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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 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.

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 ba.com here.

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Comments

  1. Like others, I’ve had an email to say my flight on the 11th is cancelled, but MMB seems to show the flight is NOT cancelled.

    Is this a ploy by BA, so that in the event the disruption runs into the days after the strike, and BA have to cancel the flight, they can say they have given more than 14 days notice and don’t have to apply the EU261 rules?

    They are still selling tickets for the flight, tho only v expensive ones, which also implies it’s not cancelled yet.

    • Lady London says:

      Regardless of whether it’s a ploy or not personally id phone them and get it moved out of thé strike date zone if my travel plans could allow this.

      Re any flight cancellation for the strike around 27 Sept i would expext British Airways to vive no clear answers until nearer the 14 days ahead. They’ll be hoping it wont happen.

      I hope the pilots announce further dates of strikes into october soon. They’ve been pretty decent in not striking in August holiday period which has probably saved them from a lot of bad publicity but lost sime leverage. Looks like getting BA to be fair unless they are forced to on this, is like trying to open a tin without a tin opener.

  2. e.thomas says:

    We are flying back from Budapest on a strike day in Club on avios.
    I have now held on to BA for over 4 hours getting cut off twice.
    Because it is avios redemption it apparently cannot be changed online.
    I have spoken to 2 x BA agents who insist that BA will not pay the £200 hotel expenses if we have to take a flight later than our scheduled departure date , (before then saying they have to transfer me and I hold on for 2hours each time before being cut off)
    We don’t have time pressures to get back but I dont know what to do!
    Help please!

    • Maybe do what I did and book a homeward flight with another airline and when you can finally get through to BA – try to get them to pay .
      I had no alternative as we do have time constraints – ( we were on club with avios too )

    • Rooster says:

      Well you should be able to change Avios redemptions online and cancel them if needed.

      • Mikeact says:

        You cannot change Avios redemptions on line…it needs a phone call . Any changes have to be in the same zone, with same passenger details etc. Even a date change incurs the telephone charge, but maybe not under the circumstances.

    • Lady London says:

      If you can fund it and find a seat then make another Avios booking online. Then when you can get through to BA explain and ask them to sort it out including putting you in a cost neutral position ie refund you the ‘taxes’ of the extra booking you made to hold the seat.

      • e.thomas says:

        But if I find another flight and change my booking, (would have to be 3 days later at least ) presume I would forfeit the £200 per night hotel allowance and have to pay for a hotel myself?
        Can anyone clarify please?
        Thanks

        • Lady London says:

          You can’t have it both ways.

          If you can’t get through to BA or if they won’t book a suitable alternative flight then you either make other arrangements yourself with a plan for what you can recover under s75, travel insurance if in place and if terms include strikes, or from the airline, or if advised of cancellation less than 14 days before your flight add EU261/compo to thr no above list of things you can claim on, or, if you are not finding acceptable alternatives yourself, then wait and see what BA offers in which case BA is responsible for any extra days hotel costs under EU261/duty of care even with more than 14 days notice as they chose the date to bring you home.

          If you choose to fly on a different day yourself and that is not provided by BA then you are responsible for the costs of any extra days and prob for flight costs unless you can negotiate that you’re not.

          If you’re that worried about cost of hotel and not worried about travelling 3 days later then wait and see what BA comes up with .

          • Thanks. But flight has to be changed by speaking to avios and avios insist that they are not BA and cannot advise on hotel costs.
            They tell me to speak to BA and 2 BA agents have said hotel is not covered.
            It.s unclear on BA faq whether you hav3 to be abroad already, when strike announced to be repaid hotel.
            We are still in uk but fly out early sept.
            More help appreciated.
            Thanks

      • Mikeact says:

        Exactly.

  3. lloyds voucher via avoid phone line: will only look for ba flights. won’t put me on another one world. basically refund only and lose voucher.

    • Lady London says:

      @Simon if BA insists they will only rebook you to BA flights following their cancellation of your flight, and if no BA flight they can offer you is suitable (e.g. you are required by work to return using a flight on the date you had booked) then if you paid by credit card s.75 will cover consequential losses i.e. your cost of replacing the flight elsewhere that would meet the requirements / replace the flight you originally booked.

