Christmas Chaos: Panic If You Are Flying Soon


With strikes planed everywhere from British Airways to Virgin Atlantic, Christmas is always a stressful time to travel. The question is, should you panic?

If you are travelling to France this weekend, yes you probably should. The French air-traffic controller’s strike, starting today, is part of a nationwide campaign by public servants against the Macron administration.

Air traffic controllers say they have suffered continual downsizing for more than 10 years and major disruption is expected across the country. The strike will run 8pm today to 7am on 15 December.

In Belgium, a strike will also affect Brussels Zaventem airport today.

Further ahead, some Virgin Atlantic pilots are planning a series of four-day strikes in a dispute over recognition running 22 December to Christmas Day; and 30 December to 2 January; with a third planned for 4 January. British Airways staff are also threatening a strike related to pay.

Virgin Atlantic claims that any action will not result in cancelled services, however, it is worth knowing your rights just in case.

European law requires airlines to seat you on an alternative flight even if it is on a rival carrier, in the situation where your flight is cancelled because of a strike.

It is also worth knowing that these EU rules do not apply if an airline collapses, as shown by the disasters this summer when low-cost airline Primera Air left passengers stranded.

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