UK Rail
Hackers could take control of railway message boards causing chaos, experts warn iStock

The curse of 2016 looks set to spill over into Christmas, as industrial action planned by a number of organisations could cause disruption across the UK. Festivities are threatened by pilots, postal workers and airport staff as well as wide-scale disruption to the rail service caused by planned engineering works.

British Airways cabin crew staff plan to strike on Christmas Day and Boxing day over pay, with around 4,500 staff due to take action in news that the airline said it was "appalled" by. Virgin Atlantic pilots are to work "strictly to contract" rather than striking, over union recognition.

Meanwhile, more than 1,500 check-in staff, baggage handlers and cargo crew. Airport staff plan to strike in the 48 hours leading up to Christmas day, across 18 airports, causing chaos for those leaving the UK for the festive season.

Unite staff will walk out "as a last resort" a spokesperson for the union, said.

The strike will affect Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Doncaster, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds/Bradford, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, Southampton and Stanstead airports.

More services could be disrupted as Post Office workers represented by the Communications Workers Union said they would also strike for five days in the week before Christmas, including on Christmas Eve. The strike is over job losses, as well as closures of Crown Offices and final salary pensions.

However, the Royal Mail issued a statement on their website that it expected "little or no impact" on its parcels or letters operations. It added there was no change to its last posting dates.

Causing further misery, those travelling by rail were advised to plan journeys in advance as up to 200 rail projects is set to disrupt services. Major works are set to take place on routes out of Paddington, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross, Waterloo, between Newport and Cardiff as well as Manchester Piccadilly.

British Airways
British Airways said it's staff member's plans to strike over Christmas were "appalling". Reuters/Luke MacGregor