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BALPA recommends British Airway’s pay offer – but will the pilots accept?

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As you have probably seen in the mainstream media, the British Airways pilot union, BALPA, has agreed an amended three year pay deal after lengthy talks at ACAS.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem to offer much.

British Airways has reportedly agreed to inflation-proof its original offer of a 11.5% pay rise, spread over three years.  This means that pay will rise further if inflation is higher than expected.

Will BA pilots accept the revised BALPA pay offer?

There are also unspecified ‘improvements to working conditions, rostering and flight bonuses’.  Staff travel benefits will also be returned immediately.

All of the media comment to date has assumed without question that the pilots will accept the recommendation from their union.  I wouldn’t be so sure.

As I have written before, I believe that BALPA has handled the strike badly.  The ‘cold war’ period of threatening strikes went on far too long.  When strikes finally came, the first was deliberately announced far enough in advance to allow BA to escape its liability for EC261 compensation.

The second strike was cancelled in the hope that it would encourage the airline to re-enter talks (see our story here).  I can’t remember any other strike which was called off because the employer REFUSED to sit down and talk!

In reality, the offer now being proposed seems little different to what was originally on the table.  There is no sign, of course, of the profit sharing deal that was a key part of the pay demand.

BALPA’s lack of progress comes despite the fact that British Airways management has been on the back foot since IAG CEO Willie Walsh stated publicly that he felt the negotiations had been badly handled.

The long and short of it is that, based on feedback I’ve had, there is no guarantee that the pilots will accept this deal.  BALPA may have misjudged the strength of feeling among its members.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

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

Comments (76)

  • Aliks says:

    Re LATAM avios redemptions. What is the last date to make a redemption? Is it possible to book a redemption with Avios for a flight after the 30th September deadline.
    I’m thinking of a Chile Argentina holiday around Easter 2021, and it would be great to use LATAM flights to hop between Santiago, Mendoza and Buenos Aires.

    • Rob says:

      No idea, unfortunately.

    • Lady London says:

      I wouldn’t recommend it as I used BD miles in the short period BD was owned by LH, to book sone flights via LH. The first segment on the ticket was an LH coded flight. So that meant LH ‘owned’ the whole ticket and was responsible for management of the booking for all flights on thé ticket.

      About 2 months before I was due to fly, by then LH no longer owned BD. LH sold all of their flights that didnt touch MUC or FRA to Germanwings. Lots of intra-Europe LH flights were cancelled and some former codeshare flights didnt work anymore. M’y ticket was in a mess and nonfunctional as key flights had disappeared. I had carefully constructed the routing so as to see 2 friends in Europe on less-than-24-hour-but-really-1day stopovers, en route to NZ. All that disappeared. LH didnt want to know – they were still responsible as it was ticketed on LH ‘paper’ but they stuck me with a sh1tty reroute and wouldnt budget. But it was an award ticket and BD was now owned by BA so LH hung me out to dry. They simply wouldnt deal with it. I was left with a really sh1tty routing that I couldnt cancel because i would not have got the long haul seats back again.

      So my short advice to you is make sure that whichever airline owns your ticket is still in same alliance and ideally same oxnership as where your points come from, when you fly. I suspect if you get any kind of booking mess such as a reschedule that makes your ticket unflyable they will disappear and refuse to communicate. They wouldnt have access to Oneworld inventories any longer to fix the mess.

      • Lady London says:

        On the plus side in this case I suppose its possible any rebook after the transfer would have to be to *A flights…. and possibly not in an award booking class… which could have some advantages.

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