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Question about backup plan logistics in case of French strike next week

Question about backup plan logistics in case of French strike next week

Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 12:58 PM
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Question about backup plan logistics in case of French strike next week

We will be arriving in London Gatwick next Tuesday March 7th (from Cancun) and we currently have a British airways flight booked that afternoon to Bordeaux. But as many of you know, it looks like there is now going to be an air traffic controller strike next week in France. We are not sure whether our flight will be affected yet and probably won't know until we get there, but we are looking into going to Paris by Eurostar (then on to Bordeaux) as our back up plan. Since I don't know London transport all that well, I have a couple of questions:

It looks like you can book your Eurostar ticket originating from Gatwick airport, and that gets you the Gatwick express ticket and the Eurostar ticket but you are on your own getting from Victoria station to St. Pancras. How hard is it to get from Victoria to St. Pancras? We will have a fair amount of luggage so not sure if tube is a reasonable option for us.

Is it feasible to take a taxi from Gatwick to St. Pancras or is it too expensive and difficult to even contemplate? Alternatively, maybe we could take a cab from Victoria to St. Pancras? I did take the Gatwick express last year and think we could at least manage the luggage on that portion.

Also, another possibility might be that we can fly but have to wait a day at Gatwick. In that case is there any hotels folks could recommend near Gatwick that aren't too expensive and have transport to and from the terminal?

Fingers crossed we don't need to change the plan, but I would like to start getting prepared in case we do!!
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Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 01:23 PM
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You don't want to go to Victoria or want anything to do w/ the Gatwick Express. You want to take a train from LGW directly to Kings Cross/St Pancras.

>>Is it feasible to take a taxi from Gatwick to St. Pancras

NO! It would take hours and cost a fortune - And there is no need
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Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 01:25 PM
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BTW walk up fares on the Eurostar are very high and trains often sell out . . . which would be especially true if the strike goes ahead.

So once you get to St Pancras -- there may not be any seats to be had.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 01:43 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. After a bit more research I do see that there are trains from Gatwick to St. Pancras, so if we need to we might go that way. If we do need to do the eurostar then we will book in advance from Gatwick.

We are staying for a few hours in the Yotel sleeping berth hotel (we had planned that anyway since we arrive at 7Am and the only Bordeaux flight leaves at 16:45), so hopefully we could still find space on the train in advance. I do know the price will likely be high though. I think to be honest if British airways tells us the flight for the next day will not be cancelled then we might likely just stay at the Premier Inn near Gatwick.

In any case, since I won't know until we land, I guess we will have to just keep fingers crossed at this point that we might be lucky and our flight will proceed as planned. Unfortunately, we did get caught in the Air France strike 2 years ago and had to drive up to Paris from Bordeaux and to change airlines for our flight back to the US, so I am trying to brace myself for the worst.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 02:39 PM
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Just throwing this out there.
http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/fe...ortsmouth-Caen

Portsmouth is an hour by bus from Gatwick and if there is a stike and the trains are full you could look at this. Train from Caen to Bordeaux.

Hoping it all works out for you and so many others.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 02:41 PM
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http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/uni...nericx6GATHITW

We did this for an early morning flight. It was perfect and there were some very good dining options.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 03:17 PM
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You don't mean you will wait until you get to Gatwick to book a same day Eurostar ticket do you? That could cost a small fortune...
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Old Mar 3rd, 2017, 04:54 PM
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I second the suggestion of exploring ferries as an option. And I wish you the Best of British!
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 09:45 AM
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Thanks so much for the ferry suggestion. It definitely is something we will look at. I think it will be end up being cheaper than a last minute Eurostar ticket.

Looks like right now that the same flight for the day before (Monday the 6th) has been cancelled but the morning flight is still showing as going, so hopefully if they cancel our flight for Tuesday, one of the flights on Weds. will go. That would be our cheapest and certainly easiest option-to just stay near the airport and wait it out.

Thanks for the Hilton link-it may be worth the extra money to have some dining options
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 10:05 AM
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Macross, it also looks as if there is a train from Gatwick to Portsmouth Harbour. Is this better than the bus?
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 10:43 AM
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jpie, We were going to take the train and this gentleman told us the bus was better and cheaper but depends on your luggage situation probably. It was a pleasant ride.
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 11:12 AM
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Also look at cheap flights from, e.g., Stanstead (and other outlying London airports) to Bergerac, which puts you an hour by train or car from Bordeaux. Flybe is one airline to look into, but there are others. Google Bergerac Airport, then click on destinations and see what the possibilities are.

Getting to Stanstead, or Liverpool, I think would be faster than getting to Plymouth.

I have no idea if this would be helpful or not, as I don't know what your overall trip plans are, but there are certainly plenty of cheap ways to fly from various places in England to the SW of France.
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 11:40 AM
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But isn't flying within France the problem?
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 11:53 AM
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Well it is an air traffic controller strike so I am guessing it will affect all the airports, but I will check Bergerac, etc.

Macross-online the prices look pretty similar but I have a feeling that bus might actually be easier since we do have a bit of luggage. We stay many months, so have laptops. etc. as well. I know most buses have undercarriage storage so that might be easier than train. That way we would only need to keep track of the laptop bags in the "cabin" area.

In any case I will try to remember to post after we make the trip to let you all know how it turns out-whether we stay over at Gatwick etc. Might be helpful to other travelers this week.
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Old Mar 5th, 2017, 12:19 PM
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Ack! I was thinking it was an Air France strike. Haven't been checking airline information much recently as I'm not flying anywhere until May. Sorry.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 05:22 AM
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So happy! We are at Gatwick and our flight will be going to Bordeaux as scheduled. Thanks for all info though, it was helpful to have a backup plan.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 06:48 AM
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Great news!!!
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