If you are travelling to Spain this Wednesday, you should reconsider your planning. For the first time in eight years, public workers have planned a national strike to protest against the government’s policies. Significant disruption of domestic and international flights is consequently to be expected.
Back in August, an air traffic controller’s strike was planned and finally cancelled, much to the benefit of a few million travellers who had planned to travel to Spain during the peak summer season.
But the strike planned for this coming Wednesday is real: around 75% of public workers are expected to participate. Teachers, officials and transportation employees will protest in the streets against drastic measures imposed by the Democrat Socialist government, in order to fix an economy that went into recession in 2008.
“Obviously, the government has adopted a series of measures that are, in our opinion, essential to meet the challenges posed to Spain by the financial crisis,” Prime Minister Zapatero said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Unfortunately, this won’t avoid the strike confirmed a few days ago by the unions.
All Spanish workers are encouraged to participate. As about airports and flights, the government and the Unions have agreed that between 20 and 40% of international flights should stay operationnal.
How to plan your journey during the strike?
- Rule n°1: stay posted about your flight status. Check your airline’s website and make sure that your flight is not cancelled before going to the airport. If you are flying with easyJet, you can use their flight departure checker.
- Rule n°2: know your rights as a passenger. Your flight might be delayed or cancelled and you may have to wait for several hours at the airport. In some cases you can get compensation for that.
- Rule n°3: have you subscribed to any insurance when you bought your flight tickets? if yes, consult the details of that insurance, in order to make sure that this insurance covers labor disruptions.
- Rule n°4: if you can, change your travelling dates to avoid travelling on Wednesday. Check your schedule and try arranging your trip according to the strike. Flexibility is key.
- Rule n°5: If you are flying with Ryanair, travel only with hand luggage; only these passengers will be allowed to board in tomorrow. According to a Ryanair representative, some delays are to be expected but 70% of their travellers should be able to travel to Spain tomorrow. If you had registered checked luggage online, you can either update your wish and and get a refund of the luggage fee, or transfer to another flight.
If you are looking for alternatives, you can look for cheap flights to Spain on our travel search engine.
Photo: EyePulp / flickr cc