British Airways Airbus A320-232
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Travel Alert December 2022: Industrial Action in the United Kingdom May Disrupt Air Travel


If the United Kingdom is in your travel plans for the remainder of December of 2022, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information — as members of the staff of Border Force in the United Kingdom members will stage industrial action starting today, Friday, December 23, 2022 through the remainder of the year with the exception of Tuesday, December 27, 2022, which could potentially impact hundreds of thousands of passengers.

Travel Alert December 2022: Industrial Action in the United Kingdom May Disrupt Air Travel

The industrial action will affect the airports of Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Glasgow; as well as the Port of Newhaven.

“The strike comes after 100,000 PCS members in 214 government departments and other public bodies voted to take strike action over a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts to redundancy terms”, according to this article from the Public and Commercial Services Union. “Like so many workers, our members are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. They are desperate. They are being told there is no money for them, while they watch ministers giving out government contracts worth billions of pounds to their mates.”

This statement is from the official Internet web site of Border Force of the government of the United Kingdom:

The UK government is making preparations ahead of Border Force strike action at the end of the week, including training military personnel to step in and keep our border safe.

Since strikes, due to begin on Friday 23 December, were announced by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union, Border Force and the government have undertaken extensive planning to minimise the disruption this action will cause.

Thousands of people, including civil servants and military personnel are ready to support Border Force over this period, many of whom are sacrificing their Christmases to ensure passenger’s travel plans are protected and they get to where they want to be this Christmas.

The government has also been working closely with ports, airports and the travel industry to understand the impact of strike action, to minimise delays for passengers and ensure the flow of goods through the border.

While the government is taking action to minimise disruption, travellers due to arrive in the UK over the Christmas period are warned to expect delays and disruption over the strike action affecting border control.

Passengers should be prepared for longer wait times and should check with their travel agents, tour operators and airlines/carriers about possible disruptions to their journey prior to travelling.

Our eGates will continue to function as per normal and we encourage all those eligible to use them to do so, as the quickest and most efficient way to pass through border control.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to, from, or within the United Kingdom for the remainder of December of 2022, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to the industrial action which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary. If you are driving in any of these areas, watch out for deteriorating conditions and traffic problems.

Here are six airlines which have issued travel alerts as a result of this industrial action:

Final Boarding Call

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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