LONDON  -  The British Airways strike next month is to cause at least five consecutive days of flight cancellations. BA pilots announced three days of strikes - taking place on 9, 10 and 27 September - in a dispute over pay.

Despite the first strikes being on 9 and 10 September, some customers flying between the 8th and 12th have been told their flights have been cancelled - and to rebook or get a refund.  But some passengers said they had received cancellation emails in error.

After initially being informed their flights had been scrapped, they were then told their flights were going ahead.

Sarah Maxwell, from Belfast, was told by email that her flight from Dublin to Dubai had been axed - but when she got through to customer services they assured her the flight was “100% not cancelled”.

BBC entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba had a similar experience, being told he had been sent a cancellation email “in error”. “I’ve lost a whole Saturday morning trying to sort out something it turns out wasn’t a problem,” he said.

BA is yet to comment on whether it had sent some emails by mistake.

‘Knock-on effects’

Many customers have also complained that they have been unable to get through to BA to make alternative arrangements.

BA says it carries 145,000 customers every day - with a fleet of more than 280 aircraft - and a BA plane takes off from somewhere in the world every 90 seconds.

BA said in a statement: “We are doing absolutely everything we can to prevent this unfair action from taking place and ruining our customers’ travel plans.

“Airlines have a very complex operation and during times of widespread disruption, there can be knock-on effects onto flights on other days.”

Customers have reported receiving emails late on Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday morning informing them their flight had been cancelled. Many have taken to social media to complain that they have been unable to rebook via the website or get through on BA’s phone lines.