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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.

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Comments (76)

  • guesswho2000 says:

    “However, it is very unlikely that you would earn British Airways Executive Club tier points”
    I believe (from what I’ve read) that QF will still be code sharing with LA (we’ll be able to earn QF points but not status credits too), but the weird BAEC anomaly would presumably apply as it does for EK flights on QF codes here?

  • BJ says:

    What is the process and timescale for putting the deal to members, and when is the earliest date further strikes could be held if the deal is not accepted?

  • Benilyn says:

    OT: Managed to check into my Hilton Helipolis in Cairo at 8am (arrived 6.15am), and also get breakfast which helped pass the time, and upgrade room to higher floor, but no lounge access. I’m Hilton gold.

    • BJ says:

      That’s a good result, which Hilton did you choose? Enjoy Cairo, awesome place, one of my favourites.

      • aston100 says:

        Is Cairo (and the touristy places nearby) now stable and reasonably safe for tourism?
        I’ve long been wanting to do a couple of weeks over there, including Nile cruise, Luxor etc

        • BJ says:

          How many reports of major tourist problems have you seen in the media this year? All major hotels are safe enough as far as I know, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. If it bothers you a lot choose something in Zamalek and get a local guide with car. Otherwise just vhoose a msinstream hotel abd get a reputable local guide to show you around by taxi.

        • ankomonkey says:

          I took my kids (both under 10) earlier this year, which I would not have done if I felt it was unsafe. We also went to the Western Desert. We all made it back unharmed.

      • Benilyn says:

        Hilton Cairo Heliopolis
        Very nice hotel, 20k redemption
        It’s right next to airport, thought it would be a pain but so far so good, the distance isn’t really an issue if your the kind of person who doesn’t need to go freshen up all the time.

        As for Cairo, it’s well above my expectations, and multiple times better than Marrakech which I hated.

        Off to the Nile Cruise tomorrow for 4 nights

        • BJ says:

          On a first time visit to Cairo everything is interesting to see so it doesn’t really matter where you stay.

  • Chelseafi says:

    OT First time flying 1st from T3 today, I’ve read about lounge options on here but can’t find now, which lounge has Gin Bar, what lounges has 1st class only, best option for dining. Thank you guys

    • v says:

      Gin Bar @ Qantas

      • Shoestring says:

        (Qantas Gin bar) yep, though it’s not open all day – closes about 10-11am then re-opens about 5pm

        not that I’ve used them, but pretty sure you have 1st lounges available for BA & Cathay – not sure about Qantas & AA – you’d be able to have a look at/ access all 4 Business lounges as well

        • Jon says:

          Gin bar was open at 4pm when I last visited a few weeks back- it’s the a la carte dining service on the ground floor that has the restricted timings. I preferred the Cathay lounge which is next door to Qantas. It’s literally 10 yards between them so you can check out both and see which you prefer.

    • Claire says:

      Cathay pacific noodle bar for breakfast is excellent and gets really good reviews.

    • Steve R says:

      The Cathay First lounge is probably the best for dining particularly if you like noodles and dim sum, they serve British fare there too.

      You are of course entitled to try all the lounges available depending on how much time you have.

      • Clive says:

        Dim Sum and some Noodles washed down with a glass or two of Champagne cannot be beaten

    • BJ says:

      You’ll get a lot of raving about Cathay lounge; most who do would turn their nose up at the same stuff from a 7/11. That is not to say it isn’t edible but let’s not overdo it. Still beats the assorted curries and stews with who knows what dropped in it by passengers at the BA lounges.

      • Genghis says:

        Agreed. I’ve not been to one airport lounge that offers decent restaurant quality food.

        • ankomonkey says:

          I genuinely felt that the Emirates lounge at BHX offered restaurant quality food. This was over 5 years ago so things may have changed. It was small enough and guests were few enough to make it feel far more intimate than a buffet of slop that many other lounges serve.

          @BJ – I do love a Japanese ‘nikuman’ or ‘anman’ from a 7/11.

          • Genghis says:

            The Emirates lounge in LGW was v good for an airport lounge last month but put it against other restaurants I would go to and it doesn’t feature whatsoever.

