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Old 28th Dec 2016, 12:23   #21 (permalink)
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Bex, it might help others if you explain your position on the C320 seniority list and prospects of going up that list being ex-BMI.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 12:28   #22 (permalink)
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Did you fly for another airline before joining BA?

I left easyJet for BA and have never looked back. Personally I don't believe all this BS I hear at work about guys regretting having left eJ. I think its hysteria and negativity magnified/passed on by guys in the LHS who are stuck in a rut at BA because, and I try to put this in the nicest possible way, they've not flown for anyone else before and don't realise how good they've actually got it.

BA isn't perfect but as someone who worked for easyJet for almost 10 years, I can safely say you'll be making a massive mistake jumping ship.

Stay with us
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 12:59   #23 (permalink)
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Irrespective of seniority, any ex-bmi pilot that gains a LHR short haul command is forced to remain in the bubble. People above them in the bubble may leave, but if they are junior, they will remain junior and all that happens is that the number of available lines shrinks. I have every sympathy for your situation and you should be allowed to move across to the main list. Whether it's legal is debatable.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 13:17   #24 (permalink)
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Ex BMI, captain and junior.

When your in the bubble of which there is no choice you will never move up. If 20% left the list all that happens is the list becomes 20% smaller and the amount of work is reduced by a equal amount.

I have no problem with being at the bottom and working your way up. There have been some very good post here and that is nice to see.

I have flown for other airlines and BA is pretty poor when your at the bottom. It of course has some positives but the whole lifestyle choices and rostering freedom is denied to pilots of my demographic. When you remove those perks and with the changes to SH you do look over the fence at easy and see hard work but better rostering, the possibility of a home base in time and better financial reward. It's a big big call to leave BA and the advice of not making a rash decision is very wise. Perhaps I just need to hang on a while longer and see if the situation is changed with JSS.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 13:25   #25 (permalink)
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Are they? 885 hours in the 'regions' with a roster stability of about 50%
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 13:50   #26 (permalink)
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Hi bex88

There's nothing worse than feeling trapped in a job, I recognise that feeling. I think that there will have to be compromise somewhere along the line, you simply can't have it all. Some will disagree, but I just think that they might not have the same priorities that you do. Balancing family life with flying is tricky enough at the best of times.

I wouldn't even have added to the thread, only I saw BBJ say that one advantage that Easy had over BA was 'a stable roster', I nearly spit my lunch all over my iPad! A friend of mine who's been there 20years says that last summer was 'the worst ever'. That must include summers, long ago, when I was there, left seat. It just goes to show how different perceptions can vary wildly within companies, different bases, different fleets (doesn't apply at easy), different base captains, but more importantly, different personalities.

I don't have the answer, but I do know that the way you feel will be affecting your family's as well as your own wellbeing. As someone who suffered a stroke, I would advise you to do something about it and not put it on the long finger. If it were my choice to make, first thing I'd try would be to go part time at BA. Don't tickle it, make a difference. Compromise on the money. But that's just me having fun. The real choice is yours.

Good luck & all the best for 2017.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 14:04   #27 (permalink)
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Forget it.

The grass on the other side is astroturf.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 14:25   #28 (permalink)
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Speak to your Manager at BA is the best suggestion I can make.
You'll get plenty of good and bad advice on the forum.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 16:06   #29 (permalink)
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Thoughts on BA

For what it's worth I have no experience of Easy, only of Flybe. I joined BA a few years ago on the A320. Being junior and also a family man I can say that my move has been a mixed bag overall but I think I have found the answer.

I truly believe that all airlines are pushing crews harder than ever since EASA loosened the reins. The trick is to recognise this and realise that you have to make compromises to achieve the work life balance that works for you. As a Captain at BA you are undoubtedly earning a solid wage, a good proportion of which is being taxed at around 50% if you take into account NI and income tax. Add in the commuting costs, the after school clubs required for cover, the increased use of shoe leather and suddenly you'll realise that going part time will take your days off per month from around 11-12 to around 18 - and that will make a huge difference in lifestyle for what amounts to proportionally a quite small % cut in net pay.

