Quest Means Business   « Back to Blog Main
March 12, 2010
Posted: 1257 GMT

Union members representing British Airways cabin crew announced they will hold two separate strikes this month in a dispute over working conditions.

Will you be affected by a strike?

Will you be affected by a strike?

The first strike will last three days from March 20, and the next will last four days from March 27, said Len McCluskey, the assistant general secretary of the Unite union.

iReport: Are you caught up in the strike?

There will be no strikes over the Easter period, he said. Further strikes could be called if needed, he said.

"Regrettably, management turned down a remarkable offer," McCluskey said.

British Airways, which lost hundreds of million dollars last year, responded by saying it is "extremely disappointed" with the union's decision.

The industrial action is the latest in a series of disruptions by airlines around the world.

Last month, Lufthansa was impacted by a brief strike which affected thousands of passengers around the world.

We want to know what you think.

Are you planning to fly on British Airways between the strike dates? How will this affect your travel plans?

Please leave your comments below and let us know where you're writing from and we may be in touch.

Filed under: Business •Quest Means Business


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Gary Leff   March 12th, 2010 1:02 pm ET

Richard, you featured me in your January segment on Mileage Millionaires. I usually call these things pretty well. And I still think things will be resolved before the second strike, if only because (1) the union is already talking concessions, (2) they've agreed to put the BA offer to their members, (3) the Labour government needs to avoid a strike and is closely tied to UNITE.

But I'm scheduled to fly long-haul First from Heathrow on March 27...

But I'm monitoring loads on United and when premium cabin availability starts to dissipate I'll probably jump ship.

Thomas Munson   March 12th, 2010 1:18 pm ET

Yes, I will be flying during the strike but I am not too bothered if my flights are cancelled or delayed due to the policies. What worries me is that this strike is will seriously damage a world class airline that is already haemorrhaging millions and tarnish BA’s reputation as world class airline. So what exactly has Willie Walsh done for the airline expect put them in this mess?

Frank Odds   March 12th, 2010 1:18 pm ET

Yet another blow for people booked with what once called itself "The world's favourite airline". Its service over recent years has been so persistently unreliable the number of folk who routinely travel with ABBA (anything BUT BA) must have reached epidemic proportions.
I'm booked to fly with BA to Miami on March 20: remarkably their tickets were notably cheaper than the competition. So I now anticipate I may not make it to a meeting at which I'm scheduled to give the keynote speech. On the BA website, my booking is tagged as 'flying normally'. So just when on March 20 does the strike begin??

René Frederiksen   March 12th, 2010 1:21 pm ET

Very diasppointing news.
Planning to fly with BA from Copenhagen via Heathrow to Houston, TX on the 27th of March.
Haven't heard any updates regarding my flight (probably to early for BA to even know).
I hope someone comes to their senses in the comming weeks to avoid this.

If nothing else, this forces a lot to reconsider their choise of airline in the future. I for one will try and stay clear of those often prone to strikes.

Toyosi   March 12th, 2010 1:32 pm ET

I'm due to fly BA out of heathrow to lagos on the 22nd and out of lagos to montego bay on the 31st of march. I'm really stumped by this news and really hope my flight on the 22nd is not disrupted!

any chance of this?

Nancy Morales   March 12th, 2010 1:52 pm ET

I liked your writing especially first paragragh. The picture with. sentence line asking if strike will affect has a strong impact. On to the strike a reasonable offer was rejected indicates not being realistic and reasonable in what want. Unable to realize a strike indicates no paycheck employees can always be replaced with temp agency employees. Sometimes temp employees get hired as permanent employees, will that be the situation in this case ?

Michelle   March 12th, 2010 3:31 pm ET

Yes, I have flights booked during the strike and called BA and of course no one even knows if the flights will be canceled or what is going to happen.

I can't make other plans until I know the flights are canceled but I may try to change one of my flights if I can and hope for the best on the other one.

I don't understand why the cabin crew doesn't get the fact that they are biting the hand that feeds them at this point. Many people don't even HAVE jobs. If the strike disrupts people's plans, then they simply won't fly BA anymore and then they won't have jobs anyway......

