Package holiday question

A_New_Start Forumite Posts: 57
Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
I'm not very experienced in travelling have not been aboard for over 20 years but we are due to go away in a few weeks to Spain from the UK. I read today about the threat of strike to air traffic controllers in Europe.

Would our tour operator (Jet2) have advanced info on this and inform us if they think our flight would be delayed or cancelled? Or is that something that you would unfortunately find out on the day?

Are the strikes more likely to delay or cancel flights?

If a flight is cancelled what happens? Do you get offered a flight on the same day or another day or at all? Guess any delay eats in to the holiday of which something you have to swallow.

I shouldn't ask but does get you thinking. Its a very special holiday. I shall sit tight and pray that all goes ok!


  • Mark_d
    Mark_d Forumite Posts: 8
    First Post
    Sometimes, where the airline has advance information, they will cancel flights early and offer you alternative flights.  But there is always a likelihood of problems on the day when strike action is taking place.

    in my opinion, it's more likely that flights get cancelled but the airlines do try to offer suitable alternative flights.  I think it's most likely to be next day, but this is speculation.

    As you are on a package holiday, and especially if you also have comprehensive travel insurance, then I wouldn't worry about anything now.  Just ensure that you capture details of anything that goes wrong on the trip and you can sort things out afterwards
  • bagand96
    bagand96 Forumite Posts: 5,858
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 7 July at 5:18PM
    If an ATC strike occurs then the airspace controlled by those controllers will either close completely or be subject to flow restrictions - most countries have some sort of minimum service level so the airspace would remain open but can accept far less aircraft if less controllers are available.  In Europe this flow control is centrally co-ordinated (ATC slots).  This is mostly tactical on the day and can be for many reasons - staffing, weather, sheer volume of flights etc so you'd only know on the day because the airline will only know on the day.

    It's generally only at the busiest airports where flights are pro-actiely cancelled in advance. For example when Heathrow know there will be a significant weather issue or staffing problem they pro-actively ask airlines to cancel flights the day before.  This is quite rare though and only done because LHR operates at capacity most of the time, so there's no flex in the system.

    It's very rare for the tour operators (Jet2Holidays, TUI etc) and their airlines to completely cancel flights.  The nature of their business if transporting people to and from their holidays so they usually do everything they can to operate, even when heavily delayed.  They also have more at stake as they'd have to refund the entire holiday not just a flight ticket.  And if they cancel an outbound flight, there's a plane load of people at the destination waiting to get home!

    The law protects you both with the Package Travel Regulations 2018 and EC261 flight delay/cancellation regulations (now adopted into UK law).  If there's a significant delay or cancellation then there's duty of care and potentially compensation.  If they were to cancel your inbound they can't just abandon you in Spain, they have to get you home and accommodate you until they do.
  • A_New_Start
    A_New_Start Forumite Posts: 57
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Many thanks for both your detailed responses and explanation. Gives a little bit of reassurance and just not over think these things. Everything ends up alright in the end.
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