How to plan strikes in Europe

Ongoing industrial action continues to wreak havoc in major European transit hubs and could upend travellers’ plans this summer.

Tens of thousands of flights and trains have been delayed or canceled in recent months as workers in European cities have walked out over pay disputes and working conditions. France and Britain have been particularly hard hit, with prolonged strikes during peak holiday periods.

Partly due to industrial action, flight cancellations in Europe rose 65% in March compared to the previous month and are expected to increase further as demand increases during the summer season, according to Cirium, an aviation analysis company .

For travelers in the process of booking their summer trips, travel experts advise checking to see if flight and hotel bookings coincide with planned labor actions. London’s Heathrow Airport, where security staff go on strike several days a month, maintains a schedule of planned disruptions. In Britain, the national rail service has published scheduled train strike dates through June.

In France, unions regularly stage nationwide protests against a bill introduced by President Emmanuel Macron to raise the country’s retirement age by two years. Violent clashes erupted between protesters and law enforcement, leading to the closure of some tourist attractions. Air traffic controllers and workers at SNCF, the country’s national rail operator, have walked off the job several times this year, and the action is expected to continue in the coming months as lawmakers discuss the pensions bill.

In Italy, baggage handlers, pilots and flight attendants regularly go on strike to demand their salaries; a national strike is scheduled for June 4 which will affect buses, trams and metro lines. Rail strikes across Germany also caused widespread disruption.

The U.S. Department of State advises travelers to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to get notices of labor actions and other happenings at international destinations.

Even though the days of the planned strikes are known in advance, travel agents are advising their customers to build a few extra days into their itineraries in case they are affected by disruptions. Travelers should also familiarize themselves with their rights before embarking on their journeys. Under European Union rules, travelers traveling to, from or within the bloc are eligible for a refund or an alternative flight if their flight is canceled or delayed by more than three hours. Travelers delayed overnight may also be eligible for reimbursement of personal expenses, such as food and accommodation.

If notified of a cancellation less than 14 days before a scheduled departure date, passengers are entitled to compensation of up to $660. The same rules apply to travelers in Great Britain.

“If your flight is disrupted due to an airline strike, airlines may owe you compensation ranging from $250 to $600 to compensate for the inconvenience,” said Tomasz Pawliszyn, chief executive of AirHelp, a service provider. Berlin-based flight claims management.

The rules only apply where the workers acting are employed by an airline, including pilots, cabin crew, airline engineers or others working directly for the airline. Strikes by other airport staff, including air traffic control and security, are considered beyond the airline’s control.

nytimes Eur

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button