Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

British Airways strike: the cancelled flights which are not actually cancelled

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

We have a separate pinned article on the home page covering the pilot strike.  However, it is important to repeat something we added yesterday and which we covered on social media.

British Airways emailed a lot of people on Friday night to say that their flights were being cancelled due to the strikes.

What did people do when they received these emails?  They went to ba.com and triggered the cancellation and refund.  They then either booked – often at substantial expense – a replacement flight on another airline, or decided not to travel and cancelled non-refundable hotel rooms.

Oops.

BA was only kidding you!  Surprise!

Yes, a lot of flights have been cancelled before, on and after the first batch of strikes on 9th and 10th September.  However, a lot of flights – despite people receiving cancellation emails – were NOT cancelled.  Someone at BA pressed the wrong button.

You should, overnight, have received a second email from British Airways if you were mistakenly told your flight was cancelled.

However, if you received a cancellation email from BA, do NOT necessarily believe it.  Do these two things:

Go to Manage My Booking and look at your flight.  If it says ‘cancelled’, it’s cancelled.  If it simply shows in a red font then it IS operating although it remains at risk, depending on how many pilots report on the day and how many replacement aircraft BA can source.

Go to ba.com and try to book a seat on the flight you are on.  Without wishing to state the obvious, if you can still buy a seat, the flight is going.  If you can’t, it’s not.

Here is a typical reader story I received yesterday (click to enlarge):

British Airways cancels flights due to strike by mistake

Ho hum.

Note that British Airways has not yet cancelled any flights for the 2nd strike on 27th September.  It has until 13th September to cancel them to avoid EC261 compensation.

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

Comments (85)

  • The Original Nick says:

    My flight LHR-DUB on the 10th was cancelled. It took me 16 attempts to get through via Silver phone number and Gold. Automated system would ask the usual questions of how you booked etc, etc and then all of a sudden there would be an engaged tone for you to be cut off. I luckily got through to speak to an agent who to be fair was really nice and re-booked me out on another carrier for the same day at roughly the same time. No seat free selection or fast track and I can’t take a guest in to the lounge either at T2. Ummm, Flying Aer Lingus.

    • Lady London says:

      Better lounge(s) at T2 though!

      I’d call that a win 🙂

      #summerholidays

      • The Original Nick says:

        @ Lady London. I did think that but as my friend is on the same booking I’m not sure of the best lounge to visit with him. He has no status but I do and I also have PP. What lounge would you go for in my shoes?

        • Lady London says:

          If you have Star Alliance status then you can go to any.
          If you have PP I think it;s the Plaza Premium there.

          My preference of the lounges there (best to less best) is
          – United Airlines. Stunning bar, good breakfast, nice location to be
          – Singapore Airlines
          – some would put the Air Canada Maple Leaf lounge here, I haven’t been in there
          – Lufthansa Lounge – divided into Gold/First and Silver/J areas (doesn;t make much difference, the lounge is a really OK Lufthansa lounge).

          All but the Lufthansa Lounge are a strenuous walk quite a long way from the main shopping area which the Lufthansa lounge is right next to. but if you are fit they are worth the walk..

          • Lady London says:

            PS no idea where the Plaza Premium lounge is in T2 as I;ve not used it but think it’s not far from the LH lounge

          • Lady London says:

            But if you are on EI will you get access to Star Alliance lounges even with Star Alliance status? I am sure sure an EI ticket is accepted by Star Alliance lounges generally. If any of them will accept an EI ticket with a Star alliance status, I would guess it’s United.

            so you might find it’s Plaza Premium (which will be fine) or whichever lounge an EI flight will get you into…

          • The Original Nick says:

            Thanks very much Lady London.

  • Alex says:

    Absolutely shocking service from BA. Spent over 100, yes 100 times trying to get through to their call centre. Either got an engaged tone, the system hanging up on me, or an automated message saying they couldn’t take my call right now. Like many others, receiving an email at 23.47 on a Friday night left us scrambling to rebook. We tried the US call centre at night to no avail. And we are not even flying on a strike day, but understand the planes might not be in the right place for LHR-DUB. Booked for an extra £150pp on Emirates as a last resort as didn’t want to cancel hotel booking. Then to get an email the next day saying it was going ahead. Website was still showing the flights as for sale. Now leaves us trying to get a full refund from BA. I don’t have any confidence that the flight will go ahead on the Sunday anyway. Seriously regret booking with them in the first place now. I doubt BA will refund us the extra, but going to be writing a strongly worded complaint to them anyway.

  • David S says:

    Ah yes. To fly, to serve.
    You can’t fly due to strikes (or you might possibly do depending the failing IT error messages) and I will leave the serving bit to you all to decide, based on the incompetence so far yesterday.
    Awaiting with interest for end of September flight disruptions since it will likely affect us. Will give the benefit of doubt to BA to see if they sort the mess out before that.

    • Dev says:

      Didn’t Señor Cruz drop that slogan because he didn’t want it to be something for the airline to aim for?

      • Shoestring says:

        not a very compelling slogan

        ‘the world’s favourite airline’? – much more compelling, though you can see why they dropped that as well

        British Airways – Made by Britain – is OK IMV
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=90&v=O2w2bCMhc9k

        • Shoestring says:

          OK only in the sense that this is the 100 year anniversary year (so they say) – next year they will need a new campaign

      • Fc99 says:

        IAG’s share price is down by around 40% versus a year ago…..

        • Shoestring says:

          before that actually means anything much, you’d have compare BA’s share price evolution over the last couple of years with that of Ryanair, EasyJet, Lufthansa, Wizz, AF/KLM etc

          BA probably comes out best or second only to Wizz

      • Lady London says:

        I think use of “To fly, to serve” has got less used from soon after I saw it reworded by one passenger “Two flies, to serve” after flies were on his food in the care of the airline apparently.

  • Russ says:

    For people who’ve booked elsewhere where are you crediting the points? I’m interested in hotel stays rather than building up numbers for a flight award but that may change as BA have also cancelled(allegedly) a couple of my December flights.

  • Jay H says:

    Another free share for anyone who would like one

    You should sign up to Freetrade! It’s an app for investing in the stock market with no fees. Plus, when you sign up, we both get a free mystery share!
    https://api.freetrade.io/freeshare/?code=K9I2MZO16O&sender=IxFXikMb

    • boi says:

      what do I need to do after I sign up? not clear to me how to get the free share or am I dumb? Also got the email but nowhere to input a code once app downloaded

      • Andrew says:

        Isn’t almost everything with a .io domain spam, malware, phishing or just a general fraudulent attempt to get your money or details?

  • Federico says:

    flight from DUS to LHR today. Not even mention on the airplane of the anniversary. little flags left at the ticket desks and check in but nothing more than that…

    • Matt says:

      What would you like?

      • Chris says:

        Well to celebrate the day ba cancelled ba268 lax to lhr. So I may get to celebrate in an lax hotel when I get there 🙁
        Itn good news my ggl renewed through nov 2020 this morning.

    • Mr. AC says:

      Had two flights with BA today (Economy). Got a smallish piece of chocolate wrapped in a “100 BA” wrapper. Nothing at all on the other flight.
      Nothing during check-in in First Wing, nothing interesting happening in the lounges.

      I guess maybe they thought it’s bad taste to celebrate given the dark public mood over the strikes? Maybe they’re avoiding headlines like “Champaigne flowing on board as mother-of-five fails to get through the call center for the 857th time”.

      • CH says:

        Passed through San Francisco lounge this evening; they had birthday cookies (two kinds); the check in desks were covered in bunting and there are balloons in the lounge,.

        Biggest surprise was jars of candy – including jelly belly.