      However faced with their refusal to even consider booking you on another airline, whether inside Oneworld or outside, I would personally say that’s fine but my insurer will want to see something from you that says you are only willing to rebook me onto a BA flight and we’ve agreed there isn’t one. I would then ask them to confirm in writing to you that they can only rebook you onto a BA flight and that has not been possible.

      At that point I’d go and book a replacement flight and claim off credit card under s.75.
      But so as not to let British Airways get out of their flagrant refusal to comply with EU261, which it has been established many times does include them being obliged to book you on a suitable flight operated by another airline and not just by British Airways, I’d claim under EU261 as well.

      I think if you ask for it in writing, British Airways might mysteriously refuse or not actually do it. I’d there make notes about dates and times of calls, number dialled and who I spoke to, plus any long wait times etc. involved (to show you really made an effort to work with BA so they could fulfil their EU261 obligations). You could actually sue with just your notes, or even a phone recording if you can be bothered, but it would be so nice if British Airways would also provide you evidence of their refusal in writing.

    • Andy Young says:

      Not true, I’ve just got off the Avios line and they have re-booked me on AA for the 9th.

      • Gutted. Was that with an lloyds voucher? That was why they told me I couldn’t have an AA flight- due to the terms of the upgrade voucher. They then looked for a an award flight up to the 20th(!) with no luck. After a bit of complaining they opened up a non award space on the 7th – not ideal as it’s a fairly early flight the day after a wedding – I’d have much rather had an AA flight on the 8th.

    • Mikeact says:

      No no no……Rebook at the expiry of your voucher, anywhere in the SAME Zone..important. So you now have breathing space without losing your voucher for a future trip. And you can then change it again if you fancy a different destination. I’ve just changed another one of mine to Larnaca next May, 2 days before the expiry. Whether or not we go there remains to be seen, but there are many other options in that Zone, albeit incurring small change fees.

  4. Got through after an hour and fifteen on hold to be told my flight on the 11th (VCE to LHR) IS still going ahead despite the email saying cancelled. BA could not guarantee that it would still be going ahead in say 10 days time. The rostering/positioning of aircraft and availbility of staff could well be a problem. Was offered 3 different flights on the same day to LGW or LHR – opted not to change. Have found flights with RA and will be booking at requesting a refund which they will give.

    Extended opening hours until midnight tonight, re-open at 0730 tomorrow.

  5. Tom Robinson says:

    I have return flights from seychelles bookedon BA62 on 12 Sept. Booked with Ba Amex 2-4-1 and Avios in CW. I’ve had an email saying flight is cancelled but when I log in to MMB it is not completely clear….. there’s a large red warning at the top explaining about the strikes but it appears to be generic as it states: “will result in a large number of delays or cancellations”

    Then when I scroll down to see the two legs of the trip, the outward leg (31 Aug) is black text as normal, but the return leg is bold red. When I expand the return leg section, it still shows as:
    “0 stops, 10 hrs 15 mins, Club World, Confirmed”.

    It’s rather unhelpful…..obviously BA Exec club line is permanently engaged to the extent that you can’t even wait in a queue, it just disconnects you straight away after a message saying they’re incredible busy.

    Theres flights with Qatar same day via Doha, but I think the second leg is actually a BA from Doha to LGW, so the BA leg could be effected too.
    Any advice/comments would be really appreciated.

    Also annoying, AmEx Platinum travel insurance are also closed on the weekends and BH Monday so I can’t speak to them to ask them what I would be covered for until Tuesday. Very frustrating.

    • The BA helpine lady said that the BOLD RED is a ‘warning’ that there could be delays and if the flight was to be cancelled there would be a flight number would struck through in red.

      • Lady London says:

        So this would not count as your getting 14 days notice of your flight cancellation then. which opens the gateway to EU261 compensation. If I had bookings like that I’d watch very carefully for when BA actually notifies me (or my travel agent) of the cancellation.

    • BA don’t fly Doha to LGW. They have one flight a day to LHR.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        Correct, it’s a BA codeshare operated by QR, and won’t be affected by the strikes (I’ve been put on to one myself).

    • guesswho2000 says:

      The second leg is a codeshare, it’s operated by QR, so you’ll be fine.

