Tens of thousands of KLM passengers are entitled to ticket refunds and compensation after a major strike has taken place. The strike of the platform staff can cost KLM millions. The compensation per passenger could amount to as much as €600.
110 flights had to be cancelled due to the strike of the personnel who are handling the planes outside on the apron. It concerned about 150 ramp workers. They laid down their work in protest against the high work pressure and out of fear that their work will be outsourced to an external, cheaper handler in the short term.
Dissatisfied passengers are well protected by European consumer rules, particularly Regulation 261/2004. However, airlines do not always abide by these rules. For example, hundreds of passengers who booked a KLM ticket with the now bankrupt D-reizen are still waiting for their money back.
The consumer rules apply to any flight departing from an EU country and any flight of a European airline arriving in the EU. In case of a delay of more than two hours from the scheduled departure, or in case of a cancellation or overbooking, passengers have the right to receive care in the first place. The European rules cover food and drink "in reasonable quantity", two e-mails, faxes or phone calls, and an overnight stay and transfer if necessary. Those with a delay of more than five hours may cancel their flight and claim a full refund of the ticket cost from the airline. The airline must refund the ticket within seven days.
There are exceptions to the rules on compensation: bad weather, for example, or damage to the aircraft through no fault of the airline, but also a medical emergency or a danger at the destination (war, terrorism). A strike at the airport, for example at air traffic control, is also mentioned as a reason why the airline does not have to give passengers extra compensation. But due to a number of court decisions, a strike no longer seems to be considered as force majeure for the airline.
May 3, 2022