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Right to EU261 compensation in case of an internal strike

Has your flight been impacted by a strike?

What is the difference between and internal and external strike?

An internal strike is a strike taken by employees of the airline, whereas an external strike is a strike taken by people or organisations external to the airline, for example: baggage handler or air traffic control strike.

What is the law?

Under European Regulation 261/2004, an internal strike is deemed to be within the control of the airline and therefore does not absolve the airline’s obligation to pay compensation to passengers in case of a disrupted flight.

Conflicting points of view

The UK Civil Aviation Authority’s view is that ‘...when a flight cancellation is caused by strike action by the airline's employees, the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers.’

Ryanair disputed this, responding: ‘Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control. If this was within our control, there would be no cancellations.’ Ryanair recently had success in the District Court in Ireland where the Court held in favour of Ryanair with respect to the 2018 summer strikes. Notwithstanding, Weclaim believes that there is opportunity to fight these cases in other jurisdictions and is supported in this view by the remarks above of the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK.

What can I do?

If your flight was disrupted by an internal strike you can apply for compensation.

Were you one of the 1.2 million people affected by the Air France, Lufthansa, Vueling, Ryanair or TAP Air Portugal strikes last year?

It’s not too late to apply for compensation! Start with Weclaim today.

30 April 2019

written by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder and Director

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