Spanish and Barcelona general strikes, demonstrations, protests November 2017

Barcelona general strikes and protests November 2017

Is Barcelona safe to visit? This page lists a summary of Barcelona political demonstrations, general strikes, airport strikes and disruptions to travel for tourists to Barcelona. Please check with your airline and on the Barcelona airport webpage for latest news about travel disruptions. See also article about Barcelona general safety.

Mass demonstrations and general strikes cause traffic and public transport disruptions,  so make sure you leave your hotel or apartment in good time if you are near a planned demonstration. Also bear in mind, that not all airlines can accept check-ins before 2 hours before flight departures, so you might be at the airport for a while before being able to check in your bags.

Strikes December 2017

This strike has been called off, so no strikes during Christmas in Barcelona.

IAG group ground staff (Vueling, Iberia and British Airways) which is check-in, cabin and plane maintainance staff - at Barcelona International airport El Prat have announced a partial strike from 21st to 24th December 2017. The strike action will be intermittent stoppages of four hours in length at three different times during the four days of the strike

Strikes Barcelona November 2017

Barcelona and Spain Taxi strike Wednesday 29th November 2017
Spanish Taxi associations have called a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 29/11. Expect delays in Barcelona. Minimum taxi services for emergencies and transport hubs .

No new strikes or demonstrations planned. Things are peaceful and it appears that life is back to normal. The political parties are preparing for new regional elections. Safe for tourists to visit.

Saturday 11th November 2017
Mass demonstration planned on street Marina between Pujades and Icaria. The demonstration starts at 5pm. It has been called by pro-independence organisations in support of jailed government ex-ministers. Expect some traffic and metro disruptions in Sant Marti area in area of demonstration in afternoon.

Friday 10th November 2017
Safety levels for tourists normal. Barcelona calm. No incidents. No striikes. Traffic normal. Generally city is very safe and things getting back to normal. 

General strike 8th November 2017
A general strike in Barcelona. This strike does not appear to be supported by a majority of residents, but will affect traffic. 30 roads were blocked this morning by supporters of independence for Catalonia from Spain, so expect disruptions to traffic this evening with possible roadblocks. Metro and bus in Barcelona operating at 50% in peak hours. 

Sunday 5th November 2017
Safety levels for tourists normal. Barcelona calm. No incidents. No striikes. Traffic normal. Life in Barcelona is very normal and calm. Some tourists told us that if they hadn't been told about the political situation they would never have known there were any problems because everything seems so normal.

Wednesday 1st November 2017
Safety levels for tourists normal. Public holiday Todos los Santos.  Barcelona calm. No incidents. No striikes. Traffic normal. 

Tuesday 31st October 2017
Safety levels for tourists normal. No incidents. No striikes. Traffic normal.

Monday 30th October 2017
Safety levels for tourists normal. Barcelona calm. No incidents. No striikes. Traffic normal. 

Sunday 29th October 2017
On 29th October there was peaceful mass anti-independence demostration in support of Catalunya staying in Spain from 12 mid-day on street Passeig de Gracia. There will be disruption to traffic and metro services. SEE MAP

Places to exercise caution in the coming week are Placa de Sant Jaume and near the Catalonia parliament in Parc de la Ciutadella. Generally Barcelona is calm and safe for tourists at the moment, however we suggest you check official travel advice and travel warnings with your own country's foreign office if you are planning visits.

Brief overview of current political situation. The Spanish government has suspended regional autonomous rule in Catalonia by invoking article 155 of the Spanish constitution which imposes temporary direct rule from Madrid. New regional elections have been called for 21st December. The former Government of Catalonia are under indictment for charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. The former President and some former government ministers left Spain and are in Brussels and will face a Belgian court regarding extradition to Spain. Other former ministers are in prisón in Madrid.  This political situation was caused bya declaration of independence by the regional government of Catalonia on Friday 27th October based on the constitutionally illegal referendum on independence on 1st October attended by 42% of the census. Due to these events it is possible that there can be demonstrations and possible civil unrest and disobediance on certain dates.

