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BA Direct Entry Pilot.

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BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Old 26th Jul 2016, 16:36
  #3041 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: On the road
Posts: 159
Interesting the 900 hour point. Some great stuff from BA people above.

Far from me to say I know about BA's approach being a cantankerous fart, but they've always struck me as being a very safe, cautious lot riddled with an approach not to push up to fixed safety limits. Presume like most they don't like pushing to limits on anything regularly - it's bad practice. Odd then that they regularly and decisively push crew to the legal limit on hours.
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 18:28
  #3042 (permalink)  
Junior trash
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,025
Before we get too hung up on the 900 hrs thing. On the 4 long haul fleets there are only 82 pilots over 800 hrs in the 11 months to 31st Aug (ie within a fighting chance of hitting 900 before 30th Sept). Some of them probably have leave etc that will keep them well below.

That's out of 2800 odd pilots.

There's only around 300 who'll even be over 750hrs in the same 11 months.

It was much worse a few years ago. 1/3 of the 747 fleet were 'on the list' at one point
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 18:51
  #3043 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,494
It's not just the 900 hours though is it HM?

There's the whole associated issue of Force assign and it's effect on people's the ability to generate predictable and/or usable block of days off that is causing grief for some in their off duty lives, hence the some of the increased demand for Part Time.

There certainly seems to be an increase of days at work on some fleets (Short haul Duty Rig)....
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 19:14
  #3044 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London
Posts: 96
I'm now in the top 20% of the Airbus RHS and about to move on, but I can report that life as an SFO at BA on short haul is a lot better than other airlines I've worked at. On around 750 hours at the moment although that's less than most.

The main thing for me about BA is the roster stability. I've been force assigned once (my fault for messing up the bid) and other than that its rock solid. The only time it changes is when trips are taken off you for training and they normally apologise for that!

Oh and I don't know how many thousands of pounds of club class travel my wife and I have enjoyed at staff rates, but its a LOT.

So it still does have perks... although other posters are right to point out that there is increasing pressure on terms and conditions at BA.
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 19:42
  #3045 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Centre of Universe
Posts: 294
Nice to see reasoned discussion for a change. Its almost like Jeremy Corbyn at PM's question time
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 22:19
  #3046 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 17
I appreciate the replies, it is always best to obtain opinions from those actually working for a company.

I must say I see some positives hinted at but I'm suprised at the little amount of people who say overwhelmingly they have a better quality of life as a result. To me, joining a new company is a big thing that presents large challenges, stressors and gives my family a slight headache so it needs to reward in quality of life. That's why I go to work, so always is my priority.

For a lot of years I always had the opinion that BA would provide a good quality of life and I aspired to join. But I've done some serious digging and tired to ask some searching questions. I tried to get away from the temptation to brush over niggles and wrote down as factually as I could what the draw backs and positives were as if it were a company that was unheard of, and was quite surprised. So suprised I did it again! Hence the reason I asked. I really do appreciate the honest input.


Thanks all.

Cheers
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 22:33
  #3047 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Botswana
Posts: 738
Shouldn't Force Assign become a thing of the past under JSS? However no one knows exactly quite what we've voted for with that..
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 23:02
  #3048 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London
Posts: 96
Under JSS, force assign becomes known as "optimisation" I believe. But since it all happens before the rosters are published you never get to know how good your roster was before it was "optimised". You can't mourn the loss of something you never knew about I suppose! At least that is my understanding of it.
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Old 26th Jul 2016, 23:32
  #3049 (permalink)  
Junior trash
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,025
Originally Posted by Northern Monkey View Post
Under JSS, force assign becomes known as "optimisation" I believe. But since it all happens before the rosters are published you never get to know how good your roster was before it was "optimised". You can't mourn the loss of something you never knew about I suppose! At least that is my understanding of it.
The difference is that optimisation looks at your bid groups and fulfills them as much as possible. Whereas Roster assign couldn't give a flying **** what you wanted if it can insert a trip in the gap you skilfully built.

With JSS, If your last bid group says I need 13/14 off for your brothers wedding and that's it, then, the chances of you working it even post optimisation are slim to none. The rest of your roster may look horrendous, but, let's face it it's the day off we want really, not the nights in Vegas or Cape Town.

Bid group 1 is your dream roster, bid group X is the back stop. Jeppesen don't think we'll get to bid group X.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 08:06
  #3050 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hang on, let me check the FMS...
Posts: 195
Has the new variable pay system started yet? Its common knowledge that the bottom of BA's pay scale isn't the best, any evidence of it being made better or worse by this new system?
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 08:33
  #3051 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Botswana
Posts: 738
I've taken home consistently over 4000 a month since I joined, highest around 4,500. That's post the highest possible pension contribution and without any overtime whatsoever. If that "isn't the best" then I just want to ask, where exactly are you going to get more than that as a junior FO in the UK nowadays?

