British Airways is advising passenger not to go to the airport on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 September, as pilots embark on two days of planned strike action.
The airline announced that it had cancelled “nearly 100 per cent” of its flights, as there was “no way of predicting how many [pilots] would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly.”
BA is urging customers to contact them to arrange alternative flights, and says passengers who booked flights via a travel agent should contact the agent.
“If your flight is cancelled, please do not go to the airport,” said BA. “If you have booked via a travel agent, please contact them directly to discuss arrangements for your booking.
“We will be offering all affected customers full refunds or the option to re-book to another date.”
A later pilots’ strike is planned for 27 September, and BA will be in touch with affected customers nearer the time.
Which flights are affected?
In a statement published on its website, BA said, “We’re extremely sorry for the problems caused by the strike action called by the pilots’ union, Balpa on 9, 10 and 27 September.
“Our customer teams – supported by additional colleagues – have been working tirelessly to help as many of you as possible and to provide options, including a full refund or re-booking to a different date of travel or alternative airline.”
It added, “If you have a flight booked with us on those dates, it is likely that you will not be able to travel due to Balpa’s strike action.”
How do I check my flight’s status?
With “nearly 100 per cent” of BA flights cancelled, it’s likely your booked trip will not be going ahead as planned either today or tomorrow.
But if you wish to check the status of your flight, you can do so through BA’s ‘Manage My Booking’ page.
“Our customer contact centres are extremely busy,” said BA, “so we recommend that you check our Frequently Asked Questions in the first instance.
“If you’re flying with us, please make sure we have your latest contact details. You can update these, as well as find out about your refund and rebooking options in Manage My Booking.”
Why are they striking?
The strike comes in response to disputes between pilots and BA.
The airline had offered staff a “fair and generous” pay increase worth 11.5 per cent over three years, but this was rejected – Balpa says its members deserve better in light of BA’s recent profits.
“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers,” said Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton, “which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November.
“It is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out.”
BA have said they are “very sorry about the impact Balpa’s action will have”, and are doing everything they can “to get as many people as possible away on their journeys.”
Balpa had said that the cost to BA to settle the dispute would be “significantly less than the cost would be of even a single day’s strike action”.
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews