Easter Flights Possible Disruption's

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06 Mar 2011 00:00 by Daveline Star rating in Lancashire & Orihuel.... 44 posts Send private message

It is reported widely in the papers that, Spanish airport workers, (Baggage handlers and Firemen) will mount a 24 hour strike at the beginning of Easter, to cause maximum disruption.

Will it happen?

Can the Spain afford another strike?


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06 Mar 2011 12:20 by jogary Star rating in UK. 193 posts Send private message

06 Mar 2011 12:49 by acer Star rating. 1147 posts Send private message

Hi Dave,

You ask if Spain can afford another strike, a reasonable question.  But can the aviation industry ? 

I actually feel a bit sorry for EasyJet - I had 2 claims against them last year, costing considerably more than the air fares I paid.  They may, or may not have a liability to re-imburse at Easter but for sure they'll still lose revenue and their schedules will be disrupted, so their fares must increase.

The French and Spanish ATC seem to be doing a pinky and perky act in causing mayhem and it's high time that a more intelligent approach is adopted for these situations.  This isn't vaguely about Trade Unions protecting the livlihood of a down trodden workforce, it's downright selfishness without a thought for anyone else.

I don't recall a serious UK ATC problem in recent years - but the French and Spanish go on and on year after year.

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08 Mar 2011 00:27 by skinnymags Star rating in Dublin - Jardines J0.... 291 posts Send private message

skinnymags´s avatar

07 March 2011 @ 13:23 

HOLIDAYMAKERS going to Spain for Easter face travel chaos after airport workers called a 24-hour strike.

The action, set for April 21 – the day before Good Friday – has been timed to cause maximum disruption.

Baggage handlers and firefighters are among those who will not turn up for work, meaning most airports will be brought to a standstill.

Workers at all of Spain’s inter­national airports are in a dispute over the partial privatisation of AENA, the national airport operator.

Francisco Abadias, spokesman for the UGT union, said: “We know our action will affect many passengers, but we can’t stand by while they keep cutting workers’ rights.”

Mr Abadias also threatened further strikes in July. Manuel Caro, spokesman for AENA’s works council, which represents its 12,000 employees, said passengers with tickets for the week before Easter should change them.

Spain’s ruling PSOE party plans to raise nearly £8billion by selling 49 per cent of AENA, which manages 47 airports, and privatise the management of Madrid and Barcelona airports.

Airport workers fear their jobs and working conditions will be jeopardised by the changes. Some 200 staff at Barcelona’s El Prat airport yesterday demonstrated against the plans.

Mr Caro said privatisation would be “a grave mistake” and added: “Heathrow is an example of this. It’s a disaster and it’s run by Ferrovial, one of the companies planning on taking over Madrid.”


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08 Mar 2011 10:03 by jogary Star rating in UK. 193 posts Send private message

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Fantastic news - I've been waiting 6 months to get back to the sun and they choose to strike on 21st April, the very day I'm flying out to Spain!

For planned strikes, what rights do you have as a consumer? I assume that the airlines won't actually cancel the flights until the day before when the 'know' it is definitley going to happen?

Will this be a blanket strike affecting all flights? I remember the public workers strike in Spain last year didn't stop all flights (only the ATC strikes seem to do this), but did lead to about 70% being cancelled.

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08 Mar 2011 10:18 by Kenny Ackers Star rating. 42 posts Send private message

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Yes same here. flying out on the Thursday.

I have booked and paid - Flights to Almeria, car hire and airport parking at Manchester.

6 weeks to go yet, maybe things will change.

On a lighter note it's our 30th wedding anniversary this year.

I bought the wife a bag of compost.

She said " what's that!!"

I said " well I did promise you the earth"

he! he!

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08 Mar 2011 12:46 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 852 posts Send private message

08 Mar 2011 12:59 by bobaol Star rating. 2262 posts Send private message

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 On a lighter note it's our 30th wedding anniversary this year.

I bought the wife a bag of compost.

She said " what's that!!"

I said " well I did promise you the earth"

he! he!


I bought my missus a new belt and bag but she wasn't happy.

That Hoover has never worked so well!



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08 Mar 2011 13:29 by CostaChris Star rating in Yorkshire and Arroyo.... 40 posts Send private message

Do the airport workers really want to strangle their beautiful country to death? The proposals are unbvelievable with an economy so dependent on tourism they seem hell bent on trying to cause further economic woes. Last year with flash strikes by ATC (who are amongst the best paid in the world!) and other airport workers plus ash cloud disruptions the tourism industry was affected significantly, particularly in relation to British tourists who were also reeling from our own economic squeeze and a dreaful exchange rate. Although the "staycation" by the Spaniards and a small increase in other European tourists helped it seems to have hit home very hard for British property and business owners. Everyday, I see more British bars closing and the keys/lease being handed in. I also know first hand of many tradepeople returning to teh UK as the lack of bookings means no refurbishment work and therefore they cannot manage. There is something positive about redressing the balance with new Spanish businesses opening where the British one's have closed but there is a personal tradgedy behind every one.

To answer the point on consumer rights, we got caught in the general strike last September when the Spanish Government negotiated with the unions to allow some flights in and out but not ours. Ryanair didn't cancel until the day of the strike but allowed us to re-book online or get a refund but NOT before the cancellation was confirmed. We ended up two or three days late back to the UK but tha didn't cause any problems for us. 

I really hope the unions see sense but sadly, I'm not holding my breath. 

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08 Mar 2011 14:12 by TechNoApe Star rating in Duquesa, Manilva. 1278 posts Send private message

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We're back in the UK in a couple of weeks time for a holiday and thankfully fly back just before the strike... and hopefully they won't change the dates!

