View Full Version : Gimme, gimme - I'm a BA pilot!

10th Aug 2001, 22:07
Have you seen the letter from one 777 pilot in the BA news this week? He is suggesting that, as there may have been some mainline input into the GO start-up some years ago, BA staff should have some benefit in cash or kind when GO float on the market.

This unbelievable thirst for other people’s benefits is just typical of the mercenary attitude of BA pilots. As if they didn’t have enough already working for one of the best-paid airlines in Europe. I was there and I know that BA were allowed minimal input into the launch of GO, and this pilot himself certainly did nothing at all, nor did it cost him anything. Where do these people come from and why do they think that the rest of the world should pay them homage and royalties?

Beyond belief…sad but true, read his letter for yourself!

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: Sick Squid ]

The Guvnor
10th Aug 2001, 22:13
I certainly don't think that everyone in BA should get a drink out of Go simply because Go was a BA operation. However, on the other hand, all of the BA shareholders will be getting a little extra thanks to the 'extraordinaries' that the sale has added to BA's bottom line.

Of course, by the time the financial year end rolls round, BA will doubtless have lost it all! :rolleyes: :eek: :rolleyes:

Lee Dingedge
10th Aug 2001, 22:22
I saw that letter, Bourbon. What's that B777 chappie on? £100,000+ at the end of the day and he begrudges secretaries and ticketers a share of the GO launch. They can only think of themselves, those sort of people. Still, I expect his wife loves him - bringing home all that dosh.

10th Aug 2001, 22:39
Bourbon-whatever. I haven't read the letter but just because this pilot chooses to express a view, which if your synopsis is to be believed, most BA pilots would think off as being quite ludicrous hardly justifies you referring to me or my 4000 colleagues as 'mercenary BA pilots'.

If what you say is correct then by all means attack the writer but a broad, unfair and, in the main, untrue sweeping generalisation does not add to your credibility or strength of argument.

Lee Dingedge

See above. The writer may or may not be on £100,000 I do not know anymore than you do. I have been in the company 13 years and had a command for the last three. I fly 757 and 767s and can assure you I make no where near that figure by a large margin.

I see you have an interest in motorcycles, I am sure that you would not expect me to assume you are a long haired yob just because a very few motorcyclists are.

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: M.Mouse ]

I removed the name from the original MM, don't think it is relevant to the argument; this edit is for consistency. £6

[ 10 August 2001: Message edited by: Sick Squid ]

10th Aug 2001, 23:14
Bourbon & Lee,

Haven't read the letter yet so can't comment on this individuals attitude. (The firelighter only publishes flight-crews letters if it will embarrass them in some way.)

I do, however, object to your attitudes to the rest of us in BA. You both have pretty broad brushes you are painting with. Personally, I don't give a monkeys about money from the sale of GO - the Guvnor got it right on this one!



10th Aug 2001, 23:37
Thanks for biting M.Mouse!

"If what you say is correct then by all means attack the writer but a broad, unfair and, in the main, untrue sweeping generalisation does not add to your credibility or strength of argument"

Well, I wasn't arguing or even after credibility or strength of argument. If I was, I don't think I would be writing on an anonymous rumour forum!!

In the main, as you say, it probably is a sweeping comment but all the BA pilots I know (do you want my staff number?) talk incessantly about what a particular bid line or trip is worth and how much the Americans get for the same job. Where I came from, who you are flying with and where you were going were always the main points of interest. Grateful for the money, of course, but never talked about it.

Just read the article - don't take my word for it.

Lee Dingedge
10th Aug 2001, 23:45
Hey Mister Mouse - I fly 757/767, command for 8 years and make just a fraction over the 100G after allowances and before tax. You've made my day if I get more than a BA equivalent!!!

10th Aug 2001, 23:50
if a company disposes of an asset what right does that give an employee to a share of that asset. I would suggest none at all. The company had the risk at start up and because they dispose of it does not mean that everyone can then stick there nose into the trough and get some of it. How would that person feel if they had a handy man and when the house went up for sale he wanted a share. after all he is just an employee :confused:

[ 12 August 2001: Message edited by: rover2701 ]

Human Factor
11th Aug 2001, 00:49
I think flight crew morale would be considerably boosted at BA if anyone was earning £100k ..... :rolleyes:

11th Aug 2001, 01:36
I think a lot of peoples morale at BA would be boosted if they were earning a small part of 100K. The airline is much much larger than the flight crew I just hope after the down trodden pilots have earned their 15% pay rise there is is enough left in the pot for the rest of us to maybe keep our heads above water.

