Skip to content

British Airways workers call off Heathrow strike after accepting 8% pay increase

July 22 2022
4 min read
British Airways workers call off Heathrow strike after accepting 8% pay increase
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Hundreds of British Airways staff voted today in favor of an increased pay offer from the airline, averting a strike action at London Heathrow airport. The strike, which had been expected later this month, had threatened to cripple operations for the struggling airline.

The new deal means workers will receive an 8% pay raise, as well as a one-off bonus and the return of extra pay for irregular shifts, which amounts to a 13% compensation increase this year, according to a representative of one of the affected unions, Unite.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Speaking of the new deal, the head of the second affected union, GMB national officer Nadine Houghton, said it was a long time coming.

“No one wanted a summer strike at Heathrow, but our members had to fight for what was right," she said.

“Now these mainly women workers have won pay improvements for themselves – as well as forcing BA to make this offer to the rest of [its] staff too,” she added.

Echoing Houghton's sentiment, Sharon Graham, the general secretary Unite, said: “This is a great result for our check-in members at British Airways. By standing together, they have forced a corporate giant like BA to do the right thing and restore levels of pay slashed in the pandemic.”

Related: Travel is back, and so are the crowds. How early do you need to get to the airport?

Over 700 BA workers with the Unite and GMB unions were set to strike after airline executives refused to backtrack on a 10% pay cut for low-level staff made during the pandemic. There was also apparently the threat of "fire and rehire" if staff refused the pay cut, meaning that workers could have been laid off and then given the opportunity to return to their jobs with worse pay, benefits — or both.

The unions' acceptance of BA's improved deal will avoid any walkouts this month — which has to be sweet relief for the U.K.’s most iconic airline.

Passengers wait at check-in desks in the departures hall in Terminal 5 at London Heathrow Airport in 2021. (Photo by Jason Alden/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Having already announced plans to cut 10,300 flights across Europe between July and October following thousands of others already cut this year, the last thing BA executives needed was a strike by check-in staff at its U.K. base this July.

In what’s being called the "summer of the discontent," labor actions are on the rise – particularly across the travel sector, which saw a raft of pay freezes and job cuts during the pandemic. Union members are hitting back, and given the mountain of issues already threatening the big firms, airlines are listening.

A British Airways operated Airbus A747 passenger jet at Heathrow Airport. (Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Not all airlines are playing hardball with staff, however. Jet2, which (perhaps not coincidentally) is one of the most reliable airlines in operation at British airports right now, recently announced it would be awarding staff an 8% salary hike in addition to a one-off, $1,204.05 payment to help with the current cost-of-living crisis.

The British Airways news also comes as Heathrow executives themselves are attempting to streamline operations. A controversial passenger cap that will affect over a quarter of a million flyers has now been extended until the end of October.

Related: Heathrow’s controversial passenger cap will now last until October

If you’re worried about other labor actions potentially putting a damper on your summer travel plans, keep up to date with the latest on the labor union situation in the travel industry here.

Featured photo by Featured photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees