An air traffic control system outage at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and strikes across Italy are disrupting air travel in Europe ahead of a busy Thanksgiving travel weekend.
According to a statement on KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines’ website, a technical failure in the air traffic control system at Schiphol Airport caused major travel disruptions late Tuesday, local time, and passengers flying through the airport may still experience problems. KLM customers with tickets issued on or before November 21 can change their travel dates through Tuesday, November 28, in the same travel class without paying a change fee. Customers can also use the full value of their original tickets for tickets to a new destination without paying a change fee. If their flight was canceled or delayed more than three hours and they did not travel, customers can apply for a full refund. Customers can check their current flight status here.
The airline told The Sun that the disruption resulted in the cancellation of 50 flights, including roundtrip flights to London Heathrow, Paris, Nantes and Hanover.
Meanwhile, in Italy, The Independent reports that Alitalia cancelled domestic flights to Bologna, Milan and Naples, and British Airways canceled roundtrip flights to Florence, Venice and Rome, as a result of a ground handlers’ strike. Lufthansa, EasyJet and Ryanair also cancelled flights in and out of the airport in Pisa. The strikes are the latest in a series of industrial actions that are set to disrupt travel in Italy through December.
The travel disruptions come during what AAA is forecasting to be the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in a dozen years, with 50.9 million Americans traveling 50 or more miles from home from Wednesday, November 22, through Sunday, November 26. Many of those passengers will be headed to Europe; according to the latest study from Allianz Global Assistance, Europe will account for three of the top 10 Thanksgiving travel destinations this year. They are London (#2), Paris (#3) and Rome (#8).