Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

Big summer getaway threatened by delays

Spanish strikes and Operation Stack may cause problems

plane flying off into the sunset

Thousands of holidaymakers could suffer disruption to their travel plans this weekend as planned industrial action in France and Spain bites. 

Spanish air traffic control strikes planned for the weekend could cause disruption to flights, while industrial action in Calais is causing travel chaos in Kent. 

Abta, The Travel Association, estimates that 2.1 million British holidaymakers are set to head overseas this weekend as the school holiday season gets into full swing. 

Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said: ‘This weekend sees the great summer getaway in full swing.

‘Destinations around the Mediterranean remain the firm favourites for British families, with Spain and Greece leading the way.’

Find out what your rights are if your holiday travel is delayed by reading the Which? consumer rights website.

Spanish air strikes

Spain remains the number one destination for the UK holiday market, but Abta advises that disruptions will be minimal as airlines are putting contingency plans in place to try to avert delays and cancellations.

The proposed strike times are as follows:

  • 25 July from 09:00 – 12:00 BST
  • 26 July from 16:00 – 19:00 BST

The Spanish air traffic control service, Enaire, expects to operate 80% of services during the strike periods while talks continue with the USCA controllers’ union.

The latest strike action follows partial stoppages by controllers over four days in June. The dispute dates back to the dismissal of a controller and a wildcat strike by controllers in 2010.

If you are due to fly this weekend Abta recommends you check-in as normal.

Travellers are advised to carry essential items, such as medication, baby formula or nappies, as well as items, such as books or games to keep children occupied, in your hand luggage in case of any delays.

If you are concerned, you should check the status of your flight before heading to the airport. We have produced a guide you can use to find out your rights if your flight is delayed by a strike.

Operation stack

Back in the UK, holidaymakers heading for the Port of Dover or the Eurotunnel are being advised to plan their journeys carefully as Operation Stack – where lorries are parked on the M20 waiting to get to the port – is likely to remain in place until Sunday at the earliest.

Operation Stack is likely to have a knock-on effect and lead to increased congestion on the A20 as well as other local roads.

Police are warning holidaymakers to contact their travel operator before setting off on their journey.

Here are a couple of useful contacts:

More on this…

Back to top