Summer trains, ferry offer, holiday traffic: 7 France travel updates

Our round up also looks at TGV disruption, the rising cost of plane tickets and changes to the Paris metro

We look at the news affecting travel to, from and around France this week
Published Last updated

Here we look at other travel news affecting France.

Road travel updates

Busy weekend traffic forecast

Heavy traffic is expected in areas of France on Saturday, March 2, as two of the country’s school zones remain on half-term holiday.

The school holidays are coming to an end for Zone A (which includes Besançon, Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Limoges, Lyon and Poitier), while the second week of holidays begins for Zone B (Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Caen, Lille, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Reims, Rennes, Rouen and Strasbourg).

Source: Bison Futé

With areas of Belgium also on school holidays, particularly heavy traffic is expected between the northern borders and on roads heading to and from ski resorts in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, says France’s official traffic monitoring site, Bison Futé.

Saturday has been classed as “orange” at a national level for traffic. Motorways towards the Alps will be very congested, particularly the A6, A40 and A43.

In the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, traffic will be heavy on the A40 and A43 motorways.

Read more: Roads closed as flood alerts remain in south-west France

Rail travel updates

SNCF summer tickets are on sale

Customers can now snap up their summer train tickets to destinations including Germany, Spain, Belgium and Switzerland on the website of rail operator SNCF.

It has opened booking for tickets until August 26 from France to several European destinations, including a new route between Bordeaux and Stuttgart in Germany.

Tickets to Switzerland and Germany start from €49.

Tickets cover TGV, INOUI and German ICE trains.

Paris Metro will no longer stop for sick passengers

The Paris Metro will no longer stop and wait for help to arrive if passengers become unwell as part of new plans to improve the punctuality of the capital’s transport system.

Sick passengers will now be attended to on Metro station platforms to allow the trains to keep running on time.

The president of the Ile-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, said the new measures would be implemented from June in the Metro and on RER B and D trains, adding they would be up and running in time for the Paris Olympics.

Train line works to affect some routes from this weekend

There will be work taking place on several lines that will affect the TGV East from this weekend.

  • Lunéville, Sarrebourg and Saverne will be affected from February 26 - April 19. There will be no TGV INOUI service from Paris because of track modernisation work near Lunéville and maintenance works in Strasbourg.

  • Luxembourg and Thionville will be affected on March 2-3. There will be no direct TGV INOUI to Luxembourg station.

Ferry travel updates

Dover to Calais deal with P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries is offering a three-day short break from Dover to Calais for £99. The offer is valid for travel up to March 27, 2024 and must be booked before March 24.

The company is also offering a five-day break from £129. This is also valid for travel up to March 27 and must be booked by March 22.

Read more: New EU border checks: how are French ports and airports preparing?

Air travel updates

Flight prices from France soar in January

The price of a plane ticket from France increased 5% in January according to data published by the Directorate General of civil aviation on February 23, Capital reports.

Domestic flights were hit the hardest, with prices rising 21% between January 2023 and January 2024.

International flights increased at a much slower rate of 2% between January 2023 and January 2024. Medium-haul flight prices increased by 13%, and long-haul flights by 3%.

Medium-haul flights saw their prices rise by 13.1%, while long-haul flights saw their prices fall by 2.7%.

Read more: French air traffic controllers take too much time off and risk safety

Prices to rise further due to plane delivery problems

Delays at the Boeing plant in supplying new planes to Ryanair could lead to a 10% rise in ticket prices for flights on all airlines to Europe this year

The low-cost airline’s summer schedule was drawn up in anticipation of the delivery of 57 new aircraft. However, due to delivery problems, Boeing is only able to supply 40.

“We are very disappointed at these latest Boeing delivery delays,” said Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.

“We expect these latest Boeing delivery delays, which regrettably are beyond Ryanair’s control, combined with the grounding of up to 20% of our Airbus competitors’ A320 fleets in Europe, will lead to more constrained capacity and slightly higher air fares for consumers in Europe in Summer 2024.”

Mr O’Leary went on to encourage travelers to book their flights as early as possible to avoid booking during periods of peak demand, when the plane shortage could lead to a 10% increase in prices.