‘IT problems’ blamed for cancellation of flights from French airports

The French holiday weekend of Ascension has been hit by travel problems after Easyjet cancelled dozens of flights.

'IT problems' blamed for cancellation of flights from French airports
Passengers board an Easyjet domestic flight at an airport in the United Kingdom (Photo by AFP)

Easyjet announced on Thursday that it would have to cancel several dozen flights, many of which were set to depart from French airports like Paris Charles de Gaulle, Lyon, Toulouse and Nice.

The British budget airline tweeted an apology to the customers impacted, explaining that ‘IT system issues’ were to blame. 

In total, 200 flights across Europe were affected, confirmed the British newspaper The Independent.

Several customers expressed frustration at the hours-long wait times, many taking to Twitter to vent, like this user below:

So what happened?

Easyjet has not been very specific about the issue aside from explaining that the root of the problem was a computer system failure. They announced quickly that they were working to restore their systems and that in the meantime customers should continue to check Flight Tracker in order to verify the status of their flight prior to leaving for the airport.

While flights were set to resume on Friday, Thursday’s cancellations have had a domino effect, bringing about further delays and cancellations for flights originally scheduled for Friday. 

If you have flights booked, it is best, as stated above, to keep an eye on Flight Tracker in order to avoid potentially long wait-times at the airport.

Will passengers be compensated?

While Easyjet initially explained the IT problem as “beyond [their] control” and an “exceptional circumstance,” the company eventually retracted these statements and released a new statement saying that “Customers can request compensation in accordance with the regulations.” Here is the link to their website to find out more.

If you plan to request a refund, be advised that under European regulation for air passenger rights, travellers should be entitled to compensation between €260 to €410 per person depending on the duration of the flight, with the latter representing flight distances of over 1,500 km. Read more here.

Since Brexit, passengers departing from the UK may no longer be covered by the European compensation rules.

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Early travel alert on French roads as holidaymakers leave early to avoid rush

France's roads watchdog has issued its first red travel warning of the summer.

Early travel alert on French roads as holidaymakers leave early to avoid rush

Schools in France have not yet broken up for les grandes vacances, but traffic is expected to be heavier than normal on the country’s arterial roads as some holidaymakers head off early.

France’s roads monitor Bison Futé has warned travellers to expect delays and heavy traffic across the country. It has issued an orange warning – it’s third-highest level – for the whole of the country apart from the Paris region of Île-de-France, which it has placed on red alert for traffic levels heading away from the capital for Friday.

Image: Bison Futé

In the Paris region, traffic will be heavy towards the toll gates of the A10 and A6 autoroutes, where the first slowdowns could be recorded from late morning. The ring road and the A86 and A6b freeways will also be affected by these difficulties.

In the middle of the afternoon, the combination of commuters heading home and holidaymakers escaping the city is forecast to make travel difficult until late in the evening. Bison Futé advises those who can do so to leave or cross the Île-de-France before 12 noon. 

Elsewhere, it is not recommended to leave the metropolises and their suburbs between 2pm and 7pm.

Bison Futé recommends avoiding travel on Friday, July 1st:

  • The A10 between Orleans and Poitiers, from 8am to 7pm; 
  • The A63 between Bordeaux and Bayonne, from 4pm to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Lyon and Orange, from 11am to 8pm;
  • The A7 between Orange and Marseille, from 1pm to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Marseille and Orange, from 2pm to 8pm
  • the A8 between Aix-en-Provence and Fréjus, from 2pm to 8pm; 
  • The A8 between Cannes and Italy, from 6am to 10pm;
  • The A8 between Italy and Fréjus, from 3pm to 7 pm;
  • the A43 between Lyon and Chambéry, from 5pm to 7pm.

On Saturday, July 2nd, Bison Futé recommends avoiding:

  • Travelling in or crossing the Ile-de-France after 8am;
  • Travel out of France’s major cities before 10am;
  • The A13  between Paris and Rouen, from 10am to 5pm; 
  • The A13 between Rouen and Caen from 10am to 1pm;
  • The A10 between Orleans and Poitiers, from 9am to 3pm; 
  • The A6 between Beaune and Mâcon, from 8am to 12noon; 
  • the A7 between Lyon and Orange, from 8am to 7pm; 
  • The A7 between Orange and Marseille, from 10am to 6pm; 
  • the A8 between Cannes and Italy, from 9am to 8pm.

On Sunday, July 3rd:

  • Avoid the A7 between Lyon and Marseille, from 11am to 8pm.

Schools in France break up on Thursday, July 7th so traffic is also expected to be heavy next weekend.