The head of Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association has highlighted the role travel agents can play ahead of potential summer travel chaos if British Airways pilots walk out on strike.

SPAA president Ken McLeod said members across Scotland “will be ready to assist as far as they can with their clients’ travel plans”.

This remains “undoubtedly one of the key advantages of using a travel agent”.

McLeod said: “Travel itineraries are becoming more complex. If one step of the logistical process fails, such as an airline strike, and you have booked your whole trip independently without the help of an agent, then unfortunately, you’ll be on your own in terms of resolving this and the next steps of your trip may be in jeopardy.

“In recent years we’ve had several incidents of airlines failing along with bad weather; all incidents during which our members have assisted their clients to get where they need to be.

“Whether these incidents happen on the way to your destination or on your way back, a travel agent is your number one ally and premium problem solver.”

He added: “A travel agent may have access, directly or via their tour operator, to airline booking systems which allows the ability to amend, change or cancel bookings.

“Anyone who has booked directly with BA or via other online resources may be in for a difficult time if the strikes go ahead.

“We know from experience that, if you are a consumer, getting in touch directly with an airline in times of ‘crisis’ can be very challenging.”

McLeod said:“There’s still time for this dispute to be resolved and we hope that a resolution can be achieved, not least because in the summer months up to 154,000 BA passengers a day could be affected.

“This is a very worrying time for anyone who has a BA flight booked however, anyone with a BA booking in the next fortnight need not worry at this stage as the pilots’ union must give 14 days’ notice of any strike dates.

“Anyone flying on an outbound journey in this 14-day period could be affected on their return journey if strikes go ahead on the date of their return flight. It will be important for travellers to keep in touch with news on these strikes while on holiday or on business.”