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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 23, 19, 2:04 pm
  #2401  
 
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If a comparison is to be made, how do you tell a child that the man at the gate to your hotel who has a very big gun won't let you leave? Most children aren't afraid when a parent tells them the other parent isn't coming home for a couple more days after all because there aren't any flights. Okay, so the vast majority of the TC passengers aren't and never were held hostage but the PR for that is far worse than the PR for a business person being "stranded" and not getting home and, to me anyway, a lot more serious particularly when talking about such things in some of the countries where TC clients are now stranded. Besides it doesn't appear that it is BALPA that is hanging up the progress with BA so their members are simply working and the airline is simply deciding to fill seats with the TC clients. I'd like to know what the compensation to BA is for doing this? Is it more than a lowest econ fare?
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Old Sep 23, 19, 3:07 pm
  #2402  
 
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Originally Posted by KeaneJohn View Post
You werenít forced to do anything. You elected/needed to travel, chose BA and their pilots were on strike. Itís been a possibility since the summer. Seems you are selective as to when BA strand you overseas. I seem to recall it wasnít such a hardship for a delayed flight from Singapore when no doubt Yau would have had to endure some god awful hotel and meals on BAs dime.

The people flying from Palma to Glasgow today 48 hours ago had no idea that they would be going via Birmingham as one wheelchair bound lady said itís going to be a nightmare but we will get home.
By the same token, nobody was forced to fly with TC. It was a well known fact that they've been struggling for a long time
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Old Sep 23, 19, 3:31 pm
  #2403  
 
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It is somewhat ironic that BALPA is concerned about pilots losing their job at Thomas Cook when their actions have a potential consequence of undermining the jobs of BA pilots, as well as the growth of BA - and therefore the potential for BA to take on more pilots in the future.
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Last edited by APUBleed; Sep 23, 19 at 3:37 pm
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Old Sep 23, 19, 3:37 pm
  #2404  
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Itís not just the TC pilots loosing their jobs, all other TC staff are no longer with a job. Spare a thought.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 4:59 pm
  #2405  
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
None of that excuses Balpa from prioritising the interests of Thomas Cook passengers over the interests of the equally innocent BA passengers.
Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
Being delayed or inconvenienced a few hours I can cope with, being delayed three days and then being told Balpa will take no further action until the repatriation of Thomas Cook passengers is completed is rubbing salt in the wound. What it tells me is that Balpa is more concerned about the passengers of another airline (who in any event are being repatriated by the CAA when their holidays are completed) than they are about the passengers who pay their members' wages.
So you'd prefer it if the pilots went on strike again in the middle of the repatriation exercise, just so that they could demonstrate their even-handedness between different categories of passenger?

Or maybe you'd prefer it if the pilots never went on strike at all, ever?

Or perhaps it's OK for them to strike as long as it doesn't affect you?

In any event, I would have thought that you of all people would be able to distinguish between the concepts of act and omission, or in this case action and non-action.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 5:07 pm
  #2406  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Who got stranded?

Inconvenienced by rearrangements is not the same thing.
This is interesting, you could potentially argue BA passengers were worse off, having to move flights to 2 or 3 days later, missing days of a holiday or cruise departures. As me tioned above Thomas Cook passengers abroad have been told to enjoy their holiday as their return flights are expected to be at a similar time thier TCX flight would have been.

Anyway, I guess BALPA announcing no action until the repatriation is complete is doing the CAA favour more than BA as it allows the CAAto Confidently put people on BA metal.

With the current crew shortages and 787 engine issues I can only imagine BA are offering up spare capacity on scheduled flights, I can't imagine they have capacity to run charters outside of city flyer?

I wonder if we will see a 'I'm annoyed as a repatriated TCX customer got upgraded ahead of me' thread before this is all over :-)
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Old Sep 23, 19, 5:22 pm
  #2407  
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Originally Posted by tuonopepper View Post
This is interesting, you could potentially argue BA passengers were worse off, having to move flights to 2 or 3 days later, missing days of a holiday or cruise departures. As mentioned above Thomas Cook passengers abroad have been told to enjoy their holiday as their return flights are expected to be at a similar time thier TCX flight would have been.
And this is because a number of airlines are taking part in the repatriation effort. Some are accommodating the repatriations within their scheduled capacity, and some are doing it through being chartered. AIUI, all of it is under the CAA's remit because of the ATOL scheme.

Without the scheme, some eligible Thomas Cook customers would be genuinely stranded: they would be overseas with no means of returning home because they have no extra funds with which to do so. Indeed, I suspect that there may well be some Thomas Cook customers who will nevertheless still find themselves in this position if they have no ATOL protection, no travel insurance and no funds. Without the ATOL scheme in which BA is taking part, I imagine that many more Thomas Cook customers would have found themselves genuinely stranded like this.

BA customers who were affected by the strike were never in that position. At worst, they have been inconvenienced. It is stretching language to suggest that someone who, with some notice, found that their trip had to be extended by two or three days was "stranded" overseas. That's tabloid writing.

And given that this is said to be the UK's biggest-ever peacetime repatriation exercise, it's a bit baffling to find someone complaining that BA's pilots will simply continue to work normally for its duration. The complaint seems to be that because some BA passengers were inconvenienced by the strikes a couple of weeks ago (at a time when it was not known whether or when Thomas Cook might go under), Thomas Cook passengers should now be equally inconvenienced by further strikes.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 5:56 pm
  #2408  
 
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Originally Posted by deboyzoned View Post
Itís not just the TC pilots loosing their jobs, all other TC staff are no longer with a job. Spare a thought.
Yes this is a key point that shouldn't get lost in the debate, a lot of highly professional staff have been dumped out of jobs with no warning, and from what I read no pay at the end of the month, that is the biggest tragedy here far outweighs who got most inconvenienced on their way home.

