Airline Strike Compensation

    Airline Strike Compensation

    When an airline’s staff or crew goes on strike, it often results in heavy flight disruptions. This greatly inconveniences air passengers, as there is a lot of confusion as flights get cancelled. If you have experienced delays due to airline strikes and were travelling to or from the EU, you may be entitled up to €600 in airline strike compensation.

    AirHelp’s latest win for air passenger rights: In March 2021, the European Court of Justice confirmed that flight delays and cancellations due to airline employee strikes are eligible for compensation!

    Did your flight get canceled or delayed in the last 3 years because of an airline strike?

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    Flight disrupted due to an airline strike?

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    Am I eligible for airline strike compensation?

    When am I eligible for flight strike compensation?

    You are eligible for strike compensation if:

    • You had a flight disrupted by an airline staff strike.
    • Your flight was either delayed by 3 hours or more, or was canceled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.
    • Your flight was set to depart from the EU or was on an EU airline arriving in the EU.
    • You had a confirmed flight reservation.
    • The disruption occurred within the last 3 years.
    • If you took a replacement flight, your new arrival time was significantly different to your original flight.

    Airline staff strikes are strikes involving the employees of the airline carrier, including pilots, cabin crew, airline engineers, and other employees working directly under the airline. If you book a flight which is disrupted because of an airline strike, the airlines may owe you compensation to make up for the inconvenience.

    That's because under a piece of EU law called EC 261, airlines are required to compensate passengers for flight disruptions that they are responsible for. That includes flight disruptions due to airline staff strikes. So if your flight was canceled due to a strike, you may be eligible for compensation under the EC 261 regulations.

    The law regarding this particular situation was clarified only as recently as 2018.  The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that disruption caused by airline employee strikes qualifies for compensation as the airline is considered responsible for the behavior of their own staff.

    The decision backs up what we at AirHelp have been arguing for years: that disruption caused by the airline’s staff should be compensated, as the flight company must be held accountable for their employees’ actions.

    We believe that air passenger rights should always come first - if an airline strike causes your flight to be delayed, canceled, or even result in a denied boarding, you can make a claim for compensation.

    When am I not eligible for strike compensation?

    You are not eligible for strike compensation if: It’s any strike that the airline has no control over. For example:

    • Strikes by airport security staff
    • Strikes by baggage handlers

    • Strikes by air traffic management staff

    • Strikes caused by political unrest

    While airline staff strikes are within the control of the airline, all other strikes are considered “extraordinary circumstances”. Extraordinary circumstances are any events or situations that are completely beyond the airline’s control and cannot be avoided, even if reasonable measures have been taken to protect against them. In such cases, the airline is not at fault.

    Check your eligibility for airline strike compensation with AirHelp!

    Not sure whether your flight qualifies for flight strike compensation? There are a lot of laws and exclusions, so for a quick and easy answer, all you have to do is to fill out our eligibility checker with your details. We’ll tell you if your flight qualifies and how much you're entitled to. You can also use us to handle the claim for you.

    How much strike compensation am I entitled to?

    The amount of compensation that you are entitled to depends on your circumstances. If your flight qualifies for compensation due to a disruption caused by an airline, you may be entitled to up to €600, depending on your unique case.


    Find out if your flight qualifies now.

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    Airline Strike Flight Cancellation Compensation

    Sometimes, airline staff strikes can lead to the cancellation of your flight altogether. If you’ve had a flight canceled due to a strike, compensation could be owed! You qualify for compensation if the airline notified you less than 14 days before your flight was due to depart, and they weren’t able to offer you an alternative flight which arrived at a similar time.

    You can learn more about flight cancellations and your rights here.

    Less than 2 hours 2 - 3 hours 3 - 4 hours More than 4 hours Never arrived Distance
    €125 €250 €250 €250 €250 All flights 1,500 km or less
    €200 €200 €400 €400 €400 Internal EU flights over 1,500 km
    €200 €200 €400 €400 €400 Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km
    €300 €300 €300 €600 €300 Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km

    Airline Strike Flight Delay Compensation

    An airline strike can sometimes cause lengthy delays and affect your arrival at your final destination. You are eligible for compensation if your flight is delayed by three hours or more.

    You can learn more about flight delay compensation here.

    How much could you be owed when your flight is delayed?

    Less than 3 hours 3 - 4 hours More than 4 hours Never arrived Distance
    € – €250 €250 €250 All flights 1,500 km or less
    € – €400 €400 €400 Internal EU flights over 1,500 km
    € – €400 €400 €400 Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 km and 3,500 km
    € – €300 €600 €600 Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km

    Denied Boarding Compensation

    During an airline strike, there may be instances where you are denied boarding due to an aircraft being overbooked. If you are denied boarding against your will, you may be entitled to compensation. You can learn more about denied boarding compensation here.

    Airline Strike Compensation: Know Your Rights

    What am I entitled to?

    Right to care

    When you experience flight disruption due to an airline strike, you have the “right to care”. Depending on the length of the delay, the airline carrier must provide you with several essentials, including: 

    • Meals and refreshments during the delay
    • Access to communications, including two telephone calls, fax messages, and emails
    • Overnight accommodation, including transportation to and from the airport to your hotel, if necessary.

    Can I rebook my flight?

    If your flight has been canceled or delayed for more than five hours, you have the right to withdraw from your flight and receive a complete refund for your flight. 

    You also have the choice of taking the alternative flight given by the airline to get you to your destination. You can learn more about rebooking and refunds here.

    What about past strikes?

    According to the European Court of Justice, the ruling that airline strikes are not extraordinary circumstances is retrospective. This means that flights affected by past strikes, as far back as three years ago, now qualify for compensation under EC 261. For example, flights affected by the Ryanair strikes of 2018 now qualify for compensation.

    Did you have a flight cancellation due to a past strike?

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    Common questions about strike compensation

    What to do if a flight is canceled due to a strike?

    The first thing you have to do is ask for an alternative flight from the airline, or to ask for a refund if the replacement flight no longer suits your travel plans — the airline is responsible for taking care of you.What to do if flight is canceled due to strike that was led by the staff and crew of the airline? Definitely see if you're owed compensation in these cases. There is a good chance you may be eligible, provided that the flight also meets the eligibility criteria of the relevant air passenger rights regulations. In cases where the strike was led by airport staff or another party, however, it’s considered a situation outside of the airline’s control and is not eligible for compensation.

    Why AirHelp?


    • Is the world’s most successful flight compensation company.
    • Has lawyers in 30+ countries.
    • Uses state-of-the-art technology to pursue each claim.
    • Takes the stress out of the claim process.
    • Operates on a no win, no fee basis.
    • Fights for passenger rights.


    Flight disruption due to airline strikes does happen, and it is your right to receive compensation if you are affected. AirHelp makes the process of claiming easy and stress-free. We handle all of the heavy lifting for you!

    AirHelp is one of the most successful flight compensation companies in the world, and has lawyers in over 30 countries, providing support to customers in 16 languages. We have innovative technology to assess and pursue each claim, which allows us to work on your claim quickly and efficiently.

    Plus, we operate on a no win, no fee basis, eliminating the risk for you completely. So if you need help to get your flight compensation due to a strike, fill out our form today.

    We’re always here to help.

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