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BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Old 15th Dec 2015, 13:22
  #2301 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 74
I appreciate the responses.

It appears the commuting aspect of what I'm considering may be the deal breaker.

I had thought it would be 3 or 4 trips, 5 on a bad month. Now Im hearing of a sixth.

I also (it appears somewhat naively) thought the cost of staff travel commuting would be of a more negligible nature. Sadly there's nothing negligible about £100 return 5 or 6 times a month.

Oh well, better to find out now I suppose.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
Busbo is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2015, 13:33
  #2302 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Uk
Posts: 31

I commute on LH as a new Joiner. Worst case five trips, picked up over time….. generally four a month sometimes even three on a BL. Personally I really enjoy Blind-lines, but then again I don't mind landing at 5am on a saturday and getting the most out of the weekend from that.

I have stayed in London twice over the past six months. Budget 500 quid but I seem to around the 350 pound mark for the commute so far. (70 pounds return for me).

My overall experience so far has been extremely positive, sure it has drawbacks but nowhere is perfect and in my opinion pilots will always have a moan!!!!!! Commuting on LH is relatively straight forward and significantly less tiring than SH was!!!!
ALLOW is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2015, 14:31
  #2303 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: FL370
Age: 33
Posts: 231
From a short haul perspective as a new joiner I would say that things here are a lot better than the doom mongers make out.

I've been here for just under five months now. The only really negatives I've experienced have been the very variable quality of training at CTC during the type rating, especially during ground school, and the difficulty one can experience in finding out who or which department to contact when various needs arise. It's a huge company and generally rather impersonal, but I'm used to that from my previous employer. You won't see the same people very often, and in terms of cabin crew there is generally very little interaction with crews generally swapping out on every other flight.

However, apart from those minor gripes my experience has been extremely positive so far. The actual training done at BA has been excellent. The variety of trips and ability to trade with colleagues and open time means that I have been able to get exactly what I want and need in terms of schedule every month. I've been on the line for three months now and have had two blind lines and this month I have a trip line. I've managed to get day trips almost exclusively (which is what I want), and I'm averaging around 14-15 days off per month. For December I've got 18 days off without using any leave (but I did use clash and protect to get an extra three days off). 8 of those days are in a row over Christmas. If you want tours then you can easily get them, likewise with day trips.

I feel more rested and better treated at BA than I ever did at my previous airlines. When at work short haul is hard work, and BA hold you to a very high standard, but you are rewarded with a good quality of life and a very good pay and benefits package.

The quick commands seen this year probably won't arise next year, and if they do you will still be paid less than your counterparts at easyJet for quite a few years. But life in the RHS is good and you can forge a career that suits your own personal goals.
EMB-145LR is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2015, 17:02
  #2304 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Close to minimums
Posts: 20
A couple of week ago I was offered a 777 course starting beginning of March. Currently flying the 737 for loco with just over 4000TT. I applied in June, was in holding pool for 8 weeks. Can't wait!
Approaching Minima is offline  
Old 15th Dec 2015, 20:08
  #2305 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 316
Allow, you mention of good quality of life but I'd like to hear from LH people who've been in a few years. The picture painted sounds far sounds as hard work as anywhere with roster assign, high CAP figures and impending EASA regs.

5 trips a month is pretty hard work, but the potential of 6? What's your honest opinion of quality of life on long haul as a junior?

The tipping balance for me is when you stop coming home and feeling like you're at home instead you feel like you're flying in for a brief visit between trips and heading out still jet lagged. The money isn't the most important for me. The lifestyle is in a job balanced by decent enough money.

Last edited by Wireless; 15th Dec 2015 at 23:45. Reason: Clarity.
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Old 15th Dec 2015, 23:00
  #2306 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: York
Posts: 683

1) Roster Assign - As a Blind Line Holder, your entire roster is 'assigned.' (As opposed to 'awarded' which is when you actively bid for a line/trip.) BLHs already pretty much cover the month's 'hotspots', so in many ways RA is much less of an issue for juniors than seniors.

