LONDON - British Airways cabin crew have decided not to strike over the Easter holiday period, even if staff do decide to walk out, a Unite spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.

The Unite union will open a strike ballot for BA cabin crew on January 25 after talks with the airline failed to secure a deal on changes to working conditions, potentially prolonging Britain's winter of travel chaos.

The union last month said it would move to a new ballot after a planned 12-day strike Christmas strike was ruled unlawful.

Many BA staff had said that the duration of the planned Christmas strike was excessive and that they did not want to disrupt the public's travel plans too much.

The new strike vote is expected to take about a month and, if the almost 13,000 British Airways cabin crew affiliated to Unite agree to strike, a walkout could go ahead from the beginning of March, Unite said on Monday.

BA wants three quarters of its crew to accept pay rises of 2 to 7 percent this year and a pay freeze in 2010, and for 3,000 staff to switch to part-time working, along with a reduction in onboard crewing levels from 15 to 14 on long-haul flights from London's Heathrow airport.

Shares in BA, which have lost 13 percent of their value in the last three months, were 1.1 percent up at 202.70 pence by 1100 GMT, valuing the airline at around 2.3 billion pounds.

(Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by Victoria Bryan)