BA Strike 2019: What You Need To Know If Your Travel Is Affected

All customers are entitled to a full flight refund – but what about other costs?

The biggest strike in the history of British Airways begun at midnight on Sunday and is set to last 48 hours impacting 1,700 flights on Monday and Tuesday.

BA said on its website that it had “no option” but to cancel 100% of their flights as cabin crew belonging to the British Airline Pilot’s Association (Balpa) walked out in an ongoing dispute over pay.

The travel plans of up to 200,000 passengers at Heathrow and Gatwick may be disrupted. This includes those travelling on more than 50 intercontinental flights to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Toronto, despite pilots abroad not being entitled to strike,

The strike has been on the cards for several weeks now so most passengers will have been aware of any disruptions to their travel plans in advance, but with BA carrying up to 145,000 travellers a day, some people may yet be unprepared.

If current talks cannot be resolved, there might be another stoppage on 27 September and the union’s ballot is valid until January – giving pilots plenty more time for strike action if they choose to do so.

So what should passengers know about their rights during strikes?

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What are passengers entitled to?

The Civil Aviation Authority, the regulator for all civil aviation in the UK, says passengers have a legal right to a replacement flight at BA’s expense.

This flight needs to get you to your destination, even if it means travelling with a different airline, as paid for by BA.

Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, says: “The airline needs to make sure each and every person affected is rerouted – with a rival airline if necessary – or refunded and not left out of pocket.”

British Airways has told customers they can request a full refund, rebook their flight for another time in the next 365 days or use the value of their fare to fly to a different destination.

If you are travelling on (or around) 9 or 10 September British Airways says do not go to the airport. Check your flight status in Manage My Booking instead. You can also call British Airways to discuss other available flight options.

If you are flying on or around 27 September, British Airways says it will be in contact over the next few weeks if your flight is set to be impacted.

If you have booked via a travel agent, please contact them directly to discuss arrangements for your booking.

Is there anything else to consider?

Even if you are flying on the days around the strikes, prepare for some disruption as planes and pilots are relocated for subsequent journeys.

There may also be additional costs incurred as a result of the strikes that you have not considered such as airport parking. Passengers are advised to keep receipts for these extra costs, and BA says it will look at refunding them on a case-by-case basis.

The cost of separate hotel or accommodation bookings that cannot be used may need to be claimed from your travel insurance.

Flights on BA CityFlyer (flights operated from London City airport), SUN-AIR and Comair are unaffected.