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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 days notice). See the main EC261 thread in the BA Forum Dashboard.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 10:58 pm
  #226  
sam
 
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Originally Posted by hanmer View Post
Slightly sensational title. There is no strike yet, ACAS talks between BA and BALPA have broken down. Pilot's are to be balloted. Dependant on the result there would be a period of time before any strikes could be scheduled.
Apologies. I wasn't intended to sensationalise. I have a big personal family redemption booking coming up so I'm understandably concerned.

The BBC says the first strike could be on 5th August (2 weeks after the ballot). Part of what I'm trying to find out is when (based on previous experience) BA would put in place strike planning policies (such as re-booking / cancellation without penalty etc.).
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Old Jul 9, 19, 11:01 pm
  #227  
 
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Originally Posted by sam View Post
Apologies. I wasn't intended to sensationalise. I have a big personal family redemption booking coming up so I'm understandably concerned.

The BBC says the first strike could be on 5th August (2 weeks after the ballot). Part of what I'm trying to find out is when (based on previous experience) BA would put in place strike planning policies (such as re-booking / cancellation without penalty etc.).

No problem, I have flights coming up this summer as well. So will be keeping my eye on this one.

Bri
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Old Jul 10, 19, 12:13 am
  #228  
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Originally Posted by sam View Post
Apologies. I wasn't intended to sensationalise. I have a big personal family redemption booking coming up so I'm understandably concerned.

The BBC says the first strike could be on 5th August (2 weeks after the ballot). Part of what I'm trying to find out is when (based on previous experience) BA would put in place strike planning policies (such as re-booking / cancellation without penalty etc.).
fully understood, but you are asking for reassurance/certainty which does not exist. If there is a strike, not all flights will be affected and then who knows, they may charter additional planes and crews or not, reaccommodate generously or not, treat an award ticket such as yours as helpfully as a paid one or not, and some things may even depend on route (notably long vs short haul), personal circumstances (class of travel BAEC status), or even getting a more or less helpful supervisor or sheer luck. We all just have to wait and see.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 12:37 am
  #229  
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Originally Posted by sam View Post
Apologies. I wasn't intended to sensationalise. I have a big personal family redemption booking coming up so I'm understandably concerned.

The BBC says the first strike could be on 5th August (2 weeks after the ballot). Part of what I'm trying to find out is when (based on previous experience) BA would put in place strike planning policies (such as re-booking / cancellation without penalty etc.).
Same here, with 6 flights coming up in the period of August 2 to August 12 I am for sure following this a bit closer now.
AMS-LGW/LHR-BCN 2-8
BIO-LGW-AMS 9-8
AMS-LHR-SIN 12-8

I assume that if the flights don't operate they will reroute at the airport?

Globalist
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Old Jul 10, 19, 1:02 am
  #230  
 
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This latest news has been reported by @Raffles on HfP this morning too:

As we have covered before, the British Airline Pilots Association is currently balloting its members who work for British Airways on industrial action.

It turns out that BALPA and BA spent Monday and Tuesday at ACAS to discuss possible resolutions.
...
It is certain that the strike ballot, which closes on 22nd July, will be in favour of strike action. Given the legal notice period required, this is anticipated to begin at some point around 6th / 7th August.
My set of return flights from the ARN-MIA Babybus meet-up is 8th-9th, so Im paying more attention to this than I was before. Only one flight is BA operated (JFK-LHR), so fingers crossed it wont be affected. Most of the rest of the people at the meet-up are heading back a few days earlier, so with any luck will just miss this.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:18 am
  #231  
 
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Pfft, I'll be keeping a close eye on this as I will need to consider contingency plans for the summer hols
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:21 am
  #232  
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Originally Posted by Globalist View Post
I assume that if the flights don't operate they will reroute at the airport?
Assuming the pilots do strike, I would expect pretty much the whole BA operation ex-LHR and ex-LGW to stop. The most senior pilots may still work, plus a few other pilots will report for work, who knows at this stage? It's unlikely that BA will be able to charter many replacement aircraft at short notice (given it is peak summer period and also with the ongoing problems with 787 and 737 MAX).

It will be utter chaos. We all know BA's IT can be useless at the best of times, so that won't be much help. They simply won't have enough staff at the airport to process rerouting for everyone and there certainly won't be the capacity on other airlines to accommodate everyone.

