Ryanair and easyJet flight cancellations: Am I entitled to compensation during the French strikes?

Tom Herbert
AFP via Getty Images

Airline passengers in Europe are facing widespread travel chaos as massive nationwide strikes take place across France.

Public sector workers have walked out indefinitely, angry at President Emmanuel Macron's plans to overhaul the country's 42-state pension system.

The strikes have affected transport across Europe, with flight cancellations in and out of the country and airports in France, Spain and Switzerland expected to face issues.

A number of airlines have been affected by the mass-public sector walkout, with Ryanair, easyJet and BA forced to ground hundreds of planes between them.

If you have been affected by the flight cancellations, here's everything you need to know about claiming compensation.

Has my flight been affected?

Rynair

Ryanair has been forced to cancel a number of flights, and said in a statement that those affected have been contacted by SMS and email.

A statement from the airline said: "All affected customers have already been informed by SMS and email, advising customers of their option of a free move or refund.

"If you have not received an email or SMS message then we expect your flight to operate as scheduled."

easyJet

"Customers on affected flights have been contacted directly via SMS and email and we advise all passengers travelling today to check the status of their flights on our Flight Tracker via the app or on our website," the airline said in a statement.

"Any customers affected by cancellations are eligible for a refund or a free of charge transfer to a new flight. They can process these using our disruption tool at easyJet.com."

Around 70 UK touching flights have also been grounded, with the airline saying it expects more to be delayed.

BA

The airline said flights to and from French airports will be affected, while certain airports in Spain and Switzerland will also face issues.

It said the issues would run from Thursday until Saturday, but has introduced a flexible booking police so customers can change their flights for free.

Customers who were due to fly between December 5-7 from France, along with some airports in Spain and Switzerland, can change flights to between December 3-4 or December 8-12.

A statement from the airline said: "We are offering our customers due to fly to/from France, Barcelona, Madrid, Basel, Geneva or Zurich on affected days, the chance to rebook their flight even if their flight was still scheduled to operate.

"We are advising customers to keep checking on ba.com for the latest information about their flights."

Am I entitled to compensation if my flight is cancelled?

Consumer watchdog Which? says airlines have an obligation to "offer you assistance if the delay is expected to go beyond a certain point", which usually means you will be booked onto an alternative flight or given a refund.

If you leave on a different flight, you are entitled to free meals and refreshments "appropriate to the delay", or free hotel accommodation and transfers if an overnight stay is required.

Airlines are under no obligation to offer compensation because strikes are generally considered to be classed as "extraordinary circumstances."

However, you may be covered by your insurance or travel company - so it may be worth checking.

Read more

Flights grounded and trains axed as French workers go on strike