Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) has moved to reassure UK buyers travelling to and from this year’s EIBTM of alternative travel arrangements following fears that public sector strikes will cause major delays to air travel.
A public sector strike on 30 November is set to cause major delays to air travel from and into the UK as up to 2 million public sector workers walk off the job.
In a statement, the organiser reassured 250 buyers travelling on 30 November by air to the UK that contingency plans are in place to assist them. EIBTM runs from 29 November to 1 December at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain.
This is the second consecutive year EIBTM has faced significant travel issues after bad weather and strikes disruptedlast year’s exhibition.
"UK hosted buyers with flights booked returning to the UK from Barcelona on Wednesday will be offered the option of an earlier flight on the Tuesday evening,” EBITM show director Graeme Barnett said in RTE’s statement.
“Alternatively, EIBTM will provide complimentary accommodation for the Wednesday evening at the Renaissance Barcelona Airport Hotel and a complimentary return flight on Thursday 1 December on the EIBTMGatwick charter flight.”
Heavier than usual delays at passport control are likely and British Airways has some seats available on 27-29 November or 1-7 December for customers able to change.
“Hosted buyers should continue with their plans for travel to Barcelona,” RTE’s statement continued. “We are working closely with our partners in the UK, the airlines, airports and those on the ground in Barcelona and if there is any change to the situation we will be in touch with those affected.”
RTE said this year, at least, there has beentime to work on the problem: “Last year was not comparable - the conditions were totally unpredictable and affected Europe as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific Airways has called on passengers who have booked flights scheduled to arrive in or depart from London on 30 November to postpone travel due to the anticipated industrial action by public sector workers including the UK Border Agency.
The airline will waive all rebooking charges for tickets issued on or before 25 November for its Hong Kong London flights on 30 November.
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