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Another Strike Hits Europe

by Lux Joseph 31. January 2014

European traveler’s flights have been affected once again. Another strike has been initiated amid air traffic controllers. This disruption is creating chaos amongst flights going in/out of Europe. As you may have read in one of my earlier posts, a strike within the travel industry has a major impact on travelers and this can sometimes last for several days. There is no real way to predict whether or not your flight will be affected. Some end of being cancelled while others may be delayed for several hours. But what is this one really about?

The unions are not happy with the direction things are going in regards to cost cuts and reforms. This has been the story that has unfolded the past two days. While the European Commission is looking into implementing a more efficient way of flying, known to many as the Single European Sky project, the air traffic controllers are doing whatever possible to halt this progress. While their intention maybe to just halt this particular project, it causes significant challenges to the carriers, travelers, and those within the industry. The European Commission says the benefits of the Sky Project will provide the following:

·         Reduced costs

·         Reduced airline delays

·         Triple the region’s airspace

While the union recognizes the benefits, they feel as though this project will compromise safety.

Commercial Medical Escorts hasn’t been affected with this strike, but it has affected a large number of flights within Europe. As the travel industry continues to evolve, travelers are going to see an increase in the number of flights throughout the world. For Europe in particular, studies have shown that the air traffic levels are going to double by 2020. Currently the European air traffic control manages approximately 26,000 flights daily. The commission recognized there was going to be a need in the future and this project was focused on addressing the increased volume and safety within the European Air Space.

So many businesses including Commercial Medical Escorts utilize commercial airlines for business. Business travel is necessary for many different industries in a multitude of different ways.  Whether individuals need to fly to visit a client, an employee is being re-located, or a recent merger between two companies. With the large volume of travel that happens, it is important to monitor your flight, check the status of prior to leaving the airport, and be prepared when traveling. CME will continue to closely monitor the strikes to reduce the possibility of it affecting our transports with patients. We monitor each and every flight from start to finish ensuring the most up to date information is available for our clients.

We recommend the following tips to be prepared should your flight be canceled, delayed, or affected in any way due to a strike or another unforeseen event:

1.       TRAVEL CLOTHES: Dress comfortably when traveling and always travel to the airport with a spare set of clothes in your carry-on.

2.       CALL YOUR TRAVEL AGENT: The moment you know your flight has been canceled, contact your travel agent. They can re-accommodate you a lot faster than waiting in the long line or holding for an agent on the 1800 number.

3.       FLEXIBLE: Flexibility with your travel plans is important. For many destinations there may be alternative airports within a short distance like Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia. Being flexible will open you to more opportunities for re-accommodation.

4.       PLAN AHEAD: Many airlines will allow you to change your itinerary without penalty if you are flying to, from, or through an airport that is expected to experience bad weather.

No one likes a strike that affects the travel industry, but until the European Commission and the unions come to some type of an agreement, it is likely that this will happen again in the near future. As a traveler, it is best that you be prepared if you are traveling to/from or within Europe. Commercial Medical Escorts in-house travel department monitors these situations and will keep our clients up to date on potential travel changes.


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