HOLIDAY HELL as British Airways cancels more than 300 flights due to strike action

HOLIDAY HELL as British Airways cancels more than 300 flights due to strike action

Heathrow Airport. Credit: Tom Eversley

Over 1,000 security staff went on strike leaving Easter Holidaymakers in the lurch and facing massive queues at Heathrow today, Friday March 31, writes The Daily Mail. British Airways (BA) has had no alternative but to cancel over 300 flights.

Today a total of 1,400 members of Unite launched the first of 10 days of industrial action at Heathrow, as negotiations to prevent the strikes broke down.

The strike action has led to BA cancelling around five per cent of its schedule, more than 300 short-haul flights.

And drivers are now being warned that Britain’s roads could be chaotic, with 15million car journeys expected to be made over the Easter weekend, according to the AA.

Frustrated travellers vented their anger against the airline for cancelling the flights, with one father Tweeting, ‘Kids dream holiday to Disneyland cancelled because British Airways can’t get their house in order for a strike they’ve known about for ages!’

Another passenger raged: ‘Worst airline ever. Miami to London flight cancelled, moved to Fort L via Philadelphia. No customer service at all chat discussion took six hours.’

Product manager David Tibbles said that he checked in at 5pm EST on Thursday for his flight from Miami International Airport to London Heathrow, but was informed by email four and a half hours later that his flight had been cancelled.

‘I had a call to ask about alternates and was offered no assistance at all, then (had) a six-hour web chat with them and again no alternative or no upgrade’, he said.

‘I am a seasoned traveller and will go with the flow but so disappointed with BA how can they switch departure airports.’

Routes to Aberdeen, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle are affected.

Other affected destinations include Nice, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Zurich, New York, Chicago and Washington DC.

In response to the strikes, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Heathrow can afford to pay a decent pay rise to its workers.

‘This is a wealthy company which is about to return to bumper profits.

In recent years it’s approved an astronomical rise in salary for its chief executive and paid out dividends to shareholders worth billions.

‘Yet somehow, Heathrow executives seem to think it’s acceptable to offer what amounts to a real-terms pay cut to its security guards and ground staff who are already on poverty pay.’

Picket lines are expected to be in place across the airport at terminal five throughout the 10 days of continuous strike action, which ends at 23.59pm on Easter Sunday April 10.

The AA has estimated that the volume of traffic is expected to be huge over the Easter Holidays with millions of Brits will use their cars over the weekend.

Bank holiday traffic will peak with Around 15 million of Britain’s drivers planning to use their cars on Saturday April 8.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals. When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.