British Airways Cancels Flights Ahead Of Next Pilot Strike

Filed Under: British Airways, Unions

Update: British Airways pilots have called off this strike.

Earlier this week British Airways pilots went on strike for the first time in decades. The pilots carried out a two day strike that canceled hundreds of flights. This strike is over a pay dispute — the company has offered an 11.5% pay increase over three years, but the pilots voted overwhelmingly to reject this.

The strike wasn’t just limited to September 9 & 10, though. British Airways pilots are also going on strike on September 27, and yesterday British Airways canceled hundreds of flights ahead of this.

They canceled these flights exactly two weeks in advance. That’s because if they canceled flights within two weeks of departure they’d have to pay EU261 compensation to passengers, so they obviously want to avoid that.

Virtually all British Airways “mainline” flights are canceled on September 27, and you might even notice some disruptions on days around the strike, since aircraft obviously won’t necessarily be located where they need to be in order to operate other flights.

As British Airways explains on their website:

Further industrial action by BALPA, the pilots’ union, is planned for Friday 27 September.

We remain ready and willing to return to talks with them.

As a result, we have reviewed our flying schedule. We have emailed customers travelling on impacted flights, however please check your flight status in Manage My Booking. We will offer impacted customers the option to receive a full refund or the option to re-book to another travel date or on an alternative airline.

Flights on BA CityFlyer (flights operated from London City airport), SUN-AIR and Comair are unaffected.

Our customer contact centres are extremely busy, so we recommend that you check our Frequently asked questions below in the first instance.

  • For refund and rebooking options, go to Manage My Booking
  • If your flight is part of a British Airways Holidays booking, please check our Frequently asked questions below
  • If you have booked with a travel agent, please contact them directly
  • For bookings made with Avios, please call us on the number below, to discuss your options

If you’re flying with us, please make sure we have your latest contact details. You can update these on Manage My Booking.

We will keep this page updated with further information as it becomes available.

Hopefully this time British Airways sends out the correct flight cancelation emails. During the last round of strikes they sent out a bunch of accidental cancelation emails, as if this situation wasn’t complicated enough.

It’s interesting that neither side seems to be budging with these negotiations, and it sounds like this next strike very well could happen. British Airways pilots have had their flight benefits taken away, so British Airways management is playing hardball.

If this strike does in fact happen, I’ll be curious to see what the next step is in these “negotiations.”

Comments
  1. I have zero sympathy for these pilots. They’re being paid a hell of a lot of money but BALPA has seen an opportunity to throw their weight around because they represent the vast majority of BA pilots. They thought that because it’s BA’s centennial year the airline would quickly cave to their demands but what BALPA wants is not financially sustainable. A key reason for this strike is because, several years ago, BA was haemorrhaging money so all staff had to have their wages cut. Now BALPA wants a profit sharing and stock buyback scheme. The profit BA is making is largely being invested back into the airline (£6.5 billion had to come from somewhere?) Or it’s being put into a “rainy day” fund so that if BA hits financial troubles they have something to cushion the blow.

  2. I had to reschedule 5 meetings in London over the strike. Deals did not get closed and people did not get paid on time. THANK YOU TO ALL THE PILOTS FOR THE MASSIVE DISRUPTION TO BUSINESS.

  3. A day without pay is no doubt an inconvenience to pilots — although, does anyone know if they are paid a fixed monthly salary, or by flight hours, so that those not scheduled to work on September 27 will see no reduction in salary? A day without passengers may cause the airline and its Spanish (US educated) CEO to lose some revenue — although, how many of those passengers will fly BA on the day before, or day after instead? The company might profit from the day off as its planes fill up on alternate dates and its fuel bill declines.

    Both the union and the company are probably shooting themselves in the foot, which seems to be an epidemic in the country we might remember some day as Great Britain.

  4. Probably the fact that the CEO is converting BA into Vueling(UK) might be an underlying reason for their concern.

  5. BA became one of the worst airline in Europe. Personally I avoid to fly with them whenever I can despite of the fact I live in London. The strike is ridiculous. I think everyone has enough already. And “we are very sorry but…” email does not satisfy anyone.

  6. BA’s fuel surcharges are abhorrent, hard product is mediocre and soft product is poor. Its 2-4-2 J class layout for the YYZ – LHR route is far less comfortable than Air Canada. I try to avoid BA as much as I could.

  7. @Mark +1 BA is a joke these days. I guess it’s only fitting that the Queen’s Terminal is T2, she’s staying clear of that mess in T5.

  8. @Ross..many years ago I was an expert on BA’s pay rules for pilots.

    They get paid for the hours they fly and it can vary monthly based on how much they work.

    They can pick up additional flying at a premium (think time and a half) and are also pay protected for any disruption to their trips.

    Also…long haul and shot haul have different sets of pay calculations.

  9. If you want to avoid BA ,why not fly VIRGIN which is much better than IAG ‘airlines such as BA ,Iberia & Vueling ?
    BA is not longer British anymore i think, but VIrigin still is.

  10. Im with the BA pilots. They took a cut to help a bad situation. Now, when the company is making profit, its time to aknowledge that they helped during a difficult time. By that, say thx for helping, and restore the previous condition.

  11. BA cancelled my flight and wouldn’t allow me to rebook online so I called them. I was connected to a completely clueless recent hire, who, fortunately, was willing to listen and learn.

    I was booked ORD-LHR-KRK, and BA decided to cancel LHR-KRK at this time. A more experienced agent would have known that it was only a matter of hours before they would cancel the ORD-LHR segment also. Anyways, so he looks and offers me a flight from LHR to KRK connecting in OSL *and* CPH. So he wants me to fly ORD-LHR-OSL-CPH-KRK.

    I’m like, no, I am not flying LHR-KRK, I am flying ORD-KRK with *no* need for a stopover in LHR except to change planes, so you need to get me from ORD to KRK with *one* stop (as I originally booked) or less, and that stop does not need to be in LHR.

    He puts me on hold and says I can’t find any flights. I’m like I’m on Kayak right now and I see 20 possibilities. He says, oh really, then tell me the best one. I tell him LOT Polish Airlines. He is like WHAAAT? And actually giggles when I repeat myself.

    He puts me on hold again and comes back to ask, would you like to fly JFK-WAW-KRK or JFK-BUD-KRK? I’m like how the heck did JFK enter the picture? I want to fly ORD-KRK.

    He then says oh, LOT doesn’t fly that route. I’m like that is *so* not true, here’s the LOT flight #, departure time, and arrival time. He then goes AAAH, I see!!! Then he puts me on hold again and finally rebooks me on the LOT nonstop from ORD to KRK.

    I am grateful he was willing to listen and follow my instructions, but I was just wondering what would have happened if I wasn’t an experienced traveler (like my parents) and didn’t know to check online travel sites and have alternate flight options and numbers handy. Doing that should not be the passenger’s responsibility but that of the person paid to know these things. SMH.

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