I’ve never understood the logistics of a strike. While I know that Lufthansa has a strike every now and then, I haven’t heard that they’ve achieved anything during the time they’ve been on strike. It costs a lot for the airline and largely inconveniences their passengers. I respect that the airline’s workers are fighting for better working conditions, though surely there’s another way to do so.
The next airline to have proposed a strike is British Airways, which seems to be planning a strike for July 1-16, 2017. This seems to be over a pay dispute, which has been a big issue within British Airways, especially with their “mixed-fleet” crews, which operate longhaul flights with significantly low pay rates.
What Are British Airways Mixed Fleet Crews?
When British Airways’ original flight attendants couldn’t come to terms with the airline on management issues, British Airways started hiring some newer flight attendants that were known as “mixed-fleet” crews, which currently take up a bit more than 30% of their airline. They operate both shorthaul and longhaul flights, stay at worse hotels, and have shorter turnaround times, though the big issue is that they’re paid significantly less. They have a base pay of 12,200 GBP, then are paid 3 GBP per hour when working a flight. That amounts to around 14,000 GBP, which is well below the London average pay.
These mixed-fleet crews are not happy with the amount of pay they’re receiving, and this should be the second time they’ve gone on strike over it. The last time British Airways increased a pay offer, Mixed Fleet Unite rejected it, so I’m curious to see how the situation plays out this time.
For those who think this is a good reason not to support British Airways, I think that customer financial input, if anything, is going to help Mixed Fleet Unite. That said, try not to book travel on British Airways during the time of their strike, as your flight might very well be canceled.
British Airways Airbus A380 Hong Kong Airport
And, I don’t know what I’m missing, but Virgin Atlantic’s mean cabin crew pay rate seems to be even lower.
I support British Airways’ Mixed Fleet Union, and hope that the situation plays out well for them. Ultimately my main concern is that passengers’ flights won’t be canceled, but they handled their last strike relatively well. That said, the Mixed Fleet Union is staging a walkout at the moment, so there’s a lot of certainty regarding this strike at the moment.
I know many people are booked between Hong Kong and London on British Airways this coming July, so stay tuned to the news. If your route is affected, I assume there’ll be some sort of a formalised process to rebook you (though they may be lousy with compensation, as they proved with their IT mishap a month ago).