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Airline Strike Compensation: What You Need to Know

When your flight is disrupted by an airline strike, it can leave you wondering about your rights and whether you’re entitled to compensation. Strikes can cause significant inconvenience, but the rules around compensation are specific. Here’s a clear guide to understanding your rights and options.

Understanding Strikes and Your Rights

An airline strike involves employees of the airline, such as pilots or cabin crew, stopping work. These strikes can lead to delays or cancellations. Under EU Regulation EC 261/2004, passengers may be entitled to compensation for disruptions caused by airline staff strikes, as these are considered within the airline’s control.

Are You Eligible for Compensation?

Flight Details: Your flight must be within, to, or from the EU, or operated by an EU airline.
Notice Period: If you’re informed of the cancellation less than 14 days before your scheduled flight due to a strike, you might be eligible for compensation.
Control: The strike must be related to the airline’s operations (e.g., pilot or cabin crew strikes). Strikes by airport staff or air traffic control are usually considered “extraordinary circumstances” and may not qualify for compensation.

Compensation Amounts

The compensation depends on the flight distance and the delay caused by the disruption:

Short haul (up to 1,500km): Up to €250 (about £220).
Medium haul (1,500km to 3,500km): Up to €400 (around £350).
Long haul (over 3,500km): Between €300 (about £260) and €600 (around £530), depending on the length of the delay.

Steps to Claim Compensation

Document the Disruption: Keep your boarding pass, booking confirmation, and any communications from the airline regarding the strike.

File a Claim with the Airline: Submit a detailed claim to the airline, including your flight information and the nature of the disruption.

Seek Assistance if Needed: If you encounter difficulties or the airline rejects your claim, consider seeking help from a Air Travel Claim, our experts specialise in airline compensation, and we can help you claim back the money you are entitled to.

Additional Rights

Beyond compensation, you’re entitled to:

Assistance: For delays of two hours or more, you should receive meals, refreshments, and, if necessary, accommodation.
Re-routing or Refunds: You can choose between a full refund of your ticket or re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity.

Tips for Handling Strike Disruptions

Stay Informed: Keep up to date with the latest information from the airline about the strike and your flight status.
Act Quickly: There are time limits for claiming compensation, so don’t delay in filing your claim.
Keep Records: Documentation is crucial for supporting your claim for compensation.

In Summary

Airline strikes can significantly disrupt your travel plans, but knowing your rights can help you navigate these situations more effectively. If your flight is affected by a strike, you may be entitled to compensation, as well as care and assistance from the airline. Understanding these rights and the process for claiming compensation can ensure you’re not left out of pocket due to airline disruptions.

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