Last edited by RexBanner; 27th Jul 2016 at 08:45.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 08:37
  #3052 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,494
H M

Good post - Unlike eMaestro I hope JSS is delivered 100% as promised (both by BALPA and the company) and works as you describe.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 09:35
  #3053 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: hang on let me check
Posts: 503
Originally Posted by RexBanner View Post
I've taken home consistently over 4000 a month since I joined, highest around 4,500. That's post the highest possible pension contribution and without any overtime whatsoever. If that "isn't the best" then I just want to ask, where exactly are you going to get more than that as a junior FO in the UK nowadays?
4000 is a fantastic salary and much more than the average person makes for sure. Now, what 4000 will get you in the London area (especially with a family) is a different story and I think this is why people suggested to leave the UK for better money, many places (even in the EU) have lower taxes for pilots, and most likely a quite different and less expensive government benefits system.
Having said that, to stay or not in the UK is a totally personal choice and need, I guess looking at contracts paying 3-4 times as much for the same or less work make some people wonder. As it' s been said many times before, it's just not that different anymore...go ask a 30 years captain if he would fly 900 hrs a year in the 80s in BA and you' ll get the drift.

Last edited by bringbackthe80s; 27th Jul 2016 at 09:45.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 11:01
  #3054 (permalink)  
nrn
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Monkey island
Age: 31
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by RexBanner View Post
I've taken home consistently over 4000 a month since I joined, highest around 4,500. That's post the highest possible pension contribution and without any overtime whatsoever. If that "isn't the best" then I just want to ask, where exactly are you going to get more than that as a junior FO in the UK nowadays?
4000GBP is really really good, wonder what fleet you're on..

I'm on the 787 and it looks more like 3500GBP take home each month, this is due blindlines not being very efficient on my fleet.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 12:10
  #3055 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: uk
Age: 51
Posts: 90
Thoughts from someone on the 320 (LHR) who joined BA 18 months ago.

I am thoroughly enjoying my time at BA, this is after 16 years military flying and 8 years in a low cost airline.

I am nowhere near the 900 hrs, in the last 12 months (July to July) I have flown 675hrs.

Like Rex above I am taking home on average 4100 after tax and max pension contribution, better than I was earning as a skipper at my previous airline.

Having a say on my roster is invaluable, I am already 40% off the bottom of the seniority list and got my third choice of tripline for September, how will JSS affect it? Who really knows but if (and it's a big if) it works as advertised then it should also allow us the ability to influence our rosters, certainly something most airlines don't allow.

I commute form Scotland and so far this year have averaged 10 days at home a month, when working I bid for trips which means little or no time in Heathrow hotels.

E-maestro allows us to use our bank to swop trips, drop trips and pick up overtime - again something most places don't allow.

Leave is generous and split evenly across the year so summer holidays with kids are possible if that's your thing - again in some airlines it's not possible to take leave over the summer period.

Crew food, crew hotels and time down route are good (there are some min rest trips but these are few and far between).

Staff travel is superb, as someone who not only commutes but also travels extensively it's saving me a fortune, we get concessions, hotline and standby travel not only on BA but most of the world airlines.

Yes there are issues, if the south east doesn't suit then commuting is possible, certainly from within Europe, is BA what it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago, of course not but show me a company in any line of business that is.

How is Alex Cruz going to affect the airline, who knows but from what I have been told he understands the brand and obviously wants to make it a success, that said it is a business and he is responsible to the shareholders, I don't believe we will be too affected at the sharp end (unlike those in the back rooms).

BA is a huge company with fantastic opportunities (fleet changes, training, management, recruiting etc) with a huge route network, like I said at the top I am enjoying it thoroughly that said its horses for courses and wouldn't suit everyone.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 14:05
  #3056 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 169
How long is the A320 captain upgrade? Is upgrading done just on seniority or are other factors involved? How quickly could an experienced A320 captain take to get to the left seat?
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 17:33
  #3057 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,442
How quickly could an experienced A320 captain take to get to the left seat?
All based on seniority, company requirements and the bidding aspirations of those more senior than you. In practice, at the moment, Airbus commands have taken as little as a year from joining the company.
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Old 27th Jul 2016, 21:35
  #3058 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 31
Some really excellent posts highlighting the pros and cons of BA. It'll still be a huge step up personally and I'll be even switching from left to right seat.

I'm very happy to be in the hold pool, just over 2 months and 3 weeks now, anybody got any offers recently or a tad more news? Cheers!
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Old 28th Jul 2016, 11:21
  #3059 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Home of the Gnomes
Posts: 363
Originally Posted by Megaton View Post
All based on seniority, company requirements and the bidding aspirations of those more senior than you. In practice, at the moment, Airbus commands have taken as little as a year from joining the company.
... and passing the course. The above only entitles you to the course. The upgrade is dependent on ability.
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Old 28th Jul 2016, 13:07
  #3060 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 31
Actually received an email from BA recruitment today, all vacancies are now filled for 2016. Next update will be around September for vacancies opening up in 2017 after they have analyzed and planned all the internal transfers/training. Would they have the same type of demand in terms of numbers of pilots externally required? I believe 2016 has been an extraordinary busy year in terms of external recruitment.
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