Traveling can be stressful as it is, even without disruptions and delays. When an airline staff goes on strike, many passengers are affected and in need of reimbursement from someone for any missed flights or lost luggage. But how do you know if you’re eligible for a flight compensation? Many factors go into deciding who can receive compensation and each situation that arises will be different.

The language behind whether or not you’ll be reimbursed by an airline can get difficult to understand. Certain circumstances involving strikes will be covered or reimbursed by an airline whereas many situations are not. If your flight gets cancelled or delayed by an airline strike, you might be able receive compensation for the time lost or the missed flight.

Here we have prepared for you a useful guide to help you understand the ins and outs of airliner strikes and how they’ll effect you. The most important factor to consider is time – if you’re reading this with regard to an incident that occurred in the past few days, you should be clear on time. If this incident occurred a couple of years ago, you might want to act soon. Airlines will only hold your case for a limited amount of time (typically three years in the EU).

When Will I be Eligible?

The staff of an airline are considered to be the pilots, on-board crew, engineers, and other staff working directly under the airliner name. If any of the employees of an airline go on strike and your booked flight is delayed or cancelled for a certain amount of time, you are entitled to compensation. Strikes don’t occur often, but when they do, they can leave many passengers stranded without a direction to turn in.

The delay or cancellation must reach certain criteria before you are made eligible for compensation. You must have a confirmed registration prior to the cancellation or delay. If the flight was delayed for more than three hours or cancelled within 14 days of the scheduled departure, you might be eligible. As these are rule pertaining to the EU, your flight must have been departing from and landing in the EU.

You might also be entitled to compensation if you ended up taking a replacement flight that was at a vastly different time than your original. If you were able to book a flight within a couple of hours of your first flight, you might not receive compensation for the original cancellation.

What Strikes Are Not Eligible?

Unfortunately, you’re only really covered if you match most of the above listed requirements. There is nothing the airline can do if a cancellation or delay is result of an airport staff strike. If you’re unable to get to your flight because security agents or air traffic controllers are on strike, you will not receive compensation from the airline. You might be able to look for compensation from the airport itself, but that will be a different process.

If baggage handlers go on strike, your airline will not be held responsible. The baggage staff typically are employed by the airport and any issues regarding the loss of luggage due to strike will need to be addressed towards the airport itself. Everything listed is considered to be “extraordinary circumstances” and are not eligible for compensation from the airline as there was nothing that could be done to prevent them.

What Compensations Can I Expect?

The amount of compensation you might receive will be based on the situation of your delay or cancellation. Many charts that help calculate your due compensation take both time and distance into account. For instance, if your flight was delayed three hours and was up to 1,500 km in distance, you will receive €250, flights over 3,500 km in distance- €600.

Different times and distances will be eligible for different rates. Remember, you must match most of the criteria offered by the airline before you are truly eligible for compensation. It can’t hurt to call though!