The crisis of a widespread pilots’ strike at the British Airways (BA has hit hard and over 145,000 passengers were affected on the first day of the protest. Alternative arrangements and refunds promised are of little help as the ongoing strike has jeopardised plans of thousands.
On Monday, for the first time parking was easily available at the otherwise buzzing in Heathrow Airport owing to the British Airways strike. A terminal that is alive almost 24 hours in a day was virtually empty. Some of the ground staff of BA also looked flustered and lost but were not allowed to say much.
India Today TV spoke to some of such passengers. Alejandra from Chile, along with her husband, were on her way to Croatia and Greece via London. All their bookings were done near the Heathrow Airport. Cancellation or refund was an oon but moving the dates would mean their Europe plan would fall like a pack of cards. They thus decided to opt for refund and save the rest of the plan.
“My husband bought fresh and more expensive tickets and now we have to go to Luton to take the flight while our refund is expected in 10 days.”
She was not alone in such an ordeal. Reports suggest the deadlock between British Airways and British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA may continue till the end of the year, thus affecting Christmas and New Year holidays of lakhs.
Padma, a mother of two, usually travels to India during the Christmas holidays and this time she is worried as the strike might shoot up ticket fares.
BA runs close to 7-8 flights between UK and India. A London-Mumbai flight ticket that usually costs 500-600 pounds was nothing less than 1000-1100 pounds these two days.
MP Steve Double, who sits on the transport committee, thinks Christmas period is likely to witness a hike in prices and also disruon in services.
First time in 100 years such a strike has been planned by the pilots of British Airways and it is surely not the last time.
The third day of the strike after Monday and Tuesday will be observed on September 27.
British Airways was forced to ground nearly 100 per cent of its flights on Monday and the strike has now entered its second day. 1,700 flights of the British Airways have been cancelled so far.