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Last Updated: Friday, 12 August 2005, 21:47 GMT 22:47 UK
Q&A: Grounded BA passengers
Passengers queue up for information
Thousands of passengers have already been affected
BA has resumed services from Heathrow after unofficial strike action led the firm to cancel scores of flights in and out of the London airport.

But with delays continuing, what are the options for passengers booked to travel with the airline and are they due any compensation?

How long will the backlog of flights continue?

The backlog will continue to disrupt BA's service over the next few days.

It is likely that the effects will continue to be felt until Monday, and possibly beyond.

Although BA says it hopes to run 50% of its short haul flights and 40% of its long haul flights by Saturday.

If passengers are due to fly out on Saturday should they go to the airport?

Customers should not go to Heathrow unless they have a confirmed reservation. Alternatively, they may contact the airline or their travel agent to arrange a refund or rebook their travel plans.

Passengers are advised to check www.ba.com before leaving for the airport. They should also continue to try the free phone number, although heavy demand means that it has often been engaged.

What can passengers do if their flight is cancelled?

BA has a policy which allows customers to re-book flights or get a refund by calling their helpline on 0800 727800.

The policy is applicable to customers due to travel to and from Heathrow up to 2359 BST on 15 August.

Are there flights available from other airports?

Passengers on a flight cancelled at Heathrow will be given the option of having their flight re-booked from Gatwick if there are seats available.

Will passengers have to bring food if they do fly?

Basic catering will be provided by BA in the form of cold snacks, water, coffee and tea.

Can I claim compensation for delays and, if so, what can I expect?

In February, the EU upped the level of compensation for passengers suffering delays and flight cancellations.

When a flight is delayed, the airline may be obliged to supply (or pay for/provide vouchers for) meals and refreshments, along with accommodation if an overnight stay is required.

Whether you qualify will depend on the length of the flight and the delay.

For example, for flights of 1,500km or less where there is a delay of more than two hours, a passenger should be given meals and refreshments, along with two free telephone calls, e-mails, telexes or faxes.

If the delay is for five hours or more, passengers are also entitled to a refund of their ticket with a free flight back to the initial point of departure if this is relevant (for example, if a connecting flight has been cancelled).

People who have their flights cancelled are entitled to a refund, drinks and meals, and accommodation, unless the airline proves the cancellation was due to circumstances beyond its control.

It is too early to say whether the airlines will be able to claim that the circumstances of the current dispute were beyond their control.

Does it matter if the delayed or cancelled flight is part of a package holiday?

It doesn't matter if you are flying no-frills, on a charter or scheduled service.

Flights originating from the EU, which have been sold as part of a package tour, will be covered.

The Association of British Tour Operators (ABTA) said tour operators are responsible for rearranging such flights.

Where an outbound flight cannot be changed, passengers should be offered an alternative holiday, or cancellation and a full refund.

However, you should check with your tour operator to see what alternative travel arrangements are being made.

Will passengers be able to claim compensation from their travel insurer?

Many travel insurance policies will pay out in the event of strikes or other industrial action leading to holiday delays.

Compensation can, commonly, be claimed after a delay of more than eight hours.

Subsequent delays may trigger further payouts.

Compensation for delays is usually capped at about 200, although some policies pay more.

If after 24 hours delay the holiday has to be cancelled, then some policies will refund travel and accommodation costs, where these are not recoverable from the airline.

However, policies can vary wildly in the level of cover offered and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) advises consumers to check out their travel documentation.

Passengers react to the news of the cancellations

Your BA dispute questions answered

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