Mixed Fleet BA staff are striking for two weeks over what they claim are “poverty pay” rates.
Organised by the Unite union, the action will run right through to Sunday July 16 at 11.59pm.
The Mixed Fleet cabin crew service short and long haul flights from London’s Heathrow.
It’s the latest strike in an ongoing dispute between staff and the UK’s flagship carrier.
BA insists 99.5 per cent of flights will operate as normal during the two week period.
It has also been aided by Qatar Airways, which has lent some of its luxury planes.
British Airways strike: Martin Lewis reveals how to claim compensation
The situation is more complicated when it’s the airline’s own staff
Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis said affected passengers could be eligible for up to £530 in compensation.
But it all depends on whether this strike is deemed an ‘extraordinary circumstance’.
Usually airlines argue strike action falls under this banner and therefore don’t pay passengers compensation.
But the Civil Aviation Authority said it’s unlikely a planned strike could be deemed an ‘extraordinary circumstance’ in this instance.
Martin Lewis said: “There seems to be a never-ending debate about what is an airline’s fault and what isn’t.
“Usually it’s accepted that industrial action isn’t an airline’s fault. But that’s generally when it’s other staff such as air traffic control – the situation is more complicated when it’s the airline’s own staff.
British Airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew are striking over what they claim are poverty pay rates
“Arguably if they have had a long time and due notice of the strike, why should it be seen as an extraordinary circumstance? The airline should be able to put plans in place to prevent detriment to customers.
“If your flight is cancelled, regardless of whether it’s the airline’s fault or not, you are entitled to a choice of a full refund or alternative flight. But if it is defined as the airline’s fault, you would be due compensation for ensuing delays as well.
“The problem here is the only people who can actually decide if it is the airline’s fault or not are the courts. Yet if you are caught up in this and the strike causes substantial problems, you should certainly put in an EU 261/2004 compensation claim and see where it goes.”
BA is yet to confirm whether it will or will not pay compensation, but should the airline decide to pay, you could claim up to £530.
If your flight is leaving or arriving at an EU airport and is delayed by more than three hours or cancelled under non-extraordinary circumstances, you can usually claim between £110 and £530.
British Airways insists 99.5 per cent of flights are fully operational during the two week strike
Should BA refuse to pay compensation, Martin said you could lodge your case at the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, but you risk a £25 administration fee if the appeal fails.
A BA spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “Our schedule is running as planned, despite industrial action by Mixed Fleet Unite, with 99.5 per cent of flights operating as normal.
“All our customers will be able to fly to their destinations. Our oneworld partner Qatar Airways will be operating a small number of short-haul flights on our behalf.
“We have merged a very small number of Heathrow long-haul services and all customers affected have been notified over the past week.
“New cabin crew in their first year working full time at British Airways receive more than £21,000 based on pay, allowances, incentive and bonus. This is in line with cabin crew at competitor airlines. We had reached a deal with Unite on pay, which the union said was acceptable.
“They should call off this unnecessary strike and allow their members to vote on the pay increase.”