AIRLINES across Europe have been forced to cancel more flights today amid ongoing strikes in France.
EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways have all been affected, with Eurostar now extending their cancellations until mid-December.
There have been general strikes across France since December 5 in pensions protest, with no end date in sight.
A number of airlines were forced to cancel flights earlier this month when French air traffic controllers (ATC) joined in on the strike action.
Today, the ATC have joined the strike action again in a day dubbed “Black Tuesday”.
Can you claim compensation for cancellations due to strike?
If your flight has been cancelled then you will be booked onto an alternative one or given a refund.
If you’re offered an alternative flight then you are entitled to free meals and refreshments which are appropriate to the delay.
You should also get free hotel accommodation and transfer if there’s an overnight stay.
If you get a refund then you should get the cash within seven days.
Airlines are not usually obligated to offer compensation following a strike because they are considered an “extraordinary circumstance”.
Although, it may be worth trying to claim as airlines have a responsibility to ensure your flight arrives on time.
If you booked through a travel company they are also liable to arranging your travel.
You may also be able to claim on your travel insurance – it all depends on when you bought the flight and what type of policy you have.
If the strike had not been called when you booked your flight and your policy covers for strike action then you should be reimbursed for any expenses, such as cancelling your hotel or car hire.
If the strike was already in the offing when you booked your flight then they might argue that you were aware of the potential disruption.
A number of easyJet flights have already been cancelled, such as to Alicante and Bordeaux.
The ones that would normally fly over French air space will face delays.
A spokesperson for the airline told Sun Online Travel: “Like all airlines operating to and from France, and using the French airspace we are expecting some disruption to our flying programme. As a result 88 flights including 14 UK touching flights have had to be cancelled.”
EasyJet passengers can check the status of their flights online here.
The airline has also said that will be contacting affected customers via SMS and email.
EasyJet said: “Any customers affected by cancellations are eligible for a refund or a free of charge transfer to a new flight.
“Although this is outside of our control we would like to apologise to all our customers for any inconvenience caused and would like to reassure them we are doing all possible to minimise any disruption as a result of the strike action.”
British Airways have also cancelled a number of flights, including to Barcelona, Madrid and Geneva, as well as some French airports.
A spokesperson for the airline said: “Yet again, French strike action will cause unnecessary frustration and disruption for customers at a busy time of year.
“We are offering our customers due to fly to/from France, Barcelona, Madrid, Basel, Geneva or Zurich on affected days, the chance to rebook their flight even if their flight was still scheduled to operate.
“We plan to use larger aircraft, wherever we can, to help customers from cancelled flights get to where they need to be.
“We are advising customers to keep checking on ba.com for the latest information about their flights.”
Ryanair has cancelled a number of services as well.
The airline said: “As a result of a national strike in France on Tuesday the 17th December 2019, we have been forced to cancel a number of flights.
“All affected customers have already been informed by SMS and email, advising customers of their option of a free move or refund. If you have not received an email or SMS message then we expect your flight to operate as scheduled.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by this national strike. We will do everything we can to minimise your disruption, which is sadly beyond our control.”
Disruption on the Eurostar has been ongoing since the strikes started, with a number of services cancelled every day to France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Eurostar have now extended the cancellations to December 19.
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