BA to reinstate staff travel perks

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The Independent Online

British Airways has agreed to reinstate travel perks withdrawn from striking cabin crews earlier this year as it tries to settle a damaging industrial dispute with staff.

The staff travel scheme – which offers a 90 per cent discount on stand-by tickets – will be open to all BA crew members again from next Monday. But the seniority scale, which gave longer-serving staff priority if there were only limited seats available, will not be reintroduced until 2013 for cabin crew members who took part in the 22 days of industrial action this year.

BA withdrew the perk from strikers earlier this year, stressing that it was a reward for loyal service and not a contractual benefit included in crews' terms and conditions. The move saw the already-fractious relations between the company and its cabin crews over proposed cost-cutting measures reach a new low. And attempts to broker a deal and avoid further strikes foundered on BA's refusal to reinstate the allowance.

Talks between BA chief executive Willie Walsh and Unite joint general secretary Tony Woodley produced an updated offer last week which the union is putting to a ballot of its 10,000 BA cabin crew members.