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My British Airways Flight Is Canceled. What Do I Do?

My British Airways Flight Is Canceled. What Do I Do?
Joe Cortez

Flying British Airways in the next few days? Your flight may be canceled. Nearly all of British Airways’ flights are canceled following the British Airways’ pilots’ strike taking place on Monday and Tuesday, September 9 and 10, 2019. Check to make sure that your flight is not one of the thousands canceled leaving passengers stranded around the world.

Today begins the British Air Lines Pilots Association (BALPA) begins their first day of strike action. The long-discussed labor stoppage has begun, grounding flights through September 10, 2019. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening and what you should do if your British Airways flight is cancelled.

What Caused the Strike?

As in many strike situations, neither the pilot’s union nor British Airways executives can come to an agreement on why they were unable to agree. Pilot’s want more money, British Airways will not meet their demands and both sides are blaming the other for the situation. In a statement, British Airways claims they are ready to resume talks once BALPA will come to the table.

“Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100 per cent our flights,” the British Airways statement reads. “We remain ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA.”

But BALPA claims that British Airways won’t negotiate on anything to do with the strikes. In a statement on Twitter, the union says the differences in their negotiations are down to around $6 million.

“We put forward a proposal to BA management last Wednesday that would have enabled us to call off the strikes for Monday and Tuesday,” the statement reads. “[British Airways] didn’t reply…Why won’t they work with us to end this dispute?”

What Should I Do if I’m Flying British Airways?

On the flag carrier’s website, flyers are asked to stay home if their flight was canceled instead of coming to the airport to rebook. Those on canceled flights should manage their bookings online to get rebooked or request a refund. According to FlightStats.com, over 700 British Airways flights are canceled, with London Heathrow Airport (LHR) being the most affected.

How Helpful Will British Airways Be?

While the airline is accommodating passengers to the best of its ability, this is the biggest strike in Britsh Airways’ history and not everything is going off without a hitch. While several of the frequent fliers on FlyerTalk have successfully rebooked flights affected by the strike, there have been a few hiccups.

On FlyerTalk’s Help Desk page, where you can go to ask questions, get help and report problems during the strike, FlyerTalk members are reporting that some of their new flights lose some benefits, like checked luggage. Says one forum post, “[British Airways] rebooked me on to Vueling…Arrived at bag drop and BA had not booked a bag on the ticket with Vueling. So now filed a claim for £44.92 with [British Airways.]”

Other flyers are finding contacting customer service difficult, as many try to get their flights changed. Some are successfully contacting customer service through foreign numbers, in order to bypass lines and get results. “I ended up waiting about 10 minutes on the Swiss number, and then asked for a refund,” writes FlyerTalker greg5. “So, I’m home and done now.”

FlyerTalkers affected by the strike are advised to be patient and explore all rebooking options available. According to a forum Wiki, the airline is working with several airlines and rail providers to accommodate those affected by the strikes. Check here at the FlyerTalk Help Desk for a full list. Additionally, flyers may be entitled to compensation or benefits under EC261.

 

[Image Source: Twitter/@rahulkalia99]

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