Home » Fears British holidaymakers face summer of travel hell sparked by strike action after easyJet pilots reject £200,000 pay deal

Fears British holidaymakers face summer of travel hell sparked by strike action after easyJet pilots reject £200,000 pay deal

British holidaymakers may face a summer of travel chaos after easyJet pilots rejected a pay deal which would see some salaries rise to almost £200,000.

The failed deal means employees have moved one step closer to strike action after the deal was turned down in a ballot which ended on Friday.

EasyJet management will now go back to the negotiating table with officials from the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa).

The deal would have seen pilots who had worked for the airline for more than ten years see their £164,000 salaries rise to £190,000 in October and almost £200,000 by April 2025.

Although no strike action is currently planned, easyJet pilots did previously vote in favour of possible strike action when consulted on an earlier proposal.

EasyJet management will now go back to the negotiating table with officials from the British Airline Pilots’ Association

Bosses from the airline will now return to talks and said they are not expecting any disruption for passengers. 

As well as securing a near-£36,000 pay rise for pilots, the deal would have seen senior first officers gain a further £20,000 to take their salaries to more than £112,000, the Sun reports.

First officers would have seen their pay rise to in excess of £75,000. 

A source told the paper: ‘Balpa has already sounded out members about strike action.

‘They are holding all the cards and the airline knows it.

‘Bosses need to find even more money for pilots, or jets won’t get off the ground this summer and holidaymakers face travel agony.’

A spokesperson for easyJet said: ‘We are disappointed that the pilot pay deal was narrowly rejected. We remain in constructive dialogue with BALPA and no strike action is planned.’ 

BALPA General Secretary, Amy Leversidge said: ‘BALPA pilots in easyJet have rejected the latest pay offer in a ballot which had 94% turnout and a ‘no’ vote of 56.4. We have informed the company of the outcome of the vote and asked to meet to discuss the way ahead.

‘Talks under the auspices of ACAS are planned shortly and BALPA will need to see a better offer to preserve ongoing good industrial relations.

‘Our members in easyJet have supported the company through COVID tough times and even agreed to go part-time to help the company survive the crisis. Now the industry has recovered and easyJet is expected to announce significant profits later this week. Our highly skilled pilots, are simply asking for a pay rise that would show the company values them and restore them to pre-covid levels.’

British holidaymakers have already suffered travel woes this month after an e-gate related issue left thousands of people stuck in lengthy delays at the border.

The nationwide issue affected passengers at airports including Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast. 

There are fears fresh strike action could cause long delays for passengers (Pictured: Customers queuing to reach border control at Heathrow last week)

There are fears fresh strike action could cause long delays for passengers (Pictured: Customers queuing to reach border control at Heathrow last week)

Last week a fault with e-gates in the UK cause lengthy queues and long delays to passengers entering Britain

Last week a fault with e-gates in the UK cause lengthy queues and long delays to passengers entering Britain

Many passengers reported queues of several hours to enter the UK after error meant all passports had to be manually checked by Border Force officials.

It marked the fourth time that the £372 million IT system has gone into meltdown since it was launched three years ago. 

It’s understood that the delays were caused by a failure of the Government’s secure wi-fi system last Tuesday night, which prevented Border Crossing from updating, causing it to collapse. 

Travel expert and journalist Simon Calder told MailOnline that Brits should ‘hope for the best’ this summer, but warned ‘anyone’s holiday plans can unravel’.

‘The UK is not alone on experiencing a wide range of issues that can stand between travellers and their holidays,’ he said.

‘But because our aviation infrastructure is so overstretched, especially at Heathrow and Gatwick airports, disruption can spread through the system very swiftly – with little slack in the system for recovery.

‘At this stage, though, all you can do is hope for the best over the summer, but understand anyone’s holiday plans can unravel.’

A source told the Sun that Balpa has 'sounded out' members on the prospect of strike action

A source told the Sun that Balpa has ‘sounded out’ members on the prospect of strike action

It came after Border Force employees staged a four-day walkout at Heathrow in a dispute over working conditions at the start of the month. 

Strike action has plagues Britain’s airports and railways since the pandemic, with hundreds of flights being cancelled by airlines after previous deals failed.

In 2022, passengers faced weeks of havoc at Heathrow at the height of the summer getaway period after an issue with luggage left thousands of suitcases unable to be claimed for days.

An issue with the baggage system at Terminal 2 was blamed, and although it was resolved swiftly it caused a huge pileup of bags, with thousands of frustrated customers unable to collect their belongings for several days.