I have a British Airways flight coming up during the impending British Airways flight attendant strike.
So here’s my thinking. British Airways says their full (very small) operation at London City Airport will proceed unaffected, that all their long-haul flights at Gatwick (far fewer than at Heathrow) will operate, and that they will operate ‘many’ long-haul flights at Heathrow.
I’m supposed to fly from Heathrow. But I’ve got a good shot of making the flight out. Here’s why: I’m on a route with two flights a day, I’m flying the (1) later afternoon flight (2) operated by the larger aircraft. So I figure they’d tend to want to operate the larger aircraft and all other things equal the later flight would be easier to operate. And in fact, in the first days of the planned strike the flight is scheduled to go.
But I’m also no fool. I want to fly my originally scheduled flight, for one thing I’ve never flown British Airways First Class (never better than Club World). And I want to fly even though they’re planning a diminished service — no hot meals — because their stand-in flight attendants won’t have had the health/sanitation training for hot meal service. But it’s still easier to take this flight than not.
And as the strike becomes more and more real, transatlantic inventory ex-London becomes tighter and tighter.
So I want my backup plans in place sooner rather than later, I can’t wait until the day of flight to see for sure whether my flight will go. But I don’t want to tie up cash either. It’s a great example where frequent flyer miles are a lovely thing to have.
Both United and American offer one-way awards, and last seat availability for a mileage premium. So I grabbed an award ticket for double the miles — I believe the first time in my life that I’ve done so — and I’ll hope I don’t have to use it. If my British Airways flight goes, I’ll take it and I’ll cancel the award and redeposit the miles. If my BA flight cancels, I’m protected.