Possible British Airways Strike Ballot

An ongoing pay dispute between British Airways and its trade unions may be about to lead to a ballot for industrial action.

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For some months British Airways has been in negotiations with its trade unions, BALPA, GMB and Unite on a pay deal for staff.

The background to this is that BA has always negotiated separate pay deals with trade unions representing different work groups in the airline such as engineers, ground staff, cabin crew and pilots.

This year, BALPA, GMB and Unite submitted a joint pay claim to the airline arguing for a significantly improved pay offer and profit sharing arrangement.

This is due in part to the dramatic improvement in the airline’s financial health over the past ten years. Last year, BA reported an operating profit of £1,952m.

BA initially only offered a one year pay deal, citing uncertainty over Brexit. These have been resoundingly rejected by employees in consultative ballots.

Following further talks between the airline and trade unions which have not proved acceptable to the unions, it appears that the pilots union BALPA may be about to start a formal ballot for industrial action.

It is important to emphasise that at the time of publication, Wednesday 19 June 2019, BALPA has not made any official announcement.

However, BA is now clearly preparing for a possible strike ballot announcement as it has today issued guidance to travel agents to respond to customer queries.

Timing Of Possible Industrial Action

In terms of timings, it will take four weeks to conduct the ballot. Trade unions are then required to give two weeks’ notice of industrial action.

Therefore, there will be no industrial action in the next six weeks.

It is inevitable that there will be a strong mandate for industrial action based on a high turnout as this increases the union’s negotiating leverage over the airline. Whether this ultimately leads to industrial action is another matter. Very often disputes over pay deals can be agreed right up to the wire.

However, any pay offer by the airline has to first be approved by BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, which is likely to adopt a tough negotiating stance.

BA is unlikely to say much publicly, other than standard comments about wanting to work constructively with unions and that it remains open to negotiations and recommends talks at the conciliation service ACAS. It will only announce contingency plans and cancellations in the event of industrial action.

British Airways London Gatwick – New York JFK Cancellations

British Airways has cancelled its daily service from London Gatwick to New York JFK from Tuesday 14 January to Monday 10 February 2020.

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Manhattan at Sunrise
Manhattan at Sunrise (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways has cancelled its daily service from London Gatwick to New York JFK from Tuesday 14 January to Monday 10 February 2020.

The affected flight numbers are BA2273 from London Gatwick to New York JFK and BA2272 from New York JFK to London Gatwick.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellations other than “commercial reasons” which suggests low seasonal demand.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. Passengers can also be re-accommodated on alternative American Airlines and BA services from London Heathrow. However, any additional costs such as ground transportation and hotels will be at passengers’ expense.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com

Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.

Air Belgium to operate Heathrow – Cairo for British Airways

Air Belgium is to operate London Heathrow Cairo for British Airways from 18 August to 31 October 2019.

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Air Belgium Airbus A340 aircraft

British Airways continues to wet lease an Airbus A340 aircraft from Air Belgium at London Heathrow.

One return flight, BA185 & BA184 from Heathrow to Newark is currently operated by Air Belgium until Saturday 8 June 2019.

Another return flight, BA93 & BA92 from Heathrow to Toronto, will be operated by Air Belgium from Sunday 9 June to Saturday 17 August 2019.

Heathrow – Cairo Wet Lease

The wet lease has now been extended to Cairo.

BA155 from London Heathrow to Cairo will be operated by Air Belgium from Sunday 18 August 2019 to Thursday 31 October 2019.

BA154 from Cairo to London Heathrow will be operated by Air Belgium from Monday 19 August 2019 to Friday 1 November 2019.

The flight will be operated by an Air Belgium A340-300 aircraft.

The route is currently operated by a three class Boeing 777-200 and was due to switch to a Boeing 787 for the winter season, instead of a two class Airbus A321, as per last winter.

The overall service standard on Air Belgium should be similar to that of BA.

Rebooking Options

All passengers have the option of rebooking on to BA’s alternative return flights from Heathrow to Cairo as close to your original date of travel as possible.

Full refunds are not available, except for Club World and World Traveller Plus passengers, unless allowed by the original fare rules.

Premium Economy Passengers

There is no premium economy cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

Unless passengers rebook on to an alternative BA service, they will be downgraded to economy and receive a partial refund of their fare.

