British Airways Strikes
From the MD's Desk...
British Airways crew members announced they will be walking out on 9th and 10th September over a pay dispute. It will mean disruption for passengers planning to travel on these days.
British Airways are advising their passengers that it is likely they will not be able to fly due to the strikes, however this is not necessarily the case and if you are affected you need to know what your rights are:
- Under the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Regulations, if a flight is cancelled passengers are entitled to a full refund of any unused tickets or alternative travel arrangements, including a ‘re-route’ option. If British Airways are unable to rebook passengers on one of their own flights, they must arrange for the passenger to fly with a rival airline. In this case, either EasyJet or Virgin Atlantic.
- Passengers who choose to re-book should be offered accommodation if necessary. Despite British Airways claiming this should be booked and paid for by the passenger and then claimed back from the airline, the CAA state the airline is responsible for arranging accommodation on behalf of the passenger. There is also no maximum rate for passengers who do book their own hotels.
- British Airways has handled the strike action very poorly. On Friday, some passengers received an email alerting them that their flight had been cancelled, only to receive an email several hours later to say that this was an error and their flight was still scheduled to go ahead. By this time, many passengers had already booked alternative flights. The CAA have said that passengers affected by the error should be able to claim for the cost of rebooking an alternative flight.
Another Pilots’ Strike
If this is not bad enough, a further strike is planned for 27 September, involving members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA).
British Airways staff are striking over pay, and whilst BA say they offered a fair and generous amount, their staff think otherwise.
Taking advantage of the strike action, rival airlines have pushed their prices up and are set to make millions. According to Simon Calder at The Independent, one-way tickets for a short haul flights are costing more than a round trip from London to Melbourne.
What Should You Do?
Some passengers say they have spent hours on hold waiting to speak to someone at BA, despite extra call centre staff being brought in.
That Customer Services line is still operating – 0800 727 800
You can also try the British Airways account portal online: https://www.britishairways.com/travel/customerportal/public/en_gb#/customer-service-portal
The Sun suggests that this portal can be used, “To claim for both delayed or cancelled flights, or if you've been left out of pocket because you've been wrongly told your flight has been cancelled.”
It’s also a good idea to use the BA website or app to check the status of your flights, as this is much quicker than calling – use the “Manage My Booking” section and log in using your unique booking reference.
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