Twelve days of British Airways strikes this Christmas

14 December 2009

Bitterwallet - British Airways The Twelve Days Of Christmas has just taken on a horrible new meaning if you’re a British Airways passenger who is planning to fly anywhere over the holiday period. That’s because the airline’s staff have voted overwhelmingly in favour of twelve days of strikes beginning on December 22nd.

The strikes follow a long-running dispute, with staff firmly against a whole host of cost-cutting measures by BA that have included job cuts, wage freezes and changes to working practices. 92.5 per cent of BA staff have voted in favour of the Christmas strikes.

Unless further talks prove to be constructive and the strikes are averted, passengers won’t be getting turtle doves, golden eggs or ladies dancing. Instead they can expect cancelled flights, severe delays, emergency hotel stays and a diet of overpriced airport food. They might even grow long beards and start dressing in rags like Tom Hanks in The Terminal.

Actually, that was Castaway wasn’t it?

LATEST: British Airways have announced that they are in the process of making contingency plans for flights scheduled during the strike period - all relevant customer information will appear on this page of their website.

TOPICS:   Travel   Christmas


  • Wibble
    BA crews are paid ALMOST DOUBLE the rates of pay in the rest of the industry. They should just keep their heads down and get on with thie overpaid jobs, whilst they've still got them. Bloody trade unions trying to piss the public off as usual.
  • Lam
    you are right Wibble - they get double what Virgin crew are paid. Oh and thats not including the stay-away bonus. For example, if they do a return flight to Tokyo, it takes 4 days because its classed as a day there, 2 days rest there, and a day back. They obviously get their top hotel paid for, but they also get a stay-away bonus to cover things like meals and entertainment. For that Tokyo trip they are paid and extra £945.00 , that's over and above their normal wages. And now they are going to spoil our Christmas. Thanks BA, but in furture I will say No Thanks and fly with someone else. ( yes, I know all airlines pay their crew the stay-away bonus to cover meals while away from home, but BA get double the pay and more than double the stay-away bonus than Virgin crew do, but you don't see Virgin crew voting to mess up 1.5 Million peoples Christmas holidays do you )
  • Lam
    sorry I made an error - its not £945.00 - its £935.00 as seen on >>BA published it's cabin crew allowances from Heathrow, October 2009. These show that a crew member working Heathrow-Tokyo-Heathrow will receive allowances of £935 for the four-day trip. A six-day return to Shanghai pays £866, five days to Hong Kong £798 and five days to Rio £731. These allowances exclude hotel costs <<
  • blagga
    that's why I'm not flying with them. I saw it in us tea leaves when I booked us crimbo hollibobs.
  • Brian's U.
    Plus every flight I have been on the BA in the last three years the entertainment system has been broken. 8 hour flight with no movies to watch is quite grim.
  • andy y.
    So long as BW doesn't go on strike over the 12 days. I need you to roil my angry juices Daily Express style.
  • Sam
    If they really do get double then I hate them. I'll likely be stuck in china over Xmas instead of being with my family. Targetting the public to achieve your goals has a lot in common with terrorism
  • Callum
    All this stupid action by trade unions is really going to backfire on them one day. This is now the second major union that has gone on strike because they aren't getting things exactly their way, from companies that are making huge losses so can't afford to give anymore (and had reasonable in the case of the Royal Mail, and excellent in this BA case, pay in the first place).
  • oliverreed
    Lets hope the crew don't go on strike mid-flights - oops!
  • Pilot 0.
    Lam you facts and figures are way out ...Do you not think that any pay figures released by BA just before strike action are released for a political reason..The figures you quoted are for a Captain with about 35years service and not a new recruit cabin crew member whos basic starting pay is £9300 with about £2500 allowances for the year.Try asking BA what they pay their Gatwick crew, it is actually less than Virgin ,Easy Jet et al and this is what they are trying to impose across the board. Lufthansa,KLM,Air France,Iberia,Emirates,JAL,Continental,American,US Air,Quantas,Air New Zealand all pay their cabin crew £10000 to£15000 more every year,these are BAs true competitors and so BA crew pay should be compaired to these and not the low cost airlines whose crew are seldom forced to be away overnight. Read the ACAS report on BA management behaviour while in arbitration and then try and tell me that this dispute is the fault of the cabin crew union.
