France -- As was announced, an air traffic control strike is currently being held (between 11 and 13 June) at several French airports. This can cause disturbance if this means your flight is delayed or even cancelled. And it's now becoming clear that the strike will not only impact flights to Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), but also those to and from Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux, and even flights scheduled to operate in the bordering countries. So why is this strike taking place in the first place? And what are your rights in the event of a flight delay or cancellation?
What's going on?
The current strike is an initiative of air traffic control, who is responsible for regulating inbound and outbound air traffic, which is crucial. Naturally, a strike will have a major effect on flights scheduled. Not only flights to Paris, but also those to and from Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux as well as other European flights that cross France are experiencing serious disruption as a result. The main issue is that no one can currently guarantee that the French air space is safe for air traffic. Half of all flights scheduled to, from and over France have been cancelled. The strike was called by French unions, who disagree with the European Commission's policies.
Flights to Paris and other destinations cancelled - what are your rights?
A number of airlines have decided to take action in order to help passengers affected by the strike. Air France, for instance, is allowing passengers to rebook their flights free of charge, and Ryanair customers can get their money back. Transavia and easyJet have also announced that they will be refunding passengers. If you booked a flight with an airline that isn't offering these special options, the following applies: you are entitled to be refunded for the ticket or to receive an alternative flight. You are also entitled to care, meaning food and drink and in some cases hotel accommodation. Your airline will probably contend that the strike is outside of their operational responsibility and is thus a case of force majeure. They would be right, but this doesn't mean they're not still required to offer you the care you need. And if an airline could have prevented a flight delay or cancellation because a strike is announced well in advance, you might even be entitled to receive compensation.
Airlines avoid French air space: flights to Paris and other destinations in France nearly impossible
As you can see on the image below, hardly any flights to Paris and the other major French traffic arteries are being operated, and flights are avoiding the French air space altogether as much as possible.
Written by: Team Flight-Delayed