11th Aug 2001, 02:24

There is a great deal of nonsense talked about BA pilots pay. I don't know where you get your figure of 15% from but no figure has been decided upon by our representatives yet.

What has been done is a great deal of research and should you care to approach a pilot with an open mind and ask for the facts so far established I am sure that he/she would be happy to share the information with you.

I do not presume to know what I am talking about when other employees pay is being negotiated and frankly what they achieve is between them and their management. Why do so many not directly involved feel they have the knowledge to comment sensibly on mine when they really can have no idea of the reality?

Out of interest which area do you work in?

Magnus Picus
11th Aug 2001, 12:56
Would it be fair to say that setting up GO was a disaster for BA?
It achieved the following,
£25m lost investment each year PLUS inevitable start-up losses incurred.
Retrospectively, they have built a strong competitor for budget business travellers, city breakers and even independently minded tourists.
It consolidated Stelios's 'victim of BA' image which plays a strong part in a travellers choice when purchasing their ticket.
It was a missed opportunity for BA pilots to work out of another base (The option was never even discussed)

The fact that it was a pilot who had the balls to accuse his bosses of the monumental fcuk up, in its own document of propoganda, "BA News", was something to be proud of. Unfortunately, the individual, missed the opportunity to put this feeling across by tarnishing it with what I believed to be a poorly worded letter.

However, if they can make such mistakes (and its effect can be felt by the employees through poor share performance and LACK of profit share for so many years) he did have a right to be annoyed.

Perhaps Bourbon and Lee Dingedge feel comfortable in their unquestioning existence, doing their impression of mushrooms in their strange Waterside open plan offices, but WE as pilots live in a questioning environment. It makes us safer by being cynical. If that cynicism includes our bosses then so be it. Don't be a kiss ass, Bourbon, it doesn't 'Suit' you.

Have you improved your productivity by 25% in the last 5 years, gents?

11th Aug 2001, 15:00
There was probably nothing wrong behind the idea of GO, it’s just that it was the wrong thing for BA to get involved in. Why on Earth would we want to get into competition with ourselves, unless of course it was an attempt by the man who shall forever associated with blunder and pestilence to prove some point over shorthaul costs.

The fact is that both GO and EuroGatwick were losing £100m a year whilst management were trying to tell us what a disaster EG was and how those losses were unsustainable. In addition, I heard from the horses mouth a frank admission that if GO had had to operate out of Heathrow, then they could barely have matched the costbase of LHR Shorthaul. So much for BA being soooh expensive!

The truth is that it was a stunt arranged by Ailing Bob, and his inability to understand that there is more than one market for shorthaul travel in Europe. There are those who wish to ‘go’ on the cheap with a no bells and whistles service from a regional airport – doesn’t matter where to doesn’t matter where. Then there is the serious business traveller who needs a direct service, connected to a major hub, with a reliable robust service at a sensible time, to another major terminal convenient for his/her needs. For such a service a premium is acceptable, and they have no problem paying it.

If you don’t accept this argument then perhaps you wouldn’t mind driving a Trabant. There is room in this business for Skoda’s and BMW’s and the skilful Chief Executive knows where his company is headed.


Pete Otube
11th Aug 2001, 16:19
Quote "greedy BA pilots" - I would like to state, most emphatically, that I resemble that remark, Bourbon.

11th Aug 2001, 16:39
Hard as it is for Magnus Picus to grasp, there are pilots who believe they receive a fair wage. In purely flying terms, I am well qualified and I think I am well paid for my trouble. I have a comfortable house, two holidays a year and a new car every three years. My kid goes to private school and we keep warm in winter.

I do not make the 100K mentioned above, but I suspect like most BA pilots, I’m not far off it. Am I therefore a “suit” or a “mushroom” because I’m content and enjoy my work? What a very, very small world you live in, Picus - I expect you’re the most important person in it?

11th Aug 2001, 18:37
Bourbon, Don't bad mouth guys pushing for the best deal they can get. Investment in GO reduced profits that year, therefore no profit share that year for any BA staff. Why shouldn't all BA staff benifit from the investment of their profit share that wasn't?

Your self-effacing attitude does nothing for your colleagues who try to maintain and improve our lot. Get some ATTITUDE!

If you don't work for BA I suggest you keep your nose OUT!

:D :D

Wee Weasley Welshman
11th Aug 2001, 19:20
Is it not the case that BA invested a one off £25million to start Go after which it was totally self sustaining and then 3 years later they sold it for £110million?

Looks like a nice return to me. I may be wrong.


