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British Airways tells passengers not to turn up at airports, as airline's biggest ever strike begins

British Airways tells passengers not to turn up at airports, as airline's biggest ever strike beginsBritish Airways has told its passengers not to turn up at airports as the biggest strike action in the airline’s 100 year history begins on Monday. More than 1,500 flights have been cancelled as the company was accused of bullying its own staff by union bosses, who warned they could continue the action until the end of the year. Some 280,000 people will be affected by the strike which is set to continue on Tuesday, costing BA £80m in lost revenue. BA and The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) are clashing after the union rejected a proposed 11.5 per cent pay rise for its pilots, taking their pay package to around £200,000 a year. BALPA says that BA “has resorted to breaking agreements and threatening pilots who will strike, which is bound to make matters worse” after they emailed their 4,300 pilots on Friday warning that strike action would be a ‘serious breach’ of their contract. BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said: "British Airways must now put the needs of its staff and passengers first and accept that its pilots will not be bullied or fobbed off." Credit: BALPA The airline further threatened to withdraw a travel perk, where staff can book tickets for ten per cent of the full fare plus taxes, for three years if they chose to strike. BALPA branded the airline’s behaviour “illogical and irresponsible” and “will further deepen the fall out with their pilots.” Flights to New York, Delhi, Hong Kong and Johannesburg have all been affected, with the airline telling passengers: “If your flight is cancelled, please do not go to the airport.”  One passenger, Kenneth Farrington, told the BBC that he thought his holiday “was in ruins.” Travellers have been offered full refunds, flights on different carriers, or the option to fly on a different date, but should not turn up at the airport without a confirmed flight. On Sunday, 50 flights were cancelled over fears of a lack of space to park planes at Heathrow and Gatwick, and the knock on effect will last well into the week. Long haul captains at the airline earn an average base salary of £167,000 a year, while co-pilots take home £70,000. British Airways say they made a “fair” offer of an 11.5 per cent pay rise over three years, plus a one per cent bonus. The deal was already accepted by members of the Unite and GMB unions, which represent 90 per cent of British Airways’ staff. BALPA says that now the company is in better financial health, its members should see a greater share of the profits and have a mandate for strike action until January, raising fears of Christmas travel chaos. British Airways said on Sunday: “We're extremely sorry for the problems caused by the strike action called by the pilots’ union, BALPA on 9, 10 and 27 September. “We continue to be available for constructive talks with BALPA, on the basis that there are no pre-conditions to those talks. “If you have a flight booked with us on those dates, it is likely that you will not be able to travel as planned due to BALPA’s strike action. We are offering all affected customers full refunds or the option to re-book to another date of travel or alternative airline.” Compensation due for a cancelled flight On Sunday, BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said: “British Airways needs to wake up and realise its pilots are determined to be heard. “They’ve previously taken big pay cuts to help the company through hard times. Now BA is making billions of pounds of profit, its pilots have made a fair, reasonable and affordable claim for pay and benefits. “BALPA has consistently offered up chances for the company to negotiate a way forward. British Airways must now put the needs of its staff and passengers first and accept that its pilots will not be bullied or fobbed off. “But the company’s leaders, who themselves are paid huge salaries and have generous benefits packages, won’t listen, are refusing to negotiate and are putting profits before the needs of passengers and staff. “This strike will have cost the company considerably more than the investment needed to settle this dispute. “It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute.” This is the second time in a month that BALPA have been involved in pay disputes with airlines, after Ryanair pilots were reportedly demanding pay rises of up to 121%, according to the airline.  Ryanair accused BALPA of "excessive and unexplained demands for pay increases" and a secret memo seen by the Telegraph, which was drawn up by the airline, showed pay package demands of up to £350,000 a year. Strike action has already taken place twice this summer, with more disruption planned for later this month.



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‘Spare Our Passengers’: Hong Kong Airport's Plea to Protesters

