New summer flights and flat-rate rail pass: 7 French travel updates

We also look at baggage fee changes, a ferry and train offer - and the installation of motorway barriers to keep out boars

Travel news this week includes new easyJet flights, Transavia baggage fees and phishing scam warnings from SNCF

This week we looked at what happens in an accident following the end of car insurance stickers and whether you are allowed a translator when taking a driving test in France. 

Here are seven more travel stories affecting France.

Rail travel updates 

SNCF warns customers to be on lookout for phishing/email scams 

National rail operator SNCF has warned travellers to be vigilant for email scams as the number of phishing emails claiming to be from SNCF has been on the rise in recent months. 

They include emails that appear to be from SNCF offering too-good-to-miss deals to encourage customers to click. 

Many emails attempt to get customers to send their bank details, sometimes by warning that their account will be suspended or blocked if they do not update their details quickly. 

A recent scam involved an email sent from “SNCF Connect” offering customers a TGV inOUI Liberté railcard for €1, Le Figaro reports. The railcard, which offers fixed-price and reduced travel for a year, usually costs €349. 

Tips to recognise a fraudulent email:

  • Official SNCF emails will always end in – check the domain name and if it seems suspicious, it could be a scam

  • If a deal seems too good to be true it often is

  • If the link does not lead to SNCF’s website it could well be a scam 

Read also: Scammers pose as anti-fraud agency: 4 scams to watch out for in France

Flat rate €49 rail pass for under 27s 

Under 27s will have access to unlimited travel on Intercities and regional trains for €49 a month in summer 2024.

The scheme, which was announced by President Macron last year, will start as a two month experiment during July and August, however it will not apply on TGVs or trains in the Ile-de-France region.

The absence of Ile-de-France from the scheme means that people will have to purchase tickets to cross the region. Tickets are expected to go on sale in June.

Ferry travel updates 

‘Sail and rail’ offer from Irish Ferries 

Irish Ferries is currently offering a deal for passengers who sail from Dublin to Cherbourg, and then use French trains booked via Trainline for their onward journey. 

Travellers can book a foot passenger crossing and an onward train then email quoting their Irish Ferries and Trainline reference numbers to receive a 10% refund on their ferry booking. 

Irish Ferries suggests passengers allow enough time to transfer from the ferry to the train, recommending at least two hours. 

Storm Kathleen disrupts ferries to Ireland

Brittany Ferries has announced that its routes to Ireland will be cancelled from Friday (April 5) due to Storm Kathleen.

This affects the Roscoff-Cork and Roscoff-Plymouth routes. Passengers affected by the disruption will be sent a text message where a mobile phone number has been registered.

Irish Ferries has so far not announced any cancellations.

Air travel updates 

Transavia cabin baggage charge comes into force 

Low-cost airline Transavia began charging for cabin baggage from Tuesday, April 3. 

Travellers are allowed one free piece of hand luggage which they can place under the seat in front of them. 

Larger luggage space, for those items which have to be placed in the overhead lockers, can be purchased for an extra €10 in an opening offer during April, May and June. 

In July and August, the minimum price will rise to €15. Certain routes, including those to Dakar, Tel Aviv, Beirut and Yerevan, may have higher costs according to the airline. 

Read more: France’s tourism mediator can help with travel disputes (for free) 

New low cost flights from Lyon and Montpellier 

Several new routes have been announced this week from Lyon–Saint Exupéry and Montpellier airports:

From Lyon to:

Tirana (Albania): Transavia flights on Monday and Friday from April 12.

Fez (Morocco) Transavia flights on Tuesday and Friday from April 12

Yerevan (Armenia), Transavia flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April 13.

Madrid (Spain), easyJet flights on Fridays and Sundays from March 31.

From Montpellier to:

Alicante (Spain), easyJet flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays from May 4. 

Palma, Majorca (Spain) on Thursdays and Sundays in low season and on Friday and Sunday in high season, starting April 1.

Driving updates

Boar warning on south-west motorway 

Warnings have been raised for drivers who use the A64 motorway, after a young driver and her passenger were killed after colliding with a wild boar. 

The accident happened between Noé and Mauzac, with three vehicles impacted. 

Barriers will be placed along certain sections of the motorway, to prevent the boars from crossing.