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Air controllers' strike: Am I entitled to compensation?


When air controllers go on strike, many flights are cancelled.

Air controllers' strikes are a cause of exemption of liability for airlines under the European Regulation 261/2004.

For more information on exemptions of Airlines liability, check here. However, the airline still has to offer you to choose between a ticket refund and a rerouting flight to your final destination. You also are entitled to a right to care (accommodation, drinks, food, hotel...).

The choice between the reimbursement of your ticket and rerouting

In case of cancellation of your flight, Article 8 of the European Regulation 261/2004 provides that airlines have to offer you to choose between:

  • a ticket refund: the airline has 7 days to reimburse you by bank transfer. You are entitled to the reimbursement of both your outward and return flights if your return flight is cancelled and the reimbursement of your return flight if you already flew your outward flight.

  • the rerouting to your final destination

In case of rerouting, several situations are possible:

  • if you have not started to travel: you can ask for the rerouting to your final destination (a) under comparable transport conditions, and at the earliest opportunity; (b) under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination at a later date at your convenience, subject to availability of seats.

  • if you have already started to travel and your connecting flight is cancelled: you can ask for a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity. For instance: you were travelling from London to Italy with a connecting flight in Paris. Your connecting flight in Paris is cancelled. You can ask to be rerouted to London if you no longer want to go to Italy.

Right to care

If your flight is cancelled, Article 9 of the European Regulation 261/2004 entitles you to:

  • meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time;
  • hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary; and
  • transport between the airport and place of accommodation

You have questions on your rights? You can call us everyday from 9 am to 7 pm at +44 203 823 6404 or you can start a claim.

by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder and Director

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