x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Fail-safe option is to re-book

BA is offering passengers booked to fly between December 20 to January 4 the option of switching to any other BA flight in the next 12 months with no charge.

Many passengers planning to fly from the UAE with British Airways during the Christmas holidays probably will have left by December 22, when the 12-day cabin crew strike is due to begin. For others, BA has offered passengers booked to fly between December 20 to January 4 the option of switching to any other BA flight in the next 12 months with no charge. So, the fail-safe option is to contact the airline as soon as possible and re-book to avoid the strike period.

Those who are not flexible and are booked to fly between December 22 and January 2 must either re-book with another carrier or risk not making it home in time for Christmas. Even if the strike goes ahead, it is unlikely that BA will cancel all flights. Past experience has shown that the airline usually tries to keep as many long-haul routes going as possible, preferring to cancel the short-haul European flights, which have a greater number of departures and which can be serviced by alternative airlines.

Passengers who do not re-book are entitled only to a refund from BA if and when the airline cancels the flight. This may not happen until a few hours before departure. If BA does cancel flights, it is likely to offer three options: re-book with a rival carrier if seats are available; re-book with BA on an alternative date; or claim a refund on the unused parts of the ticket within seven days. rbehan@thenational.ae