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BA or Virgin? Which is better?

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BA or Virgin? Which is better?

Old 12th Feb 2007, 15:57
  #101 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SE England
Posts: 12
BA or Virgin ? Well, I'm at BA and it seems many of us relatively new FOs are becoming increasingly disappointed. All that was said in the frustration illustrations is true. From a fantiastically motivated individual, I have become a disillusionned one. Of course some days are better than others, but generally, I would say that when you are surrounded with so much negativity and frustration, you just tip over the edge and become negative yourself. I guess it all depends on how much shit you get before you become unhappy and at BA, you get a lot and it happens quickly. It took me 6 months only.
I just want my happy life back (I was happier making less money) and I really hope Virgin has the ingredients to keep its crew pleased. Many of us will try to jump ship as soon as possible. BA management apparently are ignoring this right now. Only the junior guys will want to leave anyway. Not all will make it either. I would not be surprised if BA would introduce a bond in the near future so that they can decrease working conditions further.
If you had the choice, its a no brainer, go to Virgin first.
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Old 12th Feb 2007, 17:25
  #102 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
Posts: 137
BA has been a bit of a disappointment for me for the last couple of years due to a)BARP and b)retirement age 65 and effect on progression.

Now that BARP looks to have been significantly improved as part of the pension solution and the 65 effect is not as dire as expected I can say that BA is the place to be. Looking forward I can see expansion, great route structure, great fleets and great rostering. T&C are pretty good too.

I'm Gatwick based so can't speak for life at Heathrow, and we don't have Bidline. Now all we have to do is get our customers back and all will be rosy. I think the choice between VS and BA is quite close, BA does give you a short haul option as well, (at present).

Although WW is not as charismatic as RB he has turned out to be far more considered than the slasher we all expected. He is forthright and does what he says. I would say that I am proud to work for BA again and the heavy atmosphere seems to have lifted.
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Old 13th Feb 2007, 12:08
  #103 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SE England
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Wait till you get to heathrow. Although you'll get significantly more time off, the dysfunction of it and the sad crew atmosphere is likely to get to you as it did for me. You'll enjoy your time off and will be at pains to come back to work. Having said that, you are not wrong. The BARP pension improvement puts my mind at rest too and if I don't get into Virgin, BA is a second best which is good already. But it could and should be so much better...
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Old 13th Feb 2007, 12:29
  #104 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Overseas
Posts: 203
From the horses (BA management's) mouth. "Hardly any pilots leave BA. We are therefore paying too much or your t's & c's are too good. Do not expect any improvements - indeed expect the opposite - until leaving rates rise."

Nice attitude eh. Could be they won't have to wait too long judging by the posts above.
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Old 13th Feb 2007, 13:15
  #105 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
Posts: 137
I didn't say I hadn't applied elsewhere though, I have looked a little further east. At the moment BA is a nose ahead but if things get squeezed I expect lots with applications already running will go, some might already be swimming in the pool!
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Old 13th Feb 2007, 13:30
  #106 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SE England
Posts: 12
Indeed you're right. I hope to be out by then. The only glitch is that what they say is not completely wrong: Virgin is 10 times smaller than BA and can't absorbe that many BA piltos. Plus the only guys who would leave would typically have the following profile: 2500h+ hours DEPs who did not have enough to get on the 777. They have the shit airbus lifestyle and enough hours to get to Virgin. The low hours self sponsored will stay at BA because they don't have a choice. So BA will lose a few experienced airbus copilots and that's all.
Because BA is still attractive, they'll have no problem replacing us with the present T&Cs, so why would they bother. In fact, I think the only thing they'll do about it is to put a 4 year bond in place for newcomers. That should sort it out from their perspective. You're right, our conditions are unlikely to improve.
Putting things in perspective, again, BA is not that bad and as said above, there are some things like the quality of our trainers that I praise BA for. With a few more years seniority, my lifestyle will improve, and when longhaul comes along, I'll be able to just sit back and see less and less of LHR. Plus the fleet renewals will mean interesting opportunities and T5 will also be interesting from the shorthaul perspective...
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Old 14th Feb 2007, 11:32
  #107 (permalink)  
JT8
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 164
I joined BA from a LCO, and had enough experience to get onto the 777 directly, but not enough to get looked at by VS.

Overall I'm very happy, although the real negative is the time to command.
I work blindlines and although this means lots of weekends I only work 4/4.5 trips a month on average. Last month was particularly quiet and I worked 12 days and took home 3900. If I want a tripline I could get a fairly crappy one with my seniority, however it could work for me if I need a specific day off. The point is there are options and good flexibility in the system.

