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Thousands of passengers' plans disrupted ahead of BA strikes

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
British Airways aircraft. Photo: AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of passengers’ travel plans are disrupted as pilots from British Airways (IAG.L) are set to strike on Monday (9 September) and Tuesday (10 September).

Already, a majority of the BA flights taking off from the UK have been cancelled across those two days and passengers have even been advised to not turn up to the airport at all on those two days. Due to the cancellation of many flights, BA warn that there will be disruptions before and after the strikes.

BA passengers are also encouraged to check out BA’s website with their booking number for the most up to date information on their flight.

Why pilots are striking?

The strikes centre around an argument over pilots’ pay.

Pilots claim they should be paid more but they have rejected a proposed pay increase from BA worth 11.5% over three years — meaning the average captain would take home £200,000 ($245,744), including allowances, annually.

Currently, long-haul captains are paid on average £167,000 while a co-pilot is paid £70,000. Some junior pilots are paid a base salary of only around £26,000.

However, to put this into perspective, pilot training usually costs around £100,000 — meaning ‘student debt’ is enormous for pilots.

The British Airline Pilots Association said in a statement it could call off proposed strikes on Monday “if British Airways agrees to come back to the negotiating table.”

“Our members’ resolve is very strong and they remain very angry with BA, but they also want to leave no stone unturned in trying to find a resolution to their dispute,” said BALPA general secretary, Brian Strutton.

“Avoiding strike action and agreeing a deal with their pilots surely must be the desired outcome for British Airways. We urge BA to join us to discuss the new proposal – which shows pilots are willing to be flexible but still stand united in getting a better deal.”

What are passengers’ rights?

The Civil Aviation Authority says that passengers have the legal right to get BA to pay for a replacement flight to get to your destination — even if that means going on another airline.

BA says that passengers can request a full refund, rebook the flight for another time in the next 355 days, or use the value of your fare to fly to a different destination.