At Düsseldorf Airport, a warning strike by employees of a handler on Friday caused many flight cancellations.
What are the rights of travelers who are stranded as a result?
Berlin – Because of a warning strike at Düsseldorf Airport, there are massive problems there on Friday.
The Verdi union has called on employees at the baggage and aircraft handler Aviapartner to stop working.
This leads to delays, and numerous flights have been canceled entirely.
What are the rights of travelers who are stuck because of this?
Travel lawyer Paul Degott explains:
... how you can still reach your goal
The airline must offer other travel options in the event of flight cancellations and delays of more than three hours.
Alternatively, travelers have the right to have the money refunded in the event of a flight cancellation - this also applies to delays of five hours or more.
But then they have to take care of themselves how to reach their goal.
In the end, you often end up paying more and you also have the organizational effort.
Paul Degott advises contacting the airline.
"It's cheaper if you let the airline take care of a timely replacement transport," he says.
With the help of the airline, it might be possible to take the train to another airport and fly from there.
For flights within Germany, airlines often offer their customers train tickets to get to their destination.
If you stay at the airport and wait for a replacement flight, for example, the airline has to provide you with meals and drinks depending on the waiting time.
If necessary, the airline must also provide accommodation in a hotel.
... whether you are entitled to compensation
"The decisive factor is who is on strike," says Degott.
At Düsseldorf Airport, they are employees of a baggage and aircraft handler.
And according to the opinion of the travel lawyer, handling staff can be considered the same as the airline's own staff.
"The airlines will stonewall and say that they have nothing to do with them - but that's not true, because they need them for handling." Even if the staff comes from another service provider, they act on behalf of the airline and can definitely be considered staff of the airline, according to the travel lawyer.
For affected passengers, this means that compensation claims could be considered in the event of delays and flight cancellations.
The EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation determines the level of possible compensation.
In the case of delays of more than three hours at the destination or cancellations at short notice, they are between 250 and 600 euros.
... what if the package holiday starts late
"In the case of a package tour, the organizer is responsible," says Degott.
For example, anyone who flies on vacation one day later due to the warning strike can reduce the travel price proportionately.
That means you pay less for one day.
If you want to find out more about possible compensation for flight cancellations and delays, Stiftung Warentest offers a comprehensive overview online at www.test.de/Fluggastrechte.
The website of the consumer centers also provides information about your rights in the event of (warning) strikes at airlines or at airports.
The free Flugärger app from the NRW consumer advice center can help when checking claims.
The European Consumer Center offers a browser-based self-help tool for flight problems.
Helpful links for flight problems
Helpful links for flight problems