An Important British Airways Update On Flights Cancelled Due To Strike Action

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Earlier this month most of the British Airways fleet was grounded as the majority of the airline’s pilots took industrial action. A third day of action was planned for next Friday (September 27th) but, in a move that surprised most, the pilots called off that walkout earlier this week.

Ordinarily, this would be great news for travelers booked to fly around that date but, in a move aimed solely at minimizing compensation claims, British Airways had already canceled a large number of flights scheduled for 26 – 28 September.

a close up of a seat

So what happens now?

Flights have been canceled but now there’s no strike action so a lot of people have been wondering if they can get themselves rebooked back on to their original flights (assuming BA reinstates them).

Well, British Airways has now addressed those questions.

In an update posted last night, British Airways has outlined the options open to travelers who were set to fly with the airline between 26 and 28 September but then had their flight(s) canceled.

Per BA:

If your flight was cancelled as a result of this industrial action, you now have the option to return on to a British Airways flight operating between 26 – 28 September, subject to availability.

Please contact us on:

    • 0800 727 800 (from within the UK)
    • +44 (0)203 250 0145 (from outside the UK)

If you booked via a travel agent please contact your travel agent directly. If you booked a flight as part of a British Airways Holiday please contact us on the number above.

a plane on the runway

The FAQ section on the strike update page on offers some other useful information:

  • Passengers who chose to have their canceled flights refunded will have the option to rebook using “a number of options on or around 27 September
  • Passengers who chose to rebook on to BA flights on an alternate date will have the option to rebook again using “a number of options on or around 27 September
  • Passengers who were rebooked on to other carriers by BA due to their original flight being canceled will be able to rebook back on to their original flight “subject to availability”.
  • Passengers who choose to rebook on to their original flights may be able to get compensation for hotel changes and costs incurred – British Airways is advising customers to keep their receipts “for any other costs directly incurred as a result of the flight reinstatement” and any claims submitted via (link to BA’s compensation claims page) will be considered on an individual basis.

This is the summary that has been sent to travel agents:

a list of flights
Click to enlarge

Most of that seems pretty clear but one thing that doesn’t appear to get addressed is the cost of reinstating flights for passengers who chose to take refunds when their original flights were canceled.

As the cost of a flight departing in a week’s time is unlikely to be cheaper than the cost of the same flight when it was originally booked (probably months ago) it will be interesting to see if British Airways will honor the original fare or if they’ll expect customers to pay whatever the going rate is today.

Travel agents have been told to contact “Trade Support” if the new fare is higher so it’s unclear what BA has in mind.

It would be a seriously dumb move by BA to charge customers a more expensive fare if they choose to rebook (it would be disastrous from a PR point of view) but who knows what this management team is thinking.

British Airways 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class
British Airways 787-9 Dreamliner Club World

Bottom Line

If you were set to fly with British Airways between 26 and 28 September 2019 and had your flight canceled, British Airways now has some options open to you as it attempts to reinstate as many of the canceled flights as possible.

Make sure you call up the airline as soon as possible if you’d like the chance to travel on your original itinerary as this is very much a first-come/first-served scenario and BA is likely to find itself fielding a lot of rebooking requests over the next few days.