11th Aug 2001, 21:09
Self-effacing, Chatham? On the contrary, I thought I sounded rather smug and self-satisfied !!

Positive Climb
11th Aug 2001, 21:19

"One of the best-paid airlines in Europe"

Myself and around 3,500 of my colleagues would love to see what information you have based that extraodinary statement on.

I beg you - spill the beans and enlighten us all....................... :confused:

11th Aug 2001, 21:26
:eek: Sorry Burbon you failed... Self-effacing and whinging was the result.


basil fawlty
12th Aug 2001, 08:57
I think that most people would agree that the pilot whose letter was published in the "friday firelighter" is as ignorant as he is greedy, and i'm convinced they published it to make him look like a complete t*ss*r in front of the entire airline!!
On the wider issue of airline pilot remuneration please consider this;

(British Airways) flightcrew today earn considerably more than their predessessors(?) 20+ years ago. Gross salaries are higher in real terms, and net income is A LOT higher due to the fact that the higher rate of income tax used to be 60%, and there was no cap on NI contributions. (Why do you think film stars like Michael Caine p*ss*d off to America, and then returned in the mid 80's when the tax/NI rates were cut!)Also there was no such thing as profit share.
My father was a F/E at BA for 25 years, and a total 30 years with the company. The pension he now receives is a fraction of the pensions that comparable new retirees are getting. Some of this can be accounted for by depreciation due to the system of determining the annual increase (using the inflation figure and not average earnings)but the rest is due to the good percentage increases flightcrew have had over the intervening years. Remember each % increase is worth a lot more the higher your salary is to begin with, e.g 5% of £100k yields a larger pay rise than 5% of £20k!!
I am a F/E myself, although I am not with BA, I earn less than my equivalent in BA but it is still, I think, a damn good salary. I am always amazed at the greed displayed by a number of pilots from time to time.
FLIGHTCREWS SHOULD (AND DO) EARN GOOD MONEY for reasons that are obvious to us all.
Some people will argue that salaries should be higher due to productivity increases ( more flying hours/sectors per annum) This is true to a point, but remember that the older aircraft e.g Boeing 707, were much harder work to operate- with much less automation and were much more prone to tech problems such as engine failures and such like. Also some of the duty days were very long, multiple sectors, 12-16 hours without a heavy crew, and trips were longer, up to 3 weeks away. Makes those crew whinging today about big double digit increases look a bit pathetic doesn't it? A lot of big jet drivers today, mainly those who are ex sponsored cadets who did not have to go deep into debt to finance their career ambitions, or work their way up via the regional airline slave route DO NOT KNOW WHEN THEY ARE WELL OFF!!

12th Aug 2001, 10:35
Basil - putting things into perspective like that is going to get you a lot of flack!

12th Aug 2001, 14:02

I think you are drifting somewhat off the point. Bourbon started this thread with the deliberate intention of attacking BA pilots in general for the rather tenuous reason that one person had written an ill-considered letter to BA News. I am not sure why he feels the way he does and alludes to the fact that he is a BA pilot himself but has not always been. Perhaps he is disgruntled because he didn't want to join BA but has found his company taken over, we will never know. But his offensively worded titling of this thread and his subsequent attack on me and my many decent colleagues could not go unchallenged.

I cannot disagree with much of your post but equally much of what you say goes for every other profession/trade etc. in the UK. My father was a board member of a substantial UK company and compared with today his remuneration and pension were poor but on the other hand his council tax was not in four figures and did not increase by many times the rate of inflation each year nor did he pay £4.00 a gallon for fuel. I fear the comparisons are an irrelevance.

Nobody is claiming that relatively speaking we are not well off (although compared to equivalent jobs of responsibility it is arguable) but I do not see why I should not aspire to be paid the market rate for the job.

Finally you claim that the job is now much easier. I agree that the aeroplanes are easier to manage and offer better reliability but in other areas such as congested airspace, 4+ sector days, minimum slips at destinations the modern job is much more demanding.

To return to my original point all this is an irrelevance. Bourbon made an unpleasant and untrue attack on me and my colleagues and I could not let that go unchallenged.

12th Aug 2001, 16:01

Your posting was offensive to me, I am a BA pilot, not motivated by money, for if I was, I surely wouldn't be working for this lot!

It may come as a surprise to you but a 20-year BA Captain is on £75k basic.

To the guy who came out with the 'best paid in Europe' gem, you're way off the mark, buddy. I had a wry chuckle when I read it.

For the record:

BA pilots are the most productive of any major airline. Their pay is way behind the 'market rate'

This is an unstable situation!

PS: Don't believe everything you read in the papers!