The pilots are taking industrial action on September 9 and 10. The airline is warning travellers booked on cancelled flights over the next few days not to go to the airport.

“If you have a flight booked with us on or around those dates, it is likely that you will not be able to travel as planned,” British Airways said.

Qantas codeshares on a number of flights with British Airways from London to Europe and Qantas confirmed those flights will be affected.

“We codeshare on a small number of British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Europe and passengers are able to move their dates of travel, free of charge to avoid the strike action,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

Qantas said its own flights to Britain should not suffer any disruption.

“There’s no expected impact to Qantas’ two daily services from Melbourne and Sydney to London,” a Qantas spokesman said.

British Airways operates one flight itself to Australia – from London to Sydney via Singapore – and Monday’s flight arrived just after 5am, flight boards showed.

The Insurance Council of Australia is urging any Australian travelling on British Airways to contact the airline or their travel agent.

Insurance Council spokeswoman Lisa Kable, said travel insurance was not likely to apply as insurers only step in when a “loss is incurred” and British Airways was offering full refunds or alternative travel arrangements.

“In this current British Airways industrial action case, British Airways is offering alternate arrangements for travellers affected including a refund,” she said.

The strike will affect thousands of travellers.Credit:AP

Speaking more broadly, Ms Kable said insurance coverage for industrial action depended on when the policy was purchased.

“If you bought your policy after an industrial strike becomes a known event, it’s unlikely that the insurer will cover costs,” she said.

British Airways said on an information page on its website the airline will consider paying for additional hotel accommodation on an “individual basis” and claims should be submitted to its website.


Ms Kable said traveller’s insurance policy may cover accommodation costs depending on the individual policy.

“The next step is to consult the purchased travel insurance policy to check whether costs relating to industrial action not already covered by the airline are covered,” she said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said passengers may be entitled to a refund if a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed.

“All consumers have the right to a remedy, such as a refund, if services are not supplied within a reasonable time,” an ACCC spokesperson said.

“Obligations under Australia’s consumer laws are not excluded, modified or exempted when a business is facing industrial action.”

British Airways pilots have another day of industrial action planned for September 27.

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