Travel advice on . . . air traffic control strikes

Protect yourself by adding travel disruption to your travel insurance policy

 

April has been heavily hit by air traffic controls (ATC) strikes in France, Belgium, Italy and Greece. The disruption this causes travellers is monumental.

The fact that in some cases flights cannot overfly other countries means strikes have a wider knock-on effect. When French ATC goes on strike, which they do frequently – 43 since 2009 and five in the past month – everyone else is picking up the cost. In many countries ATC is not allowed to strike or must give a notice period before it does. Ryanair are backing a petition called “Keep Europe’s Skies Open”, to garner 1,000,000 signatures to urge the European Parliament and European Commission to take action. The petition calls for the banning of strikes by ATC and the advancing of claims by mediation and binding arbitration.

The best scenario is to hope that your flight is not cancelled. If it is cancelled you will only be entitled to the cost you paid refunded or a change to a later date. If you have to pay for a new flight there is no compensation.

If your flight is just delayed, then terms of the EU261 Disruption Compensation kicks in. The airline will be responsible for feeding you, providing accommodation if necessary and getting you to your destination.

Trying to anticipate when strikes might happen is a guessing game, but French controllers, the most disruptive, are known to target bank holidays weekends and the beginning and end of school holidays – but not always.

You can protect yourself from some of the additional costs that you may have to pay by adding travel disruption to your travel insurance policy. It does not cost a huge amount and one disrupted flight could be enough to cover the additional cost.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.