Spanish Air Strike – Dates

Tourists turn to Greece and Turkey to avoid travel disruption

If you plan to Spain this spring or summer, check your travel insurance policy carefully. Following the new threat of Spanish air strikes which would shut down airports nationwide, insurers may not cover against strike action.

However anyone who booked flights prior to March 9 when the strike action was announced should be covered for both their outgoing and return trips, but it still pays to check the small print.

Theoretically, travellers who paid for their insurance before March 9 should be fully covered per their terms and conditions for claims arising from any disruption caused by the Spanish AENA union workers strike and cover should automatically be extended to compensate for any problems on the return leg of their trips.

It’s important to note that anyone buying travel insurance from March 9 onwards should be covered for medical and baggage claims, but are unlikely to have much luck filing a claim for travel delays, cancellations and missed departures due to the industrial action. Again, checking the wording of the policy in detail is vital.

Flying has been one of the most talked about themes in the travel industry this month. With Britons paying extremely steep APD passenger taxes, particularly on long haul flights which can rack up extra charges of £85 per person, leading members of the industry are putting pressure on the UK government to reconsider the tariffs and ideally abolish them altogether.

Ryanair, meanwhile, is demanding that the European Commission intervene to prevent passengers from losing out during wild cat and pre-planned walkouts by airline workers – such as the walkout in Spain last December, and the new strikes this spring and summer – which not only inconvenience travellers but impact airline profits.

Flights to Portugal and Morocco are expected to be affected as they fly through Spanish airspace. The Spanish strike dates are: April 20,21,24,25; May 2,14,15,19 and 20; June 13,23,30 and July 1,2,3,4,15 and 31.

Spain could lose its top spot as this year’s short haul holiday destination as flight search engines are already reporting a drop in Spain searches, with customers looking at Creece, Cyprus, the south of France, Italy and Turkey instead, for a dose of disruption-free summer sun.

Greece searches are up 65%, Turkey up 55% and Italy up 28% overnight according to one major travel website. Within 24 hours of the Spanish strike news, searches for Spain flights dropped by a fifth.

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