News in brief:
New British Airways strike announced
Another wave of mixed fleet cabin crew strikes have been announced for next week.
Certain cabin crew will walk out from Friday 3rd March to Thursday 9th March.
Disruption will be minimised by merging certain flights and using charter aircraft for others. BA is promising that everyone will be able to fly on the day they are booked if not on the exact flight.
Services from Gatwick and London City are not affected.
Updates will be announced on this page of ba.com.
Qatar Airways relaxes baggage rules …. will BA follow?
Last year, the oneworld airline alliance – of which British Airways is a core member – relaxed a rule which obliged members to check through baggage when flights were booked on separate tickets but both airlines were oneworld members.
British Airways went a step further. It now refuses to check through luggage between its own flights when they are on separate tickets.
Let’s assume you book an Avios flight from London to Bangkok but pay cash for a connecting BA flight from Manchester to London. As these will be on separate tickets, you will need to reclaim your baggage in Heathrow and check it in again. This creates pointless additional stress for the passenger.
Cathay Pacific recently gave in to passenger pressure and decided that it would check through bags when both flights were operated by Cathay. Qatar Airways has now gone a step further. From 1st March, it will reportedly return to checking through bags between itself and other oneworld airlines.
It won’t work in the other direction though. If you are flying Bangkok to Doha on Qatar and Qatar to London on BA, on separate tickets, Qatar will ensure your bags travel with you on the outbound. On your return, BA will not do so, forcing you to collect your bags in Doha, clear customs, pay for a Qatari visa (if you did not arrange a free one in advance), head up to departures and check in again.
How long can BA hold out with its ‘customer unfriendly’ policy?