10-day strike begins at Heathrow as last-ditch talks fail

By Lisa James
Home » 10-day strike begins at Heathrow as last-ditch talks fail

Heathrow is warning passengers to check their flight status and be prepared for longer security queues as a 10-day strike gets underway.

Last-ditch talks to halt the walkout of 1,400 Unite union members employed by Heathrow Airports Ltd (HAL) fell through last night.

The strikes involve security officers at Terminal Five as well as campus security guards who work in different areas of Heathrow.

Unite again warned the walkout will cause ‘severed delays and disruption’, with Regional Co-ordinating Officer Wayne King saying:  “Heathrow Airport has thrown away the opportunity to avoid strikes.”

But Heathrow said it is putting contingency plans in place, such as drafting in 1,000 extra staff – including top management – to assist passengers.

The airport lost over £4 billion during the pandemic and remains lossmaking.

Contingency plans also include asking airlines to halt bookings and offer flexible options to passengers.

British Airways, which exclusively uses Terminal 5, announced earlier this week it had cancelled around 32 flights each day of the strike.

However, today (31 March), it cancelled more than double its intended number, including transatlantic services.

The airport warned passengers: “As at any busy time, it may take a little longer than usual to get through security, but this will be well managed and kept flowing.

“Passengers can help us ensure they get the best start to their journeys by checking their flight status with their airline before travelling to the airport, arriving at Heathrow no earlier than 2 hours before short haul flights and 3 hours before long haul flights and by being ready for security with their compliant liquids and electronics out of their hand luggage.”

A Heathrow spokesperson added : “We will not let these unnecessary strikes impact the hard-earned holidays of our passengers.

“Our contingency plans will keep the airport operating as normal throughout. We are deploying 1,000 additional colleagues and the entire management team who will be in the terminals providing assistance to passengers over the busy Easter getaway.”

The strikes start today and ends on Easter Sunday, 9 April.

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