It seems that as another summer rolls forward, we have yet more summer travel strikes in Europe. Last week we not only had the air traffic controllers in France striking, we also had the French rail network (SNCF) being crippled by strikes at the same time. The air traffic controllers caused the more widespread issues this time, with flights being cancelled coming into and out of France – plus it also affected the whole of Europe as planes were limited in their ability to fly through French airspace.
Coupled with that, we now have news that the Air Berlin pilots have been locked in a pay dispute for the past month, and it looks like July could see them also taking strike action. All these different events, and their timing with the heavy summer travel months means that to the average traveler, you could expect to be hit with delays and cancellations – and I can imagine more will be coming.
How to Protect Yourself
As a consumer, of course you can keep an eye on current events and try not to book travel on those airlines that look as though they may be having strike action over the coming months. However this is highly impractical, as in most cases you are booking your travel months in advance and you will have no way of knowing. That is where european travel insurance comes into play, as purchasing travel insurance coverage can cover you in the event of strike action or delays like many passengers experienced last month.
Europe Travel Insurance in particular will be your best option, and for example our Europe Travel plan includes trip cancellation (among other benefits) that would protect you in the event of strike action. You will however want to check the fine print on the insurance policy, as not all travel insurance plans are the same – some may not include trip cancellation insurance, or they may include it but then exclude for strikes – so do you research in advance.
Also be wary about purchasing travel insurance for Europe through your airline or travel provider, although it might be easier – some basic research online will help you find policies that are often more comprehensive and in some cases cheaper!