Union strike to cause major disruptions at Brussels Airport on Friday the 16th

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Trade unions in Belgium have planned another strike for December 16th, similar to previous months. This decision, which will have an impact on numerous services, including Brussels Airports. Delays and cancellations are expected at Brussels Airport and we already know that many flights have been cancelled or rescheduled as a result of the airport's request that airlines cancel up to 70% of their anticipated flights on this day.

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Why is a Belgium national strike happening again?

The federal government advocated in November that profitable businesses give employees bonuses of up to €750, but unions thought this was an inadequate sum. They call, once more, for policies that would increase people's purchasing power, such as salary negotiations and an energy price ceiling.

In order to implement their demands, the unions have recently organized a number of initiatives, including a walkout on November 9. The call for a strike will primarily affect control and handling operations at Zaventem Airport on Friday, December 16. Tens of thousands of attendees are anticipated, according to the organizers.

For the national demonstration, the unions ABVV, ACV, and ACLVB will pass through Brussels.

How will the Belgium general strike on December 16th impact my Brussels airport flight?

Following the announcement of the general strike on December 16th, Brussels Airport is already anticipating disruptions on Friday. Here’s what you should know regarding the impact of the strike on Brussels Airports: 

  • More than half of the approximately 400 flights at Brussels Airport on Friday have already been cancelled.

  • Delays will occur since fewer employees will be on duty and it is said that staffing levels could be 30% lower than on a typical Friday.

  • As of now, the airport has urged airlines to cancel more flights and also requests that passengers arrive with the least amount of luggage possible.

Delayed or cancelled flight at Brussels Airport because of the national strike — Can I claim flight compensation ?

Passengers cannot claim flight compensation in these circumstances since strikes—with the exception of strikes involving airline employees—are deemed uncontrollable events under EU regulations. "Extraordinary circumstances" include non-airline strikes, some instances of which are provided in the list below.

  • Bad weather conditions, such as thick fog, heavy rain, or thunderstorms.

  • A strike, most often specifically within the aviation industry (for example, a strike of air traffic control workers at a specific airport).

    However, a strike of the airline's crew is not considered an extraordinary circumstance!

  • Political circumstances, such as a terrorist attack or general security risk due to political unrest.

  • Natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.

  • A collision between the aircraft and birds or other foreign objects.

  • An ill or unruly passenger.

  • Flight delays caused by the airport staff, such as extraordinarily long queues to security checks.

If a flight is cancelled or rescheduled, the airline will personally notify the passengers. From there, accommodation will be sorted out for both parties involved.

Should I accept a travel voucher for my cancelled flight?

Airlines occasionally provide passengers with travel vouchers for rescheduled and cancelled flights. We urge you to request a monetary refund rather than accepting vouchers. After acquiring a travel voucher, the passenger must rebook their flight on the same airline, and the carrier will frequently set a deadline for doing so. Furthermore, if the airline filed for bankruptcy, it would be incredibly challenging to get your money back.

Are you finding it difficult to get a cash refund back from the airline? can help you — submit a claim online in just a few minutes!