Let’s be clear here, despite growing sentiment, this isn’t a passenger strike. Sadly, passengers have not wrangled the organizational means to launch mass strikes against airline cuts. They just keep flying. One day, maybe! This is all about striking cabin crews, in an ongoing battle between airline and newer hires. With the strike starting tomorrow, here’s everything you need to know-today.
If You’re Not Flying To Or From Heathrow, Nothing…
Yep, if you’re not flying to or from Heathrow, it’s that simple. No flights out of Gatwick or London City will be impacted. Carry on. If you are flying out to or from Heathrow, things are far more complicated, though most flights will be business as usual. Be sure to monitor your booking via British Airways mobile app in the days approaching. British Airways is being optimistic, only proactively cancelling flights that are of absolute necessity, so others will likely follow. British Airways has announced cancellations for Abuja, Bahrain, Muscat, New York, Philadelphia and Lagos thus far, as follows:
July 1st – BA079
July 2nd – BA080, BA083
July 3rd – BA082, BA125
July 4th – BA124, BA109 , BA173, BA112
July 5th – BA108, BA133, BA075, BA074
July 6th – BA132, BA67 , BA66, BA083
July 7th – BA083
British Airways Are Borrowing Qatar Airways Planes, Staff To Make Due During The 16 Day Strike…
Qatar’s neighborly tiff continues, and therefore much of their short haul fleet is sitting on the ground. In a sheer matter of fortunate coincidence, British Airways needed extra resources to make up slack for the strikes, so they will utilize 9 Qatar Airways A320’s (which are better than BA’s), which were just sitting around, complete with crew. This was a very creative move from management, which gained regulatory approval, despite objection from the British Airways Pilots Union and inquiries by the CAA. Essentially, British Airways is short term leasing a bunch of Qatar Airways planes, so don’t be surprised if you see a different paint job and wonder whether you’re in the right place, or going to the right place!
What’s The Strike About Anyway?
It’s all about the money, money, money. British Airways more recent hires all fall into the “mixed fleet” crew, which operate certain routes. These hires were an attempt to circumvent the “worldwide” crew fleet when they wanted more money in years past. Well, now the new hires, which have historically been paid less -than their more senior colleagues of the “worldwide” fleet-now want more money, and more benefits. They may very well deserve them, but at the moment all we know is disruptions are happening.
What Can You Do If Your Flight Is Affected?
These flights are not going to be eligible for EC261 coverage. Ironically, strikes are seen as extraordinary circumstance (though they’re hardly out of the ordinary in Europe), so you sadly won’t be able to mint money for any issues. Most cancelled flights will be merged with a prior or later flight in the day, so most passengers will expect minimal impact. Unfortunately you’ll need to wait until your flight is actually cancelled to assess any options. In the event that your flight is cancelled or time is changed, it’s not at all unreasonable to ask for a different flight time, or date, even a different routing. For example, if you were headed to Hong Kong it’s not unreasonable to ask to move to Bangkok.The best thing to do is utilize the Amadeus “MyFlights” app if you’re on iPhone, which gives you a notification of any changes to your booking in advance, giving you a leg up over those who wait for the dreaded email.
But Fear Not, Some Flights Will Be Impacted, But Most Won’t…
These strikes get people very riled up, and rightfully so, but in reality, only a small percentage of flights will be delayed. Think somewhere under 6%, most likely. Most of the flights that will be cancelled are flights where the airline has too much capacity (empty seats) on the route, and therefore find it more economical to merge two flights per day into one, things along that sort. Routes like Abuja, Muscat, Bahrain will be most commonly affected at first. Watch this space, we’ll keep you updated.