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Italy hit by travel disruption in national rail strike on Friday

Train cancellations and delays were expected across Italy on Friday, September 9th, as unions called a strike over the safety of rail workers.

Italy hit by travel disruption in national rail strike on Friday
Italian rail services will be hit by delays and cancellations throughout the day on Friday. Photo by Geoffrey VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

Widespread delays and cancellations were expected throughout the day on many local and interregional rail services run by operators Trenitalia, Italo and Trenord.

Trade unions confirmed on Thursday that the nationwide railway strike would last from 9am until 5pm.

Certain services deemed essential remain guaranteed to run, rail operators confirmed on Thursday, though most of these will be at peak times and therefore outside of the main strike hours. (See more about guaranteed services from Italo and Trenitalia.)

Passengers planning to travel on Friday were advised to check the status of their service with the rail operator before setting off. 

Trenord said that its airport train service from central Milan to Malpensa airport would be replaced by a bus link during the strike hours on Friday.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about train travel in Italy

The strike was called to demand more security protection for train staff after a series of violent incidents.

Unions slammed the “gravity and intolerability of the numerous and violent attacks” on staff in a joint statement announcing the strike.

What are your rights if your train is delayed or cancelled?

Both Trenitalia and Italo offer compensation if your train is more than an hour late, starting at 25 percent of the ticket price for delays of 60-119 minutes and rising to 50 percent from 120 minutes.

Alternatively, if your train is expected to be an hour or more late and you decide not to travel, you can request a full refund.

Trenitalia, Italy

Photo by Geoffrey VAN DER HASSELT / AFP

For Trenitalia’s high-speed Frecciarossa, Frecciargento and Frecciabianca trains, compensation kicks in from 30 minutes’ delay.

In the case of cancellations, you are entitled to a refund (and in certain circumstances, if you find yourself stranded because of a missed connection, a free transfer back to your starting station). Whether you get all or only part of the ticket price back depends on whether you’ve already begun your journey, whether it’s outward or return leg, and whether you can switch to an alternative train.

If you’d like to travel on a different service, ask the nearest Trenitalia or Italo ticket agents at the station.  

Italo credits compensation and refunds automatically in the form of digital vouchers, which customers have the option to convert to money. Passengers on Trenitalia can apply for money back using this form.

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STRIKES

What to expect from Friday’s strikes in Italy

Travellers have been warned to expect more disruption from strikes on Friday, November 11th. From trains to planes and local public transport, here's how services will be affected.

What to expect from Friday’s strikes in Italy

Travellers are once again expected to face strike disruption affecting travel to, from and across Italy on Friday.

The new round of demonstrations, which threaten to replicate last month’s ‘venerdì nero’ (black Friday), include a 24-hour strike from Vueling staff.

READ ALSO: The strikes set to cause travel disruption in Italy in November

Public tranport strikes will also affect commuters in several Italian cities, though the hours and services affected will vary across the country.

Here’s the latest info on how the planned strikes will impact travel.

Flights

As previously reported by The Local, ground and cabin staff from Spanish airline company Vueling will take part in a 24-hour strike.

At the time of writing, no other carriers appear to be involved in the strike.

Vueling hasn’t confirmed how flights will be affected, but delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out.

Vueling plane

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling will take part in a 24-hour strike over job security and holiday pay agreements. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

According to the latest media reports, the Spanish carrier will guarantee a number of “minimum services” throughout the day but neither Vueling nor ENAC, Italy’s air traffic authority, have provided further details.

That said, in the event of strikes, flights from 7am to 10am and from 6pm to 9pm are usually guaranteed to operate in Italy.

Friday’s strike will be the third demonstration in little over a month for Italy-based Vueling personnel, after the two previous strikes on October 1st and October 21st.

Italian unions representing Vueling staff have said that strike actions will continue until their demands – over greater job security and new agreements over holiday pay – are met.

READ ALSO: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

As in previous strikes, those meant to be travelling with Vueling on Friday are advised to check their flight status with the carrier before setting off.

In the event of severe delays or cancellations you might be entitled to compensation. See our guide for further details.

Trains

Local operators in several Italian regions will strike at varying times on Friday.

Train services run by Trenord around Milan, Brescia, Como and surrounding areas will be affected on Friday morning from 9.01am until 1pm, including Milan airport links. See full details here.

In Piedmont Ferrovienord services will be interrupted between 9am and 1pm.

In the southern region of Puglia, Ferrovie Sud Est will join the strike from 5pm-9pm.

Public transport

Aside from the Vueling staff strike, local public transport staff from all over the country are expected to take part in a four-hour national strike called by Italian union USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) earlier this week. 

The strike’s start and end times will vary from region to region or, in some cases, from city to city. 

In Milan, staff from public transport operator ATM will strike from 8.45am to 12.45pm, with significant disruption expected for both underground (metro lines) and overground (buses and trams) services.

Bus station in Rome

Public transport staff from all over the country will take part in a four-hour national strike, with the start and end time varying according to the location. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Outside of these hours, services will run regularly, ATM said in a statement.

In Rome, staff from ATAC, the main public transport provider in the capital, will strike from 8.30am to 12.30pm. Further info about the strike can be found here.

In other cities, local public transport staff will strike at the following times, according to Italian media reports on Thursday:

Trieste –  6.30pm to 10.30pm

Bologna and Ferra –  11.30am to 3.30pm

Naples – 9am to 1pm

Bari and Brindisi – 8:30am to 12:30pm

Lecce – 3pm to 7pm

Trento – 11:00 to 15:00

Bolzano – 3pm to 7pm (buses only)

Varese – 3:30 to 7:30pm (Varesine buses)

Pavia – 24 hours

Livorno – 5.30pm to 9.30pm

La Spezia – 11am to 3pm

Rimini, Cesena and Forlì –5.30pm to 9pm.

Strike action in other Italian cities had not been confirmed at the time of writing.

Anyone planning to travel on public transport on Friday is advised to check the status of services in their city before setting off.

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