BA strike causes Israel Pesach anguish

By Leon Symons, March 16, 2010
British Airways cabin crew strikes could hit Pesach travellers to Israel

British Airways cabin crew strikes could hit Pesach travellers to Israel

Families looking forward to Pesach in Israel may face heartbreak as a result of the proposed British Airways cabin crew strike.

BA has cancelled all flights to Israel this weekend and will not resume until Tuesday. However, the main travel time is the following weekend — March 26 - 28 .

Former United Synagogue property director Alan Koch was one of those whose Pesach plans could be ruined by the strike.

Mr Koch, 65, of Kenton, said: “I am booked on a flight on March 28. BA has told me that if the strike continues and the flight is cancelled, they cannot get me out there until the following Thursday. That means I would miss seder nights with my two sons and three grandchildren” .

“The trouble is I may not know anything until next week, when it will be too late to try to find anything else. I would have to make Pesach here when I had no plans to do so. It’s not easy because I suffer from multiple sclerosis.”

United Synagogue vice-president Keith Barnett was also facing difficulties. He said: “My wife is booked on a flight on March 25, which is okay. But I am booked on the Saturday night flight. We could face the prospect of spending Pesach apart. ”

BA apologised for the problems, which it blamed on what it called the Unite union’s “unjustified strike action”.

BA’s flights will continue until Friday and will resume on Tuesday March 23. It has managed to place some travellers with El Al. But the airline is waiting until next week before it deals with flights for the following weekend and says it will try to give its customers as much notice as possible about flight changes if the strike continues.

El Al sa ys it will not be adding any extra flights to Tel Aviv as a result of the proposed strike. It will be operating flights as published but may bring in larger aircraft to try to accommodate more passengers.

Last updated: 7:03pm, March 16 2010