Airline Strike Compensation

Check your claim for compensation online
now in just 2 minutes
Check Compensations
All airlines All countries No Win, No Fee

Has your flight been canceled or delayed due to a strike? Strikes are a common cause for disruption in flight schedules. Whether it’s held by the personnel of an airport or the employees of an airline itself, a strike can lead to airlines being unable to provide their services as per schedule. 

Strikes are also considered to be a cause of cancellations or delays that are typically not in their airline’s control, making it difficult for passengers to claim compensation due to a disruption. However, if your situation meets a certain set of conditions, you could be eligible for compensation of €600, along with benefits such as food and refreshments at the airport. 

In this guide, we tell you about the regulations that govern the compensation of passengers in the event of a strike and the best ways you can claim compensation. 

What Is a Flight Strike?

An airline strike refers to an organized shutdown of the airline’s operations by employees or their subsequent unions. Some examples include an air traffic controller’s strike, or even an airline or airport strike. As a result of the shutdown in operations, these strikes result in delays or cancellations in most situations. 

Aside from the groups mentioned above, some other examples of employees who could go on strike include baggage handlers, security guards, ground staff, or even firefighters. These strikes could be the result of salary, working conditions, work environment, or even health benefits. 

Due to the organized nature of these strikes, airports and airlines typically have limited personnel and typically have limited staff members to carry out their scheduled operations, inevitably resulting in delays or cancellations. 

Passenger Rights in Case of a Flight Strike

There are two specific situations in which passengers can claim compensation if their flight is delayed or canceled due to a flight strike. These include a standard airline crew strike and a wildcat strike. In recent times, airline strikes have not been considered an extraordinary circumstance according to an ECJ ruling (ECJ, C-28/20 from 23.3.2021). Wildcat strikes too, don’t comprise an extraordinary circumstance as they involve airline staff calling in sick or not showing up for work. 

In this situation, airlines are legally mandated to compensate their passengers in the event of a resulting delay or cancellation. 

The amount you’re entitled to receive as compensation depends on the distance of the flight. Based on EU261, you can be entitled to a maximum of €600 in compensation. For example, if there’s been a delay of more than 5 hours, you can receive a refund if you no longer wish to commute on your booked flight. 

The airline is also required to provide you with other services, including free meals, accommodation, and refreshments depending on the length of the delay. 

When Are You Entitled to Airline Strike Compensation?

Passengers can claim compensation in the event of a planned airline workers’ strike or a wildcat strike. As mentioned earlier, a wildcat strike is one in which airline personnel decide to go on strike and call in sick or don’t show up to work. Both situations are not categorized as extraordinary circumstances, and this enables passengers to claim compensation as a result of a delay or cancellation. 

Additionally, according to a ruling by the European Court of Justice, if a passenger’s flight is canceled before the first official day of a strike, the airline is liable to compensate them.  

The airline must compensate passengers and provide them with refreshments, meals, and accommodation, along with transfers to and from the airport if the flight is delayed by more than two hours. 

However, according to EU regulations, certain strikes are considered extraordinary circumstances and are thus outside of the airline’s control. These include strikes by baggage handlers, firefighters, ground staff, and so on. As a result, for flights canceled due to strikes by these groups, passengers are not entitled to compensation. 

Compensation in Case of a flight Strike

Flight Cancellation Compensation 

If an airline notifies you of a cancellation less than 14 days before your date of travel and fails to arrange an alternative flight at the same time, you’re entitled to compensation of €250 – €600 per passenger. However, if the airline provided you with an alternative flight and it arrived at your final destination late, you can also receive compensation. The table below mentions the airline’s liabilities depending on the duration of the delay. 