I continue to monitor things at VS, as it was always my first choice. However I worry as things like annual hour limits have a tendancy to dissapear over time. The size of the airline means they will never have the variety that BA can offer.

I acknowledge BA shorthall LHR would be my worst nightmare. Would have preferred staying with a Lco than getting into that
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Old 14th Feb 2007, 15:06
  #108 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: uk
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JT8,

In order for Virgin to make us work 900 hours a year, they would have to negotiate HARD with our BALPA CC. That would cost them a lot of cash I hope...

As for never being as big as BA, maybe not, but there could be a hell of an expansion in order to get bigger. Who knows?

At the end of the day, if you do a typical month at Virgin, you walk away with £3300 a month PLUS your cash downroute (after pension contributions and YEAR 1 figures). It's identical to BA really, but our pension is a little better and we will have worked a trip less (or thereabouts each month).

Take your pick guys, but the reality of it is that both airlines are right up there in the marketplace for pay and conditions, irrespective of what we may all think.

Final salary pensions are long gone. Forget them and look at some airlines where you just get abused and more abused each year.

Life ain't bad in either BA or VS............there are a lot of people who would like our jobs.
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Old 14th Feb 2007, 15:25
  #109 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SE England
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Yeah, well I would prefer yours to mine . I had a dream... .
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Old 14th Feb 2007, 15:45
  #110 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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speedy451

Apply again then. People have got in at the next attempt. I believe if you look at Virgin's website they may have just started recruiting again.

Good luck, but don't top yourself if you don't get in. There is plenty more to life than flying..............
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Old 14th Feb 2007, 16:29
  #111 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Hello, Stansdead, well It will be my first attempt since I had not applied before... I shall put in my application right now.
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 15:23
  #112 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: London
Posts: 10
Virgin or BA

The last debate on this was some time ago. With new T&Cs/rosters/pensions/pilots I was wondering if people could offer their experience in the two airlines to compare.

I'm in the fortunate position of having offers from both BA & Virgin, and whilst it's one of the best positions you can be in, the gravity of the decision is dawning on me.

BA Pros
* Probably the most stable company to work for
* Variety of fleets, both SH & LH options
* Relatively good pay & conditions
* Lots of leave

BA Cons
* Worked incredibly hard with time at the bottom of seniority very unsociable (particularly with new bid system?). Roster looks pretty awful..
* Impersonal/corporate (could be advantage or disadvantage depending on personality)

Virgin Pros
* Seems like a fun, friendly & relaxed place to work
* Capped at 750 hrs per year
* Delta/Air France KLM owning 49% & 31% respectively so stronger than ever, and supposedly like the brand
* Better work life balance from what I've seen, with rotating seniority a personal plus so I can enjoy the next decade of my life

Virgin Cons
* Not as stable - 28 million loss when every other airline is making money, equity minus £25 million...
* Ambiguity as to Delta/Air France KLM want to do with the airline (Alaska collapsed Virgin America albeit a different business model), after all it is loss making
* Committing to LH for the rest of your life

Any thoughts from people in the two airlines would be really interesting.
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 16:22
  #113 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: London
Posts: 134
Originally Posted by flightpattern View Post
The last debate on this was some time ago. With new T&Cs/rosters/pensions/pilots I was wondering if people could offer their experience in the two airlines to compare.

I'm in the fortunate position of having offers from both BA & Virgin, and whilst it's one of the best positions you can be in, the gravity of the decision is dawning on me.

BA Pros
* Probably the most stable company to work for
* Variety of fleets, both SH & LH options
* Relatively good pay & conditions
* Lots of leave

BA Cons
* Worked incredibly hard with time at the bottom of seniority very unsociable (particularly with new bid system?). Roster looks pretty awful..
* Impersonal/corporate (could be advantage or disadvantage depending on personality)

Virgin Pros
* Seems like a fun, friendly & relaxed place to work
* Capped at 750 hrs per year
* Delta/Air France KLM owning 49% & 31% respectively so stronger than ever, and supposedly like the brand
* Better work life balance from what I've seen, with rotating seniority a personal plus so I can enjoy the next decade of my life

Virgin Cons
* Not as stable - 28 million loss when every other airline is making money, equity minus £25 million...
* Ambiguity as to Delta/Air France KLM want to do with the airline (Alaska collapsed Virgin America albeit a different business model), after all it is loss making
* Committing to LH for the rest of your life

Any thoughts from people in the two airlines would be really interesting.

