Heathrow holiday warning as airport staff to strike this month – here is what it means for your flight | The Sun

BRITS looking to jet off from Heathrow Airport this December could face travel disruption as hundreds of staff vote to strike.

Unite ground handlers will walk out at 4am on December 16 for 72 hours in an ongoing dispute over pay.

The workers are employed by a private contractor, Menzies Aviation.

The Unite General Secretary, Sharon Graham said: "Menzies needs to have a long, hard look at itself.

"This is a highly lucrative company, which has made a fair pay offer to one group of its workers but isn't prepared to make a similar offer to its ground handlers."

According to Unite, the ground handlers have not received a "fair" pay offer, which has instead been branded as a real-terms pay cut.

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"Unite is entirely dedicated to defending its members' jobs, pay and conditions," they added.

The action will affect flights operated by 10 major airlines departing from Heathrow Terminals 2, 3 and 4 including American Airlines, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus and Finnair.

Guy Hobbs, Editor of Which? Travel, said: "The possibility of strikes at Heathrow grounding flights later this month will be of huge concern to travellers, with thousands now anxious as to whether their Christmas plans could be left in ruins.

"Airlines affected should work quickly to inform passengers of any potential changes to their booking as a result of strike action, and ensure travellers are aware of their rights to rebooking or refunds if their flight is cancelled.

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"Anyone still looking to book a flight during this time may want to consider alternative airports."

The action follows a similar dispute in November, and Heathrow Airport has been quick to reassure passengers, claiming airlines such as BA and Virgin will not be affected.

A Heathrow spokesperson said: "We are aware of industrial action proposed by Menzies colleagues from 16 – 18 December.

"We encourage airport partners who would be affected to continue with their contingency planning and we will support them to minimise the impact on passengers, should the strike go ahead."

While it's not clear how widespread the disruption will be at the airport, it's not the only strike action passengers are facing this December.

Both easyJet and Ryanair passengers are likely to be impacted after trade unions in France and Belgium threatened the airlines with walkouts over the Christmas period.

While Brits using the Eurostar to get away in December and January will also face travel disruption after security staff announced strike action on December 16, 18, 22 and 23.


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