Heathrow summer strike could affect up to 1 million travellers

Busy Heathrow airport

Travellers warned to expect chaos and cancellations at Heathrow Airport this summer, as union announces a series of staff strikes across the airport’s five terminals.

Workers at Heathrow, the UK’s largest airport, have announced strike action that has the potential to cause severe delays and disruption, and could bring Heathrow to a complete standstill.

Over 4,000 workers at Heathrow Airport, including security officers, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers, are set to strike on:

  • Friday 26 July
  • Saturday 27 July
  • Monday 5 August
  • Tuesday 6 August
  • Friday 23 August
  • Saturday 24 August

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has described the action as “a move that could potentially shut down the airport”. It comes after the workers backed strike action in eight separate strike ballots.

“During planned union strikes, travellers are advised to arrive at the airport early, stay on top of their flight status, and work with their local operations teams in case of any planned changes or cancellations to their itineraries," said Matthew DeMaris, Global Risk Product Leader.

The planned strikes follow the rejection of an 18-month pay offer amounting to 2.7%, which according to Unite amounts to just £3.75 extra a day for the lowest paid workers involved in the dispute.

Will your business travel plans be affected?

While it remains to be seen whether the strikes will go ahead as planned, Heathrow Airport has said it is “disappointed” at the staff action and “will be implementing contingency plans that will ensure the airport remains open and operating safely throughout”. 

If you’re concerned about an upcoming business trip or booking flights, speak to your Travel Consultant as soon as possible. And don’t forget, FCM offers a 24/7 Emergency Assist team, in case of any issues out of hours.

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