These are all the strikes at European airports you need to watch out for right now |
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NewsThese are all the strikes at European airports you need to watch...

These are all the strikes at European airports you need to watch out for right now

It’s a tough time to be working in the aviation industry. Faced with staff shortages and huge levels of disruption, many workers at airlines and airports are facing long, stressful hours and poor working conditions. And, thanks to the cost of living crisis and pandemic-era pay cuts, loads of them are doing it all for lower wages, too.

Needless to say, it’s no wonder that so many staff at airports and airlines have been going on strike. From Italy and Belgium to Greece and France, airports across Europe have seen thousands of flights delayed and cancelled by industrial action.

Strikes can, obvs, have a serious impact on your holiday, so it’s best to be as informed about them as possible. Read on for our guide to who’s going on strike in Europe right now, where and when those strikes will happen – and whether you need to worry about them.

Air traffic control strikes in France

France’s largest air traffic control union, the SNCTA, which represents around 60 percent of air traffic controllers, has filed a strike notice for this Thursday (April 25). 

If the industrial action goes ahead, which is in protest of ‘unacceptable’ proposed changes to their job role, it could mean that up to 70 percent of flights are cancelled, according to French media. 

UK Border Force strikes

Border Force workers at London Heathrow have planned a walkout from April 29 – May 2 in protest of plans to lay off staff, which could cause major disruption to international flights. 

There are also plans for a ‘work to rule’ strike between May 3-18, and 50 refuelling workers could be staging a 72-hour strike over benefit cuts. 

Catering workers strike at Gatwick Airport

If you’re flying with easyJet or TUI anytime soon, you might want to eat before you board. Around 100 Dnata catering workers who work on the two airlines – including HGV drivers and warehouse workers – are planning strike action on April 26-29May 3-6 and 10-13

Strikes at Belgium’s Charleroi Airport

The Brussels airport has issued a strike warning that could last until the end of April, as catering staff and baggage handlers are expected to walk out at the start of May if their concerns about working conditions aren’t addressed, according to euronews

What happens if your airline goes on strike?

If the staff on strike cause your flight to be delayed or cancelled, the airline is usually obliged to help you and/or provide compensation. However, this often depends on the conditions of carriage of your airline, as well as the extent of your travel insurance. These should both be easily accessed on either your airline or insurer’s website. 

However, if you book your flight already knowing that a strike is set to take place (ie. it’s already been announced by the union), you are exceptionally unlikely to receive compensation. Before you book, be sure to check for any strike dates not just at your intended airline but also at departure and arrival airports.

Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that the threat of a strike is exactly that: a threat. Strikes are primarily used as bargaining chips in negotiations between unions and employers, so there’s always the chance that both sides will come to an agreement before one actually takes place.

In any case, if your journey involves any of the above airlines, destinations and dates, be sure to keep an eye on your flight status and prepare for a more disrupted journey than expected.

ICYMI: This airport just took the crown from Singapore as the world’s best.

Plus: how to track down lost baggage and get compensation.


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