The Eiffel Tower will reopen today after its new ticketing system led to staff strikes over “monstrous” waiting times.
The Paris landmark closed to the public on Wednesday 4pm after a series of disagreements between managements and trade union officials over the repercussions of a decision to separate pre-booked and walk-in visitors to the site, according to AFP.
The tourist attraction’s staff have requested more flexibility in managing the thousands of visitors.
The site’s operator SETE, which is majority owned by the city of Paris, made the following statement on Wednesday afternoon: “The SETE is well aware of the disappointment for visitors because of the monument’s closure, and its negative impact on the image of both the city and country.”
The Eiffel Tower’s Twitter page revealed this morning that the attraction would open as usual at 9am.
The entry system at the ‘Iron Lady’ has been in place since early July, in which half of daily tickets are set aside for those who book in advance online and schedule a specific visiting time.
Prior to the system changes, only 20 per cent of tickets could be booked ahead of time.
In addition, the landmark’s management has made the move to reserve specific elevators for each type of ticket holder. This reportedly “creates lines that are at times monstrous and often lopsided,” the CGT union said in a statement. There are claims that in off-peak times for pre-booked tickets the reserved lifts are often half empty, while walk-ins have to wait in lines up to three hours long.
Workers said that high demand at the pre-booked elevator can also cause backups that mean many people who booked in advance with a specific time end up waiting long beyond their scheduled visit.
Image: lin padgham