British Airway’s cabin crew will start a 16 day strike this weekend, with thousands of passengers due to be affected as the busy summer travel season begins.
The strike will affect many flights departing and arriving Heathrow Airport between Saturday 1st July and Sunday 16th July.
It comes after a difficult time for the airline, who endured a catastrophic IT system failure over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May.
Thousands of passenger’s travel plans have already been affected as BA cancels a number of long-haul flights to and from Heathrow, but says that short-haul flights are unaffected.
Coby Benson, Flight Delay Solicitor at Bott & Co, said: “If a passenger’s flight is cancelled or delayed for more than 3 hours then they are entitled to between €250 and €600 compensation, unless the disruption was caused by extraordinary circumstances.
“The law says that circumstances are only extraordinary if they are beyond the airline’s control or due to events that are ‘not inherent’ in the day-to-day activity of an airline. In our opinion this is not extraordinary since the events are well within British Airways’ control and the management of disgruntled staff is simply part and parcel of running any business, not least an airline.
“The airline has said that most flights will operate as normal and that it has made an effort to minimise disruption by drafting in nine jets from Qatar Airways to cover the walkout period.
With one third of flights due to be affected, Bott & Co estimate that 400,000 passengers may be affected over the full 16 day strike period.
Passenger rights for crew strikes and cancelled flights
Unfortunately, many passengers will unavoidably face flight delays or cancellations due to this strike.
There is a key difference between delayed and cancelled flights.
If your flight was cancelled
In cases where passengers abandon their travel plans because their flight was cancelled, they are still entitled to compensation from the airline, as well as a refund on their flight.
Read Bott & Co’s guide on rights to compensation for cancellations.
If your flight was delayed
Under the current EU 261 regulation, if a flight was delayed by more than five hours rather than cancelled and the passenger abandons their travel then they are only entitled to claim a refund on the ticket.
If the time affected reaches three or more hours, passengers can then look to make a claim for flight delay compensation for the loss of their time and the inconvenience caused.
Read Bott & Co’s guide on rights to compensation for delays.
Care and assistance
The regulation further states that passengers delayed by over two hours, are entitled to meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation and transport where necessary and two telephone calls, texts or emails courtesy of the airline.
Read Bott & Co’s guide to care and assistance rights for delayed passengers.