This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

British Airways cabin crew just announced a further two weeks of strikes, an extension of the four-week strike going on right now.

The current strike period ends on August 15th, and the new strike by mixed fleet cabin crew — who are paid less than other BA cabin crew — will begin on August 16th at midnight, lasting until August 30th. That period includes the UK’s August bank holiday, among the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Thursday is the 58th strike day by mixed fleet cabin crew. Trade union Unite said in a statement that “unless a deal can be hammered out, it will mean the cabin crew will have been on strike for the whole of July and August forcing British Airways to spend millions on ‘wet leasing’ aircraft to cover the striking cabin crew.” According to Unite, the new strike is due to a “half-hearted offer by British Airways to reinstate travel concessions for workers who took strike action.”

As the strikes have been going on for over two months now, BA has implemented a strategy to minimize disruption by wet-leasing 9 Qatar Airways aircraft. The Qatari aircraft are flying across British Airways’ European network, and operated by Qatar Airways flight crew and cabin crew. These flights are unique, because a Gulf carrier has never flown for a UK airline in this type of arrangement before. I flew a British Airways flight operated by Qatar Airways last month, and found it to be the best BA flight I’ve ever been on.

IMG_4804

When British Airways applied to the UK Civil Aviation Authority for permission to wet-lease the nine Qatari A320s, it asked, and got, the use of the aircraft for up to two months. Here’s the official application document:

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 11.47.14

This means that despite the original expectation that the Qatar jets would fly for BA for just two weeks in July, they could now continue to serve until the end of August.

In terms of cancelled flights, the strikes mean a selection of flights are cancelled each day, and the airline will notify passengers about the affected flights via the contact details provided during booking. That means you should ensure your contact details are up-to-date in your British Airways bookings. 

On my recent flight with BA during the current strike, I noted cancellations to destinations including Munich(MUC), Madrid (MAD), Milan (LIN) and Seattle (SEA), among others.

IMG_4704

Only some short-haul flights are on the wet-leased Qatar Airways aircraft, and as these jets are Airbus A320s  it means that all mid-haul and long-haul flights not cancelled because of the strike will continued to be operated by British Airways.

Bottom Line

Frustrations among the 1,400 striking mixed-fleet cabin crew are high, and with International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, recently announcing that its operating profit has climbed by 37 percent to €975m in the past six months, mixed fleet cabin crew TPG spoke with at Heathrow last week said they find it even more unacceptable that they are still on “poverty pay”. A mixed-fleet cabin crew member can expect to earn on average 23,000 pounds (about $30,000), according to British Airways.

For passengers, it’s essential to have your correct contact details in British Airways bookings, so the airline can let you know of any disruption. The bright side is the extension of the use of Qatar Airways, aircraft which as I noted in my flight review are a huge upgrade from BA’s current short-haul services, and even feature the return of complimentary food and drink in Economy. Business Class passengers will be pleased too, as Qatar’s A320s have a real, separate Business class cabin rather than just an empty middle Economy seat.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
  • Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$595
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.