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British Airways pilot strike on 27th September is called off in a bizarre BALPA move

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If you are holding an industrial dispute – or indeed any sort of dispute – standing your ground is one of the keys to success.  Once you are seen as weak, your opponent realises that it has the upper hand.

I mention this because it was my gut reaction to the announcement that the British Airways pilot union, BALPA, has called off the strike on 27th September.

The reason for cancelling the strike is bizarre.  It is NOT because British Airways has returned to the negotiating table.  BALPA claims that it has cancelled the strike because BA is NOT willing to negotiate, which makes zero sense to me.

What is BALPA expecting now?  That British Airways will be rushing back to negotiations?  I’m not so sure.

British Airways strike off

British Airways has now reinstated a percentage of its schedule for 27th September.  If you had been transferred to another flight, either on BA on a different day or on another airline, you have the option of moving back.  If you accepted a refund, British Airways can rebook you for the price you originally paid.  What BA cannot do, of course, is move you back if you took a refund and then paid to rebook on another airline.

Who knows where this goes now?  This is the full announcement from BALPA:

The British Airline Pilots Association has today called off the next strike scheduled for 27th September in the dispute between British Airways and its pilots.
BALPA said the strikes on 9th and 10th September had demonstrated the anger and resolve of pilots. It was now time for a period of reflection before the dispute escalates further and irreparable damage is done to the brand.
BALPA hopes BA will now change its approach and negotiate seriously with a view to ending this dispute.
BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:
“Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course. In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on the 27th September.
“BA passengers rightly expect BA and its pilots to resolve their issues without disruption and now is the time for cool heads and pragmatism to be brought to bear. I hope BA and its owner IAG show as much responsibility as the pilots.”
Should BA refuse meaningful new negotiations, BALPA retains the right to announce further strike dates.

You can keep up to date with the strike news on this page of

Comments (101)

  • Shoestring says:

    updated again
    Important update if you are flying next week
    Last updated 20 September 2019, 15:30

    The pilots’ union, BALPA, has called off its strike action planned for 27 September.

    If your flight was cancelled as a result of this industrial action, you now have the option to rebook on to a British Airways flight operating between 26 – 28 September, subject to availability. Please call us to discuss your options and rebook.

    Please contact us on:

    0800 727 800 (from within the UK)
    +44 (0)203 250 0145 (from outside the UK)
    If you booked via a travel agent please contact your travel agent directly. If you booked a flight as part of a British Airways Holiday please contact us on the number above.

    • Lady London says:

      Ba have obviously thought about it and decided there is enough time to refill enough of the planes to make it worthwhile reinstating flights. And, importantly, they are also trying to recover passengers who may have succeeded in getting themselves ticketed on other airlines due to the previously announced strike.

      I would have done the same for a one-day strike, as BA has done, also due to the positioning effects on days either side.

      I wonder how many people rebooked onto Lufthansa, Swissair, Cathey etc., are going to get their flights reinstated to BA on 26-28th September?

  • Shoestring says:

    British Airways will operate more than half its normal flight schedule next Friday after a pilots’ strike was called off. Although BA had stopped selling tickets for 27 September, it will merge services and operate more than 400 flights on the day.