Every job is a compromise, each company has its merits. I have friends who left Flybe for Jet2 and are enjoying living in huge farmhouses in the Yorkshire Dales working a couple of days a month in the Winter. Equally I have mates who are very happy part time at Flybe working their (excellent) part time option of a 5 days on 5 days off cycle and living in lovely houses near regional bases. The trick nowadays seems to be to be either in a charter type operator or to go part time at a scheduled operator.

As others have said we are blessed in BA in having lots of options so get out there and explore them! When your work life balance is right you will stop resenting work for taking you away from your family too much and that can only be a good thing for you, for your family and indeed for BA.

Last edited by Desk-pilot; 28th Dec 2016 at 16:26.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 16:46   #30 (permalink)
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The beauty of BA is it gives you a choice: Lifestyle or money. I have watched people 800 places junior to me get their SH command this year, I even flew with a few of them before I moved over to long haul. They made a choice to bid for command, presumably knowing that 2016 was a "one off year". They will now probably spend at least the next 5 years and quite possibly longer getting blind lines, working every weekend and most likely doing the unpleasant stuff which filters through to the bottom. I pretty much think they are crazy for doing it but everyone has their own personal calculation to make and fair play to them for passing the course and grabbing the command with both hands.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting this is you (for starters I still don't fully understand the intricacies of the BMI agreements) but it does illustrate that they made a choice that the money was more important than lifestyle. Personally (LH notwithstanding), I think I'd rather have stayed in the right hand seat of the 320, accepted I was going to earn less but would get every single weekend off, never do reserve etc etc.

Having worked at easyJet I think you'd be nuts to go there. As others have pointed out, you will end up at LGW working ridiculously hard and the roster stability is just horrible. BA are a much better employer in my opinion, difficult though that may be to accept having not seen both sides of it.

Go part time. Leave the 320 and go RHS LH and you will move up. Just don't to go EZY.

Good luck.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 17:43   #31 (permalink)
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Hi bex88

I can certainly empathise with the work / home lifestyle balance being away is always difficult especially when children are young and everything seems to happen at the weekends, its certainly my biggest challenge since being at BA. Looking at DEC Easy LGW you may as well ask to transfer within BA if that was workable for you. I have a good friend whose been at Easy 9 years a Capt for 4 and hes under 40 and 50% as he just cant stand full time any longer!!

I've used Parental leave at times and it works very well but does take a chunk of money! I'm finding it more and more interesting though that so many people in their 30's / 40's are having to take part-time / parental leave in order to cope in this industry as Full time leaves many feeling utterly exhausted and affecting home life. It just hides the real problem within the industry and the way we are all being worked now!

Best of luck and as someone else said take your time BA isn't going anywhere so you have plenty of time to think.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 17:58   #32 (permalink)
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I am in the same position, being an Ex Bmi junior Captain, and I must admit I have not read every single post of this thread, but have you considered part time.

I don't have a family, however, going down the part time route would give you that week off, at least one weekend off a month and the ability to work a couple of days during your week off on YOUR terms to earn some extra bunce.

This is something I am considering for the future, especially with the potentially of having to do reserve 3 times a year .
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 17:58   #33 (permalink)
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I'm finding it more and more interesting though that so many people in their 30's / 40's are having to take part-time / parental leave in order to cope in this industry as Full time leaves many feeling utterly exhausted and affecting home life. It just hides the real problem within the industry and the way we are all being worked now!
Amen! This is so so true. I've met so many burnt out pilots who are desperate to go part time. I think the bigger question is what the continued pressure and stress is doing to our health, both mental and physical, especially over the long term. And particularly now since you cannot go sick in some companies without the sword of Damocles hanging over you from the "absence management department".
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 20:54   #34 (permalink)
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Irrespective of seniority, any ex-bmi pilot that gains a LHR short haul command is forced to remain in the bubble.

Nobody in BA is forced to do anything. We all have choices, and can express our preferences every year. Those choices range from A320 at LHR or LGW. (Including mid-haul A321 from LHR!) B767, B747, B777, B787, A380, and soon A350.

