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Europe’s travel strikes: Flight and train disruption you can expect in September and October

Europe's travel strikes: Flight and train disruption you can expect in September and October

Europe is a hive of strike action right now, with many employees unhappy that sky-high inflation has not been matched by higher wages.

Walkouts are planned all over Europe, showing that it always pays to check before you travel.

Luckily, we have gathered all of the strike information together below.

Read on to find out where and when are walkouts taking place.

If your flight or train is cancelled or delayed, you will be entitled to a new ticket or compensation. Read our guide for the full details.

France: Air traffic control union strikes called off

France’s largest union for air traffic controllers (SNCTA) has called off a nationwide strike planned for Friday 15 September. 

It says it has reached an agreement with the civil aviation authority (Direction générale de l’Aviation civile, DGAC), but the details remain unclear. It is not yet clear if the walkout planned for 13 October is also cancelled.

Any strikes must be announced 48 hours in advance.

The strikes — called over pay in the face of rising inflation — were set to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, which is drawing thousands of people to the country. 

The action could have seen widespread flight cancellations and impacts on flights from other countries that crossed French airspace. 

Paris transport strikes threatened over Rugby World Cup

Paris Metro workers have threatened strike action during the Rugby World Cup, which runs until 28 October at Stade de France, Saint-Denis.

While train drivers will receive a bonus in recognition of the additional services they must run during the event, station staff have not been offered additional pay.

Members of trade union FO-RATP, which represents public transport workers in Paris, have threatened to walk out over the issue. Negotiations are currently ongoing.

Italy: Ground staff strikes in September

A strike by ground staff at airports around Italy on 16 September appears to have been called off. Passengers flying on this date are advised to contact their airline for confirmation.

However, a nationwide baggage handling strike is still planned for 29 September, which could cause delays for passengers.

Unions are calling for greater job security and pay increases amid soaring inflation.

It is still unclear how widespread the disruption will be but previous walkouts have led to disruption and flight cancellations.

Italy’s civil aviation authority ENAC has reassured travellers that flights are guaranteed to go ahead during strikes from 7am to 10am and 6pm to 9pm. It will publish a list of guaranteed flights a few days before the strike.

Public transport strike in Italy

Unionised public transport workers in Italy are planning a nationwide strike on 18 September.

The 24-hour walkout over pay could cause serious disruption to metro, tram and bus services in major cities, as well as increased traffic.

A smaller public transport strike backed by only the USB union will also take place on 29 September, with less disruption expected.

It is advised to check your transport plans and allow extra time for possible delays on this day.

England: Ground handler strikes at Luton Airport suspended

Ground handling staff at Luton Airport have suspended a 24-hour strike planned for 13 Septemberto allow for last-minute offer talks.

Depending on the outcome of the talks, Wizz Air ground handlers could still go ahead with a strike on 20 September.

The strike would cause «huge disruption» for Wizz Air passengers, according to union Unite.

Employees of the airline’s ground handler, GH London, have called the strike in protest of poor working conditions and unfair treatment.

Luton Airport cleaners will also go on strike for four days from 20 September in a dispute over pay, which will «result in dirty toilets and an unkempt airport», says Unite. 

While car park workers employed by APCOA stage a 48-hour strike from 20 September. This could cause delays for passengers using valet parking services and buses transporting from car parks to the airport terminal.

Belgium: Ryanair pilots announce further strikes

Belgium-based Ryanair pilots will strike once again on 14-15 September

Charleroi airport strikes in July and August caused hundreds of flight cancellations when two trade unions — CNE and ACV Puls — and the pilots’ union Beca walked out.

The strike notice runs until October 2024 with CNE union members warning that industrial action is likely to continue if improvements are not made to working conditions and pay.

Spain: Security staff announce airport strike in Alicante

Private security staff at Alicante-Elche airport have announced strikes later this month over working conditions and pay.

Ilunion Seguridad employees will carry out ‘partial stoppages’ from 8:45-9:45am and 6-7pm each day on 22-24, 26, 29-30 September, affecting baggage checks.

If you know of a big strike happening in your country that we have missed, we’d love to hear from you via Twitter.


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