BA dispute: How will it affect passengers?

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The Independent Travel

*When are the strikes?

The planned walkout is next Tuesday for 12 days, threatening to draw the strike out over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

*What can I do as a passenger?

Passengers flying during the strike period or 48 hours either side of it will be allowed to change to another BA flight departing in the next 12 months for free. If industrial action cancels your flight, BA will offer to refund the ticket, rebook on a different flight or reroute your journey on another BA flight. BA said that, if flights are cancelled, passengers will also be able to change to a different airline free of charge if prices are similar.

*Who will be affected?

It is unclear which flights would be affected but it is possible that the airline's full daily programme could be hit. Figures suggest as many as a million passengers could be grounded. BA will tell affected customers by email or text when it has reworked its scheduling.

*Why are they striking?

Staff voted to strike after the airline announced 1,200 job cuts and changes to contracts. In November, BA reduced the number of cabin crew on long-haul flights from 15 to 14 and froze pay for two years. It also proposed poorer terms for new recruits, while senior cabin crew were asked to serve meals in business class.

*How much are they paid now?

The head of a BA long-haul crew flying from Heathrow earns £56,000, after allowances. Civil Aviation Authority figures show that BA cabin crew cost twice as much as their Virgin Atlantic counterparts. British Airways staff are not expected to clean the plane between flights, unlike crew at rival airlines.

*Why is BA insisting on the changes?

Accounts show it lost £292m before tax during the six months to the end of September, compared with profits of £52m a year earlier.

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