Dealing with airline and air traffic controller strikes in Europe

Lufthansa pilots are pointing out, again, that they think they’re belonging to the poor part of the population in Europe. So do the air traffic controllers in France (which we may attribute to their local habits). Let’s not mention Italy at all here.

Wait, before you run for a helicopter lift, a Lear jet, or another expensive last-minute business class ticket with another airline. Fortunately, Europe has a long history in railway operations. Why not a train trip? They might go on strike, but (we can assure you) not at the same time as the pilots.

If you should be in a situation where you need to show up in another place instead of extending your hotel right where you are, then you might consider the European speed train network. The big lines Thalys, Eurostar, TGV Grandes Lignes, the German ICE speed trains (be sure to have a ticket or comparable credentials while travelling in Germany) and the good old-fashioned overnight trains CityNightLine and Nachtzug are crossing borders, and connecting capitals.

Example routes:

  • Paris – Brussels: 90 minutes on Thalys
  • Brussels – London: less than 3 hours on Eurostar
  • Frankfurt-Copenhagen (overnight): 23:00-08:00 while you sleep with CityNightLine or DB Nachtzug. Breakfast served either in a rolling restaurant or in your room!
  • Frankfurt-Paris: TGV/ICE less than 5 hours
  • Cologne-Amsterdam: just a few hours with ICE.
  • Munich-Berlin: 5 hours with ICE
  • Oslo-Stockholm: 6 hours with the Swedish Intercity train

    Delat airline pilots

    Trustworthy pilots at work - Wikipedia.org Public Domain

Check the route plans, and then hop on a train! Some routes, e.g. Brussels-London, or Paris-Lyon, are hardly worth the hassle with airport security checks any longer. The train is almost there before the plane took off.

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3 comments to Speed trains vs. airline and air traffic controller strikes in Europe

  • lexi

    Just note that passengers the Eurostar connection between London and Paris are subject to security checks which are similar to those at airports.

  • Stefan

    well lexi, not as bad they ask 30 min not 2-3h as in BRU.

    @all the best way to find your connection is in deed the webpage of the German railways if it is a connection within some where in Europe or even Asia http://www.bahn.de – it’s in many languages.

  • Ted Striker

    Those pilots sure look trustworthy. Based on the picture, I’d say they have all the right credentials.

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