London, England: Not unexpectedly, British Airways (BA) cabin crew launched a three-day strike on Saturday soon after talks over pay and work conditions collapsed leaving thousands of travellers facing chaos.
Thousands of members of Britain's biggest trade union, Unite, walked out on their jobs at midnight Friday, soon after talks with union joint leader Tony Woodley and BA chief executive Willie Walsh broke down.
This is only the first stage of a two-phase strike plan when union members plan to walk out for four more days from 27 March, coinciding with the busy Easter holiday period.
With 1,000 flights due for cancellation over the strike period, British Airways still managed to operate roughly half its flights on Saturday. It's not clear how the airline will manage on Sunday and Monday.
BA chief executive Willie Walsh has said the airline will lease aircraft in an effort to fly at least 65 per cent of its flights. It has organised the services of contract crews and, to some extent, will hope to cope with these.
Members of the Unite Union, which represent roughly 13,000 of BA's 15,000 cabin crew, planned to hold a rally Saturday near Heathrow in support of striking workers.