What to do when there is an air traffic strike?

If the strike is scheduled, passengers can get a ticket refund (to be made within 7 days) or an alternative flight as soon as possible or on another date of his liking. Passengers also have the right to further compensation, which varies from €250 to €600 based on the route in accordance with EC Reg. 261/2004.

Indeed, the scheduled strike is not a case of force majeure and for this reason it is not part of the “extraordinary circumstance” established by the European Court of Justice.

What is an extraordinary circumstance?

It is that event unrelated to the normal exercise of the airline’s business and it is outside its effective control.

Unlike the past, in which the strike was considered an extraordinary circumstance and passengers were not entitled to compensation, today the jurisprudence has taken a different approach.

About it, the judgement C-195/17 of 17/04/2018 given by the European Court of Justice has clarified that the strike does not exonerate from the obligation to pay compensation. Indeed, it is necessary to assess on a case-by-case basis whether the event really falls within the scope of the airline’s control and whether it relates to the normal operation of the airline’s activity.


Only if these two conditions do not exist, circumstances can be considered extraordinary and the airline can legitimately deny compensation to passengers.

At the end, if the airline is faced with divergences or conflicts with members of its staff in the exercise of their activity, the resulting risks must be considered inherent to the normal exercise of the airline’s activities and therefore do not exempt them from the compensation in flight cancellation case.

For more information, you can contact The Italian Lawyer Law Firm at the following email address: info@theitalianlawyer.com.

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