Tourists are not generally perceived to be in danger
anywhere in the city, but should exercise just caution and use common sense. One of the major cruise ship companies, Costa cruises, advised their passengers going ashore in Barcelona that civil unrest and protests could be announced or happen at short notice or without prior notice and advised their passengers, in the event of experiencing a protest, not to take pictures of protesters or police to avoid provoking violent reactions and in general to avoid mixing with large political gatherings near government buildings, headquarters of security forces and symbolic places. Finally the cruise line advised against going too far from the city center in case protests cause traffic disruptions and delays returning to cruise ships. 

Vaga general - Catalan for general strike
Huelga general - Spanish for general strike

Saturday 21st October 2017
Mass demonstration planned from 5pm on Passeig de Gracia. Traffic delays and disruption in area expected all afternoon and possibly evening. The demonstrations starts Jardinets de Gracia at top of Passeig de Gracia and ends at junction of Gran Via Passeig de Gracia but this will affect several blocks in the area. so if you have to get to airport or cruise ships then please leave in very good time.

Map route Barcelona demonstration 21-10-2017 from 5pm

Tuesday 10th October 2017

Demonstration planned on Passeig de Lluís Companys at 6pm in support of possible Unilateral Declaration on Independence by Spanish regional Catalan parliament.

Sunday 8th October 2017
Massive peaceful demonstration and march in center of Barcelona on 8/10/2017 to oppose the independence of Catalonia region from Spain. Expect major disruptions and delays in public transport on Sunday 8th October in city center. The march starts at Plaça Urquinaona at 12.00 noon, then goes down Via Laietana street to end at Estación de Francia train station. Traffic should be back to normal by early evening. 

3rd October strike transport guidelines ordered by Catalonia government
Barcelona Metro, bus and FGC local trains should be 25% of normal operation at peak hours (from 6.30 to 9.30 and from 17 to 20 hours)
Renfe Catalonia regional trains should be at 33% of normal operation all day.
Long Distance and AVE High Speed trains should be at 76% of normal operation. 

General strike October 3rd 2017 in the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain.
The general strike in Catalonia on 3rd October might cause major disruptions and disturbances to transport and services in Barcelona and this entire region of Spain. 

Disclaimer. The above information is based on articles in the Spanish and International press and is not responsible for date changes or other factors that might cause disruptions in travel to and from Spain, so please check for latest news with your airline and travel agency. 

Useful links during Barcelona strikes

Twitter TMB Barcelona Transport (bus, metro)
Renfe trains Barcelona

Aena Twitter page
Website Spanish airports authority
Contact list airlines Barcelona airport
Flight checker Barcelona airport
Airports in and near Barcelona
Twitter Controladores aéreos - Spanish flight controllers
Twitter KLM Spain
Twitter KLM
Twitter Iberia
Twitter Vueling
Twitter Transavia
Barcelona international railway stations
Spanish railways wesbite Renfe
Estacio Nord bus station Barcelona 
Eurolines - buses from Barcelona
Cheap hotels in Barcelona
Self-catering apartments in Barcelona

2017 Long lines at security Barcelona airport cause delays

August 2017 update. 
13th August. Security staff reject latest offers and there will be a 24 go-slow strike on Monday 14th august. Civil Guard officers are at the airport to maintain order and reports indicate that the lines are not too long  and but there can still be lines of 1 hour at security so passengers are advised to arrive in good time on 14th August at Barcelona El Prat airport. If you arrive more than the standard 2 hours before your flight then check first with your airline if they will be open for check-in and baggage drop. For passengers only with hand-luggage and who have checked in online and have their boarding card you can go straight to the security.

11th August. Striking security staff at El Prat haved rejected latest proposal so no change in situation which means there are still 1 hour long strikes by security staff at Barcelona’s El Prat airport which can lead to long delays for passengers. A full 24-hour strike has been announced for August 14th 2017.

