Border Force Strikes: Customers Unlikely To Be Awarded Compensation for Disruption

A Border Force officer stands in the Heathrow Airport terminal.
Photo Credit: Heathrow Airport.

LONDON – Ahead of the upcoming UK Border Force strikes, the UK CAA has stated that it will be unlikely for passengers to acquire compensation for the disruption ahead.

Over the Christmas period, staff from Border Force are set to strike over pay, which will affect the following airports:

  • Birmingham Airport
  • Cardiff Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Glasgow Airport
  • Heathrow Airport
  • Manchester Airport

The CAA released information today about what rights passengers have when it comes to such treatment by airlines.

They said that in the event of delays or cancellations caused by the Border Force strikes, airlines have an obligation to provide food and drink proportionately to the delay, as well as accommodation if delays or cancellations happen overnight.

UK CAA: Compensation Unlikely For Disruption…

Expanding more into the aforementioned above was Paul Smith, the Consumer Director at the UK CAA, who mentioned that compensation will be unlikely for those affected by the disruption:

“We anticipate UK Border Force strikes may lead to longer queues and wait times than normal when arriving at the UK border, as well as possible flight disruption.

“In the event of delays and cancellations, airlines have an obligation to look after their passengers.”

“Where a flight is canceled, airlines also have an obligation to help passengers find an alternative flight or to provide a refund, although, given the circumstances, passengers may be unable to get to their destinations as quickly as the airlines or we would like.

“We expect airlines to do what they can to minimize the overall disruption to passengers, and this includes proactively providing passengers with updates and information about their rights when flights are disrupted.

“Border Force strikes are outside of the control of airlines, so it is unlikely that customers will be entitled to compensation for any delays and cancellations arising from these strikes.”

Strikes Will Affect Over 10,000 Flights…

Cirium has revealed that it will affect over 10,000 UK flights.

As seen via the table below, the 10,072 arrivals that will be affected amount to 2,022,024 seats, which is a substantial number of passengers to be disrupted by this strike action.

It can probably be expected that with Border Force personnel striking, and potentially in high numbers too, it’s safe to say that flights will probably be canceled.

No airlines have outlined any cancellations thus far, but this will probably emerge over the next week or so as we get closer to the strike dates.


The next few weeks are going to be interesting at UK airports, with tens of thousands of passengers expected to be affected by this disruption.

With UK infrastructure expected to be badly disrupted on the rail side as well, all eyes will be on the UK Government to see what they are going to do as a result of this.

The Border Force is vital for ensuring that passengers are processed through UK airports in the perspective of security and safety, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out with the airlines too.

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