April 21, 2024

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Simon Calder’s travel advice ahead of Christmas strike action

Simon Calder’s travel advice ahead of Christmas strike action

With the winter weather conditions on us, and rail strikes looming – are we heading for a travel nightmare ahead of Christmas? With 12 strike times above the festive period, tens of millions of journeys are possible to be disrupted so our Journey person, Simon Calder, is here to support you and your liked ones locate a way dwelling this Christmas.

What are my legal rights if climate wreck my travel designs?

Rail: You can either get a refund on your ticket for a cancelled coach – or assert Delay Repay if your teach is late (at times as tiny as 15 minutes adrift) 

Flights: Underneath European air passengers’ legal rights procedures, travellers whose flights are cancelled or delayed are entitled to be flown to their vacation spot as quickly as feasible – and must be delivered with foods, and if vital accommodation, right up until they are in a position to travel. 

What working day are the train strikes this 7 days?

  • Train cancellations begin this afternoon in advance of the upcoming spherical of nationwide rail strikes Tuesday and Wednesday’s 48 hour strike. 

  • Thursday will be a “respite” working day, even though nevertheless with heaps of knock-on disruption.

  • Friday and Saturday see an additional two days of industrial action 

Does that suggest no trains at all?

  • Teach operators may well be warning absolutely everyone to continue to be away, but at the exact same time they are running extra companies through the coming week than at any time because national strikes started 6 months ago. 

  • Having said that there will be no trains functioning at all to some key towns this kind of as Portsmouth, Swansea, Aberdeen, Inverness, Stoke-on-Trent and Lincoln.

Why are they striking all over again?

  • There are several disputes involving different employers, which includes Community Rail and 14 coach operators. 

  • The strikes have been identified as by the RMT union in a very long and bitter dispute about spend, job stability and performing arrangements. 

  • Unions say any fork out offer really should reflect the rising price of residing, after rejecting a pay rise supply of 4{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} in 2022 and 2023 – tied to station ticket office closures and modifications in who closes the doors on trains.

What about the strikes later on this month?

It can be looking grim, with twelve times of Xmas and New Yr strikes, additionally additional time bans (exactly where employees refuse to do the job additional time) 

  • A single specific educate route is a particular nightmare: if you miss the last Chiltern Railways practice tonight from London to Birmingham, you can expect to have to wait around four comprehensive months till the following just one. That’s mainly because strikes on 24-27 December and 3/4 and 6/7 January join forces with an overtime ban and festive engineering operate already planned!

Will strikes impact flights much too?

  • 23rd December is the day when we will see what happens at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff airports when troops change Border Drive officers in their roles at passport regulate.

Why are they putting?

  • All-around 1,000 General public and Business Solutions (PCS) union customers together with folks who perform in passport regulate – are having industrial action immediately after the Home Place of work provided staff a 2{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} pay out increase rather of the 10{6932ee47e64f4ce8eedbbd5224581f6531cba18a35225771c06e4f1b3f0d9667} they asked for.

When will we see the worst outcomes?


  • Heathrow by yourself is a massive headache for officials – 583 flights with 126,700 seats are scheduled to get there at Heathrow on 23 December. While the actual amount of passengers will be reduce, since not each seat will be loaded, the determine will concern those in search of to put mitigating measures in location. 

  • Xmas Day, as predicted, will be the quietest of the strike days for Heathrow, with just 83,400 passengers on 352 flights. But Heathrow returns to full extend from 28-30 December, with close to 125,000 travellers on 575 flights each and every day. 

Gatwick and Glasgow

  • Arrival numbers are optimum on the two Fridays in the strike calendar, 23 and 30 December. Gatwick expects more than 60,000 arrivals on 325 flights, even though Glasgow anticipates extra than 10,000 travellers touching down aboard 85 planes. 

Manchester airport

  • The place bosses are now warning that some flights will be cancelled, the peak is predicted on Boxing Day: 37,000 passengers on 191 flights. But just about every working day aside from Xmas Eve and Xmas Working day will be exceptionally chaotic. 


  • The vital dates are 23 and 31 December, with about 16,000 arrivals, but 27, 29 and 30 December are also predicted to see a lot more than 15,000 travellers touching down. 


How to get household this Christmas 

When can I journey on the trains? and which routes are finest?

Even on strike days, the significant intercity routes are still operating among all-around 7.30am and 6.30pm. So you can journey from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leicester, Norwich, Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton, Brighton to London, with fast paced suburban networks all-around London, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh also the very least impacted. Rural and area providers will undergo most.

The place can i look at for the most trusted information and facts? 

Are mentor operators buying up the slack? 

  • They’re filling up quickly – for instance on Tuesday from Portsmouth to London, the initially 5 Countrywide Convey coaches are total. Introducing extra expert services is difficult since motorists and their coaches are currently stretched. 

Any tips for highway consumers? 

RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said: Individuals who generally rely on having absent by teach on Xmas Eve will endure the most thanks to the newest strikes introduced.

Until they have straightforward obtain to a different kind of transportation their festive ideas will be effectively and actually scuppered. The auto is the all-natural different and for this rationale we’re very possible to see an improve in website traffic on Christmas Eve.”