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5,000 Effected By 2019’s Second Planned Strike

5,000 Effected By 2019’s Second Planned Strike
Joe Cortez

For the second time in 2019, strike actions are canceling flights in Europe, potentially affecting up to 5,000 travelers in its wake. The airline has canceled 32 flights scheduled for Friday, October 25, 2019, and reports suggest flyers are being kept in the dark about their potential relief.

Flyers traveling between the United Kingdom and Italy may not get to their intended destination this weekend, as the result of a scheduled strike by Italian workers. Britain’s The Independent reports the EasyJet canceled 32 flights between the island nation and Italy, potentially stranding an estimated 5,000 flyers. In addition, Italian airline Alitalia canceled over 200 flights between European cities.

Why EasyJet is canceling flights?

According to The Independent, the cancellations are in reaction to a national strike action in Italy planned for October 25, 2019. Under the walk-off, both publicly- and privately-employed employees will plan for a full day of work stoppage to protest low wages and pension provisions. A 2019 study suggests the average Italian’s annual pay is around $49,000 (44,136 Euros).

With schools set to go back in session in the coming week, demand is high for return flights to the United Kingdom. As a result, prices are starting to climb for one-way returns from Italy to the United States. As of press time, a search for one-way flights from Rome to London ranged from $366 per person, up to over $900 per ticket. From the Sicilian city of Catania to London, prices ranged from $511 to over $700.

What are flyers’ rights under the cancellations?

Those who spoke to The Independent say EasyJet is limiting their options. Flyers are being told to transfer to another flight or accept a hotel room for the night of October 25 in the hopes of returning to their destination on Saturday, October 26.

Under European Union law, travelers flying from or within the European Union are covered under EC261/2004, better known as Flight Compensation Regulation. As explained by flyer advocate company AirHelp, passengers may be entitled to compensation if they had a confirmed reservation, the cancellation came with less than 14-days’ notice and if the cancellation was “within the airline’s control.” If passengers qualify, the airline may be forced to provide a ticket refund, alternative transportation to their home, or a ticket to the final destination on another date. For more information, FlyerTalkers have provided general guidelines on EC261/2004 compensation in the forums.

This is not the first time EasyJet was affected by strike actions this year. In July 2019, the discount airline faced an employee strike at London Stansted Airport (STN) scheduled to last 17 days.

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