In Brief

What’s causing the Eurostar chaos in Paris?

Company urges passengers not to travel ‘unless absolutely necessary’ as disruption continues

Passengers are being urged not to use Eurostar services from Paris to London amid major delays and cancellations caused by French industrial action.

“We recommend not to travel unless absolutely necessary until March 20,” the company said yesterday.

Passengers have reported queueing for up to five hours at Gare du Nord station in the French capital due to a strike by customs officials. One customer said it took her 12 hours to get to the UK via a different route. 

Customers who have suffered cancellations and delays are entitled to compensation, while those due to travel from Paris to the UK can exchange their ticket for another journey, according to moneysavingexpert.com.

The industrial action, now in its third week, is due to end today, but customers are being warned that the disruption could continue until the end of the month.  

“The regular pre-departure security checks are taking longer than usual and this is causing delays on departure in Paris,” a Eurostar spokesperson said. “We are very sorry for the inconvenience this is causing passengers.”

French customs officials are striking over pay and working conditions, as well as staffing levels ahead of Brexit, which they say will lead to longer processing times for each British passport holder, says The Daily Telegraph.

“It is believed French staff have been trialling the sort of thorough checks that will be required once the UK leaves the EU, raising the prospect of further disruption at the end of the month,” the paper adds.

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