British Airways (BA) cabin crew will stage a 48-hour strike from Tuesday 10 January after staff voted to reject the airline's offer aimed at resolving a pay dispute.

The industrial action was scheduled for Christmas Day and Boxing Day but suspended after talks involving conciliation service Acas. However, cabin crew union Unite says its members have now rejected BA's offer by 7-1.

The strike of BA's 'mixed fleet' staff is expected to cause disruption to some flights arriving at and departing from Heathrow, though other airports won't be affected. Mixed fleet staff work on both long-haul and short-haul flights.

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said striking BA staff had been left to "eke out a living on poverty pay".

Reacting to the news of the strike, BA said it was "extremely disappointed" and vowed it would "plan to ensure that all our customers travel to their destinations".

The airline said it will publish contingency plans for affected customers on Friday (6 January).

Martin Lewis
Get Our Free Money Tips Email!

BA to refund or re-route passengers on cancelled flights

If your flight is cancelled, BA says you'll be able to choose to get a refund or be switched to a different flight from an unaffected airport within a 300-mile radius.

Additionally, if you've booked a short-haul flight to or from Heathrow and you're worried it'll be cancelled because of the upcoming strike, you can choose to cancel the booking yourself now and get a full refund.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled and it's the airline's fault, you can often claim up to £520 per person in compensation under EU regulations (see our Flight Delays guide for full info). But BA has confirmed it won't be paying compensation to passengers for flights that are delayed as a result of the strike. This is because it would be considered to be outside the airline's control and so isn't covered by the EU rules.

Check your travel insurance too – it may cover a refund and even extra costs

If your flight has been cancelled and you've been re-routed via a different airport, or if your flight's been delayed and you don't qualify for compensation, there's a chance you may be able to make a claim on your travel insurance policy.

Travel policies do sometimes include cover for abandonment (cancellation) as a result of strike action. But travel insurance cover differs from policy to policy so check the exact wording and clarify the extent of any cover with your insurer.

Travel insurance may also cover you if your plans are disrupted and you suffer additional losses as a result (for instance if you had car hire or accommodation booked). Even if BA offers you a refund for a cancelled flight, it's unlikely to cover these extra costs.

Additional reporting by the Press Association.