BA strike latest: Strike called off but delay chaos continues for passengers
Unite to appeal high court decision
*Update* BA STRIKE BACK ON AFTER UNITE APPEAL
By Elliot Wright, 18th May 2010
The looming British Airways strike has been called off at the last minute after the airline won a high court battle to stop cabin crew walking out.
The BA strike was due to run for 20 days over the next three weeks and would have caused untold chaos for nearly 2m passengers.
BA said: "We are delighted for our customers that Unite's plans for extreme and unjustified strike action cannot go ahead.
"Ash disruption permitting, we will aim to restore a full flying programme at Heathrow by the weekend. We will also offer a full programme at Gatwick and London City, as planned."
However, thousands of passengers are still facing severe disruption as BA revised its schedules in anticipation of the strike.
It will still take some time before our Heathrow short-haul cabin crew and pilot rosters can be fully restored back to normal. - British Airways
The airline said: "It will still take some time before our Heathrow short-haul cabin crew and pilot rosters can be fully restored back to normal. We informed customers of any changes to their travel plans last week, when we first announced our revised schedule and for the past few days affected customers have been able to rebook, re-route or refund their journeys."
Passengers are also being told not to arrive at the airport unless their flight has been confirmed.
Glyn Bathgate, 71, had to wait more than six hours after his original flight from New York to Newcastle was cancelled. "I got the last seat on the plane, so I suppose I'm lucky," said Mr. Bathgate. "I've just been left to linger for a few hours. When you think of all the disruption there's been over the ash, it's not too bad.
"I think BA should have been more prepared for the strike being called off though. When the plane finally takes off I'll be cheering for Sunderland," he added.
In a move that could cause yet more chaos, the Unite union, which represents 12,000 BA cabin crew staff, is to appeal against the high court's injunction that put a stop to their strike.
General Secretary of Unite, Tony Woodley, said: "[The injunction is] disgraceful, it's scandalous and we will be in the high court to appeal. Even if we lose the appeal, the dispute won't be over."
How to claim BA flight delay compensation