August 18, 2019

Flights: Gatwick Airport strikes called off this weekend amid new union update on action | Travel News | Travel

Flights: Gatwick Airport strikes called off this weekend amid new union update on action | Travel News | Travel

Gatwick Airport gave a splash of summer happiness to passengers set to travel from the London terminal this weekend as it called off a series of strikes. Staff were set to walk from 6am on Saturday 10 August until 6am on Monday 12 August, ahead of extra walkout running from Tuesday 20 August until Saturday 24 August. Yet the entirety of the strikes involving around 130 security staff, who are employed by ICTS (UK) to scan luggage, have now been called off. Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: “Today’s pay talks were extremely productive and the new pay offer will be balloted on by members.

“The commitment by ICTS to become a real living wage employer is welcome and Unite will be applying pressure to other Gatwick employers to follow suit.

“Following this pay offer it is hoped that there will be more harmonious industrial relations with ICTS moving forward.”

A spokesperson for ICTS later told Sun Online Travel: “We are pleased that Unite have agreed to recommend this offer to our colleagues and to suspend the industrial action planned for 10 and 11 August and 20 to 24 August.”

It comes in the midst of a host of summer strike threats in 2019, with pilots at British Airways balloting ion favour of industrial action.

Pilots at budget firm, Ryanair, are also voting on whether to take industrial action.

Meanwhile, for those who have rearranged their travel plans anticipating a strike, the cancellation may spell bad news in terms of financial payback.

The Civil Aviation Authority has said it is unlikely fliers would be entitled to compensation.

This is because strike action is considered beyond the control of airlines so passengers are not automatically entitled to compensation.

However, they added that passengers whose flights were cancelled must be given alternatives or offers refunds.

Additional costs may need to be claimed from travel insurance.

Citizens Advice has issued advice, stating: “If your flight has been cancelled due to airport staff striking, it’s unlikely you’ll receive compensation as it would be considered ‘extraordinary circumstances’. These are outside of the airline’s control.

“You should contact your airline as you should be offered the choice between a refund and a replacement flight.”

Earlier this week, flight travellers received another boost as a scheduled strike at Heathrow airport – the UK’s largest and busiest airport – was called off.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: “Unite has chosen to postpone its strike action on Tuesday 6th August.

“Unite will now take an improved offer to its members and we remain hopeful that we can find a resolution and stop this disruptive and unnecessary threat of strike action.

“We regret that passengers have been inconvenienced by this and urge them to contact their airline for up to date information on the status of their service.”

A date for the BA strike has not yet been set, although the airline insists it wants to avoid a walkout.

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