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British Airways pilots could go on strike this summer over pay dispute

July 26, 2022
3 min read
plane in flight
British Airways pilots could go on strike this summer over pay dispute
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Europe’s summer of flight delays and cancellations may get a lot worse: There are reports that British Airways pilots could soon go on strike.

It’s a move that would have huge ramifications in the United Kingdom and beyond, potentially affecting millions of vacations.

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According to The Telegraph, after BA bosses waved away demands of a pay increase following talks with the British Airline Pilots’ Association, its members are now demanding a ballot over whether to go on strike. A date has yet to be set, but should agreeable terms not be met, a walkout could happen within the peak of the summer travel period (if union members vote in favor of a strike).

(Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Last week, the carrier narrowly dodged a major strike by 700 check-in staff members, who voted to accept an improved 8% salary increase following negotiations by the GMB and Unite unions.

Related: Summer of strikes? European labor action already disrupting travel

Now, with travel firmly back on the agenda and cabins filling up fast, the pilots are reportedly primed to strike while the iron is hot — especially since their colleagues have been handed pay rises.

“They did it by stomping their feet and having a ballot on strike action," one union source told The Telegraph.

“‘BA seems to ignore you until you issue a ballot,’ is the sentiment among members. Within Balpa we don’t usually like to do that. We would rather take a grown-up approach. But we are under enormous pressure. And the longer this goes on, the harder it gets.”

(Photo by Ben Smithson/The Points Guy)

Related: This traveler flew back to Europe when the airline couldn’t find his bags

A spokesperson for BA, which reported losses of over 4 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) during the pandemic, said the airline remained “committed to continuing talks with the union."

During what’s being called the "summer of discontent," strikes are on the rise — particularly across the travel sector, which saw pay freezes and job cuts during the pandemic.

(Photo by choja/Getty Images)

“We are in talks with British Airways and wish to persuade them that continuing deductions from our members’ pay is unwarranted,” Martin Chalk, BALPA general secretary, said. “We should actually be talking about pay increases given the inflationary scenario.”

“Unless BA is prepared to walk with us down that road then we will have to consult with members to consider our next actions.”

Featured image by Featured Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via 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.

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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases