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British Airways strike goes ahead – here's what you need to know

Thousands of British Airways pilots are striking today and tomorrow, with as many as 145,000 passengers potentially affected – here's what you need to know.

British Airways confirmed last week that if you have flights booked for Monday 9 or Tuesday 10 September, it's unlikely you'll be able to travel as planned as the majority of flights that were originally scheduled have been cancelled.

BA has also told us that a small number of flights scheduled for Wednesday 11 September have also been cancelled, and there may be delays due to the knock-on impact of the previous days of strike action.

In August, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) announced that its members would be taking industrial action on the 9, 10 and 27 September.

BA has said that flights on BA CityFlyer, SUN-AIR and Comair won't be affected by the strike action.

See our Flight Delay Compensation guide for more information.

I'm due to fly – what should I do?

British Airways says it has emailed passengers whose flights are affected, but you can also check the status of your flight in the Manage My Booking section.

The airline is warning that if your flight is cancelled, you should not go to the airport. Instead you can rebook (possibly with an alternative airline) or get a refund for your flight. See below for more information.

Some flights are still scheduled to leave on Monday and Tuesday, and you can check the status of your flight in the Manage My Booking section. It would also be worth keeping an eye on British Airways' latest information page.

If you need further help, you can call BA's customer service on 0800 727 800 or on +44 (0)203 250 0145 (from outside the UK) – though the airline is warning it's dealing with a lot of queries, and so it may take a while to get through.

If my flight's delayed or cancelled, what am I entitled to?

Under EU flight delay law EU261, you have rights if your flight is cancelled or delayed. For these rules to apply, the flight must have left from an EU airport, or you must have arrived at an EU airport on an EU airline.

  • If your flight is cancelled, you're entitled to a refund or alternative flight (possibly on another airline), no matter when the cancellation takes place.

    A key point to remember though, if you end up opting for a flight on an alternative airline, remember to get British Airways to book this. If you book it yourself, you may have trouble reclaiming the money.

    In terms of compensation, British Airways is saying in the vast majority of cases it cancelled flights with more than 14 days' notice, and so will not be paying out under EU261.

    If your flight is cancelled with less than 14 days' notice, a strike by an airline's pilots is not typically considered an extraordinary circumstance, and so you may also be entitled to compensation of up to £540/person depending on the timing of the alternative flight you're offered. For full details, see Flight Cancellations.

  • If your flight is delayed by more than three hours you could also be entitled to compensation, as typically a strike by an airline's pilots is not considered an extraordinary circumstance. How much you'd be owed depends on how long a delay is. For full details, see our Flight Delays guide.

    You may also be entitled to care and assistance if you're stuck at the airport.

If my holiday is disrupted, will my travel insurer cover me?

If you've booked extra holiday elements – such as hotels or car hire – that you wouldn't be able to use because of the flight cancellation, you would not automatically get the refund directly from the airline, though there's nothing stopping you trying to claim.

Whether these costs – often known as 'consequential losses' – would be covered by your travel insurance does vary between policies, so you should of course check the wording of your documents.

If your policy does cover you, the Association of British Insurers says that generally if you booked when the intention to strike was known but the precise dates of any industrial action were not, then the policy should continue to cover you as normal.

However, if the days of the strikes were confirmed before you booked the holiday or the insurance, then the policy would likely not cover you for any strike-related claim.

On this occasion, BALPA announced the dates of its proposed strike action on 23 August. So if you booked your travel insurance after that date, and you had planned to go away on either Monday or Tuesday, it's possible that your insurance might not pay out – but check with your insurer.

You may also be covered by Section 75 credit card protection, which makes the credit card provider jointly liable if the flight cost more than £100.

What if I'm due to fly on 27 September?

BA has said that it will contact customers booked to fly on 27 September over the next few weeks if their flight has been affected, with advice on what their options are.

They have also advised passengers to regularly check this page on their website for updates on flights that may be impacted by BALPA strike action in September.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, see our Flight Delay Compensation guide for more information.

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