Unite calls for further strike action by British Airways London Heathrow cabin crew on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2017

Unite, the Union which represents BA’s “Mixed Fleet” cabin crew at London Heathrow has called further industrial action for 72 hours on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2016. This follows industrial action on Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 January 2017.

BA will update its schedules for the days affected by the disruption on Monday 16 January and affected passengers should be notified by the airline.

Until the strike schedule is published BA is not allowing any rebookings or cancellations outside the existing terms of booked tickets.

During the last strike BA cancelled approximately 22 flights a day in advance of the strike. This were primarily early morning (what airlines call the “first wave”) short-haul flights.

The vast majority of long-haul flights operated.  However, first class passengers on some long-haul flights were offered a business class standard meal service.

BA claims that 70% of Mixed Fleet cabin crew reported for duty on the strike days and that all affect passengers were accommodated on rebooked flights.

It is highly likely that BA will again merge some short-haul flights and you should check the guidance on ba.com on Monday and your flight details on the Manage My Booking tool to check if your flight is affected.

There do not appear to be any signs of further talks between BA and Unite.  The airline has been quite bullish about its stance, so we do not foresee the strike being called off at this time.

The key points that can be confirmed at the moment are:

  • All flights to and from London Gatwick, London City and Stansted airports will not be affected
  • BA is likely to aim to operate almost all long-haul flights to and from London Heathrow
  • Short-haul flights between London Heathrow and select destinations are most at risk of disruption
  • If your flight is operated by a codeshare partner such as Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, and Vueling (it should be clear in your booking which is the operating airline) it will not be affected
  • Refunds and rebookings to alternative dates and routes should become available next week, but only for flights that are cancelled. Existing booking terms will still apply to flights that are scheduled to operate.

The destinations most likely to be at risk from London Heathrow are:

  • Aberdeen, Basle, Belfast, Bergen, Bilbao, Bologna, Budapest, Dusseldorf, Gibraltar, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Hanover, Helsinki, Kiev, Krakow, Lisbon, Luxembourg, Manchester, Marseille, Oslo, Paris Orly, Pisa, Prague, Stavanger, St Petersburg, Stuttgart, Vienna, Venice, Warsaw and Zagreb
  • The reason why the above destinations are at risk is that these routes are ordinarily operated exclusively by the cabin crew fleet that has voted for industrial action

What action would you recommend for passengers?

  • Check your flight details on the Manage My Booking tool and ensure your e-mail address and phone number are in the booking so you are contacted if your flight is cancelled.
  • Download the BA app on your smartphone to receive “push” notifications regarding your flight.
  • Also download the MyFlights app on your smartphone.  This is a third party app that regularly checks your booking and will notify you of any changes, sometimes before the airline does.
  • Keep an eye on BA’s trade website for guidance issued to travel agents (select The Netherlands if you’re asked to select a country)
  • If the strike is called off at the last minute, BA will probably reinstate any flights that were cancelled.  However, if by then you have already changed your booking, you should not be required to reinstate your original booking.

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