Passengers with a ticket to fly with BA between March 20th and 22nd or 27th and 30th will not be thinking of it as ‘the World’s favourite airline’. BA management is in dispute with the cabin crew employees and passengers are caught in the middle. The Unite trade union has got their balloting procedure right this time and announced strikes for those 7 days.

Passengers need to ask themselves four questions, consider the answers and then take a gamble. Should they stick with BA or book alternate travel? Things to think about are as follows,

1)   Can passengers get a refund? The answer here as with all questions in this situation is conditional. Yes BA will refund tickets but only for flights actually cancelled due to strike action. In advance of the strike BA are saying that they will operate as near normal a service as possible. For sure not 100% of BA flights will be grounded but whether they will operate 50% as they say is a gamble for the passengers. BA will not refund any other costs arising out of flight cancellations. Such things as hotels, car hire at the destination and so on may be lost unless they are covered under different insurance policies.

2)   How important is it to travel? Passengers who can risk not traveling and get a refund are OK to wait. Those who must travel at that time must consider buying alternative travel. There will be no refund for the costs of buying an alternate flight.

3)   When was your ticket booked? For passengers who bought tickets before the Unite strike announcement there is the possibility of claiming cost of alternate travel against their travel insurance. The strike was announced on March 12th.

4)   Do passengers have travel insurance? Passengers who don’t have specific travel insurance should check with the credit card terms and conditions or bank because often travel insurance is a fringe benefit of these organizations. Of course it has to be the credit card that was used to book the flight that is cancelled. The devil, as always is in the detail. Be sure to look closely at the small print of any policies in effect.

Whatever happens it is important that passengers monitor the BA website on a daily basis for the latest news and certainly do not travel to the airport without checking their flight status with BA before leaving home.