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Flybe To The Rescue After More Air France Flight Cancellations

For weeks before Easter, the press were scaremongering about the beast from the east ruining Easter with tons of snow. We kept a close eye on the weather, as we were planning a trip to Disneyland Paris. In the days leading up to our trip, it became apparent that the snow was going to hold off long enough for us to leave the country. However, a more worrying scenario arose in the form of strikes by French air traffic control. This resulted in tons of Air France flight cancellations, and we had no idea if our flight would be spared.

Flybe plane
Flybe to the rescue after Air France flight cancellations

Air France flight cancellations

I find it quite despicable that French air traffic control picked one of the busiest travel days of the year to strike. Whilst we would have been entitled to a refund of our flight price if the flight cancelled, that would not compensate us for the Eurodisney package I booked. I would have had to take my chances with three travel insurance providers. My insurance covers me, but my niece and step-daughters have their own policies. Air France could so easily ruined our weekend!

Flybe steps in for the Air France Flight Cancellations

We booked our flight with Flybe, but it was actually operated by Air France. In the days leading up to our flight, the Flybe website advised that they wouldn’t know until the day of travel whether our flight would cancel. During the last strike in February, 25% of flights were cancelled, so I wasn’t hopeful.

I received an email the night before our flight advising that it had indeed been cancelled. My heart sank as I contemplated breaking the bad news to my seven year old niece, and two step-daughters.

Thankfully, Flybe had booked us onto another flight two hours later. We would rather arrive two hours late than not at all, so that was a no brainer. I gleefully accepted.

Marisa on a carousel
Marisa enjoying herself in Disneyland Paris thanks to Flybe



At the airport

Everything seemed to be going well until we arrived at the airport and overheard a conversation about the 11.15 flight to Paris. Check in staff were very cagey, asking us to come back in half an hour. We’d already queued once, so understandably I wasn’t too keen to  wander the airport and return to another long queue.

Flybe added a new flight

We continued waiting and discovered that Flybe had saved the day. Our flight was not a scheduled flight, but an emergency flight put on for passengers just like us. Flybe were just as keen as us to catch up with Mickie and Minnie! Hoorah to them!

For some strange reason however, the flight had not been loaded correctly into the system, and despite the persistent efforts of staff, three hours after they began, no solution had been identified. As we are stood at the front of the queue waiting, we could see staff brainstorming options.

Despite suffering tons of flack for the disruption caused by Air France and French air traffic controllers, they valiantly waged on trying to find a way to check us in.

My seven year old niece Marisa was far from pleased at the news that she would have to go home if they could not figure out a solution.

Marisa ready to enter Hyperspace Mountain
Marisa ready to enter Hyperspace Mountain

Flybe success

Well good on those Flybe staff. They figured out a way to make it happen, checked us in and we had an amazing weekend in Disneyland Paris. Thankfully I did not have to deal with any hysterical kids (me included.)



Hats off to Flybe

Now you may be wondering why I’m telling you this. Let’s be fair, travellers suffering delays and cancellations can be scathing about their travels. The public are generally very quick to express their dissatisfaction on social media, and not always in a rational manner. I’ve had my own share of airlines treating customers badly, but on this occasion, Flybe pushed the boat out to get us to Paris. They deserve credit for that, and my family and I were super grateful.

Hotel Cheyenne Disneyland Paris
Hotel Cheyenne Disneyland Paris

Read more about our trip to Disneyland Paris:

10 Things You Need To Know When Planning A Trip To Disneyland Paris

How To Save Money On A Eurodisney Booking With These Expert Travelhacks

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of TravelTheGlobe4Less. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 80 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money saving travel tips

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23 comments

  1. This is awful and such a nightmare for travellers. Glad you were able to get some flights through Flybe. Definitely, it’s better late than never. Happy to know that you enjoyed your trip.

  2. Lucky that Flybe accommodated you guys on another flight and you could enjoy vacations. I think the very purpose of strike is to strike the company where it hurts most , which is revenue 🙂

  3. Such an informative post! I haven’t heard of Flybe before but it was great that Flybe booked you another flight after. I also heard that strikes in France happen frequently. It’s so awful though.

  4. That’s pretty amazing! I’ve fortunately had any flights cancelled, but it’s great that Flybe stepped in when it was something totally out of your control or unrelated to weather. I love that they really did all that they could, creating a flight and figuring out how to check you guys in!

  5. Oh wow that’s AMAZING! Flybe really did pull through for you guys. Reading the first few paragraphs my I was getting nervous for you guys but it’s great that they added an entire emergency flight to accommodate all those negatively affected by the strike. That’s top notch service!

  6. Thanks for this informative post. It’s very disheartening to get the news about cancelled flights right before travelling. Never heard about flybe. This post will open up the options.

  7. Thank God Flybe was there to save the day! I’ve not yet flown with them but after reading this, I’ll consider them for the future. Shame on Air France cancelling like they did. Glad you made it to Paris!

  8. Flybe gets major applause from me. It feels so rare when an airline goes that extra mile. My last canceled flight ended up costing me hundreds of dollars and a 12-hour departure delay (which would have been fine, but I had to leave for Costa Rica the next day). I’m so happy that your trip to Disneyland Paris worked out, and I’m sure that Flybe has won some serious customer loyalty for making this all happen.

  9. If I were planning a strike I would aim for a busy weekend, too. A few ruined vacations seem like par for the course when you’re fighting for better working conditions.

    It’s great that what could have been an awful experience turned out to be a great vacation. So many people skip travel insurance (or forget that it’s probably included with their credit card) but it’s really worthwhile in times like this.

    • Yes it is definitely the case that travel insurance could be invaluable in this case. However I fundamentally do not agree with striking. I think it is crying to wolf to accept a job on a certain salary/terms and then strike because you want more. Everyone has a choice who they work for but to hold innocent people ransom and legally try to blackmail the company is despicable in my book.

  10. I have connected to your story tremendously! I also had a flight cancelled and had to find alternative travel one time and it was awful! I am so glad that all ended up alright in the end 🙂

    • It’s happened to me quite a few times now but it is more stressful when travelling with young children who have been counting down days to the trip. Thankfully Flybe really stepped up their game on this occasion for which I was very grateful

  11. I love to travel, but when airlines delay, delay, delay and cancel – I question how much I actually love travelling. Airlines are easily the most frustrating part of travel, but it sounds like the customer service here wasn’t awful which is refreshing. And I’m glad to see the picture of your daughter enjoying Disneyland.

  12. Glad to hear that Flybe did the right thing in the face of the strikes to ensure their passengers were well taken care of. Arriving a couple of hours later than expected is far better than having your entire trip ruined. It would have been horrible to try to explain to those girls that they couldn’t visit Disney because people were on strike.

  13. Wow! I’ve never heard of Flybe, but I have spent a lot of time in France so I know the poor timing of their labor strikes all too well. I am so happy that you got to go on your vacation even after all the flight issues though!

    • Thanks Nikki. Any airline striking drives me mad as personally I find striking a legalised form of blackmail. People have a choice whether to work for a certain amount of pay/benefits etc and can always choose to go work elsewhere if it is not what they want. Taking it out on their employer (when they chose to work for that amount/or on those contract terms) and paying customers is unethical in my view but I’m certain many won’t agree.

  14. It’s heartening to hear your story! I am glad that someone who is out on an adventure trip should not be bogged down by delayed/cancelled flights! Thanks for a wonderful read.

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