Travel Alert September 9 and 10 2019: British Airways Pilot Strike

After the British Airline Pilots’ Association — which is also known as BALPA — revealed via an official announcement the results of a ballot on which the vote ended on Monday, July 22, 2019 with 93 percent of the turnout of 90 percent of pilots who voted are in favor of industrial action, pilots of British Airways who are based at both London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport are scheduled to go on strike on the following dates:

  • Monday, September 9, 2019 — the strike is currently in effect at press time
  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019 — the strike is likely to continue to occur
  • Friday, September 27, 2019 — the strike is still tentative

Travel Alert September 9 and 10 2019: British Airways Pilot Strike

Almost all of the 850 flights operated by British Airways daily at both London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport have been canceled as a result during what is being called the biggest shutdown in the history of the airline.

We’re very sorry about the impact BALPA’s action has had. We don’t underestimate the inconvenience caused, for which we are deeply sorry.

Along with the sentence quoted immediately above, this official notice is currently displayed at the official Internet web site of British Airways:

We understand the frustration and disruption BALPA’s strike action has caused you. After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.

Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 per cent our flights.

We remain ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA.

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.

We are offering all affected customers full refunds or the option to re-book to another date of travel or alternative airline.

  • Flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected
  • We’re working with our partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft to take the maximum number of customers

Our customer contact centres are extremely busy, so we recommend that you check our Frequently Asked Questions below 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. If you have booked with a travel agent, please contact them directly.

If your flight is part of a British Airways Holidays booking, please review the additional information below.

We will keep this page updated with further information as it becomes available.

“Over several days of ACAS talks BALPA put forward a number of packages that we believe would have resolved this dispute without a strike, and which we could have recommended to our members for acceptance prior to strike action. BA did not accept any of these packages, and it is clear following discussions with members over the last few days that BA’s most recent offer will not gain the support of anywhere near a majority of its pilots”, according to this official announcement which was released by the union which represents the pilots of British Airways. “A day of strike action will cost BA around £40m. Three days will cost in the region of £120m. The gap between BA’s position and BALPA’s position is about £5m. Our proposal remains on the table should BA wish to reach agreement prior to strike action.”

Management at British Airways reportedly offered the pilots a pay increase of 11.5 percent over three years.

The confirmation of industrial action on the three aforementioned days is not exactly supported by everyone:

Summary

If your flight is cancelled as a result of the industrial action by the pilots, you are strongly advised to please do not go to the airport. You can rebook or refund your booking; or you can also call British Airways to discuss other available flight options.

If you have booked your tickets via a travel agent, you are advised to please contact the travel agent directly to discuss arrangements for your flight reservation.

Please note that British Airways is currently experiencing extremely high call volumes in its contact centres. Members of the team at British Airways will do all they can to ensure that your telephone call is answered as soon as possible and thank you for your patience.

If you still require assistance, you can contact British Airways:

  • 0800 727 800 from within the United Kingdom
  • +44 (0)203 250 0145 from outside the United Kingdom

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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