British Airways Pilots Strike

06 Aug 19

The reason behind British Airways pilot’s strikes


As you may be aware, industrial action is being taken by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), which embodies 90% of British Airways Pilots.  This action will consist of planned strikes, whereby the pilots will try to persuade British Airways (BA) to increase their pay since BA have now improved their financial position and are no longer struggling.

This means that the planned strikes will have an inevitable effect on holidaymakers over the next few months. This is causing a growing concern with BA’s customers who have booked their summer holiday.

Flights are expected to be delayed or cancelled during the key dates of the strikes.

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When will the strikes occur?

No set date – BALPA is yet to announce the official dates for the strikes and they are hoping to settle the matter by organising further talks with BA at the conciliation service, ACAS.

There may still be resolve as BALPA have provided BA with an ultimatum to reach an agreement on increased pay by the end of the first week of August 2019.

If however, BA does not negotiate matters further, the strikes are likely to continue into January 2020.

It is possible that the strikes could begin as early as 17th August 2017, but not to worry the official dates will be released as soon as they are realised.

There are increasing tensions for other staff members, who also wish to strike for a pay rise. These staff members include security guards, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers.

Thereupon an agreement not being reached, staff members are executing strikes at Heathrow Airport on the below dates:

4th August 2019

5th August 2019

23rd August 2019

24th August 2019

What does this mean for you – consequently, passengers at Heathrow Airport may suffer from delays whilst checking in, going through security and boarding their flights?

We advise that passengers arrive earlier than usual for a flight on the above dates.


How to check if your flight is affected?

Delays and cancellations are most likely to occur at Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport, where many long-haul flights are likely to be affected.

At this early stage, it is difficult to decipher which flight routes will be most affected as it will be dependent upon BA’s approach on prioritisations.

Following the release of the official strike dates, BA aims to notify the affected passengers as a matter of priority and therefore BA has urged their passengers to review the contact details by visiting and or by contacting their own travel agency.

Please be assured that with advance notice of the dates, BA will endeavour to arrange alternative arrangements for affected flights; such as having replacement flights the following day.

Can I claim compensation?

This is where we can help with our knowledge of the law surrounding flight disruptions.

The law is on your side as the European Regulation EC 261/04 was set up, years ago to give passengers legal rights when such delays and cancellations occur, especially where an airline is at fault.

In compliance with the Regulation, BALPA has to follow the legal requirements to notify BA that they are planning to strike at least 14 days prior to the date of the first strike. This ties in with the regulation as an affected passenger would have a valid flight claim if BA then provides them with less than 14 days notice of the disruption to their flight.

BA would most likely try to avoid any additional losses to their company such as through flight delay claims; however, this may be unavoidable following every strike.

Did you receive sufficient notice of the cancellation?

This may be in your favour – where BA makes administrative errors in the chaos of pending strikes and omit notifying the passenger, a possible claim for compensation may be valid.

This would mean that BA failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that their customers were accounted for, by either providing an alternative flight or issuing a full ticket refund.

BA may argue that claims entered during this period would fall within the Regulation’s definition of “extraordinary circumstance”, and refuse to pay compensation.

Any claim made will have to be reviewed by an expert judge, who will assess all the circumstances of the disruption and rule whether or not BA took all reasonable steps to avoid the cancellations/delays.

How much could I claim?

If the BA pilot strike goes ahead causing disruptions to your flight bear mind you and your travelling companions could be entitled to up to €600 per person. There has been no indication from BA how they will ensure thousands of passengers are not stranded and are transported to their final destination on time. Such disruptions could come in the form of your flight is delayed by more than 3 hours, cancelled at short notice or even denied boarding due to overbooked seats. If you’ve been looking forward to your summer getaway, unfortunately, you could be faced with any of these particular scenarios therefore surely you need to know where you stand how much you can claim:

The table below outlines the length of delay and flight distance which determines the value of your claim under the EU regulation 261/2004:

Delay Flight Distance Compensation
3 hours or more Less than 1,500km 250 Euros
Between 1,500km and 3,500km 400 Euros
More than 1,500km and within the EU 400 Euros
3-4 hours More than 3,500km between an EU and non-EU airport 300 Euros
4 hours or more More than 3,500km between an EU and non-EU airport 600 Euros

In the event, BA informs that you that your flight is cancelled you can claim for a refund of your tickets provided they fail to provide a replacement flight. You can claim for reasonable additional costs that arise on the back of the disruption so it is important that you keep all receipts and documentation as evidence. When you ask us to assist with your claim then be sure to mention any costs that you had to fork out.

What about my accommodations costs?

If your flight gets delayed or cancelled and you have to pay for additional expenses for accommodation out of your own pocket then you can also make a claim for reimbursement of these costs. There is no provision under the regulation to reimburse for pre-booked accommodation, unfortunately; therefore we advise that the best way forward in that instance would be consulting with your travel insurance company.

What do I do now?

You should keep records of your booking confirmation, boarding cards, and BA letters, emails or conversations updating you of the disruption. In the event BA pilots go ahead with the strike action then these documents will help support your claim and assist us in swiftly claim on your behalf.

In order to submit your claim please call us on 0333 996 1234 or click here to take you to our quick claims form. Our flight delay team will receive your details and will start to work on ensuring you receive your entitlement.

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