General Strike Planned for Friday as Barcelona Protests Continue

Catalan pro-independence demonstrators march near Navas, Spain. // Photo by AP Photo/Bernat Armangue via Newscred

A general strike is planned for Barcelona and the rest of Catalonia Friday after a series of protests this week over the sentencing of nine leaders of the Catalan separatist movement. 

Iberia Airlines reports that the strike is being called by Intersindical-CSC Unions and the IAC on Friday, October 18. As a result, Iberia customers with a ticket issued by October 16 to or from Barcelona can rebook through October 23. 

A couple of other airlines have issued flight waivers, including American Airlines, which is allowing customers scheduled to fly through October 18 to rebook through October 21 between the same city pair in the same cabin (or pay the difference). 

United Airlines customers scheduled to fly through October 17 can rebook through October 20 with no change fee or difference in fare, so long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin and between the original city pair. 

The Associated Press reports that a series of protests in the region that have taken place since Monday’s sentencing have resulted in the injury of more than 200 people. On Wednesday, five large protest marches comprising thousands of people began across Catalonia, with plans calling for them to converge in Barcelona on Friday. 

Monday’s sentencing resulted from charges during the fallout from a 2017 independence referendum, which the central government of Spain said was illegal. This, too, prompted several days of protests, resulting in a hit to tourism bookings during October of that year, according to a pair of studies by AARP Travel and ForwardKeys that were released at the time. 

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