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Bits: BA cancelling strike flights from 1 July, Gatwick Express cancelling trains from Thursday

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News in brief:

British Airways cancelling flights pre-strike

British Airways seems more worried about the upcoming 16-day strike by Mixed Fleet crew members than it was for previous strikes.  Perhaps it is the higher summer passenger loads, which make it harder to consolidate two flights into one.

As I wrote recently, BA is planning to lease nine fully-crewed Qatar Airways short-haul aircraft for two months.  This would cover the strike and give BA some extra flexibility over the summer.

No long-haul flights have been cancelled in previous strikes.  This is NOT the case this time.

The following services have already been cancelled:

1 July – BA079 (Muscat)
2 July – BA080 (Muscat) & BA083 (Abuja)
3 July – BA082 (Abuja) & BA125 (Bahrain)
4 July – BA124 (Bahrain) & BA109 (Dubai) & BA173 (NYC) & BA112 (NYC)
5 July – BA108 (Dubai) & BA133 (Jeddah) & BA075 (Lagos) & BA074 (Lagos)
6 July – BA132 (Jeddah) & BA67 (Phil’) & BA66 (Phil’) & BA083 (Abuja)
7 July – BA083 (Abuja)

More will presumably follow for the latter half of the strike.

British Airways is generally slow at telling people their flights have been cancelled.  The best thing to do is download the free MyFlights app to your phone (iOS only) (I reviewed MyFlights here).  MyFlights checks the Amadeus booking system on a regular basis and notifies you if there are any changes to your flights, well before BA will tell you.  This allows you to beat the rush to rebook.

As for other flights, BA is saying “we are still reviewing our shorthaul services.”

Remember that only Heathrow services will be impacted.  You have no chance of disruption if you are flying from another airport.

Gatwick Express new trains

Gatwick Express cancellations resume tomorrow

Drivers on Southern Railway and Gatwick Express are resuming their overtime ban tomorrow, Thursday.

This is an open-ended overtime ban which will lead to considerable disruption for the forseable future.

The RMT union has also called a one day strike for 10th July.

Details of the revised and much reduced Southern and Gatwick Express timetable from tomorrow are here.

If you are travelling to Gatwick, take a Thameslink service from Blackfriars or another Thameslink station which will be unaffected.

Comments (112)

  • Maciek says:

    Isn’t JFK a WW fleet route?

  • Netxu says:

    IIRC Doha flights were cancelled in previous strikes and passengers were given the option to fly on QR flights.

    • @mkcol says:

      Indeed BA pax are being pushed onto QR…..where they have the space.

      • Ben says:

        I would go out and buy a lotto ticket if my BA flight was cancelled and I was moved to a QR flight!

  • Lee says:

    Time that BA and Southern Railway sacked these strikers.

    • Erico1875 says:

      If they can find the money to lease 9 planes. Then maybe they could just pay their crew.

      • Callum says:

        If the crew can afford to go without pay, maybe they don’t need more money?

        Your argument is beyond ridiculous (as was my obtuse one) as you merely set a precedent. The crew can then make any demands they want, safe in the knowledge that BA will just give in because it’s cheaper in the short term.

        • BlueThroughCrimp says:

          Try paying a fair wage, and you’d not see strikes…

    • Maciek says:

      Or time that BA started compensating their staff fairly.

      • Andrew says:

        ‘Fairly’ is a very emotive term. As far as I know BA are compensating staff in line with their agreed contracts which would seem to be ‘fair’. Don’t like the contract? By all means ask your employer for a better one but if they say no then why would you want to stay with them? Hand in your notice and go to work for a different employer who will treat you ‘fairly’. A thousand or two cabin crew handing in their notice tomorrow would send a far stronger message to BA management than these strikes not to mention earning the staff and union massively positive press.

        • Ian says:

          Andrew:

          What do you think a strike is? The staff, collectively, are withdrawing their labour in much the way you suggest. If they were to give notice and voluntarily resign, they would give up many of their legal rights.

    • Ian says:

      OT but if they sack all the train drivers, then there will be no trains for years while they hire and train replacements.

      Surely the better solution would be for Southern to simply negotiate in good faith rather than plonking down a written “first and final offer” and walking away?

      • Clive says:

        It was ridiculous to suggest that the train drivers close the train doors. That’s what they do in Japan and look how badly run their train system is. And the tube – who would ride on the tube if the drivers closed the doors and not a guard?

        • john says:

          Not to mention, the other half of southern trains where the drivers already close the doors happily!

          • Ian says:

            John:

            Don’t compare inner London routes with the mainline and coastal stuff. In London, the trains are smaller, you’re usually walking distance from the next station, and there is mobile phone coverage everywhere.

            Clive:

            In Japan and the London Underground, the stations are staffed and the system is designed for driver-only trains. Here it’s a cost-cutting bodge.

        • Ben says:

          Cant work out of if you are being sarcastic or not – Japan has one of the best train systems in the world…

        • Ian says:

          It’s not about the doors, it’s about having a sardine-can 12-car train with over 1000 people on it and only one member of staff to manage the lot.

          The drivers’ union has already agreed that drivers can operate the doors safely as long as certain technological and operational upgrades are made.

          • Isodrac says:

            Please tell me how Thameslink manage then? 12 carriage trains and driver operated doors. Perhaps they shoudl talk to Southern to explain how it’s done. Although no idea who they would communicate, not sure if they’re connected in any way…

          • Callum says:

            People don’t need to be “managed” on a train any more than we need staff “managing” pedestrians out on the pavement.

            This is merely the tired old story of technological advancement = less reliance on staff = staff moan and demand progress is halted. A grievance I can understand, but not one that elicits much sympathy from me.

          • CV3V says:

            Dont use the trains much in the UK, but do quite a bit when abroad. Noticed in a lot of places that you wont see any staff on the train, but you will see staff on the platform – seems a good solution.

    • Kingy says:

      BA treat their customers with contempt so imagine working for them…….Hope the Crew get a pay rise. Sack the managers who are dealing with this dispute. Problem solved.

    • the_real_a says:

      Time to tarmac the tracks, and run automated coaches on the route run by competing companies arriving every 2 minutes 🙂

  • Tim says:

    It looks like BA are taking advantage of the strike to consolidate some undersold routes – strikes, like bad weather, count as not being within their control.

  • Clive says:

    “Coins thrown into plane engine by elderly passenger for ‘luck'”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-40421811

  • Ralf says:

    Please mention the 600€ EU compensation if a flight cancellation occurs less than 2 weeks before the scheduled departure

  • Ralf says:

    Depending if BA can prove if the cancellation is really caused by a strike

  • Ian says:

    Hi Rob,

    Regarding the Southern/Gatwick overtime ban, I don’t think it’s the best advice to say that TL services will be unaffected. It’s true that they are not part of the dispute, but passengers should expect higher-than-usual loads potentially leading to cascading delays.

    All passengers travelling on the Brighton Main Line (including to Gatwick) should allow extra time for their journey.

    I usually assume the train I want will be cancelled and arrive in good time for the previous one.

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