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BA strike latest: Passengers facing travel misery ‘for days’ despite end to two-day walkout

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 4 days ago Harriet Brewis
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British Airways passengers could face travel misery for several more days, despite the end of a two-day walkout by pilots.

Dozens of flights are set to be cancelled today because aircraft are now in the wrong place.

Nearly 150 aircraft are currently in the wrong location, along with more than 700 pilots and 4,000 cabin crew, the airline said. 

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More cancellations and delays are expected, with the knock-on effect potentially lasting several days.

Ramifications of the 48-hour walk out could last for 'several days' (PA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Ramifications of the 48-hour walk out could last for 'several days' (PA)

A BA spokesman said: "Due to the union's strike action, nearly half of our fleet of over 300 aircraft and more than 700 pilots will start the day in the wrong place.

"In addition, more than 4,000 cabin crew have had disruption to their rosters, and in many cases will be unable to operate again for several days due to legal rest requirements.

"Every single flight movement also has to factor in detailed planning, including engineering checks, maintenance, catering, fuelling, baggage loading, cargo and cleaning."

The Standard counted almost 20 cancelled BA departures from London airports between 6am and 12pm on Wednesday, with 31 cancelled arrivals.

a man that is standing in the airport: A sign at the British Airways ticket counter shows two cancelled flights in the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport on September 09. (Getty Images) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited A sign at the British Airways ticket counter shows two cancelled flights in the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport on September 09. (Getty Images)

The airline is offering affected customers refunds or the option to re-book to another date of travel or an alternative airline.

More than 1,700 flights were cancelled on Monday and Tuesday because of the walkout by members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa).

BA has offered a pay rise of 11.5 per cent over three years, which it says would boost the pay of some captains to £200,000, but Balpa says its members want a bigger share of the company's profits.

Around 195,000 passengers were affected by the 48-hour strike, costing BA about £100 million in revenue.

Ramifications of the 48-hour walk out could last for 'several days' (PA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Ramifications of the 48-hour walk out could last for 'several days' (PA)

Balpa is planning a further 24-hour strike on September 27 , unless the deadlock between the two sides can be broken.

Both sides have said they want to resume talks, but there is little sign of any resolution being reached.

Balpa said the strikes had been a "powerful demonstration" of the strength of feeling of BA pilots, and urged the airline to return to the negotiating table with some "meaningful proposals" to try to avert the next scheduled strike.

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A union statement said: "Should British Airways refuse meaningful negotiations, further strike dates will be considered by the Balpa national executive team."

General secretary Brian Strutton said: "Surely any reasonable employer would listen to such a clear message, stop threatening and bullying, and start working towards finding a solution."

Adam French, Consumer Rights Expert at Which?, said: "Following BA's abysmal handling of this recent disruption, the knock-on effect of these strikes will come as a blow for passengers who may now have their flights disrupted at short notice.

"BA must ensure it is proactively informing passengers of their rights to claim compensation of as much as £536 and reasonable out of pocket expenses, as well as offering them alternative flights or refunds when appropriate."

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