A two-day British Airways strike is set to begin at midnight as a row between the company and its pilots continues.
Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) will walk out tonight, with the majority of BA flights being grounded over Monday and Tuesday due to the dispute.
The strikes were announced on August 23 after 93% of its members rejected an 11.5% pay rise across three years, offered earlier this year.
Thousands of passengers have been forced to make alternative arrangements, with the majority now believed to have booked onto alternative carriers.
Swathes of customers were left frantically attempting to reach BA’s customer service last month, after they were mistakenly informed that their flights had been cancelled due to an email error.
Some BA flights scheduled for today may also be affected, as the strikes cause a knock-on effect on aircraft which will be largely stationary for the duration of the industrial action.
Although those affected should have been contacted by BA, the company is still asking customers to check the status of their planned journeys.
The scale of the strikes has even led to a statement from Downing Street, a spokesperson from which on Friday said: “Nobody should have their travel plans disrupted or their holidays ruined.
“The unions and BA need to get round the table and sort this out. The public would expect nothing less.”
Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton claimed on Friday that the association’s offers to engage in discussions had been refused.
He said: “The gap between what we’re asking for and BA is just £5 million – much less than the £40 million it will cost per day of strike action.
“Rooms are available at Acas today and Balpa is willing to talk – where is BA?
“Since they’ve offered, perhaps Downing Street or the Secretary of State for Transport could assist in calling both sides for talks – Balpa would be there.”
Another strike is currently planned for September 27, with BA stating it will contact customers in the next few weeks if their flight is affected.
BA has offered an 11.5% pay rise over three years, which it says would take the pay of some captains to over £200,000.
A BA spokesman said: “We remain ready and willing to return to talks with Balpa.”