BA strikes began at midnight after last minute negotiations between British Airways and Unite fell apart.

Cabin crew union, Unite, had offered to call off the strike at the eleventh hour if travel perks were reinstated. However, British Airways refused, claiming it had already agreed to do that once other elements of its offer had been accepted.

The talks turned into pandemonium after Unite boss Derek Simpson updated his Twitter, saying:  “Fear of more sackings to come.”

Unfortunately, protestors who read the tweet took it as a call to storm the meeting and turned up in force at the central London office where talks were being held.

Airline chief Willie Walsh said last night: “I was shocked and angry. If it wasn’t for Derek’s actions and the mob, we may have made significant progress.”

The union is planning two further five-day strikes, including a walkout during the school half-term next week.

BA said its priority now was helping customers caught in the middle of the dispute.

Walsh said: “All flights at London Gatwick and London City will operate as normal. At Heathrow we expect to operate more than 60% of long-haul services and more than 50% of short-haul flights and we will add to that schedule where we can.”

Get more information if you’re planning to fly:

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Tags: British Airways, BA strikes, airline strikes, travel warning, travel update, travel alert, protestors, airline union, Heathrow, Gatwick