Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Saturday, 20 March 2010

BA cabin crew strike: Your stories

BA tailfin
A total of 1,100 BA flights will be cancelled in the first round of strikes

British Airways cabin crew have begun strike action that is causing severe disruption to flights.

Talks between the airline and the Unite union, which represents the crew, collapsed on Friday.

BBC News website readers have been getting in touch to talk about where the BA strike action will leave them.

YOUR COMMENTS

Our flight today (Saturday) was cancelled. We have been offered a flight on 23 March. Although outside the strike days, it is 'subject to disruption'. BA have acted extremely well throughout. Unite are the disgrace. They have no interest in the airline, the passengers or Britain's good reputation. They have acted in a rapacious and unreasonable manner. I do hope that BA can survive this. I've just checked my flight up to Manchester with BA this weekend, I thought it would be cancelled, but I can see that it's still operating - but operated by Ryanair! Apparently BA have 'wet-leased' these aircraft. I have no problem with Ryanair and I'm very grateful to BA!
Paddy Jones, London, UK

I am cabin crew for BA but won't be striking. Those that are should be ashamed of themselves. We are employed by one of the best employers in the country and during difficult times should feel honoured and privileged not only to work for BA, but to be working at all. I seriously hope that the small-mindedness of a few, will ruin BA's reputation further and therefore causing untold damage to the company we all work for and love.
Rob, London, UK

I'm flying with BA back from Stockholm today (Saturday), so earlier in the week was told my connecting flight from Heathrow to Aberdeen was one of the ones being cancelled. So my company travel agent, rebooked me onto a BMI flight, which means I have around four hours now to hang around in Heathrow. BA then reinstated the flight to Aberdeen but I can't cancel my BMI flight without losing the money. This is complete chaos. I fly more than a hundred thousand miles a year on business - I would be quite happy if none of these miles were with British Airways in the future. I rarely fly them anyway and would normally choose another carrier if I had a free choice. I support Willie Walsh's view - BA has to change or the airline will die. If the cabin crew don't recognise that, then they are all going to be out of a job.
Craig Wilson, Aberdeen, Scotland

I am scheduled to fly back from Abu Dhabi tonight with BA. The flight is showing as operating normally. However, if it is not I will rebook. I don't hold BA responsible at all, the are competing in a global market and have to do what is viable to their business. The faster the union officials realise that, the better it will be for us all.

BA is our national flag carrier and they are not being unreasonable as anyone who travels a lot will testify. It is interesting to note that the only negative comments I have read are from passengers that possibly only travel once a year for holidays. Those of us that are used to the high standards BA have in all classes on the aircraft and the extensive and good schedules, want to see the airline back at the top and they have to be allowed to achieve that!
David Willrich, UK

My son finished university for Easter and was due to fly home today, Saturday, Newcastle to Athens, but we were able to rearrange the flight for Friday. I found BA helpful and they kept us well informed. No complaints.
Susan Averies, Greece

Got the last flight out of Miami last night however my connecting flight to Edinburgh was cancelled so I'm struggling to get back. The last thing I needed after an overnight flight, however I support the cabin crew as the management are acting like bully boys.
Graeme Warnock, Livingston, West Lothian

This strike is causing grave concern to my fiancée and I, who get married on Saturday (20 March) and were due to fly out on our honeymoon with BA on 22 March, but they have cancelled the flight due to the strike action. Despite the public promises from BA that they will do everything they can to ensure their passengers fly, despite numerous calls to them this week they have not put us on any alternative flight (either with another operator or otherwise). As things currently stand I cannot see how we are going to be able to get to our honeymoon destination, which was booked along with the flights with BA over one year ago. This is an extremely distressing to find ourselves in and is not what we need the day before our wedding! I am extremely disappointed, both with BA and the Unite union for all they are doing to ruin what we'd hoped to be the happiest week of our lives.
David Hover, Birmingham, UK

