Travel News

Summer holiday strikes 2024: What are the odds train or air travel could be hit?

Simon Calder’s Travel

The one certainty of travel this summer: holidaymakers will be disrupted by strikes.

Travel depends on many individual groups of workers cooperating to deliver passengers to their destinations and enabling them to enjoy holidays. Because these functions are interlocking, trade unions have significant power to cause a lot of disruption through a relatively small number of workers going on strike.

The most extreme example: French air-traffic controllers, who normally handle many thousands of flights each day to, from and over France. But many other disputes potentially stand between you and your well-deserved and much-anticipated holiday – including the never-ending rail strikes, which could hit your journey to the airport or to a seaside resort.

For each of these possible threats, I have given my estimate of the percentage chance of it going ahead as well as a ‘Degree of Disruption’ score, from 0 to 10, for the effects.

UK: Rail strikes

We are now in the third summer of strikes by members of the train drivers’ union, Aslef. Industrial action in the dispute over pay and working arrangements began in July 2022. The union is demanding a no-strings pay award, but rail firms – directed by ministers – say any increase is contingent on radical reforms to working practices in order to reduce public subsidies.

Strikes have taken place every four to six weeks in the past 22 months.

While an olive branch has been extended by the Rail Delivery Group, representing train operators, inviting the union to informal talks, there seems no obvious solution in sight under the current government. More “rolling strikes”, targeting a different area of the country each day, seem likely.

Chance of strikes this summer: 90 per cent

Degree of disruption: 9 – thousands of trains will be cancelled on each day of a walk-out.

UK: EasyJet pilots’ dispute

“Summer of travel hell sparked by strike action after easyJet pilots reject £200,000 pay deal.” So reads one headline about the prospects for Britain’s biggest budget airline in the next few months, after an offer from easyJet was rejected by pilots belonging to the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa).

But don’t panic if you are one of the millions with a booking on easyJet this summer. The airline says: “We are disappointed that the pilot pay deal was narrowly rejected. We remain in…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…