So far London Heathrow airport workers have postponed their planned August strikes, so British Airways customers next expect disruption from a pilots strike. British Airways pilots have announced strike plans for September 9, 10 and 27. Here’s why pilots are striking.
- BA is proactively cancelling many flights now. By doing so more than 14 days out they can avoid paying out mandated EU261 compensation.
- However you can only reschedule or take a refund if your flight is proactively cancelled. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for day of travel. And since BA is exploring wet leasing planes and crews from other airlines not everything is cancelled yet.
- There’s no blanket travel waiver, and no American Airlines waiver either. Furthermore, cancelling flights across the dates of strikes will leave some planes and crew out of position and it will take time for BA to recover once pilots return to work.
BA is obligated to attempt to book passengers whose flights are cancelled onto other airlines. If they don’t do that, and you’re stuck buying a ticket on another airline yourself, you’ll be out of pocket for any fare difference since BA will only give you a refund for your ticket (which may have been a cheap advance purchase fare and you’d be buying more expensive last minute travel).
If your flights cancel and you can’t travel you may be stuck with non-refundable hotel costs. Nonetheless, hotels will sometimes waive those on request or allow you to apply non-refundable funds to stays on another date. Hotels, after all, are in the service business.
As with most things it all comes back to Patrick Swayze in Road House.