British Airways left hundreds of thousands of people with canceled flights after a pilot’s strike prevented any planes from taking off on Monday and Tuesday.
Contract negotiations between British Airways and its pilot union are getting a little heated. According to Travel + Leisure, British Airways is trying to sell pilots on an 11.5% pay increase over three years--a deal that everyone else at the airline has already taken, including engineers, cabin, and ground crew.
The pilots, however, want more than that. After decades of barely-rising pay, the pilots union wants a profit-sharing scheme, including a 7% pay raise in years where the airline is doing well and a 0% raise when the airline isn’t doing so great financially. In case you were wondering, British Airways is currently experiencing record profits.
Negotiations have gone on for about a year, but neither side is willing to budge. Finally, the pilots called for a strike on September 9th and 10th. Without pilots, British Airways was forced to cancel nearly “100%” of their flights because they “had no way of predicting how many [pilots] would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly.”
About 195,000 passengers were affected by the first pilot's strike in the airline's 100-year history. British Airways said on their website they'll help passengers with rebooking to a different day, a different airline, or refunding their flights altogether.
British Airways has about 850 flights operating per day, with the majority of those flying in the UK (and the majority of those from London Heathrow airport). All of those flights were canceled with British Airways kiosks completely empty.
The strike is expected to affect flights for the remainder of the week.
Another strike is planned for September 27th. British law requires 14 days' notice before strike action is called, so anyone with a flight scheduled for that day should check the British Airways website to determine if their flight is affected.