Cancelled flights and travel chaos due to French strike

Added 31/03/2016

air traffic controllers strike causes flight cancellations

French air traffic controllers are taking strike action today, causing the cancellation of large numbers of flights to and from the country, as well as across Europe.

Easyjet says that it has proactively cancelled flights to allow passengers to make alternative plans for their journeys.

Ryanair has said that it has up to 100 flights affected by the industrial action.  British Airways and Air France have also been forced to cancel flights and have warned of delays to flights across Europe.

The strike by French air traffic controllers is part of a general strike in France which is also affecting rail services and hospitals.  Workers are protesting against a proposed relaxation of labour rights.

What are your rights if your flight is affected by strike action?

If an airline cancels your flight because of industrial action, under EU law they have a duty to provide you with a full refund or an alternative flight.

If your flight is delayed due to strike action you have a right to care and assistance from your airline under EU law.  What you are entitled to will depend on the length of delay but it should include refreshments and accommodation of you are delayed overnight.

Travel insurance cover delays due to strike action

In addition to your airline being obligated to look after you, many travel insurance policies also provide cover for travel delay, which becomes applicable if your flight is delayed by more than 12 hours due to strike, adverse weather or mechanical breakdown.

Travel delay cover usually takes the form of a fixed benefit to help you cover additional expenses such as food and drink whilst you wait at the airport.

After a delay of 12 hours or more Gold and Platinum travel insurance from also gives you the option to ‘abandon' your holiday and make a claim to recoup the cost of unused flights and accommodation up to the amount stated in your schedule of cover.

Travel delay and abandonment cover is included on our Gold and Platinum travel insurance policies.

In order to make a claim for travel delay or abandonment due to strike action, you must have booked your holiday and bought your travel insurance before any strike dates were announced.

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