However, what also concerns me is: Why the hell do I keep going back to the UK for a holiday???  

Family have a lot to answer for, especially when someone decides to get married and you are expected to be there, come hell or high water!

Why can't they fly out here and get married in Gib.... lot better!

Back to topic:

I'm surprised this is being allowed, because during the last Air Traffic Control strike the Government passed a Royal Decree which imposed a 'state of alarm', thus subjecting them to Military discipline and forcing them back to work!

This decree lasted until January 16th until is was revoked, some 43 days later!

I'm guessing they could do the same with the Fireman, and perhaps just use regular army 'grunts' for baggage handlers.

Oh well! At least if they do that, your luggage will be better looked after.... and will arrive with Military precision!

Imagine if it happened in the USA....

I wonder if you would get a Sargent Major shouting "Who packed this bag! ..... You! Drop and give me 20 .... the rest of you from this plane, 3 mile run with all your gear!"



Me, the Mrs and Rosie too! But we'll never, ever forget our Tyler!

We support AAA Abandoned Animals Marbella - Do you?

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09 Mar 2011 09:44 by jogary Star rating in UK. 193 posts Send private message

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More detail can be found here


'The Minister for development, José Blanco, said today that he intends to schedule a meeting with the airport unions and AENA to try and prevent the strikes.'

 'The airlines association, the ALA will ask the DGAC, the Director General of Civil Aviation to do everything possible to ensure that the strikes don´t take place, as they will cause serious losses for the airlines'

The announcement of the dates may be scare tactics on the Union's part in order to bring the Govt. to the discussion table

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09 Mar 2011 10:10 by Text Star rating in Murcia. 16 posts Send private message


You couldn´t make it up. In the middle of the deepest recessions since Franco, and just when Spain could get the the extra boost, when it looks like would be holiday makers will be avoiding the Egypt etc, and coming instead to Spain, what do they do? Strike.

Tourism is the lifeblood of Spain.This is criminal, they are literally forcing their own countrymen to ruin. Whether the strikes go ahead or not many people's holidays are ruined just by the threat opf them being cancelled ,...

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09 Mar 2011 10:14 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6932 posts Send private message

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09 Mar 2011 10:17 by Text Star rating in Murcia. 16 posts Send private message


According to statistics from NATS these Spanish ATCs are hugely overpaid people:

Of 2,300 controllers, ten were paid between €810,000 (£725,000) and €900,000 last year.

A further 226 were paid between €450,000 and €540,000 and 701 were paid between €270,000 and €360,000.

The average basic salary is €200,000 but most double or triple this amount by working overtime.

I know it can be a stressful job but ..anyone for re-training?

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09 Mar 2011 11:48 by elricho Star rating in York. 34 posts Send private message



Do not get confused, the figures that you have quoted are for the Air Traffic controllers. The people who are striking are AENA, the actual airport authorities, actual airport staff.

This was big news on Sky News this morning. Warning people about booking up to go to Spain for their holidays,the paper reviewer said he might just go to Cornwall instead. As you all correctly say you would think that the Spainish people would bend over backwards to get money coming back into their country, but this does not seem to be the case.

As usual the Spanish and customer service as a whole leaves a lot to be desired, they still have a lot to learn. Are they not aware that unlike 30 years ago there is a lot more choice available for the consumer who may just opt to go elsewhere. In my opinion, obviously not.


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09 Mar 2011 12:38 by LadyV Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Being a business owner in Spain and also reliant on tourism, I am am absolutely fed up of the way this is being handled. It is absolute lunacy to have these strikes going ahead because of all the airport staff worrying about their jobs - at least they have jobs!! I live in the Malaga region and even though the whole of Spain has 20% unemployment, Malaga province alone has 32% unemployment, how are these stikes going to help this region when we desperately need a good summer season? in a country that is on its knees I hope that Zapatero can do something good before he loses his job. This isn't just the Spanish airport workers hurting the tourists, they are hurting their own too. Wether these strikes go ahead or not, the damage has been done, real shame as with all the unrest of Egypt and Tunisia, Spain could have really cashed in - how short sighted!!

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09 Mar 2011 13:13 by Sanchez1 Star rating. 852 posts Send private message

It was looking like it was going to be a bumper summer for Spain, with people choosing Spain over the likes of Egypt, Tunisia and the Middle East.  And then they go and shoot themselves in the foot like this...


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Use TransferWise to send money abroad. A lot cheaper than the bank and other online currency exchanges!.



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09 Mar 2011 13:19 by PeterInSpain Star rating in Marbella, Spain. 39 posts Send private message

Sanchez1 - with both flipping barrels! Grrrrrrrr

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09 Mar 2011 14:48 by LadyV Star rating. 22 posts Send private message

Couldn't have said it better myself PeterinSpain

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09 Mar 2011 21:13 by johnmfranci5 Star rating. 107 posts Send private message

If it was not for the fact that we had already booked  a cruise from barcelona on 21st April  I would switch my flight away from Spain and not come back again for a very long time.  As it is we are in limbo and it looks like  we may have to switch to south of france or andorra at signifcanty extra cost if these strikes do go ahead.

Even thought  I despise Ryanair I have to agree with their CEOs comments today.

That said I understand in an industrial dispute workers have to have some means of peacful protest.

Its an age old problem of course.

Who would now book anything with Spain as a destination this  summer ?  That said if the rest of  Europe shuns spain in the near term as a destaantion it will likely bring down costs of flights and holidays last minute bookings - on none strike weeks of course !!



This message was last edited by johnmfranci5 on 09/03/2011.

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