Travel Alert: Busiest Air Route in the World — and Others — To Be Impacted by Christmas 2016 Strikes
I nclement weather is not the only potential impediment to your travel plans this holiday season, as labor disputes during Christmas threaten to disrupt the itineraries of many passengers aboard airplanes operated by at least two different airlines.
Busiest Air Route in the World — and Others — To Be Impacted by Christmas 2016 Strikes
If you recall this article from yesterday, the most in-demand flight on this planet is what is considered the busiest air route in the world: between Gimpo International in Seoul and Jeju International Airport — a distance of approximately 280 miles within South Korea.
Flights on that route — as well as many other domestic flights in South Korea and select international flights — will be cancelled due to a strike by the pilots union of Korean Air, which is set to occur from Thursday, December 22, 2016 through Monday, December 26, 2016; and flights which are not expected to be canceled could potentially be disrupted or indirectly affected — such as being delayed or overbooked.
Passengers booked on flights that are cancelled or delayed due to a strike can have their itineraries changed at no additional cost to the destination; and refunds without any penalty will also be available.
The good news is that most international flights will not be affected; but anything can happen between now and the date on which the strike is expected to begin; so keep yourself updated accordingly.
In an unrelated labor dispute, the trade union known as Unite has announced that “it intends to hold industrial action involving one of the five cabin crew fleets” of British Airways on Sunday, December 25, 2016 and Monday, December 26, 2016 — which are Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
“We are appalled that Unite proposes to disrupt customers’ travel plans on such special days when so many families are trying to gather together or set off on well-deserved holidays”, according to this official announcement released from British Airways. “This calculated and heartless action is completely unnecessary and we are determined that it will fail.”
Although additional details pertaining to affected flights will be released tomorrow, “We will plan to ensure that all our customers travel to their destinations so that their Christmas arrangements are not ruined.”
Flights which are not affected by the labor dispute — and normal fare rules apply — include:
- All flights to and from London Gatwick
- All flights to and from London City
- All flights to and from Stansted
- Flights operated by subsidiary OpenSkies between Paris and New York
- Flights operated by British Airways franchise partners — Comair in South Africa and SUN-AIR in Scandinavia
- Flights operated by other carriers — including oneworld Alliance partners — which have a British Airways codeshare flight number
If you plan on flying as a passenger on airplanes operated by Korean Air or British Airways during Christmas, keep yourself apprised of developments in the labor disputes expected to affect operations on both airlines — even if they are not initially expected to affect your travel plans at the moment…
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.