European protests cause flight misery

‘Day of action and solidarity’ against austerity measures sees demonstrations in 23 countries across the Continent

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The Independent Online

Air passengers endured travel misery today as UK airlines cancelled flights due to anti-austerity strikes across Europe.

British Airways had to axe eight round-trip flights between London and Madrid and Barcelona as well as two return services to Lisbon in Portugal.

EasyJet cancelled some UK-Spanish services as well as more than 20 within-Europe flights.

Some other easyJet flights were badly delayed - with a London service to Thessalonaki in Greece delayed for three hours 40 minutes.

Passengers on an easyJet London to Athens flight faced a delay of two hours 30 minutes, while a Manchester-Athens flight was delayed for two hours 10 minutes.

Heathrow and Gatwick were among the UK airports where flights were delayed or cancelled.

Expressing regret that some flights would be delayed, rescheduled or cancelled, easyJet said: "We are proactively trying to minimise disruption. However, we would like to warn customers that they could experience delays to their travel plans."

British Airways said: "We are doing all we can to minimise the disruption to our customers."

"Customers due to fly to or from Spain today can rebook to an alternate date free of charge. Customers on cancelled services can also take a full refund.

"We are also looking at putting on larger aircraft to help as many customers as possible. We are advising customers to check for the latest flight information.

"We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused by industrial action which is beyond our control."

Strikes in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy have been planned as part of the Day of Action and Solidarity across the EU.

Protests were also expected in Belgium, Germany, France the UK and some eastern EU states.

The action has been urged by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).