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Airline strike – your rights if the flight is canceled or delayed

Strikes among airport and flight staff can cause your flight to be delayed or even cancelled. But in which cases are you entitled to compensation? Read more about your rights as an air passenger when experiencing flight disruption due to are a strike.

Flights in the EU that are affected by delays or cancellations usually give the right to financial compensation. However, this does not apply if the cancellation or delay is due to extraordinary circumstances such as storms, war and political instability, or in some cases strikes.

According to the European Court of Justice passengers are entitled to compensation for flight delays and cancellations caused by strikes among the airline’s own employees. This means that the airline is obliged to pay compensation to the passengers, assuming the strike is among the airline’s own flight staff.

If the strike is among the airport staffs, who are not employed by the airline, you are not entitled to compensation. A third party strike is considered an extraordinary circumstance.

Claim a refund for your flight ticket

If your flight is canceled due to a strike or lockout, you are protected by the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004.

You can exchange the airline ticket for the next possible departure with either the same airline or another airline. Alternatively you can get the money back and arrange to get there yourself.

If you can decide to travel with the next flight, you may be entitled to refreshment in form of food and drink.

However, your right to care depends on how far you have to fly and how much your flight is delayed. You are entitled to food and drink if your flight is delayed more than two hours from the original departure, depending on the length of the journey.

If you have to wait overnight you are also entitled to free accommodation and transport between the airport and hotel if necessary.

You may have to book accommodation yourself and seek reimbursement from the airline later.

So you must remember to keep the receipts for your expenses in connection with your flight disruption.

However, you must bear in mind that the airline only covers necessary expenses.

You are entitled to compensation for lost luggage

The strike may also mean that your luggage is delayed. You are also entitled to compensation, if your luggage does not arrive on time.

This means you can buy the most necessary things, if your luggage is delayed by more than 24 hours. You must spend around EUR 75 per day.

However, there is a possibility of compensation if you lose your luggage completely.

Your luggage is considered lost if you have not received it within 21 days, and you are thus entitled to compensation for it. The amount can be up to EUR 1,300.

You are entitled to compensation, when the airline strike

You are entitled to compensation if your flight departure is canceled due to strike among the airline’s employees. The amount you can claim in compensation depends on the total distance of your flight and the length of the delay at your destination, not at departure.

You are entitled to the following in the event of flight delays of more than 3 hours:
  • €250 for flights less than 1,500 km
  • €400 for flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km and intra-community flights over 1,500 km
  • €300 for flights more than 3,500 km, between an EU and non-EU airport
  • €600 for flights more than 3,500 km, when delayed over 4 hours

Travelrefund fights for your air passenger rights

At Travelrefund we do everything we can to help passengers getting their rights acknowledged by the airline. Our skilled legal department reviews your case completely free of charge. There are no withdrawals, prepayments or fees.

We always treat your plane delay compensation case as “no cure, no pay.” If you do not receive compensation, you will not pay.

All you have to do is enter your flight details in our application form. You can find the form here. If you qualify for compensation, our team of lawyers will take care of the rest for you. You can always contact us for questions. We’re happy to help.

Also read about signs that the airline is going bankrupt.

Get your compensation

Had a delayed or canceled flight within the past 3 years? Get up to 600€ pr. passenger!

  • 100% free compensation check
  • No cure, no pay
  • If you get paid, we deduct a small fee before paying you.

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