          • BJ says:

            Historically, some good stuff in 7/11 and some remains. However, in recent years they have tended towards wider ranges and unfortunately much of it is overprocessed junk.

        • Rob says:

          Qatar T4 is probably as good as it gets in the UK, although Virgin T3 was surprisingly decent when I was last there. As good as your typical midrange restaurant.

          • BJ says:

            100% agree on QRT4 but based on one visit only, and I’m unlikely ever to be back.

        • BJ says:

          You’ll change your mind if somebody puts a decent horse steak on the menu and I’ll change mine when I get smoked reindeer.

  • Shoestring says:

    google the FT story: [British Airways agrees pay deal to end strikes
    Airline heads off risk of Christmas disruption after pilots’ union backs improved offer]

    ***’In a union email seen by the FT, Balpa, which represents the majority of BA’s pilots, said it was recommending the new offer to its members. A ballot of BA’s pilots will now take place in the coming days to vote on the new deal.’***

  • Roger says:

    What is the best foreign exchange service for business?
    I use midpoint any other better alternatives out there?

  • MD says:

    Rob, just to let you know that for the last 2 days my mobile phone is only seeing the desktop version of HfP instead of the mobile version. Can’t get the mobile version back no matter what I do. Android v9. Doesn’t bother me but some may not like tiny text if happening to others…

    • Stu N says:

      When you’re reading via a mobile device, there’s a “view full site” or “view mobile site” link at the very bottom of the homepage (easily missed – in the blue border area).

      If you have the “view mobile site” link, click that and things should be back to normal.

      • Rob says:

        Thanks. Will ask Neil to take a look.

      • Peter K says:

        Thanks @Stu N. This problem has been driving me mad the past few days.

      • MD says:

        @Stu N
        Thanks, that fixes each page every time you click on that button. However, each new page is still loading as the desktop version, so not a permanent fix.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        StuN – you are not alone. Also Android and it started showing in web for on my phone for me today.

        • Rob says:

          We are raising this with the hosting people tomorrow. They need to (re)do something at their end.

  • Stu N says:

    OT: Marriott Unlock More promo. I’ve just completed 2 stays, earned 2,000 bonus points and my target is 4 more stays for 8,000 bonus points.

    I have three booked anyway and may squeeze in a fourth but it’s a pretty lame offer, really – I should have stuck with Hilton this quarter.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      As with all offers you win some you lose some, what I don’t like is that only paid stays count.

      I earned 58k In the last bonvoy promo, admittedly they were some expensive personal stays.

      Very rarely does a promo actually make me choose a brand over another as there’s rarely equal properties in that area. I.e. the best branded property in my local area is the Indigo Stratford so no promo would have me stay elsewhere.

      • Stu N says:

        For my work travel there’s a Marriott and a Hilton that have very little to split them. Marriott is more convenient (we are talking 10 mins walk instead of 15), slightly nicer inside but often slightly dearer and the breakfast isn’t quite as good. Absent promos, if Marriott is within about £20 I’ll stay there.

        If there’s a promo on I’ll go for the place with the best promo – a couple of free nights away with my other half in a Conrad or Ritz Carlton takes the edge off being away from home so quicker I can earn them, the happier I am (and so is she!).

    • BJ says:

      It’s easy to make thd wrong choices, I was so keen to bag about 55k IHG points for £195 that I booked IHG stays first with Hilton stays to follow. Consequently I have likely lost out on the 7,5k Hilton media promotion due to the 60 day restriction (not in terms at registration) and maybe a 90 day restriction on a personal 5k offer.

      • Doug M says:

        I transferred 50K MR points to Marriott in the last days of October, immediately before they announced 50% bonus 🙁
        Hindsight is always a pain.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I transferred a chunk to empty my MR when I didn’t really need a couple months back as I had heard all the recent Amex stories about the USA well before discussions on here and wanted to de-risk. I’d probably have a shed load more bonvoy if I’d kept them until now but as you say hindsight is a wonderful thing.

          • BJ says:

            I’m going to be seriously hurting if AF/KLM turns out to be a good deal via Virgin.

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