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Bits: BA cabin crew to strike, Accor / Amex cashback extended, SAS / Avis deal

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News in brief:

British Airways cabin crew to strike

The British Airways ‘mixed fleet’ cabin crew – which is pretty much everyone who has been hired since 2010 – have voted for strike action following their rejection of a 2% pay rise.

Union Unite has given notice of strike action from 21st December, although no dates have yet been confirmed.

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.

I will keep you updated with news of strike dates as they are announced.  As Mixed Fleet only represents 25% of BA’s cabin crew, any action would not have a crippling effect on the flight schedule although there would clearly be substantial numbers of cancellation.

BA A318

Accor and Amex extend cashback deal

Accor Hotels, which operates Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Ibis, M Gallery, Pullman etc, has a long-running cashback deal with American Express.

There are two variants – £30 back on £250 spend and £50 back on £500 spend.

You need to log into your American Express account and look under ‘Offers’ on each of your card statement pages.  The offer may be there under one of them – if it is, save it to your card.

This offer was meant to end on 21st October.   What I didn’t notice until recently is that Amex rolled it over and it now ends on 31st December.

You need to complete a stay at a Sofitel, Pullman or M Gallery hotel by the year end.  A list of participating hotels is on the Amex site but pretty much every hotel globally under those brands is included.  Ibis, Novotel, Mecure etc are NOT included.  If you stay outside the UK, the converted bill must be over £250.

You might not be aware of which hotels fall under M Gallery as these are generally local hotels which kept their original branding.  In the UK, participating hotels are:

Castle Hotel, Windsor

Francis Hotel, Bath

Queens Hotel, Cheltenham

The Sofitel properties at Heathrow and Gatwick as well as the St James’s flagship pictured below are also included as are the Pullman hotels in Liverpool (brand new, see the article here) and Kings Cross.

The Accor booking page is here.  Don’t forget to register your American Express card before making a booking.

Sofitel Heathrow Accor

4,000 SAS EuroBonus points from Avis

I don’t cover SAS EuroBonus much on Head for Points, although it is a Star Alliance programme and an American Express Membership Rewards transfer partner.

This offer from Avis did catch my eye though.

For Avis rentals booked by 31st December for completion by 30th June, you will receive:

  • 2,000 bonus miles for a 2-3 day rental
  • 4,000 bonus miles for a 4+ day rental

….. as well as a free additional driver.  Full details can be found here.

Comments (86)

  • Anon says:

    O/T see miles & more for IHG Iggy

  • Chris says:

    Even more disgusting is the greedy paid management team at BA and IAG who resort to crude and vulgar language in a publically-available presentation to the City.

    I am really hoping that slide gets pulled out by the mainstream media and is used to good effect against Walsh and Cruz.

  • HayMow says:

    No Accor Amex offer for self or hubby on either of our BAPP cards still, sadly.

  • Neil says:

    We’re off to JFK on the 8th Jan for 5 nights (J on the way out, Y on the way back) for my wife’s 40th birthday. Just the 2 of us, without the kids. We have been looking forward to this for an entire year.

    If our flight is cancelled I will be beyond livid.

    I don’t have too much sympathy with the cabin crew. The basic salary and the top-up amounts would have surely been known before they took the job. Working out how much they would be paid would seem fairly straightforward. There is no way I would have taken a job without working out for myself what I would actually be getting.

    • James says:

      Usually I too am against strikes. However, BA mixed fleet crew were actually promised between £5000 and £9000 more than they are being paid.

  • NickS says:

    Strikes honestly annoys me beyond belief. I’ve been caught up with BA strikes multiple times and around Christmas. If I don’t think my employer is treating me well, or paying enough, I can’t just strike. I find a new job if we can’t come to an agreement after a discussion. Unless they are forcing to do something that is against your human rights or illegal, ultimately, the employer has the right to change your contract. In some cases, with these BA strikes, no contracts have changed and they knew the terms when signing on. I have been in this situation a couple times so I know the feeling, its annoying, yes, but don’t ruin everyone’s holiday or business plans by throwing your toys out of the pram…

    • Mike says:

      You’re completely missing the point.
      You say you will have a discussion and try and find an agreement. That is individual bargaining.
      This is collective bargaining, and management and unions are behaving in the way their machinery forces them to.
      A dispute like this is symptomatic of a management / union relationship with both behaving at a level they perceive the other to be performing at.

      • NickS says:

        No I’m not. Collective discussion or not, I don’t down tools during the discussion. Nobody is forced to strike, they can simply find alternative employment if they are not happy with the fully legal terms of their contract… Simple.

        • Alan says:

          Depends on the job – for some you’ve got a monopoly employer (eg jnr drs) so no alternative options apart from moving country, which is a rather drastic solution!

  • Polly says:

    We have 10 flights back and forth to Dub over the Xmas hols, so we may or may not get to spend Xmas as a family. Ah well, so much for supporting our local BA. Mix of avios and cash tickets. BA just want young and cheap MF crew for a couple of years, then they move on. It works! That actually suits Ba investors.

  • Nick says:

    Just a gentle reminder that no mixed fleet crew are based at Gatwick so all the talk above if Gatwick is disingenuous as they won’t be affected at all. They have their own crew on similarly low rates of pay, but they’re out of scope in this action.

    For Zoe, EU261 won’t apply for flights during the strike. On non-strike days though it’s fair game and you would win a case if you pushed it (as above with lufty).

    And for all those saying ‘they knew the pay’… did they? Have you ever worked in a place with variable pay based on non-fixed hours worked? Remember that the max is 900 hours a year, but no minimum, so if BA only rosters you 650 that’s just tough.

    • NickS says:

      Yes, but you then know there is no minimum hours and there is a risk. I remember living in central London on minimum wage when I was younger and I survived. I could have lived even cheaper if I was closer to Heathrow, but I didn’t want the commute. You just need to be able to plan and budget and realise the limits when it comes to social life…

      • Peter K says:

        I agree with that to a certain extent. When at uni I never got into debt by shopping at Netto mainly, not going getting drunk and budgeting carefully. I still had loads of fun, socialised and treated myself etc but kept within the confines of what I had to spend and ended up with debt. I only had about £5k a year as well in 2001ish.

  • Alan says:

    As a point of interest, how does the pay of these crews stack up against other airlines? Are they paid less than VA for example?

    • @mkcol says:

      Norwegian long haul from LGW are just over £1000/month plus allowances (can’t recall what they are). 10-20 day trips with 12 days off per month. So compared to BA Euro-Fleet it’s slightly less money but more time off per month.

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