It was relief all round as the British Airways strike was canceled two days ago. The planned strike had left thousands of families with the prospect of not being home for Christmas…mine being one of them. We are due to fly back from Switzerland on 23rd December, which would have been the day after the planned industrial action was due to commence.
Whilst we were checking in for our outbound flight we were surrounded be other families who, like mine, were desperately trying to speak to a member of BA staff to try to get an indication as to what was happening. With a final decision being reached in the courtroom that afternoon, the check-in staff had been told not to comment on the situation. However, we were all handed a letter explaining what options we would be left with, should the strike get the green light.
We would be able to change to any BA flight departing in the next twelve months at no charge, but the strike was to continue until 2nd January. It was no good; there was no way we would be back in time for Christmas. It’s my favourite day of the year, every year we spend it at my grandfather’s house with the whole family, no-where else, it has to be exactly the same. We are all crammed in and I inevitably have to share a bed with one of my cousins or siblings, and despite this, I wouldn’t change it for the world, not even for the guaranteed white Christmas offered by the Alps. My parents wanted to go skiing over Christmas, but my brother, sister and I point-blank refused-it was at a push that we agreed to go away so close to the 25th.
Flights are booked with BA over budget airlines as they are known for their reliability, but now, all of a sudden, the view many people have of BA has been tainted and it would not come as a surprise if more and more people choose to fly with the cheaper airlines. For once, people started wishing they had booked their flights with Easyjet over BA, as the lack of an in-flight meal or the risk of lost luggage is no where near as bad as the thought of not being home (or for some, away) to spend Christmas with the family.
With 92 per cent of cabin crew voting in favour of the strike on a turn out of 80 per cent, there have been predictions that stewards will call in sick next Tuesday, and this does not bode well for my planned return. My next blog is due to be in early Jan so I will let you know whether I made it home for Christmas or not!