360 security staff at Barcelona El Prat Airport called the strike from 4th August 2017. The strike means they stop work for four non-consecutive hours a day - the strike is in 1 hour isections every Friday, Sunday and Monday at 5.30am, 10.30am, and 4pm and 6.30pm.

If you are flying to or from Barcelona El Prat airport in the summer of 2017 in July or August then it is a good idea to get to the airport in very good time for your flight. Both terminals T1 and T2 at Barcelona airport have experienced long delays in security checks which are due to a slower than usual 'work-to-rule' action by security staff which has resulted in waiting times to get through security of up to 1-2 hours including in the “fast-track” lane which is intended for passengers with small children and with mobility issues. These security delays at Barcelona Airport have meant that around 1000 passengers have missed flights since July even though some airlines try to delay take off to wait passengers trapped in the unusually long lines at Barcelona airport security.

You can help reduce the waiting time a little by preparing for the security check while you are standing in line. You can do this by emptying your pockets and removing metal items like belts, watches and by getting laptops and toilet items ready, so that you save time at the security check. We recommend putting valuables like wallets and phones inside your hand-luggage rather than leaving it in the trays to avoid theft or confusion.  From August 2017 there will be could be strike action at security at Barcelona airport from 5.30-6.30 am, from 10.30-11.30 am in the morning and in the afternoon from 4.30-5.30 pm and from 6.30-7.30pm.


Barcelona Air Traffic Controller strike 2015

The Spanish Air Traffic Controllers Union (USCA) called a four-day limited strike on June 8th, 10th, 12th and 14th 2015. This strike action could affect up to 5,300 flights which is around 25% of normal flights in June.  However, strikes are scheduled to take place for two-hour periods only during morning from 10am to 12pm and again in afternoon shift from 6pm to 8pm

The Spanish governement has set minimum service levels of 70 percent to keep airports running and these are being observed which means that  around 617 Air Traffic controllers out of the usual 955 will be on duty on a regular morning between 10am and 12 noon and most programmed flights will depart normally.

But check your flight with your airline  to be sure. 

USCA represents 90 percent of Spain Air Traffic controllers. They called the strike to protest the suspension of  61 air traffic controllers from Barcelona without pay for a month as punishment for participation in a wildcat strike in December 2010 that completely shut down Spanish airspace.

Scroll to bottom of this page for useful links for passengers hit by airline or airport strikes in Barcelona.


Iberia staff strikes 2013
Updated 22 February 2013
Still many cancellations especially on Vueling flights.
See Vueling strike news here (translated using Google translate)
See Iberia strike new here
Iberia staff have announced 15 strike days in early 2013. The strikes will be 3 strikes of five days to protest planned lay-offs by Iberia. The Iberia strike days are on 18 to 22 February 2013 - 4th to 8th March 2013 and 18 to 22nd March 2013. The low cost airline Vueling is part of Iberia group and will also be affected. Check with your airline or travel agent regarding your flights.

Taxi strike January 2013
9 Jan 2013 Taxi protest at airport ends after agreement is reached to eliminate new shifts. Taxis at Barcelona airport are back to normal. See how to get to Barcelona airport.
Updated 8th January. Barcelona airport El Prat has almost no taxis at the moment due to a taxi strike over new shifts. Some private transfer companies are not taking orders at the moment due to concerns that their vehicles will be damaged by picketing taxi drivers, so we recommend you take the airport buses or airport trains to get from the airport. Delays and long queues can be expected.
Barcelona Airport Buses
How to get to Barcelona airport


Iberia pilots strike 2012
Updated 10th December 2012.
Good news for travellers with Iberia. Iberia staff have cancelled the six days of strikes in December to avoid disrupting Christmas traffic.
Iberia staff have announced strike actions in December 2012 in protest against planned lay-offs by Iberia. The strike days by all Iberia staff are on Friday 14/12,  Monday 17/12, Tuesday 18/12, Thursday 19/12, Friday 20/12 and Saturday 21/12 2012.

