British Airways has increased its flying schedule during Unite’s five day strike due to the growing numbers of cabin crew willing to work as normal. During the industrial action from 5-9 June, the airline will increase its Heathrow longhaul schedule to more than 80% of flights. It will also be increasing its Heathrow shorthaul schedule to 60% of flights. British Airways flights at Gatwick, the UK’s second busiest airport, will remain unaffected due to the levels of cabin crew ignoring Unite’s strike calls. Flights at London City airport will also operate as normal. The airline will fly its full schedule (26 departures a week) to South Africa to ensure football fans with thousands of fans due to fly out to Johannesburg and Cape Town from Heathrow Terminal 5 ahead of the World Cup kick-off. The airline will also continue to fly its entire Heathrow to New York JFK schedule and serve in excess of 85 per cent of its longhaul destinations and 100 per cent of its shorthaul network. Customers are being contacted throughout today to give them as much notice as possible about their specific travel plans between June 5 and June 9. During this strike period British Airways expects to fly more than 75 per cent of customers who hold a booking between June 5 and June 9. This equates to more than 65,000 customers flying each day. Many thousands more will be able to use seats, which have been secured on more than 50 other airlines to reach their destination. Customers can also be rebooked onto an alternative BA flight departing within the next 355 days. Refunds are also available for customers whose flights have been cancelled. The airline will continue to lease up to eight aircraft from other UK or European airlines to supplement its shorthaul schedule at Heathrow. Customers in the UK wishing to rebook their flights can visit the airline’s website, www.ba.com, or contact the airline on 0800 727 800 which is a free telephone line. British Airways has opened up an extra call centre manned by staff volunteers to help customers with rebooking and refunding queries. British Airways’ flight programme is complex, involving the combination of rosters for 13,000 cabin crew, more than 3,000 pilots and 230 aircraft operating schedules. More than 8,000 flight and cabin crew have to be in the right place at the right time, either on aircraft, at airports or in crew hotels in more than 140 cities in more than 70 countries, every day. Customers are advised to check ba.com on a regular basis to see if their flight is still operating before departing for the airport. If their flight has been cancelled they should not come to the airport but contact British Airways or their travel agent.