Skip to content

When European airports and trains will face Christmas strikes

Dec. 20, 2023
4 min read
Image of excited, shocked young beautiful woman, standing in airport with smartphone in her hands - missed or cancelled flight concept - flight information board in background
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor's Note

This page will be updated as new information emerges.

We always hope your travel will be trouble-free, especially at Christmas and New Year's. However, there are several strikes and other disruptions to look out for across Europe in the coming weeks.

If you plan to travel during these dates and need advice, read our guide to insurance policies and strike coverage. Additionally, find out what you may be entitled to in terms of compensation if your flight is delayed or otherwise affected.

Here are European strikes to be aware of.

Related: The best credit cards for trip cancellation and interruption insurance — and what it actually covers

Public transport strike in Northern Ireland

When: Dec. 22

Public transportation workers across Northern Ireland will strike Dec. 22 in protest over a proposed pay freeze. The walkouts will affect both buses and trains throughout Northern Ireland. The strikes are a continuation of two earlier strikes this month, which took place Dec. 15 and 16.

Iberia ground service staff strikes in Spain

When: Dec. 29-Jan. 1 and Jan. 4-7

Disrupting the travels of those looking to spend the festive season in Spain, Iberia ground service staff members will go on strike during the holiday period from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1 and then again Jan. 4 to 7.

The strikes will affect all Spanish airports where Iberia operates, including Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN), Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI), Seville Airport (SVQ) and Valencia Airport (VLC). They could also affect other flight carriers operating within the IAG group, including British Airways, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

Security staff strikes in Alicante, Spain

When: Dec. 19 and 22-31; Jan. 1-14

Security staff members employed by Ilunion Seguridad will carry out "partial stoppages" in work from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. and from 6 to 7 p.m. on each listed day over disputes involving pay and work conditions.

Potential train strikes in Germany

When: From Jan. 7

Members of the German Train Drivers' Union had planned to strike during the Christmas period over a dispute with train operator Deutsche Bahn over pay.

Daily Newsletter
Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter
Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts
By signing up, you will receive newsletters and promotional content and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Strikes during the Christmas period appear to have been averted, but it's not all good news. The union has instead voted unanimously to strike across an indefinite period until it achieves successful negotiations with Deutsche Bahn. While firm dates of the next strikes are yet to be announced, they are expected to begin after Jan. 7 in the new year.

Related: You are entitled to a refund for your canceled flight — even if the airline says you aren't

Bottom line

One thing worth remembering about strikes is that nothing is certain, and it's always possible that unions and employers will reach a deal.

However, the current economic crisis is making things difficult for everyone. Workers are struggling through the deepening cost-of-living crisis, and travel companies are desperate to appease shareholders during the coronavirus pandemic. The pressures on both sides of the fence seem unlikely to evaporate anytime soon.

The chances of more strikes are high across the travel sector. Keep an eye on these dates and plan accordingly.

Related reading:

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.