London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

BA and Virgin halt ticket sales to Heathrow on strike days

BA and Virgin halt ticket sales to Heathrow on strike days

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have stopped selling new tickets for inbound flights to Heathrow on the days Border Force staff strike over Christmas, the BBC understands.

Border Force has asked airports who are expecting passenger numbers on strike days to be above 70-80% of 2019 levels to "supress demand".

The move is to better manage the flow of people through border control.

Workers will stage the first walkout on Friday 23 December.

A source at Heathrow told the BBC the airport had met with BA and Virgin, its two home-based airlines, to request a restriction on new ticket sales, which the airlines had agreed to.

Around 1,000 Border Force staff who work in passport control will walk out on 23-26 and 28-31 December at Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airports as well as at the Port of Newhaven.

The Home Office has warned passengers should expect disruption.

British Airways has stopped selling inbound flights on all eight days that staff are expected to strike.

Virgin Atlantic is restricting ticket sales on 23, 28, 29 and 30 December, with the expectation that those will be the busiest passenger days at Heathrow, the UK's biggest airport.

About 75% of Border Force staff are members of the PCS union, which balloted for strike action after it said the government had refused to increase a 2% pay rise offer.

Military personnel, civil servants and volunteers are being trained to check passports when Border Force staff walk out.

The Home Office said it was "extremely disappointed" with the PCS union's decision to strike, adding it would cause a "significant inconvenience" to travellers over the Christmas period.

A statement said the government had "robust plans" in place to minimise any delays, but warned "passengers should be prepared for disruption and take action to plan ahead".

"Those intending to travel into the UK over strike days should keep up-to-date with the latest advice from operators to check how the proposed strike action will affect their journey," a spokesperson said.

Heathrow Airport and both airlines have not commented on the ticket restrictions.

The airport said it expects the majority of passengers to be unaffected by the strike action, and that it has not asked for flights to be cancelled or removed from the schedule.

"Our priority is to ensure passengers get through the border safely and as quickly as possible," the airport said.

"We are working closely with airlines and Border Force on mitigation plans for potential strike action by Border Force officers and these plans will now be implemented for the notified days.

"We encourage all parties to resolve this dispute quickly," a spokesperson added.



Virgin Atlantic said its priority was getting its customers to their destinations and to make them "prepared for longer waits at border control".

Several airlines are allowing passengers with flights arriving in the UK on strike days to change their tickets free of charge.

EasyJet said any passengers flying into Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow between 22 and 31 December could transfer to another flight on the same route 14 days before or after the strike date.

BA said it was operating the same policy for all passengers with a final destination at Heathrow or Gatwick, or those with a connecting ticket booked as part of their journey to another airport in the UK or Ireland.

Virgin Atlantic said passengers booked on flights into Manchester and Heathrow on strike dates can change tickets with the admin fee and fare difference waived, with the new travel date completed no later than 14 January 2023.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Olaf Scholz to Run for German Chancellor Again in 2025
TikTok Fined by UK Regulator for Child Safety Data Reporting Failures
Miracle Baby Born After Gaza Airstrike
Global Tech Outage Caused by Bug in CrowdStrike's Software
Ukrainian FM Open to Peace Talks with Russia, China Reports
EU to Transfer Interest from Frozen Russian Funds to Ukraine
Greenpeace Co-Founder Paul Watson Arrested in Greenland
EU Relocates Summit to Punish Hungary over Orban's Ukraine Visit
Netanyahu Seeks Meeting with Trump During Washington Visit
World's Hottest Day Recorded on July 21
UK Labour Government To Halt Migrant Housing on Accommodation Barge
President Biden Returns to White House After Testing COVID Negative
Trump Says Kamala Harris Would Be Easier Election Opponent Than Biden
Thousands Protest in Mallorca Against Mass Tourism
Immigration Crackdown Targets Car Washes and Beauty Sector
Nigeria's Controversial Return to Colonial-Era National Anthem
Hacking Vulnerabilities: Androids vs. iPhones
Ukraine Crisis Should Be EU's Responsibility, Says Trump’s Envoy
A Week of Turmoil: Key Moments in US Politics
Barrow's Sacred Heart Primary School Faces Long-Term Closure
German National Sentenced to Death in Belarus
Elon Musk's Companies Drop CrowdStrike After Global Windows 10 Outage
US Advises India on Russian Ties Amid Geopolitical Shifts
Trump Pledges to End Ukraine Conflict if Reelected
Global IT Outage Unveils Digital Vulnerabilities
Global IT Outage Sparks Questions About Financial Accountability
CrowdStrike Bug Affects 8.5 Million Windows Devices
Flights Resume After Major Microsoft Outage
US Criticizes International Court's Opinion on Israeli Occupation
CrowdStrike Update Causes Global IT Outage Due to Skipped Quality Checks
EU’s Patronizing Attitude Towards Africa Revealed
Netanyahu Denounces World Court Ruling on Israeli Occupation
Adidas Drops Bella Hadid Over Controversy
Global Outage Caused by CrowdStrike Update Impacts Millions
Massive Flight Cancellations Across the U.S. Due to Microsoft Outage
Global Windows Outage Causes Chaos Across Banks, Airlines, and More
Russia Accuses Ukraine of Using Chemical Weapons
UK's Flawed COVID-19 Planning Exposed by Inquiry
Ursula von der Leyen Wins Second Term as European Commission President
Police Officer Injured in Attack in Central Paris
Hulk Hogan absolutely tore it up at the RNC.
Paris is being "cleansed" of migrants and homeless people ahead of the Olympics.
Lamine Yamal arriving at his school after winning the Euros
Campaigners Urge UK Government to Block Shein's London IPO
UK Labour Government's Legislative Agenda
UK Labour Government to Regulate Powerful AI Models
Record Heat Temperatures in Ukraine Amid Power Crisis
UK Government Plans to Remove 92 Hereditary Peers from House of Lords
King Charles III Delivers Labour Government's First King's Speech
Officials Remove 'Disastrous' Label from Liz Truss's Mini-Budget
×