  • peter2204
    yeh but just be thnkfull you have a job.look at all the workers on teeside who have lost jobs your just being asked to get your heads out of your arses and look at the profit and loss column to make sure you stay in buisiness
  • What S.
    [...] Twelve days of British Airways strikes this Christmas | BitterWallet [...]
  • Lee
    I have never forgiven BA for striking during the summer holidays ten years ago. We fly to Cairo twice a year and even when BA is cheaper we will not use them. This strike has just proved to me i was correct all along. Go on strike for whatever reason, fine. However you always chose the worse times for the customers who you need to survive! This just says, and maybe most would be the same, that all you care about is yourselves and could not give two hoots about customers. Howver i do believe this is one strike that is going to upset most of the country. If only ten percent never use BA again, in two years you will be striking over ten percent job cuts. What happens in another 3 years time!!!
  • James
    Really pilot 02 they pay £9,300 per annum do they. Well quick demand a PAYE inspection by the revenue as that falls well under the minimum salary per annum legislated for. How on earth did BA manage to miss that, you would have thought with them being not that small a company they might know what they should be paying. Don't add on the allowances as that is not salary. And all those other airlines pay their cabin crew £10-£15,000 more than BA each year. So who are these crazy people taking jobs that pay less than half of their competitors and don't even hit minimum wage. The fact is BA is running out of money. They have pulled a great deal of the services a customer could expect to receive which will seriously damage the brand and any loyalty out there. It is only natural that they should try and cut costs, this will involve no pay rises and redundancies just like any other fucking business out there. But to think that striking for 12 days and deliberately doing so over Christmas to ruin all your customers plans, makes the staff and unions a bunch of total cunts who don't deserve the jobs in the first place.
  • Katie L.
    For many people worldwide, 2009 has been a very challenging year. Personally it has been a real test of my metal, so planning a trip to spend Christmas with loved ones closes the book so to speak on all that has passed and ends the year on a real positive and loving note. Striking over the Christmas period not only causes disruption to the airline and those travelling, it also affects the many people who were looking to welcome loved ones for the holiday season. Some of those people may have been recovering from an illness, served in Afghanistan or suffered terrible tragedies during the year. At this time what I believe is most important is to consider our fellow man and do everything in our power to help one another, not hinder. If a strike is deemed the only course of action, then surely it can be just as effective at any other time of year, and not at a time that is so pertinent for so many personal reasons, to so many. Now is not the time to carry out selfish acts.
  • Tommy J.
    I have a very good friend who used to work for BA - he retired a few years ago now, and although he was one of the old-schoolers on the ridiculously good contracts, the rest of them don't do too badly when all is said and done. Striking over Christmas is a bastard's trick, and BA need to do something to alleviate this. Yes the staff do work long, hard hours, but there are more perks to that job in one year than most people receive in their entire career.
  • charitynjw
    "On the first day of Christmas my true love said to me, let's go on ho-o-li-day. On the second day of Christmas, Heathrow Terminal 5. On the third day of Christmas, Heathrow Terminal 5. On the fourth.............................................."
  • Lemon
    The Unions are a bunch of wankers. Look around, people are struggling to pay bills and find jobs, and you're demanding pay increases. I didnt have a pay increase this year and probably not next, i'm just glad i still have a job. If you go and fuck up Christmas for the rest, and its not just fronting in the media which will be called off at the last minute. Or force people to lose out on trips and events the other end, because rebooking a ticket at the last minute is 3 or 4 times the cost, then you'll probably find yourself picking up your dole cheques while BA's rotting carcass is picked over by its competitors. Great result all round. Enjoy your braziers, you mouth breathing idiots.
  • Justin
