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BA SH lifestyle LHR/LGW

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BA SH lifestyle LHR/LGW

Old 7th Jan 2014, 15:54
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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BA SH lifestyle LHR/LGW

I've read a lot on these forums about the lifestyle of a junior BA SH pilot, but much of the information seems to be between 6-10 years old. Much has changed in that time period, and with the replacement of the 73's with the bus, more change is underway.

Can people on this forum please give an updated view of the BA SH lifestyle as well as some sample rosters from both LGW and LHR? The most recent SH LGW rosters I can find are from 2008.

Cheers
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Old 7th Jan 2014, 17:24
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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I can only speak for LHR SH (Airbus 319/320/321)

There are currently 92 Airbus covering the LHR SH (Europe and North Africa) operation with a further 7 ex-BMI A321's flying Medium Haul routes to destinations a bit further afield such as Baku, Amman etc. There are around 500 co pilots on the fleet.

The trips available range from 2 or 4 sector day trips to 5 day 'gypsy tours'. The average tour is usually 2 or 3 days long, as either 3-3 or a 3-2-3.

Positives

Europe in the Summer is the best place to be, (in my humble opinion) and getting the opportunity to have 12-14 hour slips in these places with free accommodation, is a real bonus. The hotels are usually 4 star and well located. Our Hotel 'agreement' is under a lot of stress these days however, so the standard of Hotel is slipping a bit.

Once you can get a bit of seniority under your belt you can have some input in to what sort of work you do. (See negatives too). Bidline is all about 'lifestyle' on SH so the more seniority you have, the more lifestyle you can achieve.

Training is pretty good. BA has a few idiosyncrasies in how it operates but the support is good for those who struggle and if you're one of the more talented types, there are opportunities to be a training copilot, which is unique to our company a.f.a.i.k.

Negatives

Bidline is a Ponzi scheme. As long as you can get people below you then you're ok but if you're sat in the bottom 15-20% you will be assigned a roster that consists of trips that no one else wants. Which means almost permanent weekend working. The plus side to this is that you will work less hard with more standby days in the normal working week.

The average number of days off is roughly the same if not slightly less than an EJ role but the days are on the whole not as long. I'd say 19 days per 31 day month is about standard.

Finally, and this might sound a bit frivolous but about 2/3rds of the cabin crew at LHR are ultra-long term employees (30+ years service) and their, how shall I say, 'sparkle' has long since gone. A small but determined minority of them can be quite unfriendly and dare I say it, obstructive and rude on most occasions. The new contract crew, known as 'Mixed Fleet' are quite the opposite. Enthusiastic and friendly.

I won't comment on pay but it is a 34 point scale.

Time to command is rumoured to be around 15-20 years for Shorthaul at the moment due to the demographics of recruitment in the last 25 years.

Last edited by Right Engine; 7th Jan 2014 at 19:18.
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Old 7th Jan 2014, 17:38
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There's a lot in this 2 year old thread that still applies
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Old 8th Jan 2014, 11:26
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Thanks a lot, Right Engine. I had read through that thread on the link you sent me before, but I'll have another read through. I'm quite interested in getting a sense of LGW as well, as FPP cadets are all stationed there as I understand.

I read yesterday that it is illegal to post rosters? Is that so? Perhaps that explains why I can't find many posted for SH past 2008 (though your description helps!)

Cheers
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Old 8th Jan 2014, 15:54
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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I'm quite interested in getting a sense of LGW as well, as FPP cadets are all stationed there as I understand.
Not true. About 20+ new names have appeared on the bottom of the list at LHR in the last couple of months, all of whom I believe to be the new FPP cadets.
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Old 8th Jan 2014, 20:11
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Although only a handful of FPPs have completed base training yet to my knowledge.

All FPP starts will be at LHR initially for about 4-6 months for line training and a period of consolidation before they hit LGW, but as far as I know, all have been given LGW contracts.
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