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. 41 comments on one thread shoestring , must be close to a record for you!

    #get a life

    • Shoestring says:

      you probably make a very good point

      not particularly wishing to defend myself, but it’s a subject that interests me; many of the posts were in a long 8 hr slot around fetching my wife from the airport, ie hanging around with nothing to do then recovering from the caffeine & adrenaline until about 3am; maybe I helped somebody; I don’t recall posting anything on (say) the Hilton Honors thread.

      • Lady London says:

        hmmm…whose posts do I learn more from ?

        even if one or two of them around 7pm or 8pm at holiday time when wives etc are not around, could possibly reflect the addition of some spirit…!!!:-)

    • I think I would need to get a life if I found myself counting Shoestring’s posts 😂

  2. Fair enough

    • Your web browser can do a search of the web page for the word ‘Shoestring’ which does the counting for you. Its not so hard.
      Maybe we should start a thread on the most nerdy thing you do each day on Head for Points??

  3. George K says:

    Hey folks,

    Was rebooked on an NCE-MAD-LHR route after the original NCE-LGW flight was nixed for the day before (9th). The agent could only find that one at the time and I took it without checking other options (turns out there were options, but was not offered them). Anyway, it means we get to stay put for an extra day, so I’ll need to book an extra night somewhere, which I know BA will pick up the tab for. Unfortunately, the hotel I’ve got booked already is a) sold out so can’t just stay there for another night and b) more expensive than the £200 allowed to begin with.

    A few of questions if I may:

    * Is the £200 ballpark the same for two adults and an infant?
    * If we end up booking something more expensive than £200, for whatever reason, does BA reimburse you the £200, or do they refuse the claim?
    * What other things can I reasonably claim for? Taxi ride between hotels (as our one is sold out)? Basically I plan on expensing everything that is triggered during that extra day, on the basis that this spend wouldn’t have happened otherwise. If we didn’t have a baby, we’d be a bit more flexible.
    * Does Amex Platinum’s travel insurance come into the picture at all? We are being inconvenienced with an extra night at our destination and we will be ultimately returning more than 24 hours later than originally intended. So here’s the insurance bit that’s interesting

    “You will be reimbursed up to £150 per person for refreshment costs, or up to £300 per person (including £150 for refreshments) for additional travel and accommodation costs incurred prior to actual departure on Your Trip if Your flight, train or ship is delayed, cancelled, or overbooked and no alternative is made available within 4 hours of the published departure time”

    I think that’s it for now… Any other advice welcome!

    • Shoestring says:

      take the £200 guidance based on 2 persons sharing with a huge chunk of salt

      it’s £200 per person per night, not as if you have to bunk up with a stranger

      not sure what you’re thinking of, but £300 for the 3 of you should be fine, worst that can happen is that BA turns round and says sorry, we’re only refunding £250

      • Shoestring says:

        what is happening here is that some people are getting worried about claiming their additional expenses caused by BA’s strike action, which they are entitled to under EC261

        BA doesn’t exactly try to encourage the fear – but they are quite happy about people worrying that if they pay out £350 for a hotel and £100 for food, they might not get it back

        my advice based on a lot of compo reading is that you need have no fear of getting fully refunded for your duty of care expenses provided you act reasonably, keep receipts and can provide evidence that you acted reasonably and were not greedy or trying it on, eg a £200 meal for 2 won’t get approved but £50 is OK

        obvs get the waiter to detail your wine as a starter or something

        • George K says:

          Thank you for your help – as always!

          Another question, in relation to insurance: Have people been known to double-dip? In this case for example, if BA is offering accommodation costs, and there’s a separate insurance policy in place that does the same, would one be able to claim from both?

          • I’m pretty sure there will be a clause in any insurance policy saying that you can’t claim for something another company has reimbursed you for.

          • Shoestring says:

            yep claiming for the same compo twice is normally seen as fraud

  4. Does anyone know. If I want to get a refund for my outbound flight on 11 Sept but keep the return flight back on 22 Sept can I do this online or do I need to speak to an agent on the phone?
    Im not sure if requesting a refund online will annul both legs which I don’t want to do.

    • Shoestring says:

      you can do it online but I don’t think there’s any definitive advice that your return flight won’t get automatically cancelled – very probably not, but I think I’d speak to an agent for peace of mind

    • This will almost certainly need to be done on the phone.

    • I think phone too. I had similar situation, and online would have cancelled the outbound too. I believe they have to separate the out and in flights onto different PNR to cancel just one, and that can’t be done online as far as I’m aware.

