the cost of the flight. 

I did consider trying to re-route the journey by train but the strikes in France show no sign of ending so there weren’t any other possibilities. 

Flying was horrible! I remembered why I always avoid it. 

Thanks for all your help so far. I have another question. 

My travel insurance company has sent me their claim form. They insist on a letter from the carrier stating the “official cause of the delay” and the “exact period of the delay”. 

Interrail support have said that they cannot provide this information and that I must contact SNCF directly. 

How do I do this?

I have found this webpage:

However, when I fill in the form it tells me to contact my travel agency. 

Is there another way to contact SNCF? 






Userlevel 7
Badge +7

@Kellykin Hmmmm, I think you need a “justificatif”, not a claim or complaint. A lot of railway companies put this file on their websites, but I don’t immediately find one for SNCF TGV/Intercités.

As usual with SNCF there are a zillion different webpages, but nothing containing the correct information for TGV/Intercités.

I’ve found this one for TER and Transilien:

But I think your annulation e-mail will be seen as the letter, that you got from SNCF? Did you receive one? Usually SNCFs spams you with a lot of information once you booked (track number a bit before departure, possible delays, annulation,...)

In general, SNCF (the French national railway company) does not offer compensation for flights that are affected by strikes in France. SNCF is responsible for providing compensation to its own customers who have their train travel disrupted by a strike.

However, if you have booked a connecting train journey and your first leg of the journey is disrupted due to a SNCF strike, causing you to miss your flight, you may be entitled to compensation from your airline. This is because the airline is responsible for ensuring that you arrive at your destination on time, regardless of any issues with connecting transport.

Userlevel 3
Badge +1

I've tried putting in the details here (see @BrendanDB's comment) but without knowing the train you were on, or French(!), I didn't get a result. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Here should be the correct form