It looks like there could be some disruption to flights in and out of France over the next few weeks because of industrial action by French Air Traffic Control (ATC) and also some airline staff. (Air France)
Flights from other countries that use French airspace could also be affected. There were several delayed and cancelled flights between France and Ireland earlier this week. The next planned strike is the weekeds of June 3rd to June 5th – so what are your rights regarding Cancelled Flights and French Air Traffic Control Strikes?
The good news is that at least 50% of ATC staff have to be in work during strikes – so it won’t mean a complete stoppage of all flights in and out of France. It will mean some cancellations and many more delayed flights.
Flights Delayed by more than 2 hours because of Strike Action – Your Rights
There is a financial compensation scheme in the EU for delayed and cancelled flights – but in the event of a strike (an extraordinary event) – that scheme doesn’t apply. BUT – all delayed passengers are entitled to free meals and refreshments once the delay goes over a certain time. If the airline is unable to provide meals and refreshments free of charge, the airline should reimburse passengers for expenses incurred. (Keep receipts)
To qualify for assistance – the delay must be a) two hours or more in the case of flights of 1500km or less;
b) three hours or more in the case of all internal EU over 1500km, and of all other flights between 1500 and 3500km;
(c) four hours or more in the case of all other flights.
(Dublin to Nice is just under 1500km )
Cancellation of Flights because of Strikes – Your Rights
If , after arriving at the airport , your flight is cancelled . your rights regarding assistance and transport to your destination are the same whatever the reason for cancellation. Even if the cancellation was caused by “extraordinary circumstances” such as a strike – passengers are still entitled to certain rights under EU rules.
The airline must offer you either a) A full refund of the ticket for the part or parts of the journey not made.
Or b) An alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or by comparable transport to the final destination.
An airline may offer a flight to an alternative airport to that originally booked – but they are then obliged to bear the cost of transferring the passenger to the airport to that which the booking was made or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger
If you accept a seat on another flight you must also be given “care and assistance” free of charge while waiting for the flight– specifically, meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation in cases where an overnight stay becomes necessary, transport between the airport and place of accommodation and two telephone calls, emails or faxes .
Some airlines might actually arrange and pay directly for food, hotels and transfers – but most will expect you to keep reciepts and make a claim for reimbursment later.
If you accept a full refund for the cost of the cancelled flight – the airline has no further responsibility regarding food or accommodation.
Other Financial Compensation
Airlines are not obliged to make any further compensation when a flight is cancelled or delayed because of industrial action
All these rule come from Regulation (EC) 261/2004 of the European Parliament
Note: These EU regulations only apply to flights that depart from an EU airport, regardless of the airline OR where an EU airline lands at an EU airport
Useful Contact: The Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation : Tel : 1890 787 787 or +353 1 6611700 from 0900 to 1700