Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

BALPA vs British Airways – Court of Appeal verdict on the pilot strike delivered at 10.30am

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

The Court of Appeal (Civil Decision) has just finished hearing evidence in the case of British Airways plc vs British Airline Pilots’ Association.

This was an appeal against the decision given by Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing on 23rd July that BALPA’s strike ballot was legal.

The Court will announce its decision at 10.30am on Wednesday.

What are the grounds for appeal?

The crux of the appeal was this – whilst BALPA had provided British Airways with a list of how many pilots, by managerial grade, voted for industrial action, they did not provide this information split by long-haul or short-haul fleets and that BA requires this information to mitigate the impact of the strike.

The law states:

The trade union must take such steps as are reasonably necessary to ensure that—

i)  the lists mentioned in subsection (2A) and the figures mentioned in subsection (2B), together with an explanation of how those figures were arrived at

2A)  The lists are—

(a)  a list of the categories of employee to which the employees concerned belong, and

(b)  a list of the workplaces at which the employees concerned work.

(2B)  The figures are—

(a)  the total number of employees concerned,

(b)  the number of the employees concerned in each of the categories in the list mentioned in subsection (2A)(a), and

(c)  the number of the employees concerned who work at each workplace in the list mentioned in subsection (2A)(b).

Was it enough to list employees by rank (Captain, First Officer) as opposed to fleet?  We’ll find out at 10.30am.

The obvious point to make is that splitting by fleet is fairly meaningless.  An A380 pilot cannot fly a Boeing 747, so BA’s strike planning is not greatly helped by a having long-haul / short-haul split.  With over 90% of the combined fleet voting for strike actions, it is also clear that both fleets must have voted overwhelmingly for action.

The basis for the appeal was, frankly, thin.  On the other hand, it would also not have been difficult for BALPA to provide this information via another tick box on the ballot paper.

What happens next?

If BALPA wins, it may immediately announce a date for strike action.  It could have already announced a date, whilst waiting for the result of the appeal, but decided to give British Airways some breathing space.  Will they now announce a date or will they give BA another chance at arbitration?

My gut feeling is that, if I were BALPA, I would be concerned that this process has dragged on for long enough and it is time to raise the threat level.

If British Airways wins then BALPA will need to organise another ballot.  This takes 28 days – a seven day notice period to the employer that a ballot will take place, followed by a 21 day period for the ballot itself.

A strike itself requires another full 14 days notice, so – if BA wins – you won’t see any strike action until mid September.

If BALPA wins, the earliest date would be either two weeks on Wednesday or two weeks on Thursday, depending on how you define ’14 days notice’.

Let’s see what happens at 10.30am.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (46)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Jonathan says:

    Unanimous decision to reject BA’s appeal

  • Alex Sm says:

    I’m flying to Moscow on an overnight flight on 16 Aug so it seems to be just about safe. But for how long will strike last? I might be stranded in Russia, so might need to pretend to be the third kid on your booking @NICK

    • Shoestring says:

      there’s not going to be a BALPA strike, obvs

      last one was in 1979

      they got BA by the short & curlies as just 1 day of BALPA strike [cost of] = a year of the enhanced benefits BALP is requesting

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.