    Dear Sir We are due to be travelling with BA on the 22nd December at when the strike has started. Having heard the news of the impending strike threat by Unite and we feel absolute support for the management position. BA lost £400,000,000 last year and these staff should be grateful that they have a job. As disapointed as we would be if our flight and holiday is cancelled we feel the union is effectively trying to blackmail the management and the union position is completely unreasonable. We would fully understand if the management refuses to yield and opt to chose harsh alternatives for these strikers including firing them or making them redundant. This strike is symptomatic of a weak Government that causes militant tendencies. Gordon Brown recently said in a speech that the “3rd generation” of public services will include far more involvement by the client to determine the services that they want via technology, well I wonder if in the private sector we can achieve the same thing and bring public pressure to bear on the union and its members. If it is appropriate to post then below is a link to a social media site that has been set up to protest against the strikers and make them aware of the strong public opinion against them. If anyone wishes to join and lend their support it is much appreciated Kind Regards JJW p.s. If anyone can support us we have started a protest group on Facebook protesting against the union!
  • Lam
    Posted by Pilot 02 | December 14th, 2009 at 10:27 pm <> Pilot O2.. if you took the time to read the Financial Times and the BA website, you will find I'm not wrong. Also you said starting pay was £9300 ? as James pointed out, that is below the minimum wage. Here is the actual pay of BA Heathrow Cabin Crew - not Pilots. Average earnings for cabin service directors are £56,000 on long-haul and £52,000 on short-haul. Junior crew get £35,000 for long-haul, £26,000 for short-haul. As seen on the BA website " A message from Willie Walsh"
  • Gareth
    BA cabin crew are absolute rubish. To see the UK held ransom by unite onion members is disgusting. If they have a problem with BA management then they should resolve it with them - not impede the normal xmas celebrations of the population - a time which is normally known for spirit and families. This is head and shoulders the most dispicable act of anti xmas spirit that i have ever seen. Alas I booked flights MONTHS ago with BA as I like their normal quality service. My xmas eve flight may not occur and I will be stranded at an airport in a country of which i know no-one. Thanks so much unite onion smelling company and BA cabin crew. You do all realise that there is a recession? I took a 20% cut in my wage this year - as have most of my friends. I also know 6 people who were made redundant. 2 of which have not found work for 4+ months. If it were possible I would suggest sacking all BA cabin crew and replacing with more respectful and understanding crew.
  • Reena
    Lam, I'm married to a crew member on short haul who has been flying 4 years. If you think he earns £26,000 a year you really are delusional. No offence but I think you need to consider where you get your facts from. Perhaps getting them from the company (who have heavy media influence) is not the best place. Ask real people with real knowlede of the crew such as Pilot 02. There are sad people here who are under the illusion that there are more perks in a crew job than most people get in their lifetime. Going up and down in a tin can and sleeping and eating at both ends of your journey is hardly perks. My partner wakes up at 3am after spending the night away from home and does a long day before he is home at 20.30. It frustrates me when all of you are discussing how much crew earn without EVER setting eyes on a crew members pay cheque. I don't start tell you you earn £150,000 so stop complaining about recession and paying your bills. So quite frankly, untill you actualy see a pay cheque with the amount of money you are talking about crew earning, SHUT UP. Lastly, at no point are crew saying no a pay cut or even freeze. They are asking for this cut or freeze to be reasonable. when you earn around £13,000 like my husband, 20% less (£2,600) makes a huge difference. Realisitcally people, this about more than just a holiday or a christmas. Its about lives and families and fairness. A well educated person would research a topic from more places than the obvious media dominators and dig a little deeper. There is a whole world of truth about this subject that sadly, so many people don't know.
  • Reena
    P.S. BA are still turning over billions in profit! So no one should tell me that they're losing out. Willie Walsh still gets a bonus while crew's children not only have to put up with mothers and fathers being away from home, but parents not being able to afford nice packed lunches!

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