2) High CAP figures - ANNUAL CAP limits are laid down in Bid Line Rules. BA have to pay overrun payments to every pilot on any status, if they exceed these by a set margin. They would rather gnaw off their own gonads than pay this money. So if CAPs are high early in a year, they will invariably be lower later in the year. Ask any 767 capt what their monthly CAP is for Dec, for precisely this reason! Thus far, BLHs rarely work to CAP anyway. Part of their credit is achieved by Time Assignable days, which are often unusable!

3) Impending EASA regulations - British Airways are in the process of a MASSIVE recruitment process, increasing their pilot numbers to record levels, just as EASA commences. Care to hazard a guess why??? EASA is going to be at least as big a problem for BA as it is for any individual pilots.

You mention 6 trips a month? I can't GUARANTEE that there won't be odd months when you MAY fly 6 trips, but if you think that means 72 trips per year, you are WAY wide of the mark! Every other month, you can have a week's leave, (plus 3 wrap days) or Duty Free Week (with 1 non assignable day) If you have kids under 18 you are entitled to four weeks unpaid leave for every qualifying child. I'd be staggered if you reach 50 trips in any year on LH! Probably much less.

All these considerations ONLY WHEN YOU'RE JUNIOR! Once you're senior, then you can virtually write your own roster, flying to some of the greatest cities/islands in the world. If you want to do that from day one, then tell me where you're going to work?!

Last edited by 4468; 15th Dec 2015 at 23:13.
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Old 15th Dec 2015, 23:37
  #2307 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,442
Not sure I've ever done 6 trips a month except when prostituting myself for overtime. Looking back over the last 6 months I haven't worked more than 15-18 days per month and I've been in the company 10 years and I'm only 25% from the bottom of the 777 list. And I've never had a blind line except when I've missed a bidding date or forgotten altogether.
Megaton is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 01:23
  #2308 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Uk
Posts: 98

BA is full of commuters, they make it work and I'm sure you can too. If you are half interested, go through the process and see what you get offered. I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed with the job but you will certainly add complexity into your life. You will spend a few nights a month at a Heathrow hotel if going posh or a B+B if not, you will have a new hobby swapping trips and checking ibid and find all sorts of shortcuts to get your flight home on time. The big question when flying for a loco (which I did for many years too) is, can you keep on doing the same kind of flying until retirement? Variety is the spice of life and BA probably has as much variety as you can hope for in an airline.

If you are 320 rated, you may well find the offer is not for long haul in any case despite the current campaign.

Good luck

peacekeeper is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 07:47
  #2309 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,518
[old f*** warning]

I'm sensing there's a bit of a thought that (whatever their construction) Blindlines aren't really a problem (if indeed you perceive that they are) because you're not on them for very long.

Could I make the observation that BA is in a state of almost unheralded recruitment/pilot number expansion and many have rightly enjoyed their rapid rise up their status list in the last year, possible helped because many on Short Haul are currently stuck with engagement freezes.

At some point recruitment will slow down (hopefully not stop), and for sure engagement freezes will expire. In the past when that has happened it's not unknown for junior pilots on Long Haul fleets to drop back into Blindlines (senior internal transfers move in above them, most especially if the fleet is expanding), or simply not rise above Blindlines for the best part of a decade (as myself and a few others can testify).

I'm not saying don't join BA because of Blindlines, people do make them work, but I'd certainly be aware of how they work (post EASA), factor them into the pros and cons of joining, especially if you are a commuter. "TASS" (time assignability) is not simply a bit of padding on the line to make up credited hours up without going to work, you can get used. If you don't live locally to LHR you will need to have a plan for handling the likes of a 1759 UK time phone call out for a 0600 local report from TASS.

Above all I'd caution against the seemingly increasingly popular view that you will inevitably blow through Blindlines in a matter of months....because at some point people won't.


(>25 years in BA, > 8 on Blindlines...........see comments about juniority on expanding fleets.)

[/old f*** warning]

Last edited by wiggy; 16th Dec 2015 at 11:22. Reason: Tass call out
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 08:21
  #2310 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Home of the Gnomes
Posts: 364
Old f***?

Your next post will be your 3000th though....
Tay Cough is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 08:28
  #2311 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,518

oooh ....Thanks for the heads up. Should I expect a PPRuNe recognition of long and loyal service bottle of champagne to arrive in the post ......or is the long service stuff here a bit like at BA ?????

