Unfortunately, the best time for an airline employee strike is always the worst possible time for those flying the airline. Hit em’ at the holidays, when they (the airline) can’t possibly afford to leave people stranded. As talk of strikes continue to expand to a few airlines, one thing is for certain, you need to be prepared and most importantly you need to be proactive. Here’s what you need to do for the best possible outcome…

If You Have Flexibility, Get Your Offer In Early…

I’m scheduled to fly to London on December 21st, the day British Airways proposed strikes would occur. You better believe that I’ll be contacting the airline to see if there’s any chance they’d like to accommodate me on an earlier flight, perhaps on the 20th to become one less potential problem for them. There’s no guarantee they’ll be interested, but if you are reasonable, they just might be too, especially as deadlines approach. Don’t accept a change fee, let them know you’re trying to help lighten their potential load…

No Luck Beforehand? Have Alternate Options Ready To Offer Your Airline…

If strikes seem imminent, you can cry in the terminal or you can get informed and get out of there. Airlines do not have to honor a request to endorse your ticket to another airline, but they just might. Find an airline that’s not striking (preferably a partner of your current airline), get flight numbers in advance and if it seems things aren’t going to budge, ask to be endorsed over to the other flight on the different carrier. You’re within your rights to ask and if you ask well enough you’ll probably get your wish. Early bird gets the worm here.

Get Routing Creative And Hack Your Way Around…

Some strikes will only affect certain airports, others just certain routes and some just certain countries. If in my example there are strikes in all UK airports, I could look for a flight to a different nearby city like Paris and then take the train. I’d ask British Airways to endorse my ticket over to American, Delta or anyone else flying to Paris without issue and then ask to be refunded for my travel to my final destination. If you can’t get the airline to endorse your ticket over or accommodate you to a different city, get your refund and book a new ticket.