We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
11,275 posts
152 reviews
Save Topic
Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?

I am ahead of the game, but I am a problem solver. Spain is undergoing talks with various unions right now with an end September date to come to agreements prior to ratifying strike action. There are rotating strikes scheduled throughout September, October, November. At this point, I am scheduled to arrive in Madrid via Air Canada on a day strike is scheduled (October 27), then via Iberia to Granada on the same ticket later that morning.

Questions:

Will AC cancel the flight due to land on a strike day?

If so, will they rebook me?

Do I have the right to change my departure flight to land on a non affected day?(with no penalty or change fees)

I have prebooked events on days after my originally scheduled flight.

If there are issues leaving Madrid, well, I would be willing to look at alternative travel to Granada at my own expense, but would not be happy to not arrive in Spain on the day planned.

Any insights, please - and thank you.

5 replies to this topic
Dubai, United Arab...
Level Contributor
9,679 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?

1.) <<Will AC cancel the flight due to land on a strike day?>> Nobody can say, it depends what is affected and to which degree.

2.) <<f so, will they rebook me?>> Yes, they will rebook you. On which flight? Either next day or different route? Again, this depends on the strike and the airline.

3.) <<Do I have the right to change my departure flight to land on a non affected day?(with no penalty or change fees)>> Right? No. Unless the strike happens it is all speculation. Can you try to talk to AC? Yes.

4.) I have prebooked events on days after my originally scheduled flight. If there are issues leaving Madrid, well, I would be willing to look at alternative travel to Granada at my own expense, but would not be happy to not arrive in Spain on the day planned.>> Nobody is happy to have his flight cancelled due to strike or whatever. You can always try to negotiate, but I think it is too early to get a result.

<<but I am a problem solver>> The best solution to the problem (if it happens) is that you either travel earlier (and pay whatever change fee) or move your events. I would not expect the airline to take action for an issue which has not arisen. But - again - you can try and talk to them.

To me, you want to mitigate / avoid a risk to your travel but want the airline to pay for your mitigation / avoidance costs. That in my view is not reasonable. You have to decide the likelihood and impact of the risk and then evaluate the mitigation costs versus the risk. The airline will hopefully have a plan in place for the strike but will not activate this plan before the strike is becoming reality.

Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
33,548 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?

Asking for answers when no-one knows what is going to happen and, if anything happens, how it would affect you, is not "being a problem solver": it is being a problem-creator.

AC would probably have to cancel or delay (depending on the timing of the strike) a flight due to land in Madrid and IB one between Madrid and Granada IF, on the date concerned, air-traffic controllers, pilots and/or cabin crew were on strike. If only groundstaff were on strike, on the other hand, they are more likely to advise you to take enough in your hand-luggage to cover any delays in delivering your baggage. The problems you may need to anticipate depend on who is on strike where and when, and I see little point in trying to speculate on what you might have to do, when this depends on exactly what happens. But indeed, IF the timing of strike action results in your flight to Spain being delayed rather than cancelled, this might well (depending on the initial flight time, which we don't know) result in your arriving on a different day than would have been the case, whether you are happy about that or not.

As to the conditions under which you booked these flights - YOU should know (especially if you are a "problem-solver", I would have thought you would not buy a ticket without knowing the conditions that attached to it)! But if you purchased a non-refundable ticket, you can't normally change it now just because you want to anticipate something that MIGHT happen. I suggest you read the FAQ on https:/…frequently-asked-questions.html - and the contents of your travel insurance policy.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
2,783 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?

All you do right now is keep an eye on this. AC may eventually offer you the opportunity to reschedule or have your ticket refunded.

Prebooking events comes with some risk.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
11,275 posts
152 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?

@dubai_phil, thanks for the feedback. Yes, I appreciate I am ahead of the game. I have no intention of doing anything at the moment. The strikes cover many unions working the Airport, so it would be a big impact. I know they have had rotating strikes with the security workers, and it just slows things down, but the upcoming strikes are 'big'....."workers in nearly all sectors of Spain’s airports would go on strike, including firemen, baggage handlers, electricians, security and information, airport shops, and even car park staff."

I have been told that in this event, airlines will cancel international flights.

They have chosen and published specific dates through the months to have 'the biggest impact on travelers' usually on Friday and Mondays.

<<To me, you want to mitigate / avoid a risk to your travel but want the airline to pay for your mitigation / avoidance costs. >> You are wrong. As I stated, in order to achieve certain timelines, I am prepared to make my own way to my goal. I am not expecting the airline to make free changes at this time based on speculation, and I plan no action until things are confirmed. You will not read a post from me whining because I sat back and assumed an airline would know my wishes and make them happen without any participation from me.

I am looking for people who may have experienced strikes of this size to explain what happened, so I know what to decide to do. Asking now of what people previously experienced allows me to call AC - once strike action is called & perhaps even after the first strike day is experienced - and have a logical discussion of what they did, what they plan to do, and what options we have. Having some knowledge beforehand allows me to start that call with a game plan. Compromise and win win options are best, but I do better with knowledge beforehand. Having a realistic understanding also means if despite my efforts, I can't achieve my goal, then at least I won't feel broadsided and I can adjust as needed.

Edit: article with details

theolivepress.es/spain-news/…

Edited: 20 September 2017, 17:14
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
43,816 posts
1,307 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?

One of the issues with proposed "scheduled strikes," is that they might, or might not take place, and if they do, the dates might change.

In effect, one could alter the dates of their flights, only to see the strike move to the New date.

Good luck,

Hunt

Reply to: Traveler rights and questions about airport strikes?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted