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British Airways pilots strike – what you need to know for Monday, Tuesday and 27th September

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Pilot unit BALPA is staging a number of strikes throughout September.  BALPA represents about 90% of British Airways pilots.

The strike dates are Monday 9th, Tuesday 10th and Friday 27th September.

You can find the latest information on this special strike page of ba.com.

Note that flights from London City Airport are not impacted, except for the New York service which is operated by Gatwick flight crew.

BA 747 retirement

Monday 9th / Tuesday 10th – what is cancelled?

Everything, basically.

Only ONE British Airways flight was operating from Terminal 5 on Monday 9th September.  This was a Tokyo service and was retained due to the Rugby World Cup.  The only other flights operating were to Cairo (operated by Air Belgium at the moment due to a shortage of BA aircraft) and the Iberia flights to Madrid.

From Gatwick, the only flight was a New York JFK service which is currently operated by Evelop Airlines on behalf of BA, again due to a shortage of BA aircraft.

All passengers were contacted over two weeks in advance of travel.  Despite some initial hiccups (which forced The Civil Aviation Authority to publish this statement) British Airways was eventually very proactive in moving passengers to other airlines with over 50 carriers involved.

What about Wednesday 11th?

A normal schedule will operate, although some services are likely to be cancelled due to planes and staff being in the wrong place.  There is no space at Heathrow to store the entire British Airways fleet, and so aircraft have had to be parked at other airports across the world.

What about Friday 27th?

Cancellations have not yet been done for the strike on 27th September.

The cut-off date for British Airways is 13th September, which is the last date they can cancel your flight without offering compensation on top of a reroute.  Note that some flights on 28th and potentially also 26th will also be cancelled for operational reasons.

What can I claim if I am stranded abroad?

For people stranded abroad, British Airways has confirmed that the standard £200 per night per room hotel allowance will be available.  This can be exceeded but only if you have strong evidence that no rooms are available for that price.  You cannot remain in a £500 beach resort and reclaim that if there is an airport hotel available for under £200.

Other subsistence costs (food, taxis etc) can also be claimed.

You are not technically liable for additional costs incurred in the UK before or after travel due to date changes, but it is worth submitting receipts to BA anyway.

Will I receive Avios and tier points for cancelled flights?

Yes.  If you accepted a refund or were moved to a non-oneworld airline, you can ask BA to credit you with the Avios and tier points you would otherwise have earned.

Don’t forget to sign up to earn points from the airline you were moved to, if it is not a BA partner!  Nothing stops you earning twice.

Could the strikes be called off?

BALPA has offered to reopen talks with British Airways, but the airline has stated that no new offer is available.  The airline appears to have decided to push on with strikes rather than accept the pilot demands for profit sharing.

Can more strikes be called?

Yes, but 14 days notice must be given.  Your trip is safe once you are inside the 14 day period.

(And, to be honest, a lot of people have been getting some good results in terms of alternative carriers!  Being moved from British Airways onto Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines etc etc – if you are travelling in Business Class – would be a good result.)

BALPA’s strike ballot, held earlier this summer, is valid until January.  This allows BALPA to continue calling strikes throughout the Autumn without requiring a further member vote.

For the latest information, check out ba.com here.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards. You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

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Barclaycard Avios card

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

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Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (419)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • S says:

    When will flight cancellations be announced??we return from Vegas on the 9th on our year planned holiday using 2-4-1 Avios.

  • mutley says:

    BA will (eventually) fold in this dispute.

    • Rhys says:

      I agree, wouldn’t be surprised if these strikes don’t get cancelled at the 11th hour like the previous ones…of course that’s of little consolation to anyone who now faces massive uncertainty on those days! In a way, once the strikes are announced it almost doesn’t matter if they go ahead or not – the damage has been done

      • Simon says:

        The previous strike dates were Unite and Heathrow though. I wonder if these will come back again next month, haven’t heard anything that the Unite workers have accepted the improved offer.

        • Rhys says:

          Correct – although, from what Alex Cruz said, it sounds like BA and BALPA were actually very close to a compromise.

  • Trevor says:

    Do hope, Rob, that you will be able to provide some advice for those of us who are affected – when we might be asked whether we wish to be rebooked or cancel. Whether it is better to be rebooked then cancel – is it right we lose any claim to compensation if we accept a cancellation?

    Having been treated, as passengers, so badly by this airline – many of us would like to receive any compensation we are due as BA are well known for using every trick to wriggle out of paying what is due.

