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

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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 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.


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 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.

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  1. 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…

    • What would you like?

      • 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.

    • 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”.

      • 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.

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