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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 from UK credit cards (February 2023)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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.

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

30,000 points and unbeatable travel 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

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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 (76)

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

  • 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.

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

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