Europe's travel strikes: Flight and train disruption you can expect in May

Passengers look at check-in times for flights during a nationwide strike of airports ground staff, and check-in services at Rome's Fiumicino Airport.
Passengers look at check-in times for flights during a nationwide strike of airports ground staff, and check-in services at Rome's Fiumicino Airport. Copyright AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
Copyright AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
By Euronews Travel
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Our guide is updated as soon as a new European strike is announced.


Strikes are a regular occurrence in Europe, as employees withhold their labour to fight for better pay and conditions.

Walkouts are sometimes planned months ahead but others are announced last minute, showing that it always pays to check before you travel.

Luckily, we have gathered all of the strike information together below.

Read on to find out where and when are walkouts taking place.

If your flight or train is cancelled or delayed, you will be entitled to a new ticket or compensation. Read our guide for the full details.

UK: Heathrow Border Force worker strikes in April and May

After Border Force workers at London's Heathrow Airport staged a walkout at the start of the month, asmaller scale 'work to rule' strike between 3-18 May could cause further disruption as staff only do the bare minimum required of their contracts.

The UK's biggest airport is bracing for another strike in May when almost 800 staff in various departments could walk out over outsourcing plans. The strike was initially set to start on 7 May but has been suspended for two days to allow for negotiations. If an agreement is not reached, it will now run from 9****-13 May and it could cause serious disruption.

Gatwick Airport: Catering strikes called off

Passengers on easyJet and TUI flights departing from London's Gatwick Airport will no longer be left hungry as Dnata catering workers have reached an agreement with the airlines, securing the reinstatement of their shift allowances and full back pay.

Around 100 workers, including HGV drivers and warehouse workers, had threatened to walk out for 12 days in April and May. 

Train strikes in May

Train drivers on some of the UK's busiest commuter routes will go on strike on 7-9 May in a long-standing dispute over pay and working conditions.

Different operators will walk out on different days, including c2c, Greater Anglia, Great Northern, Southeastern, South Western Railway and Thameslink and Southern on Tuesday; Avanti West Coast, London Northwestern Railway, Chiltern, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, GWR and West Midlands Trains on Wednesday; and LNER, Northern and TransPennine Express on Thursday.

Members of train drivers' union ASLEF are also taking part in an overtime ban from 6-11 May, which is likely to mean cancellations on some lines.

Iceland: Strike threatened at Keflavík Airport

Workers at Keflavík Airport have threatened to strike from 9-12 May if a labour dispute is not resolved.

Flight disruption is expected as security workers plan a series of four-hour stoppages from 4-8am each day. An indefinite overtime ban for union members starting at 4pm on Thursday could cause further disruption.

Italy: Train strikes cause disruption across the country

Trenitalia and Trenord will be hit by a national strike on 19 May when engine staff will walk out.

Further regional train strikes are planned in Naples on 10 May, Friuli Venezia Giulia on 17 May and Liguria on 27-28 May, among others.

where engine personnel will walk off the job for 23 hours from 03.00 on 19 May to 02.00 on 20 May.

France: Vueling staff to strike over bank holiday

French cabin crew with the SNPNC-FO and CGT unions are threatening to strike from 8-12 May. 90 per cent of cabin crew and 95 per cent of cabin managers are expected to take part.


The walkout will affect flights with Spanish budget airline Vueling. The dispute over working conditions could continue into next month if workers' demands are not met.

Could strikes hit the Paris Olympics?

CGT-RATP union members announced a seven-month strike notice from 5 February to 9 September that could hit the Ile-de-France bus and metro network - including during this summer's Olympic Games.

However, the French Senate adopted a bill on 9 April to allow the state to ban transport strikes for set periods each year to avoid disruption during major events like Paris 2024. It also calls for more advance warning of strikes and increased minimum service obligations.

The bill faces opposition and must be adopted by the French National Assembly before it becomes law.

Workers at the state-owned public transport company say they are walking out over pay.


Germany: Threat of train strikes ends

On 25 March, Deutsche Bahn reached an agreement with Germany’s GDL train drivers' union, bringing an end to five months of negotiations and strikes. 

The deal means that GDL will abstain from strikes until at least February 2026.

If you know of a big strike happening in your country that we have missed, we'd love to hear from you via Twitter.

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