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News: Gatwick strikes and a ban on agency workers, save £10 at World Duty Free at Heathrow

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News in brief:

Gatwick staff to strike for eight days

As you have probably seen in mainstream media, Gatwick Airport staff will walk out for eight days in a dispute over pay.

950 staff can take part, although it is never clear until the day itself how many will turn up.

The staff work for four different handling companies at Gatwick – ASC, Menzies Aviation, GGS (part of British Airways) and DHL Services. Between them they do pretty much everything at the airport which doesn’t involve retail:

  • ground handling
  • baggage handling
  • ramp agent
  • dispatchers
  • check in agents

Strikes are set for:

  • Friday 28th July to Tuesday 1st August
  • Friday 4th August to Tuesday 8th August

Three other support companies at Gatwick – DHL Gatwick Direct, Red Handling and Wilson James – are also voting on potential industrial action. These strikes cannot begin before 14th August due to legal notice periods.

The strikes come on top of Gatwick’s Air Traffic Control issues, which have already led to easyJet pre-emptively cancelling 1,700 flights this summer. With only one runway, Gatwick is expected to struggle more than Heathrow with aircraft flows if the planned European Air Traffic Control strikes go ahead.

And a ban on agency workers will exacerbate issues ….

The reason that few of the recent airport strikes have had a major impact is because of the use of agency staff.

The Government reversed the ban on employers hiring agency workers during strike action in July 2022. This was challenged via a judicial review coordinated by the TUC.

The High Court upheld the unions’ judicial review yesterday. It decided that the Government had failed to meet its legislative requirement to consult prior to implementing the ban on agency workers.

Employers will be barred from recruiting agency workers to undermine strike action from Wednesday 10th August. This is too late to impact the Gatwick strikes but will be an issue for future strikes.

Save £10 when you spend £150 at World Duty Free

Save £10 when you spend £150 at World Duty Free

A discount code has appeared on the Heathrow website to use at any of the World Duty Free shops in the terminals.

The voucher is here.

You will save £10 when you spend £150 in one transaction. Tobacco and Macallan products are excluded.

It is a long term deal, valid to 4th January 2024.

You can still earn Heathrow Rewards points alongside the £10 discount. This article explains how Heathrow Rewards works.

Comments (62)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • captaindave says:

    Maybe the Jet2 model of taking the “handling” work in-house is the way to go ?

    • Matarredonda says:

      As did Ryanair approximately 5 years ago.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Only if you treat them well enough…

      At least this way there is presumably recourse for airlines to recover losses from the contracted party

  • Alastair says:

    Is it just me or do others have a hard time getting the duty free people to scan their Heathrow rewards cards?
    I can’t remember how many times the system has been mysteriously broken, or the self service machine won’t take it, or the staff seem to ignore the card on the phone until payment completes.
    It’s almost as if they’re being incentivised to not scan them…

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I can only suggest not giving them payment until they’ve scanned it and walking away if they don’t

      • Chabuddy Geezy says:

        I find Duty Free transactions tend to track, Boots never tracks even though even if you HR number is on the receipt.

    • Catalan says:

      I find they usually key it in manually if it does scan. I’ve also found Boot will ask you for their reward scheme card in preference to HR

    • SBIre says:

      I find that they try to get through the transaction asap, but my assumption is that the majority of passengers do not have HR cards so they just don’t expect them. I always scan my Dufry and HR cards, and they always seems surprised to see both. They never have an issue when I do ask for them to be scanned though, even if they have whizzed to the payment section. Of course – it’s less of an issue now with the awful self check out machines (I don’t have an issue with self check out, but the machines they use at LHR are useless)

      • Alex Sm says:

        I am asked on 90% of occasions when I produce HR card: “Do you work at Heathrow?”

        • Rob says:

          It’s because they think its the staff discount card. Worth saying ‘yes’ 🙂

          • Charlie T. says:

            Call me paranoid (you wouldn’t be the first) but I can imagine this somehow resulting in a very small bit also non-zero chance of being frogmarched out of the airport by cops with MP5s.

    • Track says:

      the answer is in the language, “scan their cards…” maybe they scan their own, or send receipts somehow too.

      Also surprised that even after duty free scan Heathrow Rewards, the purchases don’t track!

      Landside shops have separate tablets to scan rewards card AFTER transaction. Those points post right away.

      • Alex Sm says:

        You can always email your receipts afterwards to customer service and they will scan. Another question is why you need HR points after all as they are quite useless

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          Well they’re not useless are they, they’re airline miles when you convert them

      • johnny_c-l says:

        Very often I find that purchases don’t appear despite giving my Rewards number via my phone /app to the cashier/water.

        They have also clamped down on retroactively crediting points – need to claim after 2 months but before a time limit, and a max of 5/6 a year.

        Also withdrawn points for non-prebooked short stay and drop-off.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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