The decision before Christmas by the courts to view the 12 days strike by the union Unite at BA (see CD-Traveller 15/12/09) as illegal meant that it was nearly inevitable that there would be another strike ballot. That has been announced for next week.
Last time the criticism of the length and timing of the strike almost made the public strong supporters of the BA management since the cabin crew or Unite were seen as deliberately trying to ruin people’s Christmas. This time maybe the union and the cabin crew have learnt from that PR debacle.
When this new ballot was announced different media were quick to scream that this could mean that Easter flights would be disrupted whereas Unite has not decided what days any strike would take place on or how long it would be. But it did force if that is not too strong a word, the union to come out and say that Easter flight plans would not be hit. At least it looks as though they have learnt the PR lesson from last time.
The high vote in favor of a strike last time (9:1) is unlikely to be repeated. The strong reaction by the public surprised the cabin crew. The balloting will be scrutinized very carefully this time to make sure Unite don’t make a hash of it again. And if there is a strike, then the length of it will be shorter.
But if there is a strike and you are affected check your insurance. Make sure there is a clause allowing you to get a refund if there is one. And if you haven’t bought insurance for your flight, pick a policy with that clause in it. If your flight is affected, BA will let you have a refund, re-book you onto another flight subject to there being seats available or book you to a nearby airport, if you wish, provided that the flight to that destination is running. There will be no charge for altering flights BA says.
One other thing. Once any strike dates are announced, if you book flights for those dates after the announcement, it is unlikely that any insurance policy will cover you