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LHR/LGW pilots (BALPA) industrial action 9 Sep, 10 Sep, and 27 Sep

LHR/LGW pilots (BALPA) industrial action 9 Sep, 10 Sep, and 27 Sep

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Old Aug 23, 19, 8:25 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Quick answers to FAQ:

Help! What do I do now?
Most importantly, don't panic and don't do anything in haste. Read these FAQ. Read the thread, particularly the posts starting from the time that the strike dates were announced. Identify your options. Think about what works for you. Then take action. If you do anything in haste, you may have thrown away good options, or you may have thrown away money that you needn't have spent.

NOTE: Some emails have been sent out by mistake notifying the cancellation of flights on 8 September and other dates. If your booking still looks OK in MMB then you don't need to take further action. A cancelled flight should be shown in MMB with struck-through text. If your flight details are not struck through, then it probably hasn't actually been cancelled. You could check ba.com to see whether BA is still taking reservations for the flight in question. If so, then the flight has not been cancelled. You may also try checking on ExpertFlyer, if you have access, to see whether your flight appears still to be operating and whether BA is still taking reservations. However, some afternoon/evening flights on 8 September have genuinely been cancelled. See main thread for details.

Has a strike been called yet?
Yes. BALPA, the pilots' union, has voted in favour of strike action, and the Court of Appeal has rejected BA's submission to have the poll set aside, so the legal process is now over. The two parties went back into talks after the legal proceedings and those talks were expected to continue into the week of 5 August.

BALPA on 23 Aug announced strikes on Monday 9 September Tuesday 10 September and Friday 27 September.

Any further strikes normally require 2 weeks notice under UK legislation.

What flights may be affected?
LHR and LGW based flights. Not LCY or STN flights. Both cabin and flight crew are in dispute with BA, but the pilots (captains, senior first officers, first officers) are closest to strike action.

How long would a strike last?
The initial strikes are for two days the a single day, with normal working in between. Any other strikes could be of any length. It would be rare in the UK for there to be a full time strike.

What would happen to my flights if it is a strike day?
A range of options have been announced, see post 1551 below for more information: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...l#post31451055

and BA Trade Site guidance here: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...kba?faqid=7594

Rebooking is now allowed on Iberia, AA, Finnair, JAL and Qatar. Within Europe EI and Vueling are also allowed. This is for both revenue and redemption flights.

and the FAQ on BA.com here (this includes information on BA Holidays bookings which are substantially different): https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...st-information

Can I do anything with an existing booking now?
Yes. Your options are different depending on whether your flights are currently showing as cancelled or not. See the links above.

What about Heathrow staff - aren't their strikes planned there too?
Yes there is a separate dispute at the moment between Heathrow Airport (HAL) and their staff such as those who operate the security checkpoints. See the separate thread on the issue.

Am I protected by EC261 if there is a problem?
You are always covered by the Right to Care provisions of Regulation EC261. You could potentially be able to claim compensation for delays, cancellations and downgrades caused by BA staff action too, but not for HAL strikes (for cancellations only if there is flight is less than 14 dayís notice). See the main EC261 thread in the BA Forum Dashboard.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 2:18 am
  #2191  
 
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Zzzzz

Last edited by Waterhorse; Sep 19, 19 at 3:39 pm
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Old Sep 16, 19, 3:42 am
  #2192  
 
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Originally Posted by navylad View Post
Surely the taxi duration is a function of which runway is in use, time of your flight and gate, canít say I would pick any particular carrier based on the LHR taxi time.

Quite frankly I care very little what CC get up to down route and provide it doesnít impact on me or safety thatís their own business.
In terms of taxi time...I just meant that with LRH traffic down by 50+% with BA not flying, it's the quickest I have ever gone from gate to airborne at LHR - nothing to do with choice of carrier, per se! Indeed, I have sat in long queues for departure on a number of different carriers on non-strike days...!
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Old Sep 16, 19, 4:12 am
  #2193  
 
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Thanks Waterhorse I think it's the best explanation I've ever read.

I'd also add that from the various comparisons that we've seen, BA pilots seem to be close to their European counterparts (LH and AF, since they were named in the FT article earlier in the thread), although knowing AF, they will almost certainly have much better perks since formerly state-owned companies tend to have those in France (EDF employees didn't use to pay for electricity at home for example).

Do you know if BA actually have 300 open pilot positions as mentioned earlier? Or is 300 an estimation of the shortfall if current pilots stopped accepting overtime? Because somebody also said that BA had 5 applications for each open position which seems to contradict this. I know you can't trust everything you read on the Internet, but I'm guessing the truth is probably somewhere in-between...
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Old Sep 16, 19, 6:39 am
  #2194  
 
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BA's training department has been at maximum effort for the last 2 years, and is struggling to train sufficient pilots. BA acquired the LGW slots from Monarch, and opened new long haul routes from LHR. Generally short haul requires 5.5 crews per aircraft and long haul 10 crews per aircraft.

