With a 20-day long strike now confirmed, passengers need to be extra vigilant about flight bookings
2010 is turning out to be quite the year for flight disruptions and now BA’s announcement that strikes will go ahead between May 18 and June 9 is another blow to travellers hoping to get away for early summer holidays – and a new chapter in BA’s dispute sagas so far this year.
Leading website Travelsupermarket.com is strongly advising travellers to avoid booking BA fights scheduled during the period of planned strikes and those making reservations need to ensure they don’t book trips that clash with the blackout dates.
The plan is to strike for five days, with one day in between, starting May 18 and ending June 9. In March, BA had to cancel various flights, including many to popular holiday destinations such as Cyprus and parts of Spain.
The imminent no-fly dates are:
30 May–3 June
BA’s website www.britishairways.com advises:
“Due to the excellent levels of support we have received from cabin crew based at London Gatwick, all flights to and from Gatwick will continue to operate as normal."
All flights to and from London City will also be unaffected.
At Heathrow we plan to operate a substantial part of our longhaul schedule and there will be a number of flights to every destination across our shorthaul network.
We are speaking to a number of carriers about leasing in extra aircraft to support our shorthaul schedule and also obtaining thousands of seats from other airlines to help our customers rebook if their original flight is cancelled.”
The airline says those affected by the strike action who have already bought tickets can:
Rebook onto another BA flight to the same destination within 355 days of the original planned travel date
Rebook onto another British Airways flight to/from the nearest alternative airport (for example, if booked to/from Boston you could rebook to/from Philadelphia or New York)
Alternatively, rebook onto another agreed airline, subject to availability
Or, cancel the booking and obtain a refund
All rebooking options will be subject to availability
Bob Atkinson, travel expert from www.Travelsupermarket.com, predicted the strikes will cause "havoc" for many families hoping to fly over the May bank holiday and half term periods.
“So what should BA customers do?" he said. "Firstly customers should consult the BA website for the latest updates, they should then check their travel insurance policy wording to see if they are covered for industrial action, should they need to make a claim.
“My advice to anyone thinking of booking a flight for departure between the May 18 and June 9 is to seriously consider booking elsewhere.”
Atkinson said he looked forward to BA effectively communicating with customers about which flights will be affected.
"In the previous round of strikes BA actually managed to get away many more flights than expected, minimising disruption," he said.