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General strike in Belgium — 40% of flights cancelled at Brussels airport on November 9th

Friday, November 4, 2022

On November 9th, there will be the ‘day of action’ across Belgium. The nationwide strikes that are being held due the high cost of energy will affect Brussels Airport. Many passengers passing through the airport on this day will likely experience flight delays and cancellations.

Why is the general strike in Belgium affecting Brussels airport on November 9th?

Due to a general countrywide strike, Brussels Airport has made the proactive decision to preemptively cancel 40% of its scheduled flights on November 9th. Belgium’s inflation rate has risen to 12.27%, the highest level recorded since 1975. Due to the country's public transit network being affected, there will be considerable delays at Brussels Airport as it becomes more challenging to get to the airport as a result of the trade union strikes.

The purchasing power dilemma is the driving force for the union's actions. The unions are requesting, among other things, a cap on gas and electricity prices as well as a change to the statute governing wage standards, which establishes the maximum rate at which wage costs may rise.

The airport wants to prevent too many lines and delays that day — as a step to lessen the impact, it may cancel or reschedule flights. There are ongoing discussions with partners and airlines to determine whether additional precautions are required to prevent chaos and confusion.

Is it possible to claim compensation for the Brussels Airport strike on November 9th?

Unfortunately, because strikes (except specifically airline staff strikes) are considered outside of the airlines' control by EU regulations, passengers cannot claim compensation in these situations. Non-airline strikes fall under the category of “extraordinary circumstances”; the list below gives a few examples of such situations.

  • Bad weather conditions, such as thick fog, heavy rain, or thunderstorms.

  • A strike, most often specifically within the aviation industry (for example, a strike of air traffic control workers at a specific airport).

    However, a strike of the airline's crew is not considered an extraordinary circumstance!

  • Political circumstances, such as a terrorist attack or general security risk due to political unrest.

  • Natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions and hurricanes.

  • A collision between the aircraft and birds or other foreign objects.

  • An ill or unruly passenger.

  • Flight delays caused by the airport staff, such as extraordinarily long queues to security checks.

The impacted passengers' airline will personally contact the unidentified number of them to accommodate them. It is requested that passengers only bring hand luggage on aircraft that are serviced.

Should I accept a travel voucher for my cancelled flight at Brussels Airport due to the general strike in Belgium?

In some cases, airlines might offer passengers travel vouchers for their cancelled flights. Instead of accepting vouchers, we advise you to ask for a cash return. The passenger must rebook their flight on the same airline after receiving a travel voucher, and the airline will frequently impose a deadline for doing so. Furthermore, it would be exceedingly challenging to get your money back if the airline declared bankruptcy.

Are you having trouble getting a cash refund from the airline? We'll help you. Submit your claim today online in just 5 minutes.