The UK Civil Aviation Authority has urged passengers to plan their travels and know their rights ahead of Border Force strike action this month.
Border Force staff are to strike on multiple days over the Christmas period at Birmingham Airport, Cardiff Airport, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow Airport, Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airport and Port of Newhaven.
In the event of delays and cancellations, airlines have an obligation to look after their passengers. This can include providing food and drink proportionate to the length of the delay, as well as accommodation if passengers are delayed overnight.
Commenting Paul Smith, Consumer Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:
“We anticipate UK Border Force strikes may lead to longer queues and wait times than normal when arriving at the UK border, as well as possible flight disruption.
“In the event of delays and cancellations, airlines have an obligation to look after their passengers. Where a flight is cancelled, airlines also have an obligation to help passengers find an alternative flight or to provide a refund, although given the circumstances passengers may be unable to get to their destinations as quickly as we or airlines would like.
“We expect airlines to do what they can to minimise the overall disruption to passengers, and this includes proactively providing passengers with updates and information about their rights when flights are disrupted.
“Border Force strikes are outside of the control of airlines so it is unlikely that customers will be entitled to compensation for any delays and cancellations arising from these strikes.”
The UK Civil Aviation Authority has guidance on cancellations and flight disruption published on the regulator’s website and expect airlines to follow this.