Travel disruption is expected to continue throughout July and the rest of the summer as workers at British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair prepare to go on strike.
It follows weeks of chaos at UK airports as travellers faced delayed and cancelled flights, alongside huge queues at security and baggage claim.
Low staffing numbers as Covid restrictions eased has been blamed for the delays and cancellations, and now caused strikes at major airlines over pay and conditions threatens the industry further.
When are the Ryanair strikes?
The Ryanair strike began on 30 June and caused the airline to cancel 10 flights in Spain on Saturday (2 July).
Ryanair cabin crew will strike over pay and working conditions on 12-15, 18-21 and 25-28 July at 10 airports across Spain, the USO and SICTPLA, unions have confirmed.
The unions have called on the airline to resume negotiations and demanded “a change of attitude from the airline”.
They also urged the Spanish government “not to allow Ryanair to violate labour legislation and constitutional rights such as the right to strike”.
In a statement on Saturday, Ryanair said it expected “minimal (if any) disruption to its flight schedules in July as a result of minor and poorly- supported Spanish labour strikes”.
It added that “air traffic control (ATC) strikes and airport staff shortages across Europe (which are beyond Ryanair’s control) may however cause some minor disruption and passengers whose flights are disrupted will be notified by email/SMS”.
When are the easyJet strikes?
EasyJet workers are staging three sets of three-day strikes in July.
The first has already taken place, with two more scheduled for 15-17 July and 29-31 July.
Some 450 workers based at Barcelona’s El Prat airport, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca will walk out.
The USO said its members in Spain typically have a base salary of €950 a month, which is €850 less than what easyJet cabin crew receive in France and Germany.
The union has been in a dispute with the airline since February.
Easyjet said it plans to operate its full schedule of flights, but admitted there could be some disruption to its programme.
The company said: “Should the industrial action go ahead, there could be some disruption to our flying programme to and from Malaga, Palma and Barcelona during the strike period but at this stage, easyJet plans to operate its full schedule and we would like to reassure customers that we will do everything possible to minimise any disruption.”
Regarding affected flights, it added: “The vast majority of customers’ flights will not be impacted and of those that are, the majority of customers will be rebooked within 24 hours.
“We will be notifying affected customers directly in the coming days with information on their alternative flight or the option to rebook or receive a refund.”
When are the British Airways strikes?
Hundreds of British Airways staff at Heathrow have voted to strike over pay before the end of the summer, but dates for the action are yet to be set.
The Unite and GMB unions can wait for up to six months to call a strike or re-ballot their members.
On Tuesday (5 July) it was announced that British Airways is cancelling around 650 flights from Heathrow and Gatwick in the coming weeks.
This will affect more than 100,000 passengers and popular destinations such as Palma de Mallorca and Malaga in Spain, Faro in Portugal, and Athens in Greece.
A British Airways spokesperson said: “As the entire aviation industry continues to face the most challenging period in its history, regrettably it has become necessary to make some further reductions.
“We’re in touch with customers to apologise and offer to rebook them or issue a full refund.”
What happens if my flight is cancelled due to the strikes?
If your flight is cancelled or delayed because of strikes you may be able to receive compensation.
If your flights are part of a package holiday you will either be offered alternative travel or a full refund, but if you purchased the flights alone, your compensation depends on when your flight is cancelled and how long you are delayed for.
If your flight is cancelled, your airline should offer you the choice of an alternative flight or a refund.
If your flight is cancelled with less than two weeks’ notice, you may be able to claim compensation based on the timings of the alternative flight.
The amount you’re entitled to also depends on how far you were travelling.
For flights under 1,500km, you can claim up to £220 per person, and for flights more than 3,500km, you can claim up to £520 per person.
Airlines must also offer sufficient drink and accommodation if your flight is cancelled at short notice and your new flight is the following day. This assistance must also be offered if your flight is delayed by at least two hours.