Airlines have cancelled some flights in and out of London’s Heathrow Airport ahead of the public sector strike today in the United Kingdom. Waiting period of up to 8 to 10 hours is expected at the immigration at Heathrow.
Passengers travelling to London on Wednesday may face anxious moments as some London-bound flights have been cancelled due to the ongoing nationwide industrial unrest in the United Kingdom. Several public sector unions, including the UK border agency staff and those representing immigration are a part of the protests.
Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong‘s flag carrier, has made it clear that it will be operating its regular schedule on the day of strike. The airline has, however, warned passengers to avoid unimportant travel on the day. Cathay Pacific also said on its website that travellers who want to change their tickets would be able to do so without any fees.
Delta Air Lines has cancelled some flights to and from the UK for Tuesday and Wednesday. The carrier posted a travel advisory on its website cautioning passengers to expect delays of up to eight hours. Travellers who wish to rebook without charge must get their tickets reissued by Dec. 2 for a travel no later than Dec. 7.
British Airways is planning to operate a normal schedule. British Airways, the largest operator at London Heathrow, is offering free flight changes to prevent non-essential travellers from flying on Nov. 30, when border patrol agents join the industrial action by public sector employees over planned changes to public-sector pensions.
Singapore Airlines cancelled Flight SQ308 (Singapore-London) and SQ319 (London-Singapore) on 30 November in wake of the strike. Alternative travel arrangements will be made for the affected customers, as per the airline‘s website. All other services between Singapore and UK will operate as scheduled.
Virgin Atlantic‘s flight schedule is unaffected by the industrial action. But the airline has advised passengers to consider flight changes in order to do away with any inconvenience.
Another Indian carrier, Jet Airways is planning to operate a normal schedule. The carrier, however, recommends its guests who are scheduled to arrive at London Heathrow on November 30 to opt for flight changes to avoid any sort of inconvenience.
Announcing the cancellations on its website, the airline said: “On 30 November there will likely be significant disruption and extensive delays for arriving and departing passengers in and out of the UK.”
Ryanair, a low-cost Irish airline known to offer cheap flights, plans to run as scheduled on 30th November. However, the airline has cautioned that passengers clearing passport controls/immigration may face delays.
Another airline known for offering cheap flights, EasyJet is also planning to run a full schedule of flights. The airline posted on its website that its staff members have volunteered to assist passengers landing at UK airports.
Some Useful Tips
Travellers who cannot avoid flying to UK airports on the day of industrial action can take care of certain things to help speed up the immigration process.
- Travel documents, including passports, should be taken out of wallet or case for inspection
- Have landing cards completed and ready for check up
- Be patient and do not spread panic
- Keep family groups together