So be prepared for a complete and utter mess. It might not be so bad. BA may back down at the last minute. Who knows?
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:31 am
  #233  
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Just go with the flow .....
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:52 am
  #234  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post


fully understood, but you are asking for reassurance/certainty which does not exist. If there is a strike, not all flights will be affected and then who knows, they may charter additional planes and crews or not, reaccommodate generously or not, treat an award ticket such as yours as helpfully as a paid one or not, and some things may even depend on route (notably long vs short haul), personal circumstances (class of travel BAEC status), or even getting a more or less helpful supervisor or sheer luck. We all just have to wait and see.

Quite, I have a particularly busy flying schedule from now through October and any disruption could severely interrupt some very important meetings and events. I'm hoping for a quick and equitable solution for the wants and needs of all staff and crew so that we passengers do not become reluctant (unwilling?) pawns in this game of chess. I only have very limited home/family time during this period and I will not be best pleased if industrial action causes me to miss my already heavily constrained family time during these next few months.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:01 am
  #235  
 
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Originally Posted by BAEC View Post
Just go with the flow .....
i suspect it may end up being more of a jam than a flow...

7th August LGW-RHO, I certainly know how to pick them
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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:11 am
  #236  
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Originally Posted by gms View Post
Assuming the pilots do strike, I would expect pretty much the whole BA operation ex-LHR and ex-LGW to stop. The most senior pilots may still work, plus a few other pilots will report for work, who knows at this stage? It's unlikely that BA will be able to charter many replacement aircraft at short notice (given it is peak summer period and also with the ongoing problems with 787 and 737 MAX).

It will be utter chaos. We all know BA's IT can be useless at the best of times, so that won't be much help. They simply won't have enough staff at the airport to process rerouting for everyone and there certainly won't be the capacity on other airlines to accommodate everyone.

So be prepared for a complete and utter mess. It might not be so bad. BA may back down at the last minute. Who knows?
I am not too worried about the 2nd august flight but the 9th seems right into the strike sweet spot (if it happens).

I have not experienced strike related issues, but if I show up at BIO for my LGW-AMS flight I hope they might rebook me to another carrier to get to AMS and not get me to LGW and then stranded. The same on the 12th at AMS to SIN.. If they rebook me from AMS to SIN on another carrier that will work for me. Not sure if they would though.. BA still would have a duty of care (whatever good that does as I would still be stranded).

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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:37 am
  #237  
 
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with 12th August GVA - LHR - GLA
then 13th August GLA - LHR - YUL

I have already been looking for alternatives...

lets see what happens...
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Old Jul 10, 19, 3:50 am
  #238  
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Originally Posted by sam View Post
What was BAs policy in the event of strike cancellations last time? I have four Club World seats from Sydney to Singapore on 14th (Qantas Rewards) and one First seat on 16th (Avios Reward). Might they re-book me onto another flight? Are they likely to allow me to cancel without penalty (albeit the penalty is minimal). If they cancel within 14 days will they pay compensation?
I am going to give my best shot at an objective answer here, without taking sides on the dispute or timing, which professionally is something I best steer well clear of doing.

1) Don't worry. I gather that the threat of strikes can create a lot of anxiety for some passengers, and while delays may well happen, almost all passengers do get to their destination one way or the other.
2) We don't know dates yet, but the way it works with BA is that there is a moving 4 week timeframe here, and it may well be 5 weeks plus. So no strikes this month or the first part of August.
3) Generally BA do their best to run some sort of service, and during the MF strike BA were fairly clever- in terms of scheduling - to minimise the impact. This isn't pretty internally, but for passengers this tends to work out ok.
4) BA will rebook people before travel. After dates have been published BA usually offer to open up all inflexible tickets to become effectively fairly flexible within certain timeframes.
5) BA will rebook people on the travel day. BA being part of several Joint Business Arrangements, oneworld, other IAG airlines and other interline arrangements means that it has more options than many other airlines.
6) BA will rebook people during travel, with airport staff using a wider range of airlines than point 5, pretty much everyone except low cost carriers and SAS (dunno why!).
7) BA will rebook redemptions / Avios tickets, as far as possible maintaining the class of travel. WTP can be difficult to do, not all airlines offer premium economy. Generally it's better to do this close to the edge, if you try to rebook too far before the advertised strike date they tend to make an attempt to find redemption buckets for rebooked travel. Legally this is iffy, but nearer the time BA tend to just rebook in any revenue bucket they can grab.
8) EC261 has changed in the last 2 years. I'm pretty confident that if BA don't rebook people 2 weeks in advance, they will risk being on the hook for Article 7 compensation for delays and cancellations. BA are aware of this so don't be surprised if there are active moves to bookings 2 weeks before travel to minimise BA's risk (and actually to meet the objectives of the Regulation).

