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  • British Airways cancels all Heathrow flights

    British Airways cancels all Heathrow flights
    20,000 passengers stranded

    LONDON, England (Reuters) -- British Airways cancelled all its flights from London's Heathrow Airport on Thursday at the peak of its summer holiday season, stranding some 20,000 passengers, following a series of wildcat strikes.

    Suitcase-laden travellers crowded the entrances to the world's busiest international airport after baggage handlers, loaders and bus drivers walked out in sympathy with workers at Heathrow caterer Gate Gourmet, which is caught up in a row with management.

    BA Chief Executive Rod Eddington said the company had cancelled 120 flights Thursday.

    The company later said it cancelled all flights into and out of Heathrow until 1 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) Friday.

    "I apologise unreservedly to our customers for the disruption to their travel plans and cancellation of our flights," he said in a statement.

    Around 100,000 passengers fly daily with the airline during August.

    Some 14 aircraft due to land at Heathrow on Thursday afternoon were diverted to other British airports, a BA spokesman said.

    The disruption at Heathrow intensified after BA suspended check-ins for its passengers at terminals one and four as a result of the dispute at Gate Gourmet.

    "We've planned this holiday for 18 months and we're going to a wedding. We've saved long and hard for it. I'm gutted," said Ian Thompson, 51, who was trying to catch a flight to Los Angeles.

    Hundreds of flights by British Airways, Europe's third-largest airline, left London earlier in the day without meals on board for passengers.

    The spokesman said earlier that around 1,000 BA baggage handlers stopped work during the dispute.
    Food bags and vouchers

    The airline was struggling to put up passengers who had already checked in for their flights in hotels around Heathrow and advising others to return on Friday.

    British Airways said it had booked "a few thousand" hotel rooms for passengers but many faced the prospect of spending the night at the airport.

    Airport staff handed out free bottles of water, and engineers began to erect large marquees on the forecourt so that people would have somewhere to shelter.

    BA said it was contacting passengers to warn them about the situation before their flights.

    Passengers caught up in the disruption over airline meals earlier in the day, before the cancellations, were provided with food bags or vouchers at the airport before boarding flights.

    The dispute worsened on Wednesday when Gate Gourmet sacked around 350 workers who went on strike over the company's decision to hire seasonal workers, unions said.

    A Transport & General Workers Union spokeswoman said the union was seeking further talks with Gate Gourmet and wanted to see the workers reinstated.

    A Gate Gourmet spokesman was not available for comment.

    A company statement on Wednesday said the strike action, following more than 30 meetings between management and the union, had put the jobs of 2,000 of its workers at Heathrow under threat.

    "These actions not only jeopardise the livelihoods of our entire workforce at Heathrow but also the services of major airlines and their customers," Managing Director Eric Born said in a statement.

    He added, "If we don't change, the company will not survive, and there will be no future. We now have to take control of this situation swiftly, which may lead to restructuring to avoid the total collapse of the company."

    Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Find this article at:
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/TRAVEL/08/11/ba.st...reut/index.html

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    When I was stationed in GB, I always prefered Gatwick.
    Make America Great For Once.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by The Kev@Aug 11 2005, 06:41 PM
      When I was stationed in GB, I always prefered Gatwick.
      Gatwick is a great airport...in-and-out no problems...

      "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
      Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
      -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by *007*+Aug 11 2005, 06:42 PM-->
        QUOTE(*007* @ Aug 11 2005, 06:42 PM)

      • #5
        Another reason why unions suck ass.

        I understand that they were needed years ago. And I think they did great things for worker wages, benefits, and so forth. But now, I have a hatred for them that knows no bounds.

        And props to the catering company that fired the fucks that walked out and started this in the first place. And I'd like to see BA do the same damn thing to the fucks that caused them to cancel the flights.

        Don't want to work? Fine. Hit the street, dumb-ass!
        Official sponsor of: Pepsi Zero Sugar and Jordan Almonds.

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by ChiTownBluesFan@Aug 11 2005, 07:46 PM
          Another reason why unions suck ass.

          I understand that they were needed years ago. And I think they did great things for worker wages, benefits, and so forth. But now, I have a hatred for them that knows no bounds.

          And props to the catering company that fired the fucks that walked out and started this in the first place. And I'd like to see BA do the same damn thing to the fucks that caused them to cancel the flights.

          Don't want to work? Fine. Hit the street, dumb-ass!
          I'm predicting right now that Huegy (and a few others) will be along shortly to tear into this one.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Beetlebop70+Aug 11 2005, 07:50 PM-->
            QUOTE(Beetlebop70 @ Aug 11 2005, 07:50 PM)

          • #8
            Originally posted by ChiTownBluesFan+Aug 11 2005, 07:53 PM-->
            QUOTE(ChiTownBluesFan @ Aug 11 2005, 07:53 PM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2005, 07:50 PM

          • #9
            Originally posted by ChiTownBluesFan+Aug 11 2005, 07:53 PM-->
            QUOTE(ChiTownBluesFan @ Aug 11 2005, 07:53 PM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2005, 07:50 PM

          • #10
            Originally posted by Celtic+Aug 11 2005, 08:19 PM-->
            QUOTE(Celtic @ Aug 11 2005, 08:19 PM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2005, 07:53 PM
            Originally posted by [email protected] 11 2005, 07:50 PM

          • #11
            I thought French transportation workers were the only ones who went on strike. When did our loyal lapdogs start gettin' all Euro-faggoty on us?

            Moon

            Comment


            • #12
              Even on a non-striking day, Heathrow is the most nerve-wracking airport in the world. Gatwick is OK but it's a long trip into London. Luton's a joke and Stanstead is too far out. London City Airport costs a bomb in a taxi to get anywhere across the river. It a lose-lose situation flying in and out of there anymore. I take a sedative before I get off the plane, have a pint of the black and just grin and bear it these days. What a frigging mess it is.

              These 'working class' folks in Britain don't go on strike as much as they used to but they still do it ONLY when they can cause the MOST chaos to their own 'working class' people there.

              Trains in the U.K.? Well, that's real torture.

              Comment


              • #13
                Originally posted by ChiTownBluesFan@Aug 11 2005, 05:53 PM
                As of 2005, I have no use for unions.

                Super. The millions of people who've gotten better benefits, job security and working conditions through unions will disagree with you.
                Official sponsor of the St. Louis Cardinals

                "This is a heavyweight bout indeed."--John Rooney, Oct. 27, 2011

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                • #14
                  Originally posted by DaLode@Aug 11 2005, 11:57 PM
                  Trains in the U.K.? Well, that's real torture.
                  I used to pray for them to strike. Then the option of taking a train is thrown out of the window.

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    DaLode, I've never really felt like the distance to Gatwick was a pain. Take the Tube to Victoria, get on the Gatwick Express and you're there. I'm wondering why the BA workers at Gatwick didn't feel a need to join their brothers and sisters in the strike.

                    That being said, BA probably provides the best air service to London. They are one of the few airlines to have seats that lay down completely into beds in first class.
                    June 9, 1973 - The day athletic perfection was defined.

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Kva...eature=related

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