  5. alan young says:

    Hi Rob,
    I have situation whereby they have cancelled our flight to Pula on the 10th and can only offer LHR/MAD/ZAG with IB 2 days earlier, this means I would need to travel from Zagreb to Pula under my own steam and costs. This would incur costs for extra flights, hotels & taxis etc which they say they will not cover.
    There is a flight(s) on the 10th with LH & OU to Pula, but they’re saying that they can only rebook flights using Oneworld partners and therefore cannot offer this alternative. If I move the holiday to a week later then I pay 3 times the cost for car hire & twice the hotel costs.
    Should they cover these extra costs or I am totally sh***ed.

    • Shoestring says:

      BA won’t ever pay consequential losses. If you paid your flight with a credit card and it was over £100, the credit card *will* pay your extra costs under Section 75.

      BA *will* pay your extra costs ie getting from Zagreb to Pula by public transport or taxi (£50 limit), however it can be a struggle to get them to pay up sometimes, ie you have to be prepared to force the issue with MCOL which is obvs a hassle. Plenty of similar situations on the FT compo thread where BA have paid up after either a protracted email exchange or ultimately BA letting you take it all the way to MCOL then paying up 1 day before the case gets heard.

    • Lady London says:

      Firstly I’d screenshot the availability on each of those airlines on your same day of travel. Then telle them you are not accepting a refund and you cant travel 2 days earlier. Request a rebook to either of the screenshotted flights.

      If they refuse then say you will have to approach your insurers and request them to provide in writing that your glight has been cancelled and British Airways is not rebooking you on either of these other flights as they’re not Oneworld. I’d follow up with the regulator on that violation of EU261.

      However over 14 days notice of cancellation can they effectively force you to take a refund when there’s a perfectly acceptable non-OneWorld Flight that same day? Under 14 days i am sure they cant refuse if no other nearish flight they can offer. Over 14 days i am not sure. Does anyone know?

      • Shoestring says:

        The EC261 compensation 14 days rule is purely about compo for cancellation (etc)

        14 days has no significance as regards your right under EC261 law to be re-ticketed to arrive in a timely way at your destination – even on a competitor airline

        14 days has no significance as regards the airline’s duty of care (under EC261 law) towards you

        people *have* taken matters into their own hands & when BA refused to re-ticket them on a competitor airline, bought it themselves, refused a BA refund at first – and forced BA to refund them the extra if the ticket cost was higher than BA’s refund offer

  6. Andrew James says:

    Late Friday 23rd evening, I received notice of cancellation of flight to Lisbon from London.
    On Saturday morning I tried to get through BA. Most of the time I couldn’t get though, then on one attempt I was kept on hold for almost an hour and cut off (that call cost £12 and the overall total of calls was £30 – just think how much money BA will make from thousands of calls).
    Eventually I got through to be told that the flight is not cancelled and that the email was a mistake.
    But I had already booked alternative flight. Response: well you should have waited until you contacted us. But I had an email that confirmed the flight was cancelled. Response: Yes, but that was a mistake. Will I get another email to confirm that it was a mistake? Response: No your flight is operating (later I did get an email).
    Can I get a refund? Yes, but you will have to pay administration as you are doing it on the phone. But I can’t do it online; the BA site says I must call. Well you will just have to hope the flight gets cancelled.
    On the booking now it shows that there may be further disruption.
    Mistakes have consequences. BA must pay up and in my case give a full refund and pay for problems they created..

    • Shoestring says:

      Don’t worry: you’ll eventually get a full refund from BA (for the flights, not the phone). Your situation has been repeated countless times and the newspapers have got hold of it.

      Sounds like you got a hopeless agent, so unfortunately you’re going to have to phone again and repeat the process,

    • Lady London says:

      That sounds like the kind of conversations i was having with the British Airways Indian call centre before I décidés to fly BA only when i really need to.

  7. Shoestring says:

    Simon Calder: BA is obliged to book seats on any available airline if it cannot provide a flight itself on the original day of departure…After representations from The Independent about BA’s responsibility for finding alternative flights for passengers, British Airways updated its online information to add: “We are committed to offering as many customers as possible the option to rebook on other airlines.”

    • But it’s so exasperating that they have to be publicly shamed into complying with the law! (Still waiting for our $1200 EU261 😬)

      • CS agent at MAN as we queued at the ticketing desk after our flight was cancelled, “We don’t have agreements with any other airlines to re-book passengers.” Me, “Don’t even start that nonsense with me young man” (or similar). CS agent went quiet and looked sheepish. He did look about 19 and like he’d been thrown to the wolves – i.e. a queue of angry customers who’d just found out their connecting flight was cancelled.

