British Airways Pilots Association has lately announced a strike on 9th, 10th and 27th September, following a contract dispute between the pilots and the management. While strikes are fairly common among certain airlines, what should we, as passengers, do to protect our interest?
Current Arrangement by British Airways
- British Airways is looking at a wet-leasing option to ease operational constraints. Some British Airways flights may be operated by aircraft and crew from other airlines.
- They are currently working with other partner airlines to schedule larger aircraft during the strike period.
- Flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair are not affected.
- Affected passengers are allowed to re-book for free.
Accidental Flight Cancellation Emails
As though life is not hectic enough, some joker (if it is not a system error) may have sent out the wrong email cancellation notice to passengers. There are numerous reports of British Airways sending out wrong cancellation notices, even though their flights were not cancelled.
What Should We, As Passengers, Do To Protect Our Interest?
- When you received a cancellation notice, always log into “manage booking” on BA.com to double confirm. If you book through a travel agent, have the agent confirm your booking.
- Once confirmed, prepare a list of alternative flights that you want to hop on. Google flights is a useful search engine. I highly recommend this as, i) it makes job easier for the phone agent and ii) you get to choose which airlines and flights you want to hop on.
- As this was 14 days before the strike action starts, EU261 compensation is not payable. If your flight has been cancelled, you can request a full refund, or opt to re-book your flight to another time in the next 355 days, or use the value of your fare to fly to a different destination.
- Check if you are covered by any travel insurance. Some credit cards provide free travel insurance, although some may require flights to be booked under the credit card.