Update: U.K. Air Strike Called Off

August 17, 2010

Update, 10:15 a.m. BST: BAA and the Unite union reached an agreement late last night -- meaning the possible strikes have been called off.
In a statement, BAA said: "We are pleased that the basis of an agreement has been reached on pay, that is fair to staff but which also reflects the difficult economic climate.
Our priority is to work with our people to improve the service we provide passengers and airlines, and we look forward to doing that in the busy weeks ahead."

(12 August, 2010) -- Once again, a U.K. strike threatens to create chaos for cruise travellers -- but this time, airline employees are not in the hot seat.

Unite union workers at British Airport Authority (BAA) airports -- London's Heathrow as well as Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh -- have voted in favor of strike action over pay, namely an offer of a 1 to 1.5 percent increase, which a Unite statement terms "derisory." (Last year, these employees were subject to a pay freeze.)

These workers include airport security staff, engineers, fire fighters and support staff.

If industrial action is taken, BAA airports could experience massive chaos or even closures -- bad news for Brits leaving on fly-cruises or other holidaymakers travelling to their ship via the U.K. According to ttglive.com, Unite is required to give BAA advance notice of at least seven days before striking. This means August 19 is the earliest walk-out date at this point.

BAA's Web site states that "At this stage no dates for industrial action have been announced and no flights from our U.K. airports are affected."

We'll keep you posted.

--by Melissa Paloti, Managing Editor