BBC News reports British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have cut off sales for flights between December 23-26, 2022, and December 28-31, 2022 due to anticipated U.K. Border Force strikes on those days.
Border Force Poised to Walk Out, Creating “Significant Inconvenience” Over Holidays
The PCS union, which represents U.K. Border Force workers, authorized a strike for the two four-day holiday periods after they claim the British Government did not increase their pay raise offer by 2%. It is expected that over 1,000 Border Force employees are expected to walk off the job at six airports, including London Heathrow.
As a result, officials at Heathrow met with the two carriers to come to a solution to reduce gridlock at London’s largest airport. Over the final two weeks of 2022, the terminal is expected to see up to 80% of 2019 travel numbers.
British Airlines has agreed to cut off all Heathrow sales for the eight days affected by the Border Force strikes. Virgin Atlantic will cut off sales for only the busiest days during that period: December 23, 28, 29, and 30.
In a statement to BBC News, Heathrow officials said that they have not asked for airlines to cancel any flights during that time, but restricting new sales would be the best way to reduce delays in going through security. Travelers with existing tickets to Heathrow during those periods are asked to be “prepared for disruption and take action to plan ahead.” To mitigate delays, the government is training the military, civil servants and volunteers on how to check passports in the Border Force’s place.
Border Force Walkoffs Foreshadow a Potentially Long Year of Labor Disruptions
The U.K. Border Force strike could be the first of many staff walkoffs in 2023. Earlier this year, pilots at Delta Air Lines represented by the Air Line Pilots Association authorized a strike, but wouldn’t be able to walk off the job unless the National Mediation Board agrees that talks on a new contract are hopelessly deadlocked.
Source: frugal travel guy