I thought it wouldnít be long until someone wrote on this thread again.
A good question ,
it all comes down to the individual (obviously)
i guess if you could break it down into the things that you really want , for me I love a good lifestyle.
Virgin gives me that especially with the 750hr rule , Iím home often and I enjoy my job . Fly with fantastic guys and great crew , donít feel like a number (although unfortunately you are)

as as you say BA has security which is a big deal in the world of aviation as I found out the hard way !

Also you can change fleets (although I believe they may be limiting that soon)

The Pay in BA is more but thatís on 900hrs a year , whilst virgin scales are 750 ........
when your close to retirement you will most probably be part time so I believe the figures are pretty similar

just some light thoughts to get you thinking
itís a kind of each to their own opinion
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 16:46
  #114 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Also you can change fleets (although I believe they may be limiting that soon)
Thatís not necessarily the case although itís undoubtedly on BAís wishlist.
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 16:59
  #115 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: London
Posts: 10
I agree that lifestyle outweighs pay, you canít buy that in my opinion. I see myself far better suited to the virgin brand too.

was your experience of lack of security in virgin? Iím not too clued up on what happened in the recession/9/11 with pilots and redundancies? Obviously itís a concern and Iím coming from a very stable outfit, so I suppose I actually have 3 options..

How do you see things going with the new acquisitions? Steadily falling to purely transatlantic stuff?
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 23:33
  #116 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Here and there
Posts: 12
The question of which is better to work for is down to personal preferences, but surely only relevant if:

a) You work for one and have a job offer from the other, or....

b) You work for neither but have a job offer from both at the same time.

No?
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Old 30th Oct 2018, 23:38
  #117 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: London
Posts: 10
Correct. Iím in position B at the moment.
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 00:16
  #118 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: In the flare
Posts: 48
I know a lot of people at BA on all LH fleets and know nobody that has done more than 750 hours full time.
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 07:15
  #119 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Originally Posted by clamchowder View Post
I know a lot of people at BA on all LH fleets and know nobody that has done more than 750 hours full time.
It’s early so I’ll be polite: whilst what you say might be literally true amongst the “lot” you know, especially if they are relatively new joiners and have been on Blindlines, (now extinct due to JSS) I’m afraid your statement creates a misleading impression of the overall picture at BA.

Like a few in this place I’m able to look at BA’s 900 hour warning lists which gives those close to a legal limit a heads up. One of these, the December BA 777 P2 900 hours warning list, contains the names of everybody on that status who is close to to, above or well above 750 annual flying hours. It has over 100 individuals on it, and a lot of those P2s are actually well up in the 800’s.

It is also worth noting that as a result of the high hours we routinely have a number of pilots having their bidding limited and/or rosters massaged in order to stay below 900 per annum/100 in 28 days.

That state of affairs is fairly standard these days month in, month out, across all the longhaul seats and fleets apart from possibly temporarily the 787. It is not a low hours airline.

It is unlikely the new rostering system at BA will bring hours down by any significant amount.so the facts are don’t for one minute think BA long haul full time is a 750 hour per annum operation.



Last edited by wiggy; 31st Oct 2018 at 08:03.
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Old 31st Oct 2018, 08:26
  #120 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 77
BA considerations

Just a couple of points to consider from a BA long hauler. Iím not interested in a pissing contest, Iíve got mates in both companies who enjoy the job and wherever you go, Iím sure youíll love it.

One massive plus point about the BA rosters is that once theyíre finalised you can then swap, drop (although this has become more difficult) and pick up trips at the click of a button, as long as itís legal. For a junior guy, this means that their roster may eventually look nothing like the original. This swapping system will remain in place after JSS comes in and there is a big swapping culture on most fleets. Iím bottom third on the list and get lots of weekends off because everyone wants something different. Iím on an easy mid-week trip now because someone wanted to take their partner away for the weekend. With a pretty extensive route structure and a lot of pilots to swap with, you can scan down the list of swaps like a menu in a restaurant deciding where to go!

Regarding the unsociable lifestyle comment, there is another point Iíd like to mention. If you havenít been long haul before, you may not realise just how social it is. Unlike short haul, many destinations have 2, 3 or sometimes 4 crews all nightstopping so it becomes very sociable. Weekend trips take on a new perspective. Youíll very likely have a beer with your oppo in BA/VAA too in some destinations. If that isnít your thing then remember both companies allow you to take along friends and family to turn those longer trips away into mini-holidays.

Not sure Iíd agree with your corporate culture point as I canít say Iíve really noticed but maybe thatís just me.

Anyway, good luck with the choice, nice position to be in!
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