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.
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.
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.