Airport staff in the Balearics are to be awarded the Tourism Gold Medal of Merit in recognition of their hard work during the coach strike at the start of the month. The Medal is to be presented to all Spanish Airport and Air Traffic Control authority (AENA) staff. According to cabinet sources, the medal is being awarded for “exceptional hard work, dedication and personal service” provided by 1.250 people working for AENA at Palma, Minorca and Ibiza airports during the three days of industrial action by coach drivers, in “circumstances of extreme difficulty.” AENA staff managed to ensure that the airports remained open and that 400'000 passengers, some of whom were trapped at airports for up to 16 hours, were cared for and looked after, according to the government. “Thanks to their hard work, the complete collapse of the Balearic tourist industry was prevented, which would have had an even worse effect on the region's image.” In the UK, however, there are no medals being banded about, just claims for compensation from angry British tourists caught in the strike and whose holidays were ruined.

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