The latest strike news from Unite is not good for customers or for tour operators, states John Tangney, spokesperson for Aviation Affairs for the 140-strong Association of Independent Tour Operators (www.aito.com), which jointly carry around one million passengers annually.
Tangney says: “Cabin crew will walk out for four separate five-day strikes in May and June. The first strike will begin on 18 May, ending on 22 May, with three further strikes beginning on 24 May, 30 May and 5 June. The strikes will see staff walk out for 20 days in total, covering the Spring Bank Holiday and school half-term holidays. AITO members, the specialist holiday companies of the travel industry, join me in deploring this latest news from Unite.”
He continues: “Having just recovered from the previous round of strikes, then working hard to protect our clients during the ongoing volcanic ash problems, we now face another BA series of strikes. It’s hugely disappointing to say the least.”
Tangney is confident that AITO members will do their best to protect travel arrangements for customers, but adds: “It’s like banging one’s head repeatedly against a brick wall – but it does demonstrate the absolute value that tour operators such as ours offer their package tour customers. If you have booked direct with BA as a consumer, it will be more luck than anything else if you manage to achieve your travel plans despite the union’s best efforts.”