The strikes that could affect your summer holiday – and how to claim compensation

Airport staff are expected to strike at various key European destinations this summer, including in France, Italy and the Netherlands. However, expected strikes at Gatwick airport have been (at least temporarily) postponed.

Here we round up the travel strikes across the UK and Europe in the coming months, with advice on what to do if your plans are affected.

This page will be regularly updated to reflect the latest information, but note that some strikes are announced with little notice.

Travel disruption this summer

Paris: Airports (July 17)

Airport workers at both Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris have called for walkouts on July 17, just 10 days before the beginning of the Olympics. It could cause delays in baggage handling and at check-in, although flights themselves should not be affected.

Italy: Airports (July 21)

Milan Linate and Bergamo Orio al Serio are expected to be hit with strike action on July 21. Delays will be felt most keenly between 1-5pm, in a repeat of a walkout taken earlier in the month by unionised staff. Italy’s transport unions are forbidden from striking during the height of the summer, so further action is not expected.

France: Motorways (throughout the summer)

Those driving throughout France should brace for a series of strikes across the country’s motorways throughout the summer. Protesting a falling number of staff members, workers on both the Autoroutes du Sud (ASF) and Vinci motorways have begun a series of walkouts. Exact dates are unclear, but those expecting to drive on either road should, especially at weekends, be prepared for delays.

Netherlands: Public transport (September 12)

Ahead of a budget announcement by the Dutch government, public transport workers have announced a walkout in the country’s largest cities on September 12. Services in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague will be impacted, with further strikes possible after that date.

What to do if your travel plans are affected by strike action

Before travelling, check whether there are any strikes in your destination and plan accordingly. Localised train strikes, for example, could create issues travelling from the airport upon arrival. Below, we outline your rights for major modes of transport.


If your flight is delayed or cancelled due to strike action, contact your airline immediately. Airlines are obliged to offer assistance such as food and drink or accommodation for extensive delays due to industrial action. Your airline is also obliged to place you on the next available flight. Or, if the delay lasts for more than five hours, you can withdraw from your flight and ask for a refund.

For flights that are cancelled outright, whether you are entitled to compensation depends on if the strike is considered to be something the airline could control. If so, you will only be entitled to compensation if your carrier informs you your flight is cancelled less than 14 days from the date you’re due to fly. But in the case of European air traffic control strikes, this wouldn’t be seen as the airline’s responsibility.

Check that your travel insurance covers you in the event of strike action. But be aware that once the industrial action has been announced, even without precise dates, you will not be able to buy cover for strikes.

For more information on what to do if your flight is delayed or cancelled, read our comprehensive guide here.

Trains and Eurostar services

If you have purchased an advance ticket and the train is rescheduled or cancelled due to strike action, you are entitled to a change or refund.

The refund process depends on each operator, but most have a straightforward “delay repay” system. Be sure to contact the retailer you purchased the ticket from.

As for Eurostar, if your train has been cancelled or is announced as delayed before departure by more than 60 minutes, you can reschedule your trip for another date or swap your ticket for an e-voucher, which you can use to rebook later in the year or claim a cash refund. Those whose trains are delayed after departure are entitled to partial refunds, depending on the length of the delay. Find more information here.


According to the trade body Abta, if your ferry is expected to be delayed or cancelled, you should be provided with free snacks, meals and refreshments in relation to the waiting time. Refreshments should be provided even if the reason for the cancellation is bad weather (considered out of the company’s control).

When your ferry operator cancels your service due to strike action, it should offer the choice of an alternative or a refund.

You are entitled to compensation of 25 per cent of your ticket price, for that part of the affected journey, if your service is delayed in arrival by at least:

  • one hour for a journey of four hours

  • two hours for a journey between four and eight hours

  • three hours for a journey between eight and 24 hours

  • six hours for a journey of more than 24 hours

If the delay exceeds double the time set out, the compensation should be 50 per of the ticket price. The ferry operator must pay compensation within one month of the submission of a substantiated claim for compensation. Passengers should note that compensation isn’t payable where the delay was caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ferry or by extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances that hindered the sailing.

This piece is kept regularly updated with the latest strike news.

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