BA and Virgin limit ticket sales to Heathrow due to border strikes

Significant queues are expected during Christmas walkout by government workers

Passengers could suffer lengthy delays due to a walkout by Border Force workers over Christmas. Reuters
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British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will limit ticket sales for flights to London's Heathrow Airport during planned strikes by border agents over Christmas and New Year's Eve to reduce disruption, the airlines said on Friday.

UK Border Force workers at several British airports including Heathrow, the country's busiest, will go on strike for eight days this month in a dispute over pay, threatening to slow processing of passengers arriving from abroad during the holidays.

A British Airways representative said the airline was working with the government and airport “to ensure that we play our part in ensuring our customers are able to travel as planned at this important time of year”.

A Virgin Atlantic representative also said the airline was working closely with government to “minimise the impact of Border Force strikes on our customers' journeys”.

The strikes, to be held from December 23-26 and 28-31, come at one of the busiest periods for airlines. Heathrow is a hub for both airlines.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have also given customers the option of extra flexibility to shift their travel to a non-strike day and flight schedules — as well as restrictions on tickets — are being kept under review.

“We intend to operate our schedule as planned, with additional flexibility to allow customers to change their flight dates if they wish to avoid arriving on strike days,” the Virgin Atlantic representative said.

Updated: December 16, 2022, 9:46 PM