This has not been a good summer when it’s come to travel plans.
It seems that anyone attempting to jump on a plane and embark on their carefully planned summer holiday is being hit by obstacle after obstable.
And while a lucky few may be able to slip through the chaos and have a seamless flying experience, that unfortunately won’t be the case for most due to the various different strikes being threatened at the moment.
So how will the summer of strikes affect your travel plans?
Well anyone who has booked a flight with British Airways or RyanAir or who is planning to fly from London Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted (so i.e. most people in the capital or the South-East) might want to prepare themselves for travel chaos.
A few weeks ago union Unite announced that Heathrow airport workers were planning on striking on several August dates.
And while they called off the strikes planned for earlier this week, they say that a possible walkout of up to 4,000 members of staff later in the month, on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th August is still on the table.
‘Unite will now take an improved offer to its members and we remain hopeful that we can find a resolution and stop this disruptive and unnecessary threat of strike action,’ said a Heathrow spokesman.
‘We regret that passengers have been inconvenienced by this and urge them to contact their airline for up-to-date information on the status of their service.’
Similar action has been threatened at Gatwick airport, with workers due to strike earlier this week and on 20th August.
While a walkout for those two dates have now been called off, like Heathrow a bank holiday weekend strike is still possible.
Stansted airport and EasyJet
Those flying from London Stansted are set to have better luck though, as a previously planned 17-day walkout by Stansted EasyJet staff was called off after a new pay deal was accepted.
‘I am pleased to say that our members have voted to accept a new pay deal,’ said Unite Regional Office Mark Barter. ‘As a result, all the planned strike action has been called off and our members will be working normally assisting passengers in getting away on their summer holidays.’
However, one budget airline that could still face problems is RyanAir.
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) announced yesterday that RyanAir pilots had voted to strike on two upcoming occasions: 22nd to 23rd August and 2nd to 4th September.
‘No pilot wants to spoil the public’s travel plans but at the moment it seems we have no choice,’ said Balpa’s general secretary Brian Strutton.
‘We have had no formal offer from Ryanair and it is imperative that we resolve this dispute urgently to avoid strike action.’
BALPA also voted in favour for a British Airways pilot strike on 22nd July, with more walkouts expected to be threatened for August, the busiest month of the year for travel.
However, BA pilot strike dates have not yet been confirmed so there might be hope yet!
All we can say is, you might want to pack a pair of headphones, some airport snacks and maybe even an extra plane outfit in your hand luggage…