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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Spanish strikes ruined trips

An estimated 11,000 Norwegians were among the hundreds of thousands of airline passengers whose travel plans were seriously disrupted over the weekend by a strike by air traffic controllers in Spain.

Planes were grounded and some flights had to turn around in mid-air and return to their departure points because they couldn’t land in Spain.

Torunn Åmtun and her family were among those on a flight that turned around over Ireland and returned to Oslo, when the pilot got word that it wouldn’t be possible to land in the Canary Islands.

Thousands more Norwegians were stranded at Spanish airports and couldn’t get home. Officials at airlines like Norwegian and SAS struggled to keep passengers informed of delays and cancellations because their own information from Spain was minimal at best. The air traffic controllers eventually returned to work and service was expected to get back to normal by early this week.

The airline chaos followed massive weather-related cancellations all over Europe late last week, when, for example, heavy snow forced closure of Gatwick Airport outside London. A weary spokeswoman for Norwegian Air apologized for the inconvenience to passengers, but claimed “we’re doing the best we can.”

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