New British Airways strike dates announced

British Airways announced last night that the Unite union has announced new strike dates for next week.

‘Mixed Fleet’ cabin crew will walk out on Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th January in protest over pay.

The latest news on the strike disruption can be found on this page of ba.com.

‘Mixed Fleet’ represents around 15% of cabin crew members, so the BA schedule will not be totally decimated.  British Airways said last night that “We are looking to ensure that all of our customers, with bookings on those two days, will travel to their destinations.”

What I understand (ie guess) this to mean is that:

all flights from Gatwick and London City will operate as they do not use ‘Mixed Fleet’ crew

all long haul flights will operate

short haul routes with one flight per day will operate

frequencies will be chopped from routes with multiple flights, with customers given the option of cancelling or moving to another service on the same day

British Airways A350

BA has said that it will publish its contingency plans on Friday.  You should NOT contact British Airways at this stage as you will not be allowed to change or cancel your booking unless your ticket type allows it.

The last strike, planned for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, was called off.  What happened was that Unite supported a revised offer from the airline and said that it would put it to the ‘Mixed Fleet’ members.  The offer has now been rejected by staff despite the support of the union and so strikes are back on the agenda.

As a reminder of the background to the strike, of the 4,000 members of ‘Mixed Fleet’, only 1,500 took part in the ballot.  80% of those of who voted were in favour of the strike.

According to a BBC report:

According to a recent Unite survey, half of Mixed Fleet staff have taken on second jobs to make ends meet, and more than two-thirds were going to work “unfit to fly” because they could not afford to be off sick.

It said 84% reported experiencing stress and depression since joining BA because of their financial circumstances.

Some even admitted sleeping in cars between flights, because they could not afford the petrol to get home.

Salaries for mixed fleet crew are reported to start at £12,000 per annum plus £3 per hour of flight time.  Average pay is reported to be £16,000.  These crew – hired over the last five years or so – operate totally separately from other cabin crew and are on substantially poorer packages than earlier recruits.

You can keep up to date with flight cancellation and rebooking news via the strike page of ba.com here.

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Comments

  1. Too little, too late says:

    One thing, I am due to fly to TGX on one of the strike days. I have called BAEC and asked for the flight to be changed from a striking LHR flight to a non-striking LCY flight as per Rob’s article above. BA have flatly refused to change it without me being charged the change fee which is around an extra £150!! Furthermore, as it is a flight to a European destination with multiple flights per day, it is likely to be one of the chosen “chopped” flights should no Cabin Crew turn up.

    Whereas I sympathise that planning for a strike is tricky, I think that there should a policy by BA for people trying to avoid the strike, to be allowed to change them without paying a penalty. It is not the customer’s fault that BA has got themselves into this situation, yet we end up having to pay for our own contingency plans. Unfortunately for me, planning some time next week whether I completely change my entire days schedule is just too late. I need to re-arrange things now in order to give my customers notice of any change.

    • Why don’t Unite pay for customers changes? They are offering crew more in strike pay than they will loose from BA pay…