Yesterday I wrote about the strike by Austrian Airlines employees. That strike caused Austrian to cancel more than 150 flights, impacting more than 12,000 passengers. The only flight to the US that made it out on Thursday went to JFK, while the Washington/Dulles and Chicago/O’hare Flights were cancelled.
Evidently, it was pretty hectic and unorganized at the Vienna International Airport midday as thousands of passengers attempted to get rebooked and make it to their final destinations. By many accounts, if you were going around Europe you were accommodated on other Star Alliance flights, but if you were heading to the US you were basically trapped in Vienna. Chicago passengers aren’t getting out until the next scheduled flight to Chicago, which is on Saturday. I will say, there are so many worse places to be trapped than Vienna.
I spent last weekend in that glorious City and do wish I had another day or two to explore. The passengers impacted by this delay may be eligible for €600 in compensation (EU Regulation 261/2004). Strikes can be considered an extraordinary circumstance outside of the airlines control, but if other airlines were flying (which they were), you should file a claim and see what happens.
Worst case scenario, Austrian Airlines should be providing you accommodations – but do you really want to stay at an airport hotel for a couple of days? I sure wouldn’t. I’d likely head back into the City, explore, eat wonderful desserts, drink great Austrian wine and just relax (or get work done remotely, if necessary) and file a trip delay claim with the booking credit card.
These types of occurrences are usually pretty rare, and there isn’t much you can do. Don’t get stressed, sit back, try to enjoy an extra day or two in Vienna. Have you been impacted by the strike? How long are you stranded in Vienna? What are you doing to pass the time until you return home?