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Strike planned - LHR T5 - HAL's security staff 31 March to 9 April 2023

Strike planned - LHR T5 - HAL's security staff 31 March to 9 April 2023

Old Mar 17, 2023, 1:49 pm
  #1  
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Strike planned - LHR T5 - HAL's security staff 31 March to 9 April 2023

There will be a strike of the HAL employed security staff at LHR T5, scheduled from from 31 March to 9 April 2023. The two main teams affected will be in the T5 Building itself, so the screening of passengers and luggage for both departing and transiting passengers. Also the cargo entry points, which will probably affect catering. About 1,400 staff are involved in this, though many are part time.

What we know so far isn't a lot, and speculation won't take anyone very far.
- BA has moved a small number of flights from LHR to LGW during this period, or rather 29 March to 10 April, covering Nuremberg, Pisa and Valencia
Temporary LHR/LGW switches
- Traditionally at some point BA will cancel flights. Usually domestic and shorter flights are most affected, BA tries to keep longhaul going.
- Until BA announces something specific in this area, there is no point ringing up or trying to change flights ahead of this strike plan.
- On the other hand BA may well allow flexibility on existing bookings during this period, ahead of any cancellations.
- Strikes by HAL will not usually trigger EC261 compensation.
- A number of strikes lined up against HAL have been settled at the last minute.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 2:24 pm
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The threatened industrial action is at terminal five and yet the airline has moved flights from terminal three down to Gatwick. Are we therefore likely to see some flight moved from terminal five into the now freed spots at terminal three? Is that the idea behind their plan?
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by SxMan
The threatened industrial action is at terminal five and yet the airline has moved flights from terminal three down to Gatwick. Are we therefore likely to see some flight moved from terminal five into the now freed spots at terminal three? Is that the idea behind their plan?
I dont think theyre linked. The freeing up of space in T3 is because that terminal is full over Easter, not so they can export pax from T5.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
- A number of strikes lined up against HAL have been settled at the last minute.
Theres a strong incentive for HAL to settle in this case, though I dont buy the poverty wage propaganda from Unite.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 4:04 pm
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They have been offered a pay rise of 10%, which is significantly higher than most people can expect this year.

Whats more, passing through security at Heathrow is invariably a slow and miserable experience - if not outright hostile.

Id like to see pay rises linked to a better customer experience and have no sympathy whatsoever with the strikers.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by BA850
They have been offered a pay rise of 10%, which is significantly higher than most people can expect this year.

Whats more, passing through security at Heathrow is invariably a slow and miserable experience - if not outright hostile.

Id like to see pay rises linked to a better customer experience and have no sympathy whatsoever with the strikers.
Different terminal, but somehow it took over 25 minutes to clear fewer than 20 people in front of me through T4 Fast Track earlier today. One belt open, lots of staff around but bottlenecked by incredibly slow scanning of bags (basically one tray every 30 seconds) with a shift change in the middle just for fun. Honestly couldnt believe it.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 4:53 pm
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Was already dreading the transfer in London with a wheelchair dependent husband, hope there'll be a waiver so I can switch flights to another OW ie Qatar, and avoid Heathrow altogether. Appreciate the experts here keeping us up to date.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
There will be a strike of the HAL employed security staff at LHR T5, scheduled from from 31 March to 9 April 2023. The two main teams affected will be in the T5 Building itself, so the screening of passengers and luggage for both departing and transiting passengers. Also the cargo entry points, which will probably affect catering. About 1,400 staff are involved in this, though many are part time.

What we know so far isn't a lot, and speculation won't take anyone very far.
- BA has moved a small number of flights from LHR to LGW during this period, or rather 29 March to 10 April, covering Nuremberg, Pisa and Valencia
Temporary LHR/LGW switches
- Traditionally at some point BA will cancel flights. Usually domestic and shorter flights are most affected, BA tries to keep longhaul going.
- Until BA announces something specific in this area, there is no point ringing up or trying to change flights ahead of this strike plan.
- On the other hand BA may well allow flexibility on existing bookings during this period, ahead of any cancellations.
- Strikes by HAL will not usually trigger EC261 compensation.
- A number of strikes lined up against HAL have been settled at the last minute.
Helpful update and hard to know what will eventuate.

