SUNSEEKERS looking for an early summer getaway should BEWARE this weekend, as Brits traveling to these five countries have been warned of holiday chaos.
Yet another set of strikes will slam the UK’s airports on Saturday and Sunday, after one of Europe’s top low-cost airlines announced the mass walkout yesterday.
Trade unions representing Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain will be striking this weekend, ahead of EasyJet’s nine-day walkout in Spain next month.
The staff are walking out over labor conditions, claiming the airline doesn’t respect rest-time laws.
And the cabin crew also want a raise, after years of being paid at the minimum wage.
The devastating announcement follows rail chaos across the UK this week, forcing commuters to face four-hour delays as 80% of train services were cancelled.
The biggest RMT strike in 30 years will continue tomorrow and Saturday – and now Brits have little hope of an easy sunny escape.
Rynair’s move isn’t the first time the airline wreaked holiday havoc this year, as a walkout on June 12-13 already forced 40 flights to be cancelled.
This weekend, Ryanair staff in Portugal and Belgium are planning to strike from Friday, with the other countries walking out on Saturday.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has been dismissive of the strikes.
He said earlier this month in Belgium: “We operate two and half thousand flights every day.
“Most of those flights will continue to operate even if there is a strike in Spain by some Mickey Mouse union or if the Belgian cabin crew unions want to go on strike over here.”
A spokeswoman from Ryanair said it had collective workplace agreements in place covering 90 percent of its European staff and was in talks to improve labor conditions.
She added: “We don’t expect widespread disruption this summer.
“These minority union strikes are not supported by our crews.”
Chaos has hit UK airports since air travel rebounded after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
Many airlines who had to lay off staff during the pandemic are struggling to retire enough workers – so understaffed flights are getting cancelled.
Brits have faced delays of several hours, miles of security and check-in queues, last-minute cancellations and enormous confusion with luggage.
Last weekend, hundreds of suitcases piled up at Heathrow Airport as passengers were told they could be without their belongings for up to two days.
And families have been reduced to tears by days of waiting in airport terminals that ruined their holiday.
An eight-year-old girl, at the start of this month, sobbed after a 32 hour delay for her family’s £8,000 TUI holiday.
Ryanair’s low-cost rival EasyJet also faces nine days of strikes through July at the Barcelona, Malaga and Palma de Mallorca airports.
Spanish EasyJet cabin crew have the lowest wages of the airline’s European bases, with a base pay of 950 euros per month, the union said on Tuesday.
So Spanish trade unions encourage the cabin crews to walkout from June 24 to July 2 to secure their “fundamental labor rights” and “decent work conditions for all staff”.
But an EasyJet spokeswoman said “should the industrial action go ahead we would expect some disruption to our flying programme” and “we would like to reassure customers that we will do possible to minimize any disruption.”
On Monday, the European Transport Workers’ Federation called “on passengers not to blame the workers for the disasters in the airports, the canceled flights, the long queues and longer time for check-ins, and lost luggage or delays caused by decades of corporate greed and a removal of decent jobs in the sector”.
The Federation said it expected “the chaos the aviation sector is currently facing will only grow over the summer as workers are pushed to the brink”.