A two-day pilot strike is creating headaches for thousands of passengers this week. Pilots working for British Airways have decided to strike in reaction to disputes over pay. Nearly every flight operated by the carrier was grounded on Monday. This is the first widespread pilot strike to ever impact operations at British Airways.
British Airways recently brought a proposal to the table that would provide pilots with pay raises totaling 11.5 percent over the next three years. However, no deal was made between the airline and its pilots. The 4,300 pilots employed by British Airways have been warned via email that participating in the strike could result in a serious breach of contract.
What does the pilot strike mean for customers of British Airways? Alternative travel plans will need to be made for travelers planning to travel on Monday or Tuesday. In fact, British Airways is telling customers to stay away from airports completely if their flights have been grounded as a result of the strike. British Airways customers have been offered refunds. In addition, the carrier is allowing customers to rebook flights for any travel dates within the next 355 days.
It is possible that some British Airways passengers won't be inconvenienced this week. Passengers who don't receive cancellation notices may be traveling with American Airlines or another codeshare partner. The strike will be over on Wednesday. However, an extended strike may begin on Sept. 27.
British Airways reportedly stands to lose around £40 million per day as the strike continues. It is estimated that the carrier has already lost £100 million since the strike began. Some analysts and insiders are warning that the strike threat could continue through the holiday season if an agreement isn't reached soon. British Airways has created a portal where customers can stay up to date regarding flights and ticket information.