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Are you visiting Europe? Everything you need to understand about recent and upcoming strikes

In the upcoming weeks, visitors to Europe might wish to make plans for delays other than the typical flight delay or cancellation.

A number of ongoing and upcoming strikes by transit and aviation workers, among others, in well-known tourist destinations like France and the United Kingdom may have an impact on various aspects of their travels, from the speed with which they can enter the country to how simple it is to move around once they arrive.

Foreign visitors might take precautions to stay informed about the effects the strikes may have while they are there. They should be aware of the following regarding recent and upcoming strikes in Europe.

Where in Europe are the strikes?

In rallies planned to coincide with International Women’s Day, tens of thousands of people marched in Paris and other French towns on Wednesday to protest the government’s pension proposal as being discriminatory to female workers.

Due to a strike later this month, travellers heading to the U.K. may also see lengthier lines at border check.

The U.K. Home Office has announced that a strike will affect Border Force operations from March 15 to the morning of March 16.

The Home Office stated in a news release that the anticipated strike action will affect foreign arrivals at all UK air and maritime ports as well as people travelling to the UK from UK border controls in Calais, Dunkirk, and Coquelles in Northern France.

How should tourists get ready for strikes in Europe?

travelling to France

Visitors and Americans living in France “are advised to assess the impact of the strikes on their personal travel plans by monitoring the social media accounts of major service providers, including their operating airline and airport, RATP (for Paris area transport), and local police authorities,” an email from the U.S. Embassy in Paris read.

The State Department’s Smart Traveler Registration Program can assist Americans acquire up-to-date safety information and enable the embassy to contact them in an emergency, according to the spokesman. They also mentioned that most French government agencies and service providers have applications that can update passengers on their services.

The representative warned that travel to and within large cities may be disrupted by issues with road, rail, marine, and air transportation. Operators will notify customers of any service interruptions as strike preparations progress.

travelling to the UK:

According to a spokeswoman, the U.K. Home Office is collaborating with airports and ports on strategies to reduce delays if the strike continues, but travellers should be prepared for potential inconveniences. The spokeswoman wrote in an email, “We will deploy appropriate resource to meet crucial demand and support the movement of travellers and commodities over our border.

The Home Office advised tourists to check their operators’ most recent advice before their trip and urged those who qualify to use eGates if they are offered.

What happens if a strike causes the cancellation of my flight?

According to European Union regulations, if a flight is cancelled, passengers are entitled to a refund of their ticket, to be diverted, or to be scheduled on a return trip, regardless of the situation. If they received the notification less than two weeks prior to their travel, they might also be eligible for reimbursement.

If a carrier can claim the cancellation was caused “exceptional circumstances,” however, travellers are not guaranteed reimbursement. That definition does not apply to a strike called by a carrier’s trade union personnel to support employee demands.

Hence, internal strike action does not absolve the airline of its responsibility to make up for cancelled or significantly delayed flights, according to the E.U. website. Strikes “external” to the airline, such as those led by airport workers or air traffic controllers, could, nonetheless, be considered an exceptional occurrence.

If there were no special circumstances, passengers who arrive at their destination more than three hours late may also be entitled to compensation. Airlines must also offer refreshments and accommodations to passengers who are more than two hours late for their flight.

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