‘Spare Our Passengers’: Hong Kong Airport's Plea to Protesters(Bloomberg) — Hong Kong’s airport used a newspaper advertisement to appeal to protesters, asking them not to target the transport hub ahead of another weekend of anti-China demonstrations in the city.“Spare our passengers further disruption,” read a half-page ad from the Airport Authority Hong Kong in the South China Morning Post, the territory’s main English-speaking newspaper, on Friday.In the ad, the authority urged demonstrators “not to disrupt the journey of tens of thousands of travelers who use our airport every day.”The train connecting the city center and the airport will not stop at three other stations on the line Saturday because protests are expected to take place, according to a Friday statement from the Airport Authority Hong Kong. The train will only stop at the airport and Hong Kong Station from 9 a.m. until end of service.Hong Kong’s Civil Aviation Department said it was urging the public not to fly drones near the airport, saying that it had seen online posts discussing the possibility.Last weekend saw some of the most violent confrontations since the unrest broke out in Hong Kong three months ago. Protesters, who oppose China’s tightening grip on the former British colony, vandalized turnstiles at train stations to the airport and the high-speed rail link to the terminal was suspended.Hundreds of flights at what is Asia’s busiest hub for international traffic were delayed or canceled, leaving queues of people stuck at the terminal sitting on suitcases, while others walked down the highway pushing luggage.It’s not the first advertisement by Hong Kong authorities to combat the unrest. The government took out a full-page ad in Thursday’s edition of the Australian Financial Review to reassure investors the city is stable and the economy is strong. Tycoons and businesses in the city have also appealed for calm in the city with newspaper ads.There have been repeated calls online for protesters to block traffic to the airport again this weekend, and passengers should allow extra time to catch their flights, the authority said in its ad on Friday. The airport obtained a court injunction last month against people holding protests inside the terminal, and a later one preventing them from blocking the roads.The demonstrations are set to continue, even after Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam formally withdrew the contentious extradition bill that sparked the pushback against Beijing in June. Pro-democracy activists and lawmakers say her concession is too little too late, with protesters also demanding an independent inquiry into police behavior and the right to nominate and elect Hong Kong’s leader.Turnstiles and ticket machines at a subway station were vandalized on Wednesday night, spurring the operator, MTR Corp., to “strongly condemn” attacks on staff and destruction of their facilities. The railway network has been a key target of the demonstrators, with several lines closed last weekend amid heightened tensions. Footage showed police swinging batons at protesters as they clung to each other in subway cars.(Updates with partial shutdown of airport train in fourth paragraph, warning about drones in fifth paragraph..)To contact the reporter on this story: Angus Whitley in Sydney at awhitley1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Emma O'BrienFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Crew members who survived the California boat fire say they desperately tried to save passengers sleeping on the ship's lower deck

Crew members who survived the California boat fire say they desperately tried to save passengers sleeping on the ship's lower deckInvestigators have interviewed the surviving crew members and are trying to piece together whether the right safety measures were taken.



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American Airlines Is Retiring a Plane That Pilots and Passengers Both Love and Hate

American Airlines Is Retiring a Plane That Pilots and Passengers Both Love and HateAmerican Airlines is operating the last commercial trip of the MD-80, flying from Dallas to Chicago



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Some Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Norwegian Cruise ship passengers are stuck at sea as Hurricane Dorian creeps dangerously close to Florida (RCL, CCL)

Some Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Norwegian Cruise ship passengers are stuck at sea as Hurricane Dorian creeps dangerously close to Florida (RCL, CCL)Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line have extended the itineraries for some ships as Hurricane Dorian nears Florida.



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A person reportedly died and 320 passengers and crew had to be evacuated after a cruise ship in Russia caught on fire

A person reportedly died and 320 passengers and crew had to be evacuated after a cruise ship in Russia caught on fireThe ship was reportedly docked in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday when the fire began in the cabin of one of the ship's mechanics, Fontanka reported.



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'Sorry for the inconvenience': Hong Kong protesters apologized to furious passengers after the city's airport was paralyzed for a second day

'Sorry for the inconvenience': Hong Kong protesters apologized to furious passengers after the city's airport was paralyzed for a second dayHong Kong protesters used carts to block departure gates, sending a message to the government and drawing attention to alleged police brutality.



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Thousands of Norwegian Cruise Line passengers stranded in Barcelona after technical issue

Thousands of Norwegian Cruise Line passengers stranded in Barcelona after technical issueNorwegian Cruise Line is apologizing to customers for canceling a cruise in Spain, days before it was supposed to end in Italy.



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United, other airlines step in to (sort of) rescue passengers as WOW Air shuts down

United, other airlines step in to (sort of) rescue passengers as WOW Air shuts downPassengers scrambling to find tickets on other airlines to get home or to their vacation destination are finding limited options.



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Passengers stranded after Iceland's WOW air collapses

Passengers stranded after Iceland's WOW air collapses“This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done but the reality is that we have run out of time and have unfortunately not been able to secure the funding of the company,” WOW CEO and founder Skuli Mogensen wrote in a letter to the company’s 1,000 employees. WOW is the latest budget airline to collapse as the European airline sector grapples with over-capacity and high fuel costs. Recent failures include Britain’s Flybmi, Nordic budget airline Primera Air and Cypriot counterpart Cobalt.



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