Multiple airports around the globe are experiencing major delays today, Tuesday, June 11th, that could extend for hours and possibly days.
France: Beginning today air traffic controllers will go on a scheduled strike until Friday, June 14th if an agreement is not reached. Airlines throughout the country have been requested to cut their flight schedules in half to allow the airports to remain open and operating with skeleton crews. Travelers scheduled to fly during the strike are advised to check with their airline, as many major carriers in France have already canceled flights.
The European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) has encouraged air traffic controllers across Europe to stand in solidarity and protest on June 12th. This could cause far reaching delays throughout the continent and has the possibility to extend delays well past the June 14th strike date. The backlog of flights could be last through the weekend.
If you are scheduled to fly over the next four days do not check out of your hotel until you are confirmed to fly by your airline. Also, if you are connecting through any airports in Europe on June 12th closely monitor thelocal news, airport and airline websites for possible delays caused by protests.
Italy: Strikes are also planned in Italy for all Alitalia-CAI (AZ) staff and airport ground crew on Friday, June 14th. While not expected to be crippling, the strike will still cause significant delays and cancellations throughout the country. Travelers with itineraries taking them to or out of Milan airports (LIN and MXP) should especially be prepared for schedule changes; unionized workers at these airports are also planning a strike for the same day. The most significantly affected flights will be domestic and regional flights. There is not a huge backlog expected (Italian law requires a minimum staff during labor actions), but travelers are still advised to check with their airlines to confirm all flights. Also, if you are traveling in or out of Milan arrive early since security and other services will be short staffed and will require more time.
Richmond, VA, USA: Richmond International Airport (RIC) has been evacuated due to a threatening phone call. Authorities have not revealed further details as to the content of the threat as of this time. Officials suspended the evacuation order at 0945 this morning, but the backlog is expected to last throughout the day. Travelers can expect delays and cancellations most likely until Wednesday, June 12th.
Many of these delays and cancellations are expected to have trickledown effect for airports around the world. Be sure to check your flight status and be aware of any news that may change your flight plans.