So in 2 clauses: "don't panic and read the EC261 thread on the Dashboard".
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Old Jul 10, 19, 4:15 am
  #239  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I am going to give my best shot at an objective answer here, without taking sides on the dispute or timing, which professionally is something I best steer well clear of doing.

1) Don't worry. I gather that the threat of strikes can create a lot of anxiety for some passengers, and while delays may well happen, almost all passengers do get to their destination one way or the other.
2) We don't know dates yet, but the way it works with BA is that there is a moving 4 week timeframe here, and it may well be 5 weeks plus. So no strikes this month or the first part of August.
3) Generally BA do their best to run some sort of service, and during the MF strike BA were fairly clever- in terms of scheduling - to minimise the impact. This isn't pretty internally, but for passengers this tends to work out ok.
4) BA will rebook people before travel. After dates have been published BA usually offer to open up all inflexible tickets to become effectively fairly flexible within certain timeframes.
5) BA will rebook people on the travel day. BA being part of several Joint Business Arrangements, oneworld, other IAG airlines and other interline arrangements means that it has more options than many other airlines.
6) BA will rebook people during travel, with airport staff using a wider range of airlines than point 5, pretty much everyone except low cost carriers and SAS (dunno why!).
7) BA will rebook redemptions / Avios tickets, as far as possible maintaining the class of travel. WTP can be difficult to do, not all airlines offer premium economy. Generally it's better to do this close to the edge, if you try to rebook too far before the advertised strike date they tend to make an attempt to find redemption buckets for rebooked travel. Legally this is iffy, but nearer the time BA tend to just rebook in any revenue bucket they can grab.
8) EC261 has changed in the last 2 years. I'm pretty confident that if BA don't rebook people 2 weeks in advance, they will risk being on the hook for Article 7 compensation for delays and cancellations. BA are aware of this so don't be surprised if there are active moves to bookings 2 weeks before travel to minimise BA's risk (and actually to meet the objectives of the Regulation).

So in 2 clauses: "don't panic and read the EC261 thread on the Dashboard".
All great advice, but it does not do any harm to have a look to see what the alternatives are... so you have at least and idea of what plan B or C might look like.
In my case I am going to race a long distance triathlon with my sister near YUL, that is two bikes to get to YUL as well. So looking at airlines and Baggage policy especially with regard to bikes is v. important.

But basically with our travel dates and when the race is... get us to NYC BOS YYZ or YUL with bikes we can sort it out.. but when you factor things like UA will not take bikes on 757 from GLA or EDI, like wise EI from there to DUB, etc it becomes more restrictive.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 4:22 am
  #240  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I am going to give my best shot at an objective answer here, without taking sides on the dispute or timing, which professionally is something I best steer well clear of doing.

1) Don't worry. I gather that the threat of strikes can create a lot of anxiety for some passengers, and while delays may well happen, almost all passengers do get to their destination one way or the other.
2) We don't know dates yet, but the way it works with BA is that there is a moving 4 week timeframe here, and it may well be 5 weeks plus. So no strikes this month or the first part of August.
3) Generally BA do their best to run some sort of service, and during the MF strike BA were fairly clever- in terms of scheduling - to minimise the impact. This isn't pretty internally, but for passengers this tends to work out ok.
4) BA will rebook people before travel. After dates have been published BA usually offer to open up all inflexible tickets to become effectively fairly flexible within certain timeframes.
5) BA will rebook people on the travel day. BA being part of several Joint Business Arrangements, oneworld, other IAG airlines and other interline arrangements means that it has more options than many other airlines.
6) BA will rebook people during travel, with airport staff using a wider range of airlines than point 5, pretty much everyone except low cost carriers and SAS (dunno why!).
7) BA will rebook redemptions / Avios tickets, as far as possible maintaining the class of travel. WTP can be difficult to do, not all airlines offer premium economy. Generally it's better to do this close to the edge, if you try to rebook too far before the advertised strike date they tend to make an attempt to find redemption buckets for rebooked travel. Legally this is iffy, but nearer the time BA tend to just rebook in any revenue bucket they can grab.
8) EC261 has changed in the last 2 years. I'm pretty confident that if BA don't rebook people 2 weeks in advance, they will risk being on the hook for Article 7 compensation for delays and cancellations. BA are aware of this so don't be surprised if there are active moves to bookings 2 weeks before travel to minimise BA's risk (and actually to meet the objectives of the Regulation).

So in 2 clauses: "don't panic and read the EC261 thread on the Dashboard".
Can BA forcibly rebook you to an earlier travel date? For example, we have 4 seats booked in BA First from Miami at the end of August. We don't want to cut our holiday short. I would rather stay longer than be forced to return home early.
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