A national strike is underway in Belgium and all flights in and out of the country have been grounded. The strike began on Tuesday evening and is expected to run for 24 hours.
The strike comes following a disagreement over an increase in pay (which has been limited to a growth of 0.8% for the next two years), and was called by three major trade unions federations. Already, the strike has been referred to as causing the biggest impact on the country.
Airlines have been contacting affected passengers to re-arrange bookings, but anyone looking to fly over the next couple of days should expect delays and disruption. Although Eurostar services between Brussels and London or Paris are still operating passengers travelling by rail will also face disruption.
It is unlikely that compensation will be available due to the nature of the delay/cancellation.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), strike action is classed as an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ (an event that is outside of the individual airlines control) therefore airlines do not have to arrange for compensation to be paid. Having said that, it is the airlines responsibility to re-schedule the affected flight or reimburse the cost of any unused tickets.
Cancellation of a holiday or financial loss of pre-booked expenses due to strike action will not be covered by travel insurance, unless the policy offers cover for industrial action. Although this cover is not widely available, some travel insurance policies will offer it as standard or as an extension, so please check the policy wording documents from your provider.
Flights are scheduled to resume in the early hours of Thursday morning.