BA STRIKE 2019: (Updated Monday 11am) 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

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

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.

British Airways pilot strike now on 2019

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 here.

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  1. Shoestring says:

    O/T well I did hint at a good strategy to Raffles a few years ago: get the kids into a good grammar school eg Amersham area, save the independent school fees, stick them on a train in the morning and bank £400k.

    First results in – GCSE week – 11 good ones, grade average 8.8 – son #2. (new scale where A = 7, A+ = 8, A++ =9)

  2. Lady London says:

    I’m getting drone ads as part of Google advertising on this page ! Really appropriate, that 🙂


  3. Wonder if Iberia will still operate out of T5 on strike days assuming the strike goes ahead? Wonder if they would consolidate operations in T3…

    • Far more hassle to move IB operations to T3 for a few days I would have thought….

  4. TGLoyalty says:

    Well I held out as I couldn’t be bothered with spending hours on the phone and my flight on the evening of the 10th has been reinstated 🙂

    • Having received the cancellation email at 11:45pm on 23rd, yesterday morning I did about an hour of exploring what other flights were available (I am flying on 8th Sep on an Avios 2 4 1 redemption) and reading other tales of woe here and on FlyerTalk of hours on the phone and being cut off I came to the conclusion that I had no chance whatsoever of finding another 2 tickets so decided to just enjoy the weather and thought I’d phone to cancel after the Bank Holiday. Then at 6pm got the “oops we made a mistake” flight still operating email. A bit of a result. So a lesson learned: don’t do anything immediately. And certainly don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!

  5. Is the £200 hotel “allowance” per person or per booking in the event that you have to stay at a hotel for an extra night? I’m sure I had read before that it’s per person, so a couple could stay in a £400 room.

    • BA website says that it is £200 based on two adults sharing. Having said that, £200 is a guide anyway. They will have to pay whatever is reasonable, based on location, date etc. etc.

    • I think the £200 is pretty much a hard limit, unless you’re in a particularly expensive city.

      • Shoestring says:

        it’s not a legal limit or a recommendation in the EC261 regulations – just BA guidance

        yes, you’ll probably have to account for your hotel choice if it is much over £200/ night

        but there’s no need to slum it somewhere you wouldn’t normally stay (eg 2* & 3* hotels if you normally go for minimum 4*)

        just gather a bit of evidence about the choices open to you, easy these days with screenshots and photos of pages from hotel consolidators, & BA won’t refuse to pay a bit more than £200 if that was a reasonable choice

  6. Why do the words “totally incompetent” come to mind when the words “British Airways” are mentioned. Like others I received the email informing me that my 8 September flight was cancelled. Starting at 7.10am on Saturday I attempted to call the advertised numbers – all told me I couldn’t get through and then terminated the call. According to my call logger I tried another 53 times before I lost the will to live. Like others I decided that the only way to make my essential trip was to use another airline which luckily had seats available, albeit from a regional airport 75 miles away [Heathrow is just 12 miles]. Job done – all I had to do was to alter my BA booking to another date. Then at 1740 pm I receive another email from BA that my cancelled flight had been reinstated!! Also another number to call “…..if you wish to fly on another date”. Needless to say this is yet another number that self terminates as “we’re far too busy to take calls from long term loyal BA customers”.
    Alex Cruz – that’s it. I’ve finally had enough of this once great now shambolic airline. I’m off to use other airlines. I may even send you my Avios in the hope that you’ll get a one-way ticket to some god-forsaken spot where you’ll be forgotten – then BA might just put in someone who knows what customer service is all about.

    • I get they’ve screwed up on the email, that really was stupid of them. But I can’t see how they can be expected to have a standby call centre with trained operators ready for a situation like this. The hangup is if the estimated wait time is over a certain limit, which I think is 1 hour.
      Using the best airline available for your flight is a good strategy, can’t be faulted. But if you’re 12 miles from LHR you may find that’s frequently BA. I’d also add that in times like this I believe status passengers are treated with more understanding than non-status, which maybe a reason to fly with an alliance if not an airline.
      Finally in situations like this of major disruption I highly recommend FT, it’s a much better mechanism for gaining help than the HfP comments, I don’t think Rob would dispute this and posts there himself. FT has some very experienced posters that often know more about how BA works than BA staff.
      I was lucky with this disruption as my flight was a return from Berlin, and I easily booked a London City alternate. When it came to cancelling the original return which couldn’t be done online without cancelling the outbound too, I called this morning and waited maybe 5 minutes, probably less.

      • Lady London says:

        sorry @Doug M the hang ups do occur when you dial in after a “we’re busy call back later” message.