Frik   March 12th, 2010 4:18 pm ET

Americans have been living with static real wages for two decades and look where it got them. I applaud the actions of the cabin crew. In any case a strike that is "telegraphed" months in advance, is hardly a strike.

Nancy   March 12th, 2010 4:56 pm ET

I just recently booked a European vacation for ourselves and our two grandsons. Although BA had the most direct service out of IAD, I was afraid to trust them with all their labor problems. Our vacation, which includes a cruise, is too important. They are losing customers!

Jimmy   March 12th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

I am scheduled to fly from LAX to Rome on March 20th for my long awaited honeymoon. Great. I wish I could've had more notice BA crew was going to strike!

Colin   March 12th, 2010 7:28 pm ET

My home is outside London but I am working in Germany at the moment. I fly to UK alternate weekends on BA. At Christmas I had to quickly re-book all my flights, once the strike was anounced to make sure I got home. Then it turned out to be unnecesary but could not take the chance at the time. I am due to fly next weekend and will have to try and re-book flights again now on Monday. I have no sympathy with the aircrew. BA is in trouble as is widely known. However this is very damaging. As a regular customer I depend on my flights operating and it is important to get home to see my family, but with recent Lufthansa strike also it seems I cannot trust any airline to deliver. BA is now on a par with any other!

Ryan   March 12th, 2010 7:38 pm ET

we're taking 17 kids from sweden through london to Arizona on the 29th for a spring training trip.

The kids have been working very hard for the last 3-4 months to make this trip happen. it will be a real blow to their motivation if we don't make it over.

Patty   March 12th, 2010 7:55 pm ET

We are flying to London on the 28th. Just read about this strike. Grrreeattt. 3 week around the world vacation will probably be stalled at the stupid airport.

Howard Berlin   March 12th, 2010 8:46 pm ET

Apparently I'm in the middle of the the dates. I fly from the states to London on the 13th and then to Warsaw on the 14th. I will fly from Berlin back to London on the 23rd, after the first strike dates fly back home on the 24th, just missing the remaining strike dates. What luck. booked the tickets way back last July and traded up to business class with miles!

Vic   March 13th, 2010 5:13 am ET

luckily i'm not going to be affected by the strike as i subscribe to th ABBA (anything but BA)doctrine..they have had too many disputes in the recent past and as a result their image if waning fast.
I mostly do Emirates and Kenya Airways-the pride of Africa

Nette   March 13th, 2010 8:28 am ET

British Airways will not effect my air travel because I do not fly BA due to their unreliability and the stop over in London. Stories abound about lost luggage, over booking, delays and strikes. Employees who are striking are only hurting themselves.

Nette   March 13th, 2010 8:31 am ET

It is no wonder that BA encourages their bad reputation of an airlines that is unreliable. Stories abound from friends who refuse to fly BA because of lost luggage, delays, overbooking and simply the caos that exists in Heathrow. The cheaper rates do not compensate the inconvenience personally experienced with BA. For this reason I flew BA once and never again.

HHH   March 13th, 2010 9:19 am ET

I have a BA flight on March 25th from Heathrow to Washington DC on the business club class and I don’t know if it’s going be affected or not. To be honest I feel like stranded until they finalize their flying schedule, if it gets affected then I will have to cancel my hotel reservations and my other trip to Orlando T_T.

Harry Weeks   March 13th, 2010 10:54 am ET

Please strike, please go bust, please lose your jobs. BA are not an airline of choice. Female cabin staff are frumpy and most should be charged excess baggage for that which they carry around their hips and stomachs; all are officious and mostly discourteous. In flight entertainment is usually blighted by poor maintenance and shoddy equipment.
Having recently flown out with Singapore Airlines but unfortunately returned with BA my observations are current and valid. My comments are based upon the service and the overall flight experience.
Go for it UNITE – destroy; show management who is really in charge.

Jeanne Norville   March 13th, 2010 2:25 pm ET

I am a teacher in Bermuda, planning to go on a school foreign language trip to France and Spain with BA. Unfortunately for us, our trip is from the 23 March to 1 April; we are going to be affected at both ends.