Passengers will retain their original baggage allowance and Avios earning entitlement. Some passengers may also be upgraded to business class.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com

Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.

British Airways Boeing 787 Cancellations

British Airways has cancelled flights on a number of Heathrow routes up until August 2019 due to Boeing 787 engine checks.

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BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways continues to selectively cancel flights to allow for additional checks and maintenance to the engines of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.

Previously Announced Cancellations

BA has applied blanket cancellations to the following Heathrow routes during May and June of this year:

BA123 from London Heathrow to Doha is cancelled from Thursday 9 May until Monday 27 May 2019.

BA122 from Doha to London Heathrow is cancelled from Friday 10 May until Tuesday 28 May 2019.

Passengers will be re-accommodated on Qatar Airways serves between London Heathrow and Doha.

BA139 from London Heathrow to Mumbai is cancelled from Friday 14 June to Sunday 30 June 2019.

BA138 from Mumbai to London Heathrow is cancelled from Saturday 15 June to Monday 1 July 2019.

Passengers will be re-accommodated on alternative BA services between London Heathrow and Mumbai.

BA73 from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi is cancelled on 8, 9, 10, 11 and 21, 22 June 2019.

BA72 from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow is cancelled on 9, 10, 11, 12 and 22, 23 June 2019.

Passengers will be re-accommodated on alternative BA services between London Heathrow and Dubai, with any consequential costs at passenger’s expense.

Tactical Cancellations

BA has, today Friday 10 May 2019, also announced the following tactical cancellations up until late August 2019:

BA123 London Heathrow – Doha 24 & 25 June
BA122 Doha – London Heathrow 25 & 26 June 

BA69 London Heathrow – Philadelphia 5 July 
BA68 Philadelphia – London Heathrow 5 July 

BA73 London Heathrow – Abu Dhabi 9 & 10 July 
BA72 Abu Dhabi – London Heathrow 10 & 11 July 

BA215 London Heathrow – Boston 20, 21, 27 & 28 July
BA214 Boston – London Heathrow 20, 21, 27 & 28 July

BA193 London Heathrow – Dallas Fort Worth 3, 4, 5 & 6 August 
BA192 Dallas Fort Worth – London Heathrow 3, 4, 5 & 6 August 

BA167 London Heathrow – Tel Aviv 17, 18, 19 & 20 August 
BA166 Tel Aviv – London Heathrow 18, 19, 20 & 21 August 

BA197 London Heathrow – Houston 28 & 29 August
BA196 Houston – London Heathrow 28 & 29 August

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled will be re-accomodated on alternative BA flights or those of partner airlines. Alternatively, passengers are entitled to a full refund.

Affected passengers should check the status of their booking at ba.com and contact either BA or their travel agent.

BA Heathrow – Abu Dhabi Cancellations

BA has cancelled its service from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi over six days in June 2019.

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BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has applied blanket cancellations to its five times weekly service from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi during June 2019.

BA73 from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi is cancelled on 8, 9, 10, 11 and 21, 22 June 2019.

BA72 from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow is cancelled on 9, 10, 11, 12 and 22, 23 June 2019.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. Alternatively, passengers can fly on an alternative BA operated flight between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi within three days of the original date of travel. However, any additional expenses such as ground transportation will be at the passenger’s expense.

Affected passengers should check the status of their booking at ba.com and contact either BA or their travel agent.

The reason for the cancellations is ongoing maintenance requirements to Rolls-Royce engines of its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Whilst the issue is expected to abate by the end of the year, it won’t be until 2020 until it is fully resolved.

BA has also been required to put in place blanket cancellations on flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi and London Heathrow – Doha. BA has also wet lease an aircraft from Air Belgium to cover select flights from London Heathrow to Newark and Toronto.

British Airways Doha Cancellations May 2019

British Airways has cancelled its daily flight from London Heathrow to Doha for much of May 2019.

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways continues to put in place ad hoc blanket cancellations between London Heathrow and Doha.

BA123 from London Heathrow to Doha is cancelled from Thursday 9 May until Monday 27 May 2019.

BA122 from Doha to London Heathrow is cancelled from Friday 10 May until Tuesday 28 2019.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellations other than “operational reasons”. The most likely reason is to release capacity in the Boeing 787 fleet. There have been ad hoc cancellations on a number of other routes. An aircraft has also been wet leased from Air Belgium to cover other routes.

