Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New British Airways strike dates announced

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (50)

  • Yes Sir says:

    There are huge challenges in setting fair pay in the airline industry.

    The amount that different airlines pay pilots varies a lot more than people may expect. If you were to compare BA to Monarch and then to some of the East European carries you would see big differences – when mostly skilled pilots are internationally mobile, however as per other areas in the airline industry those with the legacy contracts are the winners now.

    For Cabin Crew I think it is fair that everyone gets a basic salary of £18-20k at least. Any top ups should be on top of this, but a basic salary for working 35-40 hours a week is essential. The miscellaneous top ups which only then take you close to £18k should be allowed as your headline wage as per contract is often what will affect what you can borrow etc.

    No wonder BA staff get more and more grumpy these days as extremely hard to be based in LHR with that kind of salary and UK house prices/rents. I took a Silk Air flight in Asia the other day and the staff were so nice and polite – however they probably have company/government subsidised housing so can live well…

  • PGW says:

    I confess to having little knowledge of the pros and cons of this strike but I hope we don’t get 1 of BA’s 5.01 pm Friday announcements when many like me won’t be able to make alternative arrangements for our travel next week,

  • George says:

    Slightly off-topic: I’ve just done a BA booking for two people, using my Amex, and I saw that the surcharge was …£10. I though this was going to be slashed to a percentage charge (1%). The total price for the ticket was £364.00, but part paid a £120 discount with avios, bringing it down to £244 – and then another £10 on top of that.

    I though there was going to be a new pricing structure from last month, but this is my first booking for a couple of months. Any ideas?

  • Chris Slatet says:

    Presumably they knew the wage before joining? The vast majority of us have to put up with our employers. When we decide they are not worth it we leave. I have a flight on the 11th and if its disrupted they have done nothing but weakened their case with a loyal client, whiteout whom they would get no wage at all.

  • Dan says:

    If there is no pay rise for mixed fleet then the turnover of staff will increase and the service will deteriorate. If there was another BA accident I can’t imagine those paid £12,000 basic pay will risk their lives for you. The original article is incorrect, the union did not support the revised deal & BA have since revoked the deal for all union members. The flight pay is meant to be spent down route as meals are not provided down route for Mixed Fleet.

  • Will says:

    More than one way of looking at this issue.
    E.G everyone on here seems to love the ME3 for cheap prices and high standards.

    Anyone know what they pay their crew? That’s in effect BA’s long haul competition.

    • Rob says:

      As the crew are almost entirely non-locals (Emirates always announces how many different nationalities are amongst the crew, it is usually 15 or so out of 20-ish crew), including quite a few Brits, you can assume it is a decent sum.

      However, as I have said before, my Mum could run Emirates and still make money given a brand new fleet, a 24/7/365 home airport, 80% of the global population within a 6 hour flight and no legacy pension liabilities.

  • Anthony Dunn says:

    What appears to have been completely lost on quite a few posters is that (and if you don’t believe me, them check this out for yourself on the BA recruitment site) BA states the salary for Mixed Fleet is between £21-£25K per annum. If the Unite figures are in any way accurate, then BA management is guilty of misrepresentation and/or of wilful and deliberate deception. I am no employment lawyer but I wonder whether there is a legal recourse for misrepresentation in the case of clear underpayment against stated potential earnings.

    • Paul says:

      No lawyer needed, Unites figures are very wrong, no idea where they have come from, BA have offered up the raw salary data, Unite refusing to look at it….

  • 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.

    • Paul says:

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