Strikes in Europe:
How to Plan Your Trip

Strikes are a common occurrence in Europe, affecting various sectors and services. High energy prices and inflation that affect the cost of living and the purchasing power of workers and pay disputes are only a few of the common reasons for strikes in Europe. In this article, we will share some valuable tips and tricks on how to plan your trip around strikes in Europe and avoid unnecessary stress. We will also give you a calendar of the upcoming strikes this summer, so you can be prepared and informed.

How to plan a trip around strikes

Keep up with the news

Before you travel, it's smart to follow European media to find out the latest information. See if your flights, trains, buses, and other services are disrupted by any planned or ongoing strikes. Scroll down to find out more about planned strikes in June and July 2023. You can also visit websites like Eurocontrol or Rail Europe to monitor Europe's air and rail traffic.

Stay flexible

If you're traveling when strikes are expected or possible, be ready to adjust your plans. We know this is overwhelming, but you may need to change your travel dates, routes, or modes of transportation depending on the situation. You can also explore other destinations that are less impacted by strikes or have more ways to get around.

Prepare in advance

If you know that there will be a strike on a particular day or period, try to book your tickets and accommodations ahead of time and pack light. You can also secure seats or tickets for attractions, museums, or tours that have less availability or higher prices during strikes. A walking audio tour might be a good option, as you won't have to depend on when other people are available.

Stay updated

During your trip, keep an eye on the news and social media for updates on the strike situation. You can also contact your airline, train company, hotel, or travel agent for information and assistance. You may also want to download some apps that can help you navigate public transportation.

Be patient

Strikes can cause frustration and stress for travelers and locals alike. Try to be patient and understanding with the workers who are exercising their rights, as well as with the staff who are trying to help you. Avoid confrontations or arguments with anyone involved in or affected by the strike. Remember that strikes are usually temporary and part of the culture and politics of Europe.

Have a backup plan

In case of a major disruption or cancellation of your travel plans, have a backup plan ready. You may have to book another flight, train, bus, or car rental to get to your destination or back home. You may also have to find another hotel, hostel, or Airbnb to stay at.

Consider travel insurance

Travel insurance can provide you with some protection and compensation in case of unforeseen events such as strikes, delays, cancellations, lost luggage, medical emergencies, or theft. However, not all travel insurance policies cover strikes or labor actions, so make sure you read the fine print and understand what is covered and what is not before you buy one.

Strikes in Europe this summer

  • 1
    On June 6, a massive strike took place against the government’s plan to raise the legal age of retirement from 62 to 64. The unions that organized the protest are expected to announce their next steps soon, so we will keep you posted.
  • 2
    Many strikes are planned to happen in Italy this summer. On June 18, there will be a strike from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Milan Malpensa Airport. On June 20, the handling staff of all airports will stop working for 24 hours. On July 15, the personnel of the Italian air traffic management operator will be on a 24-hour strike.

    On June 23, the workers of the Trenord railway service of Lombardy will walk out from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

    On July 7, there will be a national strike by public transport staff across the country for 24 hours.
  • 3
    Spanish airports are still striking. If you’re planning to fly with Spanish airlines this summer, make sure to check your flight details. The Spanish Union of Airline Pilots has been striking every weekday against Air Nostrum since June 6, and they also plan to walk out against Air Europa on a day between June 19 to July 2.
  • 4
    The UK
    We're sorry to break it to you — the strikes in the main UK airport will continue. There will be a new round of walkouts at Heathrow Airport in London. The strikes will start on June 28 and will take place almost at the end of almost every week until September. The scheduled walkout days are June 28, 29, and 30, July 14 to 16, 21 to 24, and 28 to 31, and August 4 to 7, 11 to 14, 18 to 20, and 24 to 27.
What to do if your flight or train is cancelled or delayed
If you are flying within, to, or from the EU, you have rights that protect you from cancellations and delays. Contact the transport operator or the ticket vendor to find out your options. You should also check their terms and conditions and cancellation policies before booking or traveling.

Depending on how you travel in the EU, by plane, train, bus, or boat, you may be entitled to get assistance, care, and re-routing from the transport company if they cancel your journey. Find out more about your passenger rights under EU rules and travel with peace of mind.

Make sure to keep your receipts and documents related to your travel expenses, such as food, accommodation, transportation, etc. You may need them to claim compensation or reimbursement from the transport operator or the travel insurance company.
Best things to do in Europe this summer
With this guide, we're sure you will get through to your dream destination. To make the most of your trip, check out the best experiences for independent travelers, from self-guided audio tours of Europe's hidden gems to skip-the-line tickets to the hottest attractions. If a strike keeps you from visiting an attraction, text us, and we will handle the situation.