“You can handle just about anything that comes at you on the road with a believable grin, common sense, and whiskey.” — Bill Murray
The Air France pilot strike may not be the lead story on NBC Nightly News. Probably it’s not even a lead story in Paris. But, since our departure date is coming up, it’s now on our radar.
Before we left home, we’d read about an impending strike. Then, our main concern was that we’d get here. We did. The pilot strike began on the 15th, scheduled to end on the 22nd. No sweat, at least for us. Then it was extended to the 26th. Now it’s on until the 30th. Ruh-roh!
A woman we met suggested that we trot on over to Air France ASAP and get in line just to see what the deal was. This afternoon, after we enjoyed a stroll through Le Marais and a nice lunch, we spent 90 minutes to get to the head of the line at AF. The rep was sweet and reassuring, but she hadn’t heard about the strike’s extension. We told her the latest online report, and her shoulders slumped. Why did we have an update when she didn’t? The steady stream of cranky stranded passengers showed on her work-weary face, poor woman.
She could get us on tomorrow morning’s flight to Chicago, since that one is flying. There are no promises that the Chicago flight would fly on subsequent days. Yet, her guess was that they’d be a go. What should we do? We took our chances. We’re staying put, but we’ll keep checking the AF web page.
Strikes in France are as common as corner patisseries, and don’t follow the same protocol as U.S. strikes. There’s not a 100% shutdown and the number of pilots who are working increases daily. What can we do about it all? Go out to dinner, I guess.
Will we be home on Tuesday? I hope so, but we’re not in panic mode. We have a few days left to savor, and besides, we can’t come home yet. We haven’t bought souvenirs for the grandkids yet. Or gone to the Louvre.