British Airways has issued a warning to all passengers due to fly from Heathrow on 5 and 6 August in preparation for a planned strike.

The Unite union has warned Heathrow may face a £4.6 million compensation bill if last-ditch talks taking place on Friday evening are unsuccessful in agreeing a deal. The union called off two days of strikes last week, but walk-outs planned for next Monday and Tuesday are “still on the table”.

If the strike goes ahead, security guards, fire fighters, engineers, passenger service operatives and passenger service drivers will walk out in a dispute over pay.

According to Unite, Heathrow’s contingency plans include cancelling 20 per cent of flights under standard procedures for temporarily reduced capacity.

BA says it is working with the airport to minimise disruption to passengers, but has asked customers to make adjustments to their trip to ensure the check-in process runs as smoothly as possible.

During the strike, the number of security lanes will be reduced, with Fast Track and The First Wing queues closed. As a result, it could take longer than usual to pass through the checkpoint.

Passengers will only be able to take one small personal item of hand baggage that can fit under the seat in front of them onto the aircraft. Any additional or larger items will have to be checked in. As a result, BA is asking customers to “consolidate” their belongings and keep the number of checked bags to a minimum.

An announcement on whether the strike will go ahead is expected over the weekend, so passengers due to travel on any airline from Heathrow on Monday or Tuesday are advised to ensure their carrier has their contact details to be notified of any cancellations or changes to their flights.

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