Many thousands of passengers from the UK and other parts of Europe who made reservations to fly to Spain on the weekend of 12th to 14th June were faced with news about air traffic controllers planning a massive strike. Even though the strike was to last only two hours a day, it was a busy weekend and in that time, thousands of flights could possibly be affected. The only issue was that most passengers did not really know what to expect. Many weekend travellers were scheduled to either land in Spain or leave the country at that time, this could turn out to be a major dampener for travel plans. A lot of time, and as a result, money could have been wasted in airport terminals, waiting for news on the strike.While the strike did happen, there were no more delays than what was normally expected. In other words, the strike did not have too much of an impact on the flight situation. The main reason for the almost smooth flight situation was how the laws in Spain are designed. It is written that there should be a minimum of 70% staff capacity in their stations at all times, even during strikes. Many major airliners, including British Airways issued statements to their passengers claiming that there will be little to no disruptions in their flights. Many other airlines followed suit. The only thing that the passengers were assured of was the fact that their flights will not be cancelled because of the strikes and that delays were to be expected.
The important question here is that, had the strikes caused major disruptions, delays and cancellations, will the passengers have received any flight delay compensation?
If you happen to face such a situation in the near future, here are a few pointers that can help you out.
Contact your airline, they are the first point of contact and will be able to offer you the latest news on any cancellation or delay. In case of a packaged holiday, the delay should cause a significant change in your schedules. A significant delay, should be a minimum of 12 hours on a 14 night holiday. They should offer you a refund if this is the case.
If your hotel and airline bookings are different, you are likely to have a reroute or the bookings may be rescheduled to a different date. If you end-up stranded at the airport because of a strike, however, the airliners will offer you refreshments, food and even accommodations for too much delay, but they are in no way obliged to refund or pay any delayed flight compensation as a result. EU regulations are clear on what circumstances airlines owe their passengers, it has to, for the most part, be their fault. Extraordinary circumstances, as they are known, include strikes by airport staff, so you cannot expect any delayed flight compensation in this case.