Interestingly I spoke to one of the crew about this on the ARN flight this evening, they happened to suggest that either not many TCX pilots were BALPA members or if they were BALPA seemed to have been obvlivous to their impending doom, question g if the fights with BA and Ryan Air had led them to take their eye of the ball on other matters. Don't know what, if any truth there is in that.
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Old Sep 23, 19, 6:01 pm
  #2409  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
And this is because a number of airlines are taking part in the repatriation effort. Some are accommodating the repatriations within their scheduled capacity, and some are doing it through being chartered. AIUI, all of it is under the CAA's remit because of the ATOL scheme.

Without the scheme, some eligible Thomas Cook customers would be genuinely stranded: they would be overseas with no means of returning home because they have no extra funds with which to do so. Indeed, I suspect that there may well be some Thomas Cook customers who will nevertheless still find themselves in this position if they have no ATOL protection, no travel insurance and no funds. Without the ATOL scheme in which BA is taking part, I imagine that many more Thomas Cook customers would have found themselves genuinely stranded like this.

BA customers who were affected by the strike were never in that position. At worst, they have been inconvenienced. It is stretching language to suggest that someone who, with some notice, found that their trip had to be extended by two or three days was "stranded" overseas. That's tabloid writing.

And given that this is said to be the UK's biggest-ever peacetime repatriation exercise, it's a bit baffling to find someone complaining that BA's pilots will simply continue to work normally for its duration. The complaint seems to be that because some BA passengers were inconvenienced by the strikes a couple of weeks ago (at a time when it was not known whether or when Thomas Cook might go under), Thomas Cook passengers should now be equally inconvenienced by further strikes.
Those not on a package could indeed be up the creek without a paddle, luckily it appears they are being repatriated too. I think BALPA have made the right call on this, so as to allow the CAA to plan and action the repatriation without having to wonder if they are goinv to be a le to rely on BA flights or not. Too me BALPA are doing the CAA a favour not BA or not even TCX PX really.
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Old Sep 24, 19, 2:08 am
  #2410  
 
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We as members of FT knew of the impending BA Pilots strike from early June, so any bookings made by us after that date were booked on a risk basis. Yes no doubt we all thought this dispute would be settled before it reached strike action but it did not. I feel sorry for those of us affected and indeed I may still be affected going forward with my future bookings. I would not be complaining about being stranded for 3 days or more as I booked after the June date and well aware of what could happen.

As for the Thomas Cook passengers many if not most would not have the knowledge we have here and the help and support from other members of FT. Also their holidays could have been booked 18 months ago fully paid 2 months ago who would amongst us not fly within the last 2 weeks even knowing that a collapse my be likely as no insurance company would pay out on the maybe TC would go into Administration.

I think BALPA are doing the right thing and I find it selfish to complain about BALPA's actions as of yesterday in supporting the stranded passengers.
John
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Old Sep 24, 19, 4:24 am
  #2411  
 
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BALPA is working with the Cabin Crew unions to help repatriate the Crews stuck down route not part of the CAA repatriation. They have lost their job and in most cases have been kicked out of their hotel far from home. Virgin have stepped in to get some back from the USA but no help from BA so far.
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Old Sep 24, 19, 5:00 am
  #2412  
 
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
BALPA is working with the Cabin Crew unions to help repatriate the Crews stuck down route not part of the CAA repatriation. They have lost their job and in most cases have been kicked out of their hotel far from home. Virgin have stepped in to get some back from the USA but no help from BA so far.
Perhaps this should be posted in the dedicated Thomas Cook thread? Or is it just here to bash BA?
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Old Sep 24, 19, 5:16 am
  #2413  
 
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Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
Perhaps this should be posted in the dedicated Thomas Cook thread? Or is it just here to bash BA?
Not bashing anyone. Virgin are keen on recruiting some of the Thomas Cook pilots based at MAN, hence they jumped in and offered staff travel tickets to get home. BA canceled Thomas Cook staff travel agreement when TC failed, and have not made any offers of help with repatriation. For what its worth Emirates have an upcoming Pilot recruitment roadshow in MAN and a further one next month at LGW. Gulf air are also offering positions based in BAH.
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Old Sep 24, 19, 5:47 am
  #2414  
 
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
Not bashing anyone. Virgin are keen on recruiting some of the Thomas Cook pilots based at MAN, hence they jumped in and offered staff travel tickets to get home. BA canceled Thomas Cook staff travel agreement when TC failed, and have not made any offers of help with repatriation. For what its worth Emirates have an upcoming Pilot recruitment roadshow in MAN and a further one next month at LGW. Gulf air are also offering positions based in BAH.
All great information, for the Thomas Cook thread.
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Old Sep 25, 19, 2:21 am
  #2415  
 
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Originally Posted by APUBleed View Post
It is somewhat ironic that BALPA is concerned about pilots losing their job at Thomas Cook when their actions have a potential consequence of undermining the jobs of BA pilots, as well as the growth of BA - and therefore the potential for BA to take on more pilots in the future.
Yes I cant help thi king the timing of BALPA suspending further action (for now) may have been linked to their view on TC refinancing progress stalling.

It would be quite ironic to appear on the news with 2 hats on. 1 demanding a better deal from an airline that is profitable because (like it or not) it has got ahead of the curve and 2 bemoaning the loss of jobs at TC because management failed to take steps to modernise and update the business model to reflect changing consumer behaviour and the impact of LCCs.

Nonetheless no one likes to see professional loyal staff out of work so I don't say the above with anything but regret.
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