I am affected because I am a BA staff member - I am not cabin crew and my department will not be striking. I agree that this is a bad time for a strike - but I can fully understand my colleagues frustration at BA management. This is not about money or manning so much - the crux of the matter is Willie coming after basic terms and conditions, which IS unacceptable. BA's manner of negotiation is "this is what we are doing - agree to it"... there is NO actual negotiation. I have lost count of the number of times that the union reps have spent whole days sitting waiting and BA failed to turn up - so much for wanting to talk.
Steven Jones, Slough, UK

My husband works for BA in engineering and like most sensible people wants to keep his job in the economic climate. He is one of a number of staff who have volunteered to cover cabin crew work. He also took unpaid leave to help out because a job with less money is better than no job at all. Why can't cabin crew see that, they are one of the best paid teams in the airline industry, they would not be able to get another job that pays so well. I just think they are greedy and they need to open their eyes and count how lucky they are to have a job, in any industry (being we've just come out of a recession) and even more so in the airline industry.
Sue, Hampshire, UK

SPIKE MARCHANT, DUE TO FLY TO JAPAN

Spike Marchant
I fly a great deal and just flew in from Miami with BA and am scheduled to fly out to Japan on Sunday but the flight has been cancelled.

I have been talking to ordinary ground staff and cabin crew and they are genuinely saddened that the issue requires strike action. They all want a resolution. They want to maintain the standards and the reputation of BA for the long term.

Supporting the workers' right to withdraw their labour is important.

I am going to have to fly to Japan via a European carrier. Alternative flights with Virgin are completely booked out and I may have to fly indirectly which will be problematic as I have to work as soon as I get to the other end.

I will get a single flight out there with another airline but I am going to book my return flight to come back with British Airways. It is a statement of faith. If the service disintegrates in the next year or two then I will vote with my feet.

But I believe in the service that BA currently offers. I might be inconvenienced on Sunday but I won't hold a grudge, because there are serious reasons why the staff are striking.


IAN WILKINSON, DUE TO FLY TO FLORIDA

The thing that I found the most disappointing in this whole situation is that BA did not offer me an alternative to transfer the Tampa flight that is leaving from Gatwick.

We waited until Monday before cancelling. I checked the price of the Tampa flight on Monday lunchtime. It would have cost us £370 extra to fly to Tampa from Gatwick instead of to Miami out of Heathrow - which would have been okay. After the announcement was made, I checked the website again and the Tampa flight had gone up by an extra £200.

I chose to cancel my flights and rebook with Virgin. I have had to incur significant cancellation charges. The holiday has been moved back four weeks, I have lost deposits on hotels and have had to reorganise my car hire. My partner has lost four days of leave that she could not carry over.

I am very unhappy with BA. Even though I won't rule out flying with them again, I will now be more predisposed to look elsewhere.

I support BA management in what they are trying to do, but they can treat their customers better.


CAROL SMITH, DUE TO FLY TO DENVER

We are due to fly to Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday for our honeymoon. We specifically asked our travel agent to source BA flights because we have enjoyed flying with them in the past.

However our flight is one of the ones that has been cancelled. We got married on Wednesday and everyone was asking about our honeymoon. We didn't know what to say because at that point we did not know what was happening, whether we were even going or not.

I am beyond angry and have no words to explain how upsetting and worrying this entire situation has been
It has only now just been sorted out. We have been put on a flight to Denver and from there we have to catch an internal flight to Phoenix. We have had to rearrange the car hire and the hotel. An extra five hours travelling time has been added to our journey.

I am beyond angry and have no words to explain how upsetting and worrying this entire situation has been. It has cast a black shadow over everything.

I do not support the cabin crew's reasons for striking, compared to other airlines their staff do not get such a bad deal. There are other ways to sort things out. They are jeopardising the future of the company.

Because we booked this trip through a travel agent I feel that BA have dealt with us very badly. We have been treated as if we are not British Airways customers because we did not book with them directly. We tried to get an upgrade because of the extra five hours this re-routed trip is going to add to our journey, which we were prepared to pay for, but the staff on the phone were rude and we got nowhere.




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