    • Rob says:

      You are due nothing beyond a refund from BA if they can prove ‘extraordinary circumstances’ under EU261. If you are stranded abroad you would get usual ‘duty of care’. In theory they need to try to reaccomodate you but good look with that.

      • Andrew says:

        Although to be fair BA’s FAQs say they’ll lay £200/room/night for a hotel if you’re stranded, assuming two people sharing.

      • Roy says:

        I thought strikes by an airline’s own staff are deemed within the airline’s control, and therefore not regarded as extraordinary circumstances.

        Or am I mistaken?

        • Andrew says:

          Either way, Balpa have been “kind” and given more than 14 days’ notice. If BA cancels rh flight more than 14 days out, no compo due, whatever the reason.

        • Shoestring says:

          It’s a common misconception and the simple answer is that it would need to be proven one way or the other by a UK court. Internal strike by pilots, well observed, is completely different to internal strike by a smallish section of cabin crew. With the pilots, the airline stands no possible chance of taking reasonable steps to avert cancellations. So they win the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ provision.

          But as mentioned, BA would definitely have an absolute obligation in law to provide you with duty of care until you can be re-ticketed to get to your destination. Just no compo.

          • Roy says:

            Unlike strikes by a third party, strikes by BA’s own employees are not beyond BA’s control, in the the sense that labour relations are very much in an employer’s control.

            I agree we won’t know for sure, though, until tested in court.

  • putnik says:

    What happens if only the inbound (return) leg of a journey is affected by the strike? We are due to fly out to Tenerife with BA on 3 September and scheduled to fly back with them on 9 September. My understanding is that passengers are not entitled to any monetary compensation, except for the actual cost of the flight, if they are informed of a flight cancellation at least 14 days prior to the departure of the affected flight. However, if the strike only affects the return leg of the journey, will BA cancel the outgoing flight as well? What happens if the inbound flight is cancelled after the outbound flight has departed, i.e. when passenger have already arrived at their holiday destinations and are unable to return home on their originally booked flight? I assume that BA will try to rebook such passengers on the first available flight back home, but is there any chance of making our own arrangements for getting back home on 9 September and reclaiming the cost of the alternative flight bookings for the return journey from BA? I am worried that by the time BA gets its act together, all remaining flights between Tenerife and London with other airlines on 9-10 September, when BA pilots are due to strike, will be sold out. Any thoughts on the best course of action in this case?

    • Joan says:

      I’m in the same boat ( or plane ) as you as an due to fly home from Almeria on 9 September, do not sure whether to just fly out as planned on 2nd and hope for the best !

    • Mark says:

      Most likely in this case they will reroute you with Iberia via Madrid. There wouldn’t be any logic in their cancelling your outbound, given the strike may still be called off in the interim, however I’d be prepared for a somewhat longer journey back than expected.

      If you try to book an alternative yourself in the meantime you run a significant risk of paying twice (assuming your BA flights are not refundable).

      • Joan says:

        Ah thank you – well we booked club Europe on avios so the cost was very little – so not sure where that leaves us 🤷‍♀️

        • Mark says:

          Given the redemption is cancellable / changeable for a small fee you might want to look at alternative flights back and weigh up your options. I suspect the challenge for the Iberia reroutes will be the Madrid to London capacity will fill up pretty quickly, even if they have the ability to run a few more A340s.

        • Mark says:

          On a reroute you also may find yourself deposited back at Heathrow instead of Gatwick… There’s a direct Easyjet service to Gatwick that might be worth considering switching to. It’s possible you could be switched to that anyway at BA’s expense, but no guarantee of course.

  • Simon says:

    hmm, I have an overnight leaving on the 8th… Will keep an eye on this.
    Lloyds voucher too, just to complicate things.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    What happens with crews away from base and due to fly back to LHR on a strike day – do they just stay in their hotels for an extra 24 hrs and then take the aircraft back to blighty?

    • Andrew says:

      In my experience they fly their whole roster and strike when they’re back (or not at all, if the call to strike is for “trips starting on”…)

  • LewisB says:

    Fewf. I’m flying F on the 26th, and on the A380, so in theory, I should be safe…

  • fivebobbill says:

    Can anyone with any experience of these 1-day strikes give me any idea what the knock-on effects, if any, usually are. Primarily concerned about the 27th Sept one (a Friday), as 4 of us are flying BA Club on Monday 30th, DUB-LHR-TLV.
    If this strike does go ahead, is it safe to assume that everything will be back to normal by then?

    • Shoestring says:

      normally takes a day of disruption after the strike finishes to position flights correctly again – so on the 30th you should be fine in theory

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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