  6. I have a flight to DXB on 27 Sept in CW booked during the £2019 luxury sale. No email on cancellation and flight showing red in MMB. I appreciate it is still early days for me but would appreciate any pointers from readers on what the best course of action is for me. Would it be best to hold off for a few days? Plans are not really moveable.

  7. What is the best strategy if the flight may be affected (email received but flight is currently still scheduled to operate)?

    1. Change to partner airline now (transit/longer journey/worst timings)

    2. Wait out to see if flight actually gets cancelled. If so, change flights to best available then.

    3. Other options?

  8. What a nightmare, I feel as though we’ve got off lightly this year!

    For anyone who’s getting the response that BA don’t use other airlines, a CSA at MAN tried this on but I told him (and the rest of the queue) that that was rubbish and indeed when we got to the front of the queue, the desk agent was perfectly prepared to re-ticket pax on Virgin, AA etc, the problem being that there were very few seats left on any airline so late in the day. So stick to your guns and try to speak to someone else (easier said than done, I know).

    In respect of EU261, where this is payable, again be prepared to fight your corner. BA finally agreed to pay ours for the delayed arrival on June 2nd at the end of July, however despite 2 emails they still haven’t paid up or even acknowledged the communication. And this is a really bad time to be chasing them just now!

    • Lady London says:

      I think they are required to pay within 15 days? I think current statutory rate of interest is around 8% so you could calculate and ask for the interest. Proper legal eagles on here may tell me I’m wrong.

      • Shoestring says:

        still waiting for my £500 for winning the share of the week

        Daily Mail – get your act together!

        far more important than Anna’s compo

  9. Have I understood correctly that if I change my flights to be e.g. a day later because they’ve been cancelled, BA has to pay me £200 per night? How do I claim the £200? Does anyone have a link to a site describing the rules (e.g. a government one etc.)?

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      BA can pay for accommodation up to £200, but you must keep all receipts etc. and claim on return. afterwards.. I clarified this with a CS rep as we might hVe to take flights 24 hours later, necessitating an overnight stay.

    • No, you can book a hotel up to £200 per night and BA will repay you when you send in the receipt.

    • Can be more than that however… no limit is defined in the legislation. Just needs to be ‘reasonable’ which depending where you are and how busy the area is could be more.

  10. Denise F says:

    Received email saying 8th Sept flight to Kiev cancelled. When finally got through to BA this afternoon, was told flight was still on schedule and email sent in error. Relieved that all ok, but irritated that I spent all morning hanging on line to BA and researching alternatives. Guess I’m one of the fortunate ones, but feel for others whose plans could be ruined.

  11. Jill (Kinkell) says:

    Continuing the saga of our trip (posted info at 0930 ish ts morning) You First CS rep did phone back ( I take back my ‘fob off’ words). It appears that dodgy emails have been sent out in error causing mass panic stating flights are cancelled, when they aren’t and are still operating.. She confirmed that ALL of our flights on 11,12 and 28 are still running and there was no requirement to do anything . She would reissue the booking receipt confirming all is well.. The fact that 3 of our flights are in red is an error and we should not have received the block emails stating cancellations. She couldn’t apologise enough. So, at the moment, somewhat relieved.

    • Yes indeed. A very knowledgable FT poster is saying that if MMB has the flights in place and not cancelled the emails can be ignored. I have sympathy for BA in a difficult situation, you can’t just magic up hundreds of extra trained phone staff, but you can do something about the IT mistakes. Their wounds are so often self-inflicted.

      • Agree, however why not send out an email saying that emails were sent in error, apologise etc. Or maybe this is a cynical effort to get more capacity around strike days? It would have worked with me if the website had worked!

        • Not sure what’s right thing to do with this. Once the initial email is sent the confusion is there and further emails don’t undo that. Also, if you mess up the initial send how much faith can you have in the same process/team to email the right people the right details?
          BA need a full rethink on how they handle these situations, because they get it wrong a lot.

        • And as if by magic the said email arrives! Must be reading HFP!

    • but if any flight is eventually cancelled for whatever reason, might they attempt to deny EU261 based on fact they have pre-advised you >14 days beforehand?

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