Thousands of Midlanders face Christmas chaos as union leaders have announced a series of nine 12-hour strikes - including Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve - at Birmingham International Airport.
Engineers, security and fire service workers who are members of the Amicus union will walk out in support of two sacked colleagues on nine separate days, with the first planned for next Monday.
BIA's management, which sacked the two security workers for unauthorised absences and falsification of attendance sheets, last night apologised to passengers affected but said it could not allow its safety procedures to be dictated by industrial ballots.
The airport said it had already been forced to shelve recruitment for next year.
Amicus, which represents about 200 BIA workers, said the claims against its members were "totally without foundation" and accused the airport of using covert surveillance techniques.
The first strike will start at 6am on Monday and the last one will be on January 6.
The airport terminals will remain open as usual, BIA said, although flights will not operate between 6am and 7pm each day.
The airport added there was a likelihood that disruption will continue outside of these times.
BIA said it remained ready to accept binding independent arbitration, although Amicus refused the initial offer two weeks ago.
Richard Heard, BIA's managing director, said the strikes will effectively close the airport and "play into the hands of our competitors".