Update: Cruise Travellers on Alert as Second Wave of British Airways Strikes Begins

March 27, 2010

Update, 10:32 a.m. EDT: As was originally planned, the British Airways cabin crew went on strike today. The four-day walkout is the second this month. British Airways has said on its Web site today that more than 75 percent of its customers will be able to fly during the strike without disruption. Cruise passengers who may be affected by the strike should contact the cruise line, their travel agent or British Airways, depending on how they booked their flight. If you are booked to travel through 30 March, you will be allowed to rebook on another British Airways flight within 355 days at no extra charge (there are no refunds).

(March 25, 5:05 p.m. EDT) -- There appears to be no let-up for passengers affected by British Airways' forthcoming strike this weekend. Despite talks carrying on this week, no resolution has been reached between the airline and Unite, the union that represents the majority of BA's cabin crew. The crew are walking out over pay and working conditions.

The strike begins on Saturday, 27 March, and will continue for four days. British Airways has now put flight details for all four days on its Web site, and all passengers whose flights have been cancelled should by now have received a text or e-mail and been given the opportunity to rebook or claim a refund. Cruise lines and travel agents, too, have been busy rebooking passengers who had paid for fly-cruises.

The situation appears to be less severe than it was for the first strike last weekend. British Airways is now planning to operate all flights from London Gatwick, as more crew than expected have said they will work. Here's a summary of the situation:

All flights from London City will operate as scheduled

All flights from London Gatwick will operate as scheduled

Around 55 percent of short haul flights and 70 percent of long haul flights from London Heathrow will operate as scheduled

All codeshare and franchise partner flights will operate as scheduled

Flights from regional airports are still severely affected

More strikes may happen in the near future if an agreement cannot be reached between British Airways and Unite, but the union has promised there will be no industrial action over the busy Easter weekend.

We'll keep you posted as and when things change.

--by Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor