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Thousands stranded as British Airways cancels flights

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Thousands stranded as British Airways cancels flights

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Chaos and delays continue at Britain’s biggest airport. An unofficial strike at London Heathrow has caused British Airways to cancel all flights until early this evening.

Tens of thousands of passengers have been left stranded as members of the Transport and General Workers Union walked out in support of a dispute. Airport staff have handed out free bottles of water and booked a few thousand over-night hotel rooms, but for most travellers the ordeal just goes on. “We are travelling with two babies,” said one woman. “They are dehydrated and hungery. We just can’t move. We can’t even book a hotel room as there are no taxis to get there. We don’t know what to do.” Another passenger was equally frustrated, saying: “They can’t even tell me where my luggage is. Do I want it sent on to Washington DC or sent to my UK address? It doesn’t help me or anyone else in the same situation.” Although BA has been severly hit by the action, the dispute concerns its out-sourced catering firm. The American-owned “Gate Gourmet” sacked 350 of its staff who protested at the use of seasonal workers. Members of their trade union, including baggage handlers, loaders and even taxi drivers have walked out in sympathy.