Last edited by wiggy; 16th Dec 2015 at 11:12.
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 11:08
  #2312 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Anywhere
Posts: 79
Your certificate is in the post....unframed!
billybuds is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 12:18
  #2313 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 34
Hi all,

I'm starting at BA soon, A320 LHR. I will be commuting from Amsterdam. Planning to stay in a hotel when I'm at LHR. Any advice with hotels or other housing options?

NLP is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 13:30
  #2314 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,518

A few of the Bath Road hotels, such as the Ibis, the Arora, the Premier Inns (both the "T5" one and the Bath Road one), and the Hilton Garden Inn at Hatton Cross (formerly known as Jurys Inn - handy for the Training Centre) frequently offer discount, also there are a handful of crew B&Bs near the crew car park again just off the Bath Road.

You might want to contact those hotels direct at this stage and see if they can offer anything ahead of your joining BA/before you get ID. I'd best not put any required log-ons here - once you're "in" you may be able to find out full discount details via in company intranet/BALPA forum.
wiggy is online now  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 14:08
  #2315 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Under the table
Posts: 189
Either you haven't a clue what you're talking about, or your terminology is very sloppy?

Which is it?

If you live close to LGW, it can work of course. (Though everyone at Easy is paid better and works less) If you don't live close to LGW, it's unsustainable whoever you work for.
Clearly using a P instead of a C in that post means my terminology is very sloppy. Either that or I haven't a clue. Either way, I don't expect you LHR boys will change mindsets easily.

I'm not sure if the Easy guys do work less and get paid more to be honest. Ask the guys that are based at LGW that are ex-Easy (those giving up Commands as well) to see why they moved. I'm not sure why the comparison is made either - new joiners will be paid exactly the same as our own LHR colleagues. Have a look at a few recent months rosters to see how hard we're working.

It's unfair that LGW has the reputation that it seems to. My opinion only of course, having worked at LHR and LGW, and living almost midway between both it's a no-brainer for me.
Stocious is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 17:47
  #2316 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: On the side of the pitch!
Age: 43
Posts: 494
One thing I've been noticing with regards to Easy v BA argument, you don't seem to have many BA guys justifying why they stay at BA....
SinBin is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 18:06
  #2317 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 515
Originally Posted by SinBin View Post
One thing I've been noticing with regards to Easy v BA argument, you don't seem to have many BA guys justifying why they stay at BA....
Or why they left BA for easy
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Old 16th Dec 2015, 19:32
  #2318 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Everywhere
Posts: 788
Originally Posted by OBK! View Post
Or why they left BA for easy
Well this is very straightforward in the first instance - you can happily argue that there is no sensible starting package for an experienced pilot at easyJet. At least incomparable to the starting BA offer.

However I have to say from my personal experience that those who are happy at easyJet, living by the lake in the sunshine with part time fixed pattern rosters, simply have no interest in PPRuNe lifestyle debates and are certainly far too busy in their swimming pools to ever feel the need to justify their lifestyle choice.

Be careful the decisions you make based on a very limited and not necessarily complete survey group.
The African Dude is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 22:54
  #2319 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: England
Posts: 53
So near yet so far !

Just fishing to see if any others are in a similar boat to myself, trying to make the last leap into the holdpool.

Aug, passed Day1. Sep, passed Day2. Since then I have been trying to get a SIM assessment slot but to no avail. I know an awful lot of hiring has taken place in this period but as a NTR ex mil mate without qualifying experience for the Long Haul slots I guess I'm pretty far down the list.

Last week my application was put on hold pending the next round of NTR recruitment, however no timescale given.

Rumours of huge recruitment are welcome, rumours of more NTR recruitment even more welcome.

Congratulations to all that have made it !!!
PressTheTit is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2015, 22:57
  #2320 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Under the table
Posts: 189
However I have to say from my personal experience that those who are happy at easyJet, living by the lake in the sunshine with part time fixed pattern rosters, simply have no interest in PPRuNe lifestyle debates and are certainly far too busy in their swimming pools to ever feel the need to justify their lifestyle choice.
There are plenty of those types in BA as well!
Stocious is offline  

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