British Airways just can’t catch a break – the airline is still recovering from the massive disruptions caused by the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, and now they will have to deal with four different five-day strikes.
The first of the strikes will take place on May 18, followed by May 24, May 30 and June 5.
Unite, the union behind the strike said that 81% of cabin crew voted in favor of the strike, which will no doubt hurt passengers more than it’ll hurt the airline.
During the last strike, British Airways retaliated against striking cabin crew by removing their free flight perks, with that threat looming, I’m surprised so many union members were in favor of this strike – but I’m guessing they assume the union will fight to get those rights restored.
British Airways has posted a brief statement on their web site, but travelers with flights during the strike will need to keep checking for flight updates. During the last big strike, BA was able to keep a large number of flights in operation – albeit with a reduced schedule.
Sooner or later one of the parties will need to give in to the demands – because 20 days of strikes during the upcoming summer season will cause massive amounts of disruption to an already battered airline.
British Airways isn’t messing around when it comes to retaliating against their cabin crew members that decided to go on strike this week.
Those crew members will now lose the one perk that is almost as important as their pay check – free and discounted travel.
Unite – the union that organized the strike called the measure “vindictive” – which is the same way I describe the strike and the inconvenience it has caused thousands of travelers. Of course, the union says the removal of the perk will be challenged in court.
BA’s chief executive, WIllie Walsh had warned striking staff that the perk would be removed if they did not show up for work – so the staff were certainly given enough warning. The airline describes the travel perk as “discretionary” and “non contractual”, so I’m sure they have the law on their side – poorly performing staff members can and will lose the perk.
While I do understand the aggravation over lack of pay rises, British Airways is an airline in trouble, and airlines in trouble simply don’t have the cash lying around to increase the salary of their workers. Resorting to a strike is something that puts the airline in even more financial trouble, and causes major headaches for passengers.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. A decade ago, British Airways referred to itself as “the world’s favorite airline”. Now, they are quickly becoming the world’s worst.
After their planned strike was canceled, it became obvious that staff morale was at an all time low – something that became painfully obvious last Friday night at London Heathrow. A flight arriving from Prague got into the airport over an hour late, mainly due to the bad London weather.
Sadly, the baggage handling team at terminal 5 reached the end of their work day, and nobody at British Airways was willing to authorize overtime pay. End result — luggage stays on the plane, and the staff all go home.
Passengers had to wait for hours till the morning crew arrived at the airport. Some of these customers had been stuck at the airport for almost 6 hours. Of course, British Airways blamed everything on the bad weather, and apologized for the situation. Sadly, this is the same airline that once left 100’s of bags out in the rain, so they have a pretty nasty history in dealing with luggage.
Good news for passengers who had planned to fly British Airways during the Christmas holiday – Their planned strike has been blocked by a British court.
The strike was scheduled to begin on December 22nd, and last till January 2nd, essentially shutting down the entire airline during one of the busiest periods of the year. Thankfully, Judge Laura Cox decided that the disruption could not go ahead.
Sadly, there are still a couple of issues that could screw up holiday plans, as baggage handlers and check-in staff are planning to do three separate “walkouts” at Heathrow. This dispute is unrelated to British Airways, though the walkout is being organized by the same union behind BA strike.