ALL of those fleets are available to everyone.

In fact, this year, anyone could have bid out of the bubble AND retained their Heathrow A320 command!!!!

As I've already said, it's not easy to imagine an airline with better lifestyle choices than BA!

But hey. Try Easy. Come back in a year and let us know how it's turned out.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 21:02   #35 (permalink)
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4468. I guess you don't fly for BA. You do not have a choice to leave the bubble and stay on the A320. If your ex BMI and you are a captain or gain your command at any point then you are returned to the bubble. If there was a choice to opt out of the bubble and go to your place on the BA MSL then there would be no problem......certainly not one that you could groan about and have any form of defence at least.

There is not much in your above statement about my position which is correct. A321 Mid haul out of LHR....must have missed that one on the bid

Last edited by bex88; 28th Dec 2016 at 21:28.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 21:15   #36 (permalink)
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I think you can wipe the A350 from your list of options there 4468 ;-)

(On a different topic of course)
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 21:24   #37 (permalink)
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To pretty much everyone, thank you for your views and advice. There is a whole host of things in there that I have been looking into today.

Having sat down with the better half we have decided to look at the simpler options first. The honest responses from the easy guys really does help. Knowing that a regional base would be years and years off is a big factor. The workload causes a concern but BA is moving SH that way with many more 4 sector days built into tours.

I was a little surprised but my wife is supportive of part time. I was concerned about the financials and her response was "what's the point of having a bit more cash if in 10 years time you have no relationship with your kids" that and she said I was a grumpy ****er and needed to get a hobby before she kills me.

Part time won't come around until next year at the earliest but it give time to sort out my lifestyle to match a reduced salary and maybe even see how JSS changes things.

Once again, thank you. It really helps as this is not really a subject you can talk about in person within BA.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 21:52   #38 (permalink)
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I'm an entirely happy Easy skipper at LGW. Possibly the only one by the looks of things. Yes 5 days off are hard. I struggle with 5 earlies in a row and especially during the summer. If it's all getting too much though then you don't have to go in do you? Having said that I haven't actually gone fatigued for over 18 months.

Yes, crewing own you during your 5 days on and roster stability in the summer is shocking. We have just gained more control over refusing significant short notice changes however so this should help in a small way. Personally, if I finish work and the Malaga I was going to do tomorrow has changed to a Faro then I don't get too upset about it. I just turn up at the new report time and get on with it. If it gets changed to a Larnaca then I can refuse it if it doesn't suit or take the 50 change payment if it does.

5354 is great. Socially, my free weekends are booked up until the middle of March. Family life is good. I do plenty of school runs on days off or before / after work. It has, at least a couple of times, been assumed I'm a stay-at-home Dad.

Easy is not a mature employer (no private health (just buy some) / pension not as good (top it up and avoid 60% income tax) and takes as much as it can from it's workforce. On the flip side, there are plenty of thing you can take from Easy such as regional / continental bases.

You should certainly look urgently at parental leave. It costs very little due to the tax situation and generates extra leave. The benefit of the fixed pattern here is that for only 5 days unpaid leave, you get 12 consecutive days off.

It's not a sexy airline, it's not a luxury brand. But the days out are fun and it suits me and the life I want to lead so I'm fat, dumb and happy.

There is probably a reason why this street is one way though!!
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 21:53   #39 (permalink)
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Wouldn't worry about 4468's comments bex88. He has swallowed the "BA is the one and only" pill.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 22:12   #40 (permalink)
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Bex, I'm 99.9% sure I know you from elsewhere...

My wife just made a comment when I mentioned your situation and I think that it's worth considering. Work to Live, don't Live to Work. Then there are also the priorities of Family above all else, then Work.

I'm somewhat envious of where you are, but there is a lot to be said for being at home every night, although the summers are certainly hard work where I am.

If there are ways of improving your lifestyle at BA through part time and/or parental leave and being able to stay there, I'd certainly recommend it. From my point of view, you've got almost certain job security in a legacy airline.
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