General strike Spain 14th November 2012
Spanish unions have called a general strike in Spain on 14th November 2012 which is the same day as a pan-European day of protest against general austerity policies. The strike in Spain has been called by the UGT and CCOO unions to protest the austerity cuts of the government of Mariano Rajoy. The strike will take place on Wednesday 14th November 2012 and is called 14N. We recommend that you check with your airline if you are if you are flying as disruptions are possible.
Informaton general strike 14th November 2012


General strike 29th March 2012
Information about general strike 29-M on 29th March 2012

Iberia pilots strike 2012
Update 11th March 2012
Iberia pilots continue strike actions on specific days in spring 2012. You can see the specific dates that Iberia pilots have scheduled strikes on the link below

Update 11th January 2012
Iberia pilots continue strike actions on specific days. Iberia flights were cancelled on Monday 9 January 2012 and Wednesday 11 January 2012.
Read more in Catalan newspaper La Vanguardia (translated to English via Google translate)

Update 17th December 2011
Iberia will cancel hundreds of flights on 18/12 2011 due to the pilots strike.

On 7 December, Iberia pilots decided on strike actions for 18 and 29 December 2011 in protest against Iberia's plans to create low-cost subsidiary, called Iberia Express, from March 2012 to cover flights of short and medium haul. If you have bookings with Iberia, you are advised to check with the airline as Iberia is taking measures to ensure that as many flights as possible will be operating. More information
Easter + summer 2011 strikes called off
16. March 2011. AENA, the unions have reached agreement to call off the 22 days of Spanish airport strikes announced for Easter and Summer 2011. Source: El Pais
11. March 2011. No resolution from second round of talks. Source Article La Vanguardia newspaper (in Spanish)
10 March 2011. Negotiations ongoing to resolve conflict and avert strikes. Source. Article La Vanguardia newspaper (in Spanish)

Ground staff from Aena, the Spanish Airports Authority, who manage all Spanish airports, have announced 20 days of strike action from 20 April 2011 until the end of July in protest against the Spanish government plans to partially privatise Aena. Unions want guarantees that no jobs will be lost after the partial privatisation. At the moment these are strike announcments and negoiations are under way to reach an agreement and avoid strikes and disruptions to Spanish airports and flight plans. We will post news and useful links here as information becomes available. According to articles in the Spanish newspapers, the Spanish airport strike dates that have been announced at the moment are:

April 20, 21, 24, 25 and 30
May  2, 14, 15, 19 and 20
June 13, 23 and 30
July 1, 2, 3, 4, 15 and 31
August  1, 15 and 31.

Disclaimer. These dates are from articles in the Spanish press and is not responsible for date changes or other factors that might cause disruptions in flights to Spain, so please check for latest news with your airline and travel agency before booking flights to and from Spain.

Useful links during Barcelona airport strikes

Aena Twitter page
Website Spanish airports authority
Contact list airlines Barcelona airport
Flight checker Barcelona airport
Airports in and near Barcelona
Twitter Controladores aéreos - Spanish flight controllers
Twitter KLM Spain
Twitter KLM
Twitter Iberia
Twitter Vueling
Twitter Transavia
Barcelona international railway stations
Spanish railways wesbite Renfe
Estacio Nord bus station Barcelona
Eurolines - buses from Barcelona
Cheap hotels in Barcelona
Self-catering apartments in Barcelona

International train from Barcelona
Visit or go to the nearest station near you to inquire about tickets. Major stations in Barcelona are Sants, Passeig de Gracia and Estacio de França.

International bus routes from Barcelona
International bus services from Barcelona Estacio Nord bus station. Nearest Metro station Arc de Triomf or Marina on Red L1

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 December 2017 15:50