In the event of a strike on Italian trains
Strikes are a part of the reality of Italy’s railway system. But there's good news! Italians schedule strikes in advance. It's true, their transportation strikes are scheduled.
Despite this, an Italian transport strike can catch travelers off-guard. Non-Italian speakers don’t typically have access to the schedules in the same way Italians do, since we don’t read Italian newspapers or speak Italian well enough to decipher the strike schedules online.
But there are a few resources that will help you figure out if an Italian train strike will impact your trip, and it never hurts to check them before you head off to on your trip to Italy. The best site to use for tracking Italian transportation strikes Commisione di Garanzia Sciopera is only available in Italian. There’s also a site that’s in English: Easy Travel Report, click on “Italian strikes” to get to the Italy section.
On days when strikes are held, Trenitalia guarantees minimum transport services. These services are a direct result of an agreement between Trenitalia and the trade unions.
Is your service guaranteed?
If your train is providing local transport during essential services for the peak times (from 06:00 to 09:00 and from 18:00 to 21:00 Mon-Sat) these will be are guaranteed. Some long-distance trains are also guaranteed on all days including holidays.
What happens if your train is already traveling (departed at station) when strikes occur?
Trains that are traveling when a strike begins and are not canceled in advance at their departure station will normally reach their final destination, provided those stations can be reached within one hour from the strike’s start. If trains are not able to make the 1 hour time limit then they may terminate at the next station and before your stop is reached. In the event that this happens, Trenitalia will assist you with an alternative connection provided there are still trains available on that day to reach your final destination.
What does essential services mean?
Essential services means that Trenitalia has guaranteed transport but this may not be on the same train type originally booked or at the same time that you originally booked. It just means we will get you there as soon as possible.
In addition to essential services, Trenitalia provides additional travel support to passengers affected by a strike. Notices about these services, as well as unpredictable changes (for example, a change of route for long-distance trains) can be found at railway stations, at www.trenitalia.com, and through the local Italian media.
What happens if my train is cancelled?
If the train has been canceled, the train staff should offer to assist you in booking the next available train. If there is no other train available, you can request a cancellation and strike refund directly at the train station. ***[Information on whether or not your fare is elegible for cancellation and strike refund prior to the strike date can be found under the fare rules stated for your ticket.] If you choose to wait until you return from your trip to claim your refund, the ItaliaRail Customer Service department can assist you in filling out a refund request, or send one to you to fill out yourself.
Please note : if you wait to process the refund upon return, it could take upwards of six months to receive your refund. Trenitalia will contact you directly. ItaliaRail has no say, and plays no part, in the decision Trenitalia makes about your refund.
We apologize for any inconvenience you may experience. Please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-375-7245
Call the reservation office where you bought the tickets to obtain detailed information. Often only workers from a specific labor union within a company will go on strike, and thus you might not be affected at all.
Photo credit: MyImages - Micha