If history is anything to go by, the cancellations could well be repeated.

Rebooking on Qatar Airways

BA has a rebooking agreement with its codeshare partner Qatar Airways.

If your flight is cancelled you have the option of rebooking on to Qatar Airways from London Heathrow to Doha. You can rebook up to three days before or after your original date of travel.

World Traveller Plus Premium Economy

Qatar Airways does not operate a premium economy cabin.

Therefore, you will be downgraded to economy. You will be entitled to claim compensation for the downgrade.

Qatar Airways London Heathrow Aircraft

Qatar Airways use a variety of different aircraft on the London Heathrow route.

This includes Boeing 777-300, Airbus A350 and Airbus A380 aircraft.

If you have a particular preference for one aircraft, it’s worth checking your specific flights on your day of travel.

It should also be noted the following Qatar Airways operated flights depart from London Heathrow Terminal 4.

Alternative Routing Options

If you are connecting from a flight in the UK to London Heathrow for onward travel to Doha (for example, Edinburgh) you have the option of rebooking on to a direct Qatar Airways flight to Doha, if available.

Refunds

If any of the rebooking options are not satisfactory, you will have the option of cancelling your booking and receiving a full refund.

Affected passengers should check the status of their booking at ba.com and contact either BA or their travel agent.

British Airways Mumbai & New Delhi Cancellations

British Airways has put in place blanket cancellations from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi from April to June 2019.

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BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff

British Airways has put in place blanket cancellations from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi from April to June 2019.

BA143 from London Heathrow to New Delhi is cancelled from Sunday 31 March to Monday 15 April 2019.

BA142 from New Delhi to London Heathrow is cancelled from Monday 1 April to Tuesday 16 April 2019.

BA139 from London Heathrow to Mumbai is cancelled from Friday 14 June to Sunday 30 June 2019.

BA138 from Mumbai to London Heathrow is cancelled from Saturday 15 June to Monday 1 July 2019.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellation other than “operational reasons”. It is likely that aircraft availability due to ongoing maintenance issues with the Boeing 787 fleet is the cause.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. Passengers should also be able to rebooked on alternative BA flights between London Heathrow and Mumbai (BA199/BA198) and New Delhi (BA257/BA256).

Affected passengers can check the status of their booking on ba.com and should contact BA or their travel agent.

Air Belgium to operate Heathrow – Toronto for British Airways

Air Belgium is to operate one of British Airways’ daily flights from London Heathrow to Toronto from 9 June to 17 August 2019.

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Air Belgium Airbus A340 aircraft Air Belgium Airbus A340 aircraft (Image Credit: Air Belgium)

Air Belgium’s Airbus A340 aircraft will soon become a firm fixture at London Heathrow Terminal 5 for almost a year.

It is covering selected flights from Heathrow – Dubai until the end of March, and Heathrow – Newark from April to early June. Air Belgium will now also cover one of BA’s twice daily return flights from Heathrow to Toronto Pearson.

One return flight, BA93 & BA92 from London Heathrow to Toronto, will be operated by Air Belgium from Sunday 9 June to Saturday 17 August 2019.

The flight will be operated by an Air Belgium A340-300 aircraft.

The overall service standard should be similar to that of BA.

Rebooking Options

All passengers have the option of rebooking on to BA’s alternative return flights from Gatwick or Heathrow to Toronto (BA2271/BA2270 BA99/BA98) as close to your original date of travel as possible.

Full refunds are not available to any passengers, except First Class and Club World passengers, unless allowed by the original fare rules.

First Class Passengers

There is no First Class cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

Unless passengers rebook on to an alternative BA service, they will be downgraded to business class and receive a partial refund of their fare.

Passengers will still have a First Class baggage allowance, earn the Avios and Tier Points of the First Class fare, and have access to First Class ground facilities such as the Concorde Room at London Heathrow.

Alternatively, passengers can request a full refund.

Premium Economy Passengers

There is no premium economy cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

Unless passengers rebook on to an alternative BA service, they will be downgraded to economy and receive a partial refund of their fare.

Passengers will retain their original baggage allowance and Avios earning entitlement. Some passengers may also be upgraded to business class.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com

Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.

