Strikes Galore

By | Category: Travel rumblings

August and September may get rather miserable for some of us. We have the continuing saga at British Airways, Spanish air traffic controllers have voted overwhelmingly to strike and Greek lorry drivers also threatened that they would refuse to deliver fuel. Luckily, that strike is now over. Aer Lingus cabin crew are being balloted on a work-to-rule. Rome airport will have a strike there for 4 hours on 9th September. There is a French and an Indian general strike both on 7th September and one in Spain on 29th September. Two weeks ago we had the French air traffic controllers on strike. Even pilots in Sweden had a brief strike in July and another in June.
So what will it mean for us?
With British Airways, if the strike ever happens and whilst they are still talking, there is hope. At present the guess is that if it happens, the bank holiday period at the end of the month might have disruption. But BA has been getting more and more flights away as the strikes lasted so those who might be affected will be travelling domestically and on short haul.
The case in Spain involves pay cuts although many will be unsympathetic given the air traffic controllers earn six figure sums, much more than British controllers are paid. The best guess at the moment is that strikes will last for about 3 days starting on August 18th. If it happens some 300,000 British and Irish travellers will be affected so be prepared for last minute changes. It also means that if you have a flight that travels over Spanish air space you may be re-routed or your flight may, at the extreme, get cancelled. Check closer to the time.
The Aer Lingus result won’t be known for a about another week. If it happens then the union only has to give 7 day’s notice before striking so the earliest date would be about the 18th of August. Ryanair has said they will add flights and offer a special fare.
In September there will be quite a few strikes as co-ordinated action against the plans to unify European air space. Actions in many countries have yet to be announced, so again, keep in contact with your travel agent or airline. The general strikes in India and France will cause travel disruption if you have to fly over their airspace. How the French strike will affect ferries, the chunnel and Eurostar is yet to be seen and there is no information on the websites yet.
If you haven’t booked travel insurance, check some different policies to see what their cover is for strikes. Many won’t cover you.
And good luck!

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