We have to decide whether to cancel the entire trip or keep praying for there to be an agreement before we leave.

James   March 15th, 2010 1:50 am ET

I cannot believe the audacity of these people who can play with people's plans just because they are unhappy with their wages. We in the US work many hours, perhaps two jobs without complaining, and these spoiled BA cabin crew members think they can mess with people's plans. All of us have plans one way or another, and now we are faced with possibility of cancellations. I certainly hope all those people who are attending the strike lose their jobs so that they learn not to take their jobs for granted anymore. This will affect BA pretty bad since I will never ever get a BA flight, and I am sure all those people who will be affected from this strike will do the same.

Dr. Eleftherios S. Papathanasiou   March 15th, 2010 9:34 am ET

The strike will not affect me. Because of the frequent BA strikes, and the terrible state of Heathrow Airport, I always avoid flying with BA. I prefer flying with other airlines such as Lufthansa when travelling West.

Stefanie von Vacano   March 15th, 2010 4:15 pm ET

The strike as usual will lead to nothing, only to disrupt my flying out to New York on the 23rd!! I hope there will be no strike, since it never leads to anything!!

WRP   March 18th, 2010 1:09 pm ET

Well, I've been wanting to avoid Heathrow for a while and now want to avoid BA. But BA is a part of OneWorld, which is my prime airline alliances, so I can't avoid them! (I believe OneWorld is still the best mileage program.)

I'm using my mileages with American Airlines to fly from London to Athen on BA on April 1st, two days after the second strike is supposed to end, because BA is the only airline in OneWorld that fly the route. Hope the strike won't affect my flight.

One more thing. I have some mileages with BA as well, but they STILL charge this outrageous additional fuel charges, so I can't even use my mileages! It's cheaper to fly with discount airlines than with BA with mileages! This is absolutely ridiculous!

David Oakes   March 18th, 2010 2:34 pm ET

I should have departed Mumbai on the 20th March. I have now arranged my departure for the 31st March. I hope the influence of other parties do not change my arrangements

Rockey du Randt   March 18th, 2010 3:46 pm ET

I find it so interesting when BA speaks of the "Brand" name and status of the "National Carrier". Since a "cat strike" a few years back, were I was delyed in London by 4 days (BA did compensate hotel costs, etc), I have chosen not to fly BA and also avoid Heathrow airport at all costs. Tragically, hiring cheaply, not reinvensting in the infrastucture, possible are long term factors why BA is now where it is? Just consider the fiasco of the opening of Terminal 5. It's simple passenfers of the world – choose a reliable airline – which is capable of solving industrial disputes "in house". Much of this has to do with the arrogance of senior management. Those days are long gone.
Rockey du Randt
International Educator and Traveller

Lajos   March 18th, 2010 6:07 pm ET

I have been trying to avoid BA as much as possible, The crew is rude, the food is bad and LHR is the worst airport (you need to line up to get into the security line !). I always travel on American Airlines and try go get through Frankfurt using Finnair or Malev to connect anywhere in Europe.
I tthink the British government must decide if it wants to keep LHR as a hub. If the answer is yes, build an other runway, stop the threat of possible strike and reduce the length of the security wait.
If the government thinks it is fair to play games wit the traveling public this is fine and we will find alternatives. But this cannot go on. UK needs a government with guts! If transport (air/rail/road) is essential follow the example of Reagan and fire those who do not want to work.

Brooke   March 19th, 2010 12:34 am ET

i have 3 internal flights in europe with 2 connections on 23rd, 27th and 31st ! travelling from Australia to visit Europe. Whoppee! NOT!

i hope they sort it out before we get stuck somewhere...this is dreadful news.

Russell   March 19th, 2010 1:28 am ET

A pity really. The very idea that costs must be trimmed in order to compete is originally the fault of the unions and now the paying public pays by being inconvenienced. Offer to take the workers back and if they refuse, fire them all. It worked for Reagan in the 80's and in this economy it will work again for BA. If this action is not minimalized then BA will be off most peoples list of carriers for years to come.

