• 19.March.2024
  • 2 min
  • By: Serena Bhangu

The air travel industry is not infallible to disputes with its staff which may involve staff taking industrial action including general strikes.

Our resident travel expert Steve Reid looks at the issue of industrial disputes within the air travel industry, and where you may have grounds for compensation.

We have all seen the headlines in the news about mass disruption caused to passengers resulting from industrial action.

The air travel industry is made up of many constituent parts, air traffic control, baggage handlers, airport staff, security personnel, ground staff, pilots, engineers, aircrew etc. All of which may independently or at the same time go on strike in demand for better pay and working conditions. And when they do, as the headlines show, this can cause delays and cancellations, meaning misery for many passengers.

So, when does industrial action mean that you could get compensation for a flight that is delayed or cancelled?

Broadly, and in simple terms, if the flight disruption is caused by industrial action by staff within the control of the airline, then you could get compensation. If it is by action for example by air traffic control staff, then no compensation would be due, as, in this example, the air traffic staff are not under the direct control of the airline.

Usually, industrial action by airline staff is planned. This planned action allows airlines to hopefully overt the action but if this is not possible it affords the airline to come up with contingency plans to minimise the effect of staff action and this may lead to changes in airline schedules which may lead to some delays and cancellations and sadly also at the last minute.

If you are affected by either a delay or cancellation due to industrial action by airline staff then you could be owed up to £520 in compensation, because the airline itself is accountable to passengers for the industrial action of its staff.

What am I entitled to?

When you experience flight disruption due to an airline strike, you have passenger rights under EU & UK regulations. Depending on the length of the delay, but for delays of two hours or more the airline must provide you with the following:

  • Meals and refreshments during the delay
  • Access to communications, including two telephone calls, and access to email.
  • Overnight accommodation, including transportation to and from the airport to your hotel.
  • For delays of 3 hours or more, you are also entitled to financial compensation.

If your flight is cancelled within 14 days of your scheduled departure, the airline must provide you with an alternative flight or offer you a full refund. You may also be entitled to compensation of up to £520 per passenger.

If you have suffered a delay or cancellation due to a strike by airline staff, simply provide us with a few details and we’ll check your eligibility for compensation.

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