The timing could not be worse: just a few days after the SNCF unveiled its plan to reduce its supply, because of the health restrictions then in place in 19 departments, Emmanuel Macron decrees the third general confinement of the French population , although for communication reasons, this term was not used during the presidential address of March 31, 2021. Unsurprisingly, the French rushed on the trains, at least those that remained.
The SNCF site stormed after Macron’s announcements
During his speech, Emmanuel Macron announced that “ tolerance »Would be applied for interregional trips during the Easter weekend, and that the ban on these trips would not finally be in force imperatively until Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Enough to allow the richest to go to their second homes, among others.
The French therefore took the President at his word: on March 31, 2021, after the speech held at 8 p.m., the SNCF site was taken by storm… to the point of almost undergoing a DDoS attack. The services were down due to the very high demand.
Fewer trains … but more people who have decided to leave
The situation was exacerbated by the reduction in SNCF’s offer, announced in mid-March 2021 and in place since Monday, March 29, 2021, aimed at dealing with a drop in reservations. But now, the carrier will have to manage the massive demand, which will be absorbed by the 1,500 TGV and 220 Intercités announced for the Easter weekend, from Saturday 3 to Monday 5 April 2021.
Naturally, the confinement, in place until at least May 2, 2021, will make it impossible for many French people to travel. The latter can always cancel their trip, as specified by the SNCF, since the conditions for reimbursement, cancellation and exchange are always very attractive: ” all tickets are exchangeable and refundable free of charge until the last moment (1h30 before departure for OUIGO) for journeys by TGV INOUI, OUIGO, INTERCITÉS and international TGV (TGV INOUI Italy, TGV Lyria, Renfe & SNCF in Cooperation, DB & SNCF en Coopération), for journeys made up to and including April 18, 2021 “.