Rebeca Poffet   March 19th, 2010 9:54 am ET

Scheduled to fly with a group of 45 parents and students from Mexico.Hope we will not be stranded in London on the 25 of this month.We hoped to continue to India with British . Will BA house us in one of your many beautiful manors?????

DocArchiver » Blog Archive » British Airways, union in last-minute strike talks   March 19th, 2010 11:13 am ET

[...] Will a strike by British Airways affect you? [...]

Bill Schroeder   March 19th, 2010 12:54 pm ET

Traveling 3/29 with family from states to Scotland for World Irish Dance competitions through Gatwick. Our flight is designated by BA as one that would be impacted.
As soon as strike possiblility was announced, we tried to rebook with another carrier out of Heathrow- all flights raised prices as we search- tripling in cost within an hour. Instead of a 11/2 hour flight we now are driving the 71/2 hours to Glasgow, having to lay over somewhere to rest as we arrive 7am.
With hard economic times, what would happen if all workers- who were lucky enough to have jobs- struck because they had to work longer hours with less staff???!!!!!! Unions are past their usefulness and are now a crutch.

Logan   March 19th, 2010 2:17 pm ET

Travelling from Texas to Bangalore through LHR on Saturday and my BA flight to Bangalore was cancelled. BA wouldn't help at all other than an offer to rebook on another date and I had to spend an additional $950 to hop on emirates through Dubai to get where I'm going. Ridiculous. Seriously, in the middle of a 35 hr itinerary and they were prepared to offer to fly me 3 or 4 days later. Nice. Failures, all of them.

Michael Eckersley   March 19th, 2010 2:20 pm ET

When will the Unions and Workers learn that in some industries things are tight, do they not want a job? They should remember that the Union leaders will still have a job after BA reorganise their staffing but you may not.

Les Willer   March 19th, 2010 3:14 pm ET

Been flying BA for 25 years. Never had a bad flight. Cabin Crew have been great. Wish you luck.

Christine   March 19th, 2010 5:48 pm ET

We were due to fly from BWI to LHR on the 27th. I was able to move our flights to the 26th for free, but no guarantee that they won't be affected as take off is scheduled for after midnight UK time on the 27th.

UNITE needs a reality check. BA staff are the best paid in the UK airline industry and their greed is going to cost them their jobs, either through layoffs or the airline's bankruptcy. I've flown BA for years, but not anymore.

Seth   March 19th, 2010 7:18 pm ET

We are flying from ATL to LHR on the 27th. I am not sure how this will affect my travel plans...hopefully it doesn't.

AJ   March 19th, 2010 7:36 pm ET

Like somebody else mentioned, I too am typically in the "anything but BA/Heathrow" camp but this time around when I was booking my trip from Paris to Vancouver this time I noticed BA was significantly cheaper so I thought why not..?

My return flight is on Sat the 20th and from what I gather on BA's website(the phone lines are impossible), it is scheduled to operate normally. My connecting flight tho (on the 21st) is going to be by Viking Air on behalf of BA.., I'm hoping it all goes smoothly as I have to be in Paris on Monday morning.

Stefanie von Vacano   March 19th, 2010 9:11 pm ET

I already wrote my comment, but now I find it stupid from both parts from the Union that as usual wants it's members to share the same stupid knowledge that doing a strike is the best way to communicate and from BA CEO's to cancel the contract!! Lufthansa had a strike not long ago, but had time to come to a conclusion pretty fast, knowing that a lot of passengers had to be flown to their destinations!! The longer the strike goes on the more BA will loose on the long run!! I'm due to fly BA on the 24th of this month to New York, I hope by than that everything will be solved!! I myself have worked with Lufthansa and know exactly how futile strikes are in solving problems!!
Until than I hope BA will solve their problems as soon as possible without delaying it any further!!
Regards Stefanie

DocArchiver » Blog Archive » British Airways strike to go ahead as talks collapse   March 19th, 2010 10:01 pm ET

[...] Will a strike by British Airways affect you? [...]

Mohammed Mamudu   March 19th, 2010 11:15 pm ET

i was due to fly on the 23rd, will glady make alternate plans as my sacrifice for the working class of BA!