      • Lady London says:

        Could you send the bailiffs in ?

        • I think it has been done before! Would have to take them to court first though. I’m going to put actual pen to actual paper when we get back from holiday. Pity you can’t charge them for late payment like those private parking companies!

          • You can charge interest though – 8% p.a.

          • Lady London says:

            You can charge them for late payment. IIRC EU261 says they have to pay you within two weeks. Either date of the flight or you might see them argue the clock starts when they became first aware that they owe you the money so perhaps date of CEDR judgment.. Since that date until paid you are entitled to have them pay you interest at the statutory rate which is around 8% currently i think. So 2 months delay and 1.4% extra owing to you ie they should pay you an extra $156 approx, already. If they paid you just the 1200 if all this is true then you could just tell them to pay the 156 as well or whatever larger sum has accrued.

            If i’m wrong legal eagles please say.

            Meanwhile on my next reminder to them i think i would insert an extra line saying I believe statutory interest is now also due at the prevailng rate which I believe is approximately 8% p.a. on the 1200 due, interest accruing daily now since….[date] and ask them to include this in their payment.

            If feeling kind you could say you are prepared not to pursue payment of the statutory interest due if the full 1200 reaches your account within 14 days of this email. You could subject line it ,’overdue payment – statutory interest notification,’ or something.

          • Lady London says:

            Scratch 156 above it’s closer to 16 so far. Annoying enough to them, when you count thé extra admin and multiply it by what if everyone winning compensation gets wise and requests interest too.

    • Lady London says:

      Good. Settling with the pilots is going to look a lot cheaper soon.

  8. I didn’t know the threat of strikes could be prolonged until January. Do we think that’s likely?

    • Shoestring says:

      not remotely likely

      IMV: this strike/ dispute will get settled next week – BA has too much to lose where the pilots are concerned – it’s not as if the pilots are being exceptionally greedy or anything

      • Thank you Shoestring. I’ve always thought your comments are close to the mark so good to hear.

        • Shoestring says:

          it also helps that when BA messes up in such a spectacular way – the false cancellation emails for 8th & 11th September – suddenly management realises how bad they look and their competence gets seriously questioned – they then give a little more ground to wrap it up and kiss goodbye to the problem

          • Shoestring says:

            My friend Alex Cruz looks like a moron for not settling this dispute for about £5-10m compounded

            Since he will imminently lose about £140m because of the strike action

            And look very bad

            I like principles but I don’t fancy chopping off 50cm off the end of my, er, ego

          • 🙂

        • Lady London says:

          Now that the game is up with Thr Independent publicity so people know they can demand a seat they’ve found on a star alliance airline if BA cant offer them something reasonable on BA or Oneworld, cash impact of the strike on BA gets wings. So if the pilots are being reasonable they would be nuts not to settle it quickly.

          I am actually wondering if the pilots are asking for enough.

          • Shoestring says:

            The BA pilots actually seem to be the perfect model of restraint & not greedy – sure they are paid £135K a year but they deserve it (market rates) and are not exactly asking for £250K

          • Lady London says:

            Even if settled now though, I would say British Airways has already lost about £20 million minimum. That they won’t be able to get back even if the first strike is cancelled.

            If the pilots were trying to rip British Airways off for payments for something that couldn’t fairly be sustained in the future, then British Airways has taken the correct stance in fighting it out. But if not, this has been a serious error of judgment not to pay out.

            IMV the pilots union BALPA handled most of it well in their communications so show how reasonable they were, and in not risking widespread Daily-Mail type bad publicity by striking in August even though that lost them potentially higher leverage. However I was not impressed to see in the BALPA list of concessions made to British Airways “higher productivity” as something more rewards were expected for. Everyone has to provide higher productivity these days for the same salary. So BALPA could have left that off their already very impressive list of things British Airways had not compensated for, and still looked good.

  9. Richard Branson says:

    Wouldn’t happen on my airline

  10. Yorkieflyer says:

    Being reported on P prune that Alex Cruz May be gone today

  11. Just had an email that confirms a domestic flight on 10th that was definitely cancelled and refunded and I have rebooked separately from LCY instead of LHR. Is this just a glitch, it doesn’t appear in MMB

    • Lady London says:

      It’ll be a glitsch. Flights I have cancelled before have persisted in being shown in MMB for periods of up to months, before. But rest assured if you cancelled it, it’s cancelled and if you turned up for it there would be no booking for you. Eventually the IT will catch up.

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