Very curious how my scheduled T5-T3 and T3-T5 connecting flights might go. Only have a couple hours on one of those, so not feeling all that confident in that connection should large security delays develop.

Might be happy to trade my LHR-JFK-LAX flight for ORC and direct LHR-LAX flight!

Embracing the uncertainty for now.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by krispy84
Theres a strong incentive for HAL to settle in this case, though I dont buy the poverty wage propaganda from Unite.
From what I read in the news most of the threatened strikes in the UK are being averted.Hopefully this one will end the same. Air fares will have to rise right enough.
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Old Mar 17, 2023, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by BA850
They have been offered a pay rise of 10%, which is significantly higher than most people can expect this year.

Whats more, passing through security at Heathrow is invariably a slow and miserable experience - if not outright hostile.

Id like to see pay rises linked to a better customer experience and have no sympathy whatsoever with the strikers.
Could you elaborate on your last point? I am not trying to be sarcastic, I am curious; I have found LHR security to be okay, certainly smoother than an American or Canadian airport.
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 1:08 am
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Oh dear. I will be travelling through T5 international to domestic on the first day of the strike so we'll see how that goes.
I can't help but think the unions have HAL over a barrel here and that there will be a deal of some description...

Out of interest, according to the HAL website the current terms are a salary of 12.13 per hour (Annual Salary of 25,231 FTE, rising to 27,040 FTE after 2 years).
So very slightly better than the so-called "London Living Wage" (11.95 ph).

I must say most of my experiences with T5 security staff have been pleasant enough, it must be a generally thankless role.
I can think of other airports (looking at you MAN) where they are more consistently frustrating.
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Last edited by crazy8534; Mar 18, 2023 at 1:18 am
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 8:14 am
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I'm flying on 31st LHR-SAN I'm not going to not go so what should I do to minimise the aggravation? Do I just turn up 4hrs before instead of 3?
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer
I'm flying on 31st LHR-SAN I'm not going to not go so what should I do to minimise the aggravation? Do I just turn up 4hrs before instead of 3?
That's what people typically do, and egged on media / social media advice, but actually it's usually disastrous when that happens. Staff levels are planned for particular throughput levels and if everyone turns up an hour early then (a) it's the same number of passengers to process and (b) the staff to process this extra surge won't be in places (c) people who turn up at sensible times get impacted and hence (d) it's worse than counter-productive. Therefore the airline's advice will typically be "check-in at the usual time and certainly no more than 3 hours (2 hours for shorthaul)". If there is a risk of this, HAL will put up their tent outside and only allow admission at 3 hours to departure.

The best way to minimise problems would be to use Airportr to take any bags off you, or to check as much into checked luggage as you can, knowing that this may be delayed by the time your arrive. The other option would be to start at a domestic location (but not JER) and go HBO, since the screening will be done at that airport rather than LHR. But to be honest between HAL and BA if this is going to be an issue the workload - flights in other words - will be cancelled to fit the airport's ability to process. I wouldn't expect to see any plans for this before about 27 March.
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 10:04 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
That's what people typically do, and egged on media / social media advice, but actually it's usually disastrous when that happens. Staff levels are planned for particular throughput levels and if everyone turns up an hour early then (a) it's the same number of passengers to process and (b) the staff to process this extra surge won't be in places (c) people who turn up at sensible times get impacted and hence (d) it's worse than counter-productive. Therefore the airline's advice will typically be "check-in at the usual time and certainly no more than 3 hours (2 hours for shorthaul)". If there is a risk of this, HAL will put up their tent outside and only allow admission at 3 hours to departure.

The best way to minimise problems would be to use Airportr to take any bags off you, or to check as much into checked luggage as you can, knowing that this may be delayed by the time your arrive. The other option would be to start at a domestic location (but not JER) and go HBO, since the screening will be done at that airport rather than LHR. But to be honest between HAL and BA if this is going to be an issue the workload - flights in other words - will be cancelled to fit the airport's ability to process. I wouldn't expect to see any plans for this before about 27 March.
Airportr is an option ive never used before.

do you think it would be possible to check in the night before?
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Old Mar 18, 2023, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by USA_flyer
Airportr is an option ive never used before.

do you think it would be possible to check in the night before?
That's normally possible and in other baggage related incidents BA have encouraged this. Search on "Twilight Check-in" for other people's experiences of this.
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