The UK CAA is looking into whether British Airways (BA) fully complied with its passenger-rights obligations, after the airline mistakenly told some passengers their flights were canceled during an upcoming pilots’ strike.

“We have been in contact with the airline to determine what has happened and are seeking an explanation to confirm how it complied with its re-routing obligations to consumers,” UK CAA director Richard Stephenson said Aug. 27.

“Passengers who have seen their flights canceled should be offered the choice of reimbursement for canceled flights, alternate travel arrangements under comparable conditions at the earliest opportunity which includes flights on other airlines, or a new flight at a later date at the passenger’s convenience. We also expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights when flights are canceled.”

On Aug. 23, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) announced strike plans for Sept. 9, 10 and 27. BA sent out emails notifying passengers that their flights had been canceled; however, some cancellations were later retracted.

“We emailed all those customers within a few hours to clarify that their flight will go ahead as planned,” a BA spokeswoman said Aug. 26, but some passengers complained they had already rearranged their plans and were unable to reach BA customer services.

The BA spokeswoman said the airline would “deal with each case on an individual basis.”

The CAA specified Aug. 27 that passengers who were mistakenly told their flight was canceled can make claims against BA.

“Having been informed in error by BA that their flight was canceled, those consumers that took action should not be left out of pocket, and any reasonable costs of rebooked flights should be claimed from the airline,” the CAA said.

BA is looking into options to mitigate the impact of the three-day strike, including sourcing larger aircraft from partner airlines and wet leasing. “Our proposed deal of 11.5% over three years is very fair and well above the UK’s current rate of inflation,” BA had said Aug. 23.

BALPA said BA has declined a number of packages that would resolve the dispute. The union estimates each strike day will cost the airline around £40 million ($49 million), resulting in a £120 million hit across the three days.

“The gap between BA’s position and BALPA’s position is about £5 million,” the union said on Aug. 23. “Our proposal remains on the table should BA wish to reach agreement prior to strike action.”

Victoria Moores