Good luck & Aluta continua, Victoria aserta!!!

Riddhi   March 19th, 2010 11:43 pm ET

Willie Walsh is acting like a bully. No Company should be run by a bully. BA would be better off without him.

Sankar   March 20th, 2010 12:51 am ET

Our family was scheduled to fly to Chicago thru LHR from Chennai, India on March 28th. We postponed our trip to March 31st because of the strike. We figured it is better being safe than scrambling around the airport, especially with a 5 year old in tow. Guess we are a victim to the strike already.

jay vee   March 20th, 2010 2:46 am ET

Dear Cabin Crew,

You have to know that you are in Britain, your act will affect British reputation. The current economy crisis is already hit hard on the british economy. WHy dont you all Join Ethihad, Saudi Air or Emirates Air, where they can pay you better.

You all need to think of Britain's reputation not just Strike for nothing. Trust me, you will eventually gain nothing but a personal history in life. Such a waste of resources.

jay vee   March 20th, 2010 2:51 am ET

Agree with Lajos...................BA Cabin crews are just working for Fun. Nothing compare to other Air Lines. Avoid British Air. If compare with Virgin Air, British AIr is just a political Brand that sponsor by British Government to show British has an AIrline.

DocArchiver » Blog Archive » BA cabin crew members go on strike   March 20th, 2010 3:33 am ET

[...] Will a strike by British Airways affect you? [...]

Helene La Porte   March 20th, 2010 3:58 am ET

I have reservations on the 23rd Seattle-London-Nice. I received an email notification a few hours ago that the London-Nice flight on the 24th had been canceled. After being on hold for 30 mns listening to BA muzak, I was re-booked on a later flight which means an 8 hr layover at Heathrow. As I was waiting for a BA agent, I considered buying a new ticket on another airline and taking BA offer of reissuing a replacement ticket valid for a year subject to availability ! I choose to stay with BA and hope this is not a mistake...

My son is flying the same day Chicago-London-Nice, so far no cancellation for him...

Patrick Rose   March 20th, 2010 9:42 am ET

Cain Crews stand United and Firm. Don't back down. You guys deserve what you're asking for. Its time management payed you what you deserve and work hard for. Check out their salaries and bonuses.

Michael D   March 20th, 2010 9:55 am ET

Remember August '81, President Reagan and the striking air traffic controllers? He sacked the lot of them, more than 11,000 of them! It caused some inconvenience at the time for fliers but we put up with it because we realized we would be worse off if we allowed a group of strikers to hold us to ransom. The BA strike is very similar albeit, smaller. All of the strikers should be sacked and if it means BA has to reduce its services until new cabin crews can be trained then that is an inconvenience the travelling public and the airline has to accept.
If BA backs down, it wil be showing weakness and this will situation will occur again and again with different worker groups.
Be strong BA, hold out and DO NOT BACK DOWN!

British Airway cabin crew members go on strike | 2 Hour Cash Advance   March 20th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

[...] Will a strike by British Airways affect you? [...]

René Frederiksen   March 20th, 2010 6:24 pm ET

I really hope they settle after this weekends strike.
I'm scheduled for flights next saturday (27th) Copenhagen to Heathrow and then continue on to Houston.

The exact same flights today got cancelled, even though BAs own site (crisis update section and look up tools) said the flights were good. Not until they were cancelled did they figure as cancelled in their system as well.

I had my hopes up for next week following the updates on BAs own site, but now that isn't reliable either.

Unfortunately my own contingency plan (buying a ticket with another airline) cost twice than what I paid for the BA ticket. Still undecided what I'll do, except taking a chance with a strike prone airline again.

René Frederiksen   March 24th, 2010 10:23 am ET

Poorly communication from BA on Twitter and their site meant that I for a short moment had my flights as confirmed for the 27th of March. Turned out, they communicated their new schedule before the system was actually updated. This means my flights on the 27th are indeed cancelled.

I have decided to move them so I now depart on the 1st of april. Hope BA doesn't pull an april fools joke on me 😉

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