Unite, the Union which represents BA’s “Mixed Fleet” cabin crew at London Heathrow, has called even further industrial action in February.
This follows five days of industrial action in January 2017. Strikes are scheduled to place in two 72 hour blocks. The first three days of industrial action will be on Sunday 5 February, Monday 6 February and Tuesday 7 February. The second three days of industrial action will be on Thursday 9 February, Friday 10 February and Saturday 11 February.
BA will update its schedules for the days affected by the disruption on Tuesday 31 January for the first three days and Thursday 2 February.
BA will seek to contact affected passengers. However (partly for PR reasons we suspect) it will not officially publish a list of cancelled flights.
During the last strike BA cancelled approximately 12 short-haul return flights across three days of industrial action. These included select flights between London Heathrow and Aberdeen, Basle, Bologna, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Manchester, Oslo, and Stuttgart.
It is highly likely that BA will again merge some short-haul flights and you should check the guidance on ba.com on next week and your flight details on the Manage My Booking tool to check if your flight is affected.
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 confirmed as 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 & no IATA number 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.