        However unfortunately many, many of us, on many, many occasions over many, many months and years, have frequently got through the opening messages, been accepted in the queue, and held in the queue listening to tired British Airways muzak for timings like 40 minutes or even 50 or 55 minutes, repeatedly, repeatedly, before suddently being cut off.

        I don’t blame the poster for saying “****f you” to British Airways permanently. Unfortunately too many who say “I’m done with BA” you will see later still giving them business.

        • Of course they do, these phone system use software, it’ll be full of bugs and problems will occur. Those problems will almost certainly increase in number when the system is over capacity. They’ll be series of routings and actions, and when the number of people calling and already on hold hugely exceeds the usual number calls just get dropped. You also have the call centre staff probably stressed and more likely to just drop a call than take it.
          BA will make commercial decisions about phone capacity, and the consequential effect of losing calls. As you say yourself many who say I’m done with BA will be back, so where’s the downside for BA?
          I’m not defending BA, I’m just trying to see reason in the situation here, when I read someone say I called 75 times, my thought is after 8 or 10 what did you think was going to happen?

  7. An easy solution:
    Cost to BA/IAG to resolve this dispute £5m per annum
    Cost to BA/IAG of employing Messrs Walsh and Cruz £10m per annum
    Half a million people travelling as planned and BA/IAG £5m a year up on the deal!

  8. O/T if I want to book an Emirates business class flight with points, can I do this whilst travelling with a baby say at 6 months old?

    I have heard that Emirates do not let you book a reward flight if you are travelling with an infant.

  9. I have an idea for a comedy sketch. But I’m thinking its so utterly far fetched nobody would want to make it

    An airline with a history of shocking IT [email protected]@k ups and shocking customer service tells passengers their flights are cancelled. No ifs, buts or maybes “your flight has been cancelled don’t turn up at the airport”

    Having done this there is no back up plan for the barrage of calls about to swamp them (understandably so), from people who are looking at ruined plans for weddings, funerals, honeymoons, holidays of a lifetime etc etc

    It then takes 18 hours yes thats right 18 hours to send out another e-mail telling people that it was all a little mistake, a bit like a spelling mistake

    Then no doubt it will absolve itself of any responsibility to fix the damage that has been caused in the interim, because nobody could actually speak to anyone and desperately tried making alternative plans to salvage some alternative.

    No what would be the point, who would believe that any airline could treat its customers as utter [email protected]@S

    • It’s not pinin’! It’s passed on! This airline is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet it’s maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perfectly reasonable request of paying quite a bit of money upfront for a confirmed flight it would be pushing up the daisies! It’s metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the runway! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off it’s mortal coil, run down the curtain between Club and the back of the bus and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-AIRLINE!!

    • Lady London says:

      Er…. was that “plans for funerals….” this far ahead of the strike ?
      Is there something we need to know, here ? 🙂

  10. I take it BA aren’t obliged under ‘Duty of Care’ to put you up overnight at a hotel if you are at the start of your trip, with your rearranged flight scheduled for the day after you planned to travel? Transport has already been booked to Heathrow for the Strike Date.

    Also does anyone know please if you have a domestic transfer at T4 Madrid from LHR on Iberia if you need to go through security again? Thanks

    • Shoestring says:

      yes, they are obliged to pay for the hotel, food etc – slam dunk absolutely clear point

      many of us would prefer to stay in the comfort of our homes but that’s not what the law says

      you can save the cost of re-arranging your transport up to LHR & get a free night in a £200 hotel on BA, with reasonable food & drink refunded as well (no booze) + comms such as internet connection – keep receipts

      • That’s great news. Thanks Shoestring. I think we will book Premier Inn at T4 because it’s not expensive (£56 flexible rate) and we can get a meal deal included for a reasonable amount. Hilton is coming up at £188 which, although under £200, is a bit out of my comfort zone haha Will keep all the receipts. Thanks for the advice.

      • I was flying on the 9th, which I rearranged quite easily online to the 8th. However, I cannot now stay at the non refundable hotel booked for 8th at heathrow, I also need to book an extra night at my destination as arriving a day earlier than booked. I guess the duty of care does not cover expenses from having to fly earlier rather than later.

        • Shoestring says:

          it doesn’t

          it’s either swallow the loss/ claim on insurance/ claim on Section 75 if you paid by credit card and the transaction was over £100 – if you paid on Amex Plat, you might also be covered

          • That’s what I thought. That’s a couple of hundred £’s extra not planned for in the ex EU budget. Heading to a QR flight so little choice but to fly the day before. Thank you for your time replying.

  11. TokyoFan says:

    Very quick through to BA today to switch my LHR-FRA on the 27th September to the LCY flight half an hour before. No quibble, no bother, straight through and a very helpful chap on the end of the phone.

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