From air traffic controllers to garbage collectors and train drivers, France is famous for its frequent strikes. Now, it’s the Eiffel Tower that’s getting the strike treatment. Yesterday afternoon, the iconic tower closed due to a workers’ strike. The long, inefficient waiting lines for tourists are exasperating the Eiffel Tower staff. There are two lines at the Eiffel Tower, each leading to different elevators. The first line is for those who have booked their tickets months in advance, while the second is for visitors who show up without a reservation. Prior to July, only 20 percent of tickets were available for advance booking, but now that number has changed to 50 percent.
According to Gail Boisclair, Condé Nast Traveler specialist and founder of Perfectly Paris, “The workers don’t understand why, in non-peak hours, the people in the line without pre-booked tickets cannot use the lift for the people with a reserved time slot, since it will sometimes be going up only partially full while there is still a huge queue at the other lift.”
It’s nice to know tower workers are taking the tourist’s side. Some visitors are waiting up to three hours just to enter the elevator, according to a Reuters report. The wait is even worse now given the recent high temperatures in Paris, which have hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re in Paris this week, and wondering if you’ll be able to queue for the Eiffel Tower, well…it’s tough to know for sure. The strike is supposed to last all day today (Thursday), but a failure to resolve the issue could result in an even longer closure. In the meantime, you can still admire it from the ground.
H/T: Condé Nast Traveler