There has been the usual stream of retirements, resignations, lost medicals etc etc which all need replacing. This has led to a pilot shortage, which you would expect to manifest itself at the end of the summer. As well as other weekly/fortnightly/ monthly limits pilots are restricted to 900 hours flying per annum. More hours get used in the busy summer and things ease off in the quieter winter.

BA is about 300 pilots short at this moment, and has been relying on goodwill to mostly fly the program, with just the occasional cancelation. Since BA decided to play hard ball that goodwill has largely evaporated, so more flights are expected to be canceled. In addition the trainers who have been under considerable pressure of work have had enough. There will be delays to some trainees. This might possibly affect the planned introduction of the A350.

BA have underinvested in the training department, whilst grabbing the available slots. This is the unfortunate result.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 6:57 am
  #2195  
 
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
BA have underinvested in the training department
Yeah but £6.5bn!

(Thanks for the insight though, very interesting, and useful to understand the situation).
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Old Sep 16, 19, 6:59 am
  #2196  
 
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Originally Posted by alex67500 View Post
Yeah but £6.5bn!

(Thanks for the insight though, very interesting, and useful to understand the situation).
The training department got a new coffee machine
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:44 am
  #2197  
 
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Zzzzz

Last edited by Waterhorse; Sep 19, 19 at 3:38 pm
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:46 am
  #2198  
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@rapidex the same applies to the trains.

govia failed to recruit enough drivers despite knowing years in advance when drivers were expected to retire and their route expansion plan. A s relied on over time to cover especially weekends,

Drivers scheduled to be trained on new routes and trains were then diverted to operate services so when the new schedule come in very few had had the route specific training and certification they had to have to operate a train.

When they did recruit the trainers were overwhelmed and then normal drivers saw that and didn’t then want the promotion to be a trainer.

over time is all very well and is generally used to cover unscheduled events. It shouldn’t be used to maintain a service for any lengthy period of time.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 8:55 am
  #2199  
 
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
@rapidex the same applies to the trains.

govia failed to recruit enough drivers despite knowing years in advance when drivers were expected to retire and their route expansion plan. A s relied on over time to cover especially weekends,

Drivers scheduled to be trained on new routes and trains were then diverted to operate services so when the new schedule come in very few had had the route specific training and certification they had to have to operate a train.

When they did recruit the trainers were overwhelmed and then normal drivers saw that and didnít then want the promotion to be a trainer.

over time is all very well and is generally used to cover unscheduled events. It shouldnít be used to maintain a service for any lengthy period of time.
It caused some grief with our Peterborough to LGW trains, which were completely unreliable at the start.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 9:28 am
  #2200  
 
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
@rapidex the same applies to the trains.

govia failed to recruit enough drivers despite knowing years in advance when drivers were expected to retire and their route expansion plan. A s relied on over time to cover especially weekends,

Drivers scheduled to be trained on new routes and trains were then diverted to operate services so when the new schedule come in very few had had the route specific training and certification they had to have to operate a train.

When they did recruit the trainers were overwhelmed and then normal drivers saw that and didnít then want the promotion to be a trainer.

over time is all very well and is generally used to cover unscheduled events. It shouldnít be used to maintain a service for any lengthy period of time.
GWR is (or was) exactly the same - poor to dismal weekend service as they needed drivers doing overtime to cover the shifts. Last summer was a particular lowlight, as the good weather and World Cup were blamed for a reduction in drivers volunteering and as such the service suffered significant cancellations.

Apologies for derailing the thread further.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 9:30 am
  #2201  
 
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Originally Posted by Bohinjska Bistrica View Post
Apologies for derailing the thread further.
That's good for a Monday
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Old Sep 16, 19, 12:30 pm
  #2202  
 
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Originally Posted by Waterhorse View Post
Do they look after BA in MAD as well? Presume they do...
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Old Sep 16, 19, 1:38 pm
  #2203  
 
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Originally Posted by lorcancoyle View Post
Do they look after BA in MAD as well? Presume they do...
Do they look after BA in Malaga please, flying there on a Monday soon?
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Old Sep 16, 19, 3:52 pm
  #2204  
 
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Originally Posted by paulaf View Post
Do they look after BA in Malaga please, flying there on a Monday soon?
Yes they do but the recent strikes seemed to cover just Barcelona and Madrid cancellations.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 4:01 pm
  #2205  
 
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
Yes they do but the recent strikes seemed to cover just Barcelona and Madrid cancellations.
Ok many thanks for clarifying.
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