The threat was triggered by BA plans to make cost savings of £60m. In response, the airline pledged to fly 60 per cent of customers to their destinations despite the first planned strike this weekend. It is also running a social media campaign to hit back at the union Unite and has posted a video clip of boss Willie Walsh online.
HOW I SEE IT - JONATHAN SMITH, E.ON UK, PR AND MEDIA RELATIONS MANAGER
In contrast with the potential Christmas action where British Airways came over as heavy handed, the airline has played a blinder with this one, with a little help from the Government. BA is coming across as the champion of the little man. Its strategy is to keep disruption to a minimum while hinting heavily that strike action could be bad for the company and, implicitly, the union's own members.
Willie Walsh's YouTube response hits the right notes of concern for customers and expresses disappointment that it should have come to this. Add in Lord Adonis and Gordon Brown's support for BA - prompted or unprompted - and Unite has nowhere to go, other than making some vague comments about how the Government doesn't know the full story. Unite has become the Ashley Cole to BA's Cheryl - HIT.