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

Here’s a guide to the EasyJet, Vueling and Ryanair strikes – and how they might affect your holiday

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

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 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 already gone on strike this summer. From Italy and Belgium to Denmark 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

Air traffic control staff in France have announced strike action that could see half of all flights to and from the country grounded. The next strike will take place for 24 hours from 6am on September 30. Here’s what you need to know about the French air traffic control strikes.

Ryanair and Vueling strikes in Italy

Two unions in Italy representing cabin crew at budget airlines are set to go on strike on October 1. Pilots and flight attendants are demanding higher pay and better working conditions, as well as walking out to protest recent redundancies. Ryanair staff will strike for 24 hours, while Vueling staff will strike for four hours, from 1pm to 5pm. 

Ryanair strikes in Spain

Two unions that represent Ryanair’s cabin crew based in Spain are set to go on strike for a whopping five months.

From August 8 until January 7, cabin crews will strike from Monday to Thursday every week. It’ll likely affect Ryanair routes to airports in Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Majorca and Seville. However, it’s worth noting that Ryanair has said that it doesn’t actually expect this strike to cause that much disruption.

What happens if your airline goes on strike?

If 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: Here are all the airlines cancelling flights right now.

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

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