Less than 2 hours2-3 hours 3-4 hours More than 4 hours Never Arrived Distance 
€125€250€250€250€250All flights 1,500 km or less
€200€200€400€400€400Internal EU flights over 1500 km
€200€200€400€400€400Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 – 3,500 km
€300€300€300€600€300Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km

Flight Delay Compensation 

Flight delays inevitably lead to delays in your arrival time at your destination, often causing immense inconvenience. If your flight happens to be delayed by 3 hours or more, you’re entitled to compensation. Further, if your flight is delayed by more than 5 hours, you can also be entitled to a reimbursement of the cost of your ticket. 

Less than 3 hours3-4 hoursMore than 4 hours Never ArrivedDestination 
0€250€250€250All flights 1,500 km or less
0€400€400€400Internal EU flights over 1500 km
0€400€400€400Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 – 3,500 km
0€300€600€600Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km

The airline is also then liable to provide you with free meals, refreshments, and accommodation if your flight is delayed by more than 6 hours. All the details regarding your compensation are mentioned below. 

Which Flights are Covered by EU261

Whether or not you’re entitled to compensation for a delay due to a flight strike also depends on whether or not the airline you’re flying by is an EU airline, or whether it departs or lands in an EU airport. 

Even if your flight was scheduled to depart from a non-EU airport, if it lands within Europe, or if you’re flying on a European airline, you’re entitled to be compensated for a delay. 

Since these criteria can be rather complex, we’ve simplified the situations in which you’re entitled to compensation in the table below. This will make it easier for you to discern whether or not your specific situation qualifies as grounds for compensation. 

ItineraryEU air carrierNon-EU air carrier 
From within the EU to within the EU✅ Covered✅ Covered
From within the EU to outside the EU✅ Covered✅ Covered
From outside the EU to inside the EU✅ Covered❌ Not covered
From outside the EU to outside the EU❌ Not covered❌ Not covered

How to Claim Strike Compensation

There are two main ways in which you can claim compensation for flights canceled due to strike. These include seeking legal representation and contacting the airline directly. We describe both these approaches below. 

Legal Representation 

The first and the best approach to claim compensation in the event of a delay or cancellation due to a strike is to seek the assistance of our partners who provide the services of air passenger rights lawyers. 

We select the best partner based on the problem each individual faces to ensure they stand the best chance of being compensated for the inconvenience caused to them. 

Contact the Airline Directly 

While you can alternatively contact the airline to claim compensation, this approach is often a dead-end. This is because airlines typically try their level best to not compensate passengers in most situations, to which most passengers aren’t fully aware of their rights. As a result, the process becomes rather tedious and time-consuming. 

As a result, the best approach is to seek the representation of air passenger rights lawyers as it significantly increases your chances of being compensated. 

Other Rights That Come With EU 261

Aside from the right to be compensated for a delay or cancellation of a flight, EY 261 also entitles passengers to other rights which we discuss below. 

Right to Care

If a flight is delayed by more than two hours, regardless of whether or not the fault lies with the airline, passengers are entitled to food, drinks, and access to communication. These include 2 phone calls, emails, and faxes. 

On the other hand, if the flight is delayed by more than six hours, the airline is mandated to provide you with hotel accommodation, along with transportation to and from the hotel. 

Upgrading and Downgrading 

If the airline offers you an alternative flight and you find yourself lucky enough to get an upgrade, the airline cannot charge you for the increase in the fares. However, if the class of the flight is lower or you’re downgraded, you can get a reimbursement of between 30-75% of the price you originally paid for your ticket. 

Further Compensation 

Your right to claim compensation according to the provisions of EU 261 does not affect your right to claim further compensation. However, this provision doesn’t apply to passengers who decide to voluntarily canceled their reservations. 

Voluntary cancellation refers to passengers who have volunteered to have their reservation canceled to instead travel on a flight scheduled for later. While this does entitle them to certain benefits, such passengers cannot claim compensation since the decision was “voluntary.”

It’s also crucial to note that if you claim further compensation, the amount to which you are entitled under EC 261 may be deducted from any additional compensation you receive.

Claim your compensation now

Check your claim now, quickly and for free. We enforce your rights for you!