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British Airways cancels 16 flights a day as Heathrow staff strike

Written by: Rebecca Goodman
British Airways has confirmed it has cancelled a number of flights during the Easter holidays because of a 10-day strike by some Heathrow staff.

It has reduced its flights by 5% and cancelled 16 round trips, or 32 single trips, a day on average during the strike.

The strike, by 1,400 security workers who are members of the Unite union, will take place between the 31 March and the 9 April.

Workers are taking strike action over a pay dispute amid soaring inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. It follows recent strike action from many different organisations including nurses, train staff, teachers and ambulance workers.

Security guards employed at Terminal Five at Heathrow, used exclusively by British Airways, and security guards involved with checking cargo that enters the airport will take strike action.

Customers can get a refund or rebook

The airline said it is contacting customers who have booked flights that have been cancelled and is giving them the option of a full refund or the chance to rebook a flight with either British Airways or another airline.

It is also advising customers to check in advance the status of their flight before they travel to the airport.

Only short-haul services are currently affected by the strike action and those customers that rebook should be able to do so within 24 hours.

A spokesperson for British Airways said: “Following Heathrow’s requirement for us to reduce the number of passengers travelling during the period of its employees’ proposed strike action, we’ve regrettably had to make a small number of adjustments to our schedule.

“We’ve apologised to customers whose travel plans have been affected and have offered them a range of options, including rebooking onto a new flight with us or another airline, or requesting a full refund. Our teams are continuing to work closely with Heathrow to ensure that our customers’ journeys run smoothly.”

‘Forced to take strike action due to need not greed’

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Workers at Heathrow Airport are on poverty wages while the chief executive and senior managers enjoy huge salaries. It is the airport’s workers who are fundamental to its success and they deserve a fair pay increase.

“Our members are simply unable to make ends meet due to the low wages paid by Heathrow. They are being forced to take strike action due to need not greed.

“Unite has a laser-like focus on prioritising the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and HAL needs to be in no doubt that the workers at the airport will receive the union’s unstinting support.”

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