American Airlines Codeshare

This flight is codeshared with American Airlines under flight numbers AA6207 and AA6210.

As American Airlines does not have regulatory approval to codeshare on BA flights operated by other airlines, AA passengers will have to rebook onto an alternative BA operated service between London and Toronto.

Air Belgium to operate Heathrow – Newark for British Airways

Air Belgium is to operate one of British Airways’ daily flights from London Heathrow to Newark from 1 April to 8 June 2019.

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Air Belgium Airbus A340 aircraft
Air Belgium Airbus A340 aircraft (Image Credit: Air Belgium)

Air Belgium’s Airbus A340 aircraft is now a firm fixture at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Having already wet-leased an Air Belgium aircraft to cover London Heathrow – Cairo, London Heathrow – Abu Dhabi and Dubai until the end of March, Air Belgium will cover one of BA’s twice daily return flights to Newark.

One return flight, BA185 & BA184 from London Heathrow to Newark, will be operated by Air Belgium from Monday 1 April to Saturday 8 June 2019.

The flight will be operated by an Air Belgium A340-300 aircraft.

The overall service standard should be similar to that of BA.

Rebooking Options

All passengers have the option of rebooking on to BA’s alternative return flights to Newark (BA189/188) as close to your original date of travel as possible.

Full refunds are not available to any passengers, except First Class passengers, unless allowed by the original fare rules.

First Class Passengers

There is no First Class cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

Unless passengers rebook on to an alternative BA service, they will be downgraded to business class and receive a partial refund of their fare.

Passengers will still have a First Class baggage allowance, earn the Avios and Tier Points of the First Class fare, and have access to First Class ground facilities such as the Concorde Room at London Heathrow.

Alternatively, passengers can request a full refund.

Premium Economy Passengers

There is no premium economy cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

Unless passengers rebook on to an alternative BA service, they will be downgraded to economy and receive a partial refund of their fare.

Passengers will retain their original baggage allowance and Avios earning entitlement. Some passengers may also be upgraded to business class.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com

Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.

American Airlines Codeshare

This flight is codeshared with American Airlines under flight numbers AA6148 / AA6147.

As American Airlines does not have regulatory approval to codeshare on BA flights operated by other airlines, AA passengers will have to rebook onto an alternative AA or BA service between London and New York.

BA Doha Cancellations February – March 2019

British Airways has cancelled its daily flight between London Heathrow to Doha in February and March 2019. Here are options for affected passengers.

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways continues to cancel its daily flight between London Heathrow and Doha.

BA123 is cancelled from London Heathrow to Doha from Thursday 21 February until Sunday 3 March 2019.

BA122 is also cancelled from Doha to London Heathrow from Friday 22 February until Monday 4 March 2019.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellations other than “operational reasons”. The most likely reason is to release capacity in the Boeing 787 fleet.

If history is anything to go by, the period of cancellation could well be extended.

This route was subject to very extensive cancellations over the past year and it’s surprising it has not been cancelled altogether.

Rebooking on Qatar Airways

BA has a rebooking agreement with Qatar Airways which is a fellow Oneworld alliance member and a 20% shareholder of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group.

If your flight is cancelled you have the option of rebooking on to Qatar Airways from London Heathrow to Doha. You can rebook up to three days before or after your original date of travel.

World Traveller Plus Premium Economy

Qatar Airways does not operate a premium economy cabin.

Therefore, you will be downgraded to economy. You will be entitled to claim compensation for the downgrade.

Qatar Airways London Heathrow Aircraft

Qatar Airways use a variety of different aircraft on the London Heathrow route including Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300, Airbus A350 and Airbus A380 aircraft.

If you have a particular preference for one aircraft, it’s worth checking your specific flights on your day of travel.

It should also be noted the following Qatar Airways operated flights depart from London Heathrow Terminal 4.

Alternative Routing Options

If you are connecting from a flight in the UK to London Heathrow for onward travel to Doha (for example, Edinburgh) you have the option of rebooking on to a direct Qatar Airways flight to Doha, if available.

Refunds

If any of the rebooking options are not satisfactory, you will have the option of cancelling your booking and receiving a full refund.

Affected passengers should check the status of their booking at ba.com and contact either BA or their travel agent.