Travel Alert: Strike at London Heathrow Airport August 5-6, 2019

The strike that was originally scheduled at London Heathrow Airport for Friday, July 26, 2019 and Saturday, July 27, 2019 was canceled; and the possibility does exist that the strike planned for Monday, August 5, 2019 or Tuesday, August 6, 2019 may also be canceled — but that scenario seems to be less likely.

Travel Alert: Strike at London Heathrow Airport August 5-6, 2019

Although industrial action due to a dispute in pay may occur at London Heathrow Airport during Monday, August 5, 2019 or Tuesday, August 6, 2019 — as well as two other days over the course of the next month — “contingency plans are in place to ensure the airport remains open & operating safely”, according to this message which was posted at the official Twitter account of the airport prior to the original strike dates of Friday, July 26, 2019 and Saturday, July 27, 2019…

…but keep in mind that “passenger journeys” may still be affected.

According to this article from Unite, greater than 4,000 workers — including security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives, and passenger service drivers — plan to walk off the job at the busiest airport in the United Kingdom on the following four days:

  • Monday, August 5, 2019
  • Tuesday, August 6, 2019
  • Friday, August 23, 2019
  • Saturday, August 24, 2019

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from London Heathrow Airport on Monday, August 5, 2019 or Tuesday, August 6, 2019, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to the industrial action which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here are five airlines which have already issued travel alerts as a result of this industrial action:

  • American Airlines has issued a travel alert for London Heathrow Airport for Monday, August 5, 2019 through Tuesday, August 6, 2019; and Monday, August 12, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has issued a travel alert for London Heathrow Airport for Monday, August 5, 2019 through Tuesday, August 6, 2019; and Monday, August 12, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin.
  • British Airways has issued a travel alert for London Heathrow Airport for Monday, August 5, 2019 through Tuesday, August 6, 2019; and Monday, August 12, 2019 is the last day on which tickets must be reissued and rebooked travel must begin from either London Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport or London City Airport.
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways has issued a travel alert for London Heathrow Airport for Monday, August 5, 2019 through Tuesday, August 6, 2019. No further information has yet been given.
  • Air Canada has issued a travel alert for London Heathrow Airport for Monday, August 5, 2019 through Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

Summary

If all of the strikes which are detailed in this article come to fruition, traveling to, from or within the United Kingdom over the next 25 days will likely be nothing short of a nightmare. If you have travel plans during that period of time, consider postponing them or altering them with other options — and if that is not possible, then at least keep yourself aware of the latest updates pertaining to these potentially stressful situations.

Contact the airline on which you plan on traveling to find out if any refunds or travel waivers are being offered through which the dates of travel can be changed without any penalty.

The legislation of European Union regulation EC 261/2004 requires airlines operating in Europe to ensure that passengers are rebooked on flights to reach their final destinations at the earliest opportunity possible — even if those flights are operated by other airlines. That is another option which is available to you if you are affected by the aforementioned strikes. If you do decide to file a claim and the airline refuses it, you can complete and submit this complaint form

…and as outlined in Article 9 of that regulation, you may also be eligible for what is known as Duty of Care during an extensive delay of your flight — which may include the reimbursement of such items as meals and lodging after you first pay for them.

If you do not plan to purchase travel insurance, at least use a credit card or charge card which offers purchase protection of flights, lodging and rental vehicles.

Expect more airlines which serve London Heathrow Airport to issue travel alerts and travel waivers as Monday, August 5, 2019 and Tuesday, August 6, 2019 — the days on which the strikes are expected to occur — get closer.

Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

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