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BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Old 10th Dec 2016, 14:48
  #3321 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Not Aviation House
Posts: 609
So glad BA are recruiting.

If they take type rated / experienced pilots from other airlines, this is sure to drive up T&C's at the 'feeder' airlines - unless they are happy to lose lots of highly trained professional guys and girls.

Expect good pay deals this year everyone.

Horray!!
Fire and brimstone is offline  
Old 10th Dec 2016, 15:24
  #3322 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Not Aviation House
Posts: 609
John

Why would an employer want people to leave, when they have to train more replacements??

What is the logic behind T&C's not improving when you are struggling to retain pilots?

Surely the 'grass can REALLY be that much greener at BA' ....... can it??
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Old 10th Dec 2016, 15:46
  #3323 (permalink)  
VJW
Sciolist (look it up) of the first order
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 936
Fire and Brimstone are you joking with your posts?

Think maybe you need to do some research. I'm a Capt with RYR waiting in BA's hold pool for a two stripe FO position. That should tell you all you need to know. Perhaps you aren't aware that RYR makes PROFIT using it's training department doing initial cadet type ratings etc.
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Old 10th Dec 2016, 15:50
  #3324 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Sand free now
Posts: 193
I think F and B a quick check on any one of hundreds of Norwegian/RYR/EJ/WOW/Wizz threads on here over the last few years will tell you why sadly JS is right. Welcome back JS - good to know you are still keeping tabs on us.
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Old 10th Dec 2016, 16:56
  #3325 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,892
So glad BA are recruiting.....

If they take type rated / experienced pilots from other airlines....Expect good pay deals this year everyone..
F&B

If you read recent posts again you'll see it looks like 2015 and 16 were the peak of current recruitment into BA.....recruitment is down in 17.

If the "feeders" were going to use pay to combat the loss of trained personnel the pay rises would have already happened.
wiggy is online now  
Old 10th Dec 2016, 21:45
  #3326 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 37
Surely the 'grass can REALLY be that much greener at BA' ....... can it??
I'd be really realistic about your expectations on what you expect by joining BA if that's indeed your plan or anyone else reading this, there are many good things about BA for sure but the holy grail it is not! BA is a lifestyle more than any other airline I've worked for and not always in a good way especially with family and the disruption being away can cause. It offers Security for sure..... probably one of the best in the UK but we are definitely preparing for one of aviation's cyclical downturns. You can see the plans are changing all the time internally around recruitment for 2017 and bids on SH Commands which have not materialised even for quite senior guys n girls! Opec cutting oil output to drive up the cost of fuel.....

Add in a new CEO from a low cost background obsessed with Easy & especially Norwegian and whose quoted internally that staff costs need to be adjusted to "Market rate" at some point during his tenure you can expect more change at BA over the next few years as the race to the bottom continues in this industry, BA have further to fall than most so have your eyes wide open that you wont be immune to all of this at BA! Sad but true..... I joined from a well known bucket and spade carrier that hit hard times and was very grateful to join BA don't get me wrong, that said i'd go back in a heartbeat if i could for the better home lifestyle it offered my personal circumstances and believe some have done just that very recently!
Pork chop express is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2016, 16:09
  #3327 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London
Posts: 17
Pork chop express - I couldn't agree more with you. As a joiner in 2016 coming from a Loco background I second your views entirely. BA is a great place to come to if you're in your 20s with no family commitments but for those of more advanced years think twice. The lifestyle on offer in terms of time off at home probably isn't as good as many other places. Sad but true.
tommytailwind is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2016, 17:03
  #3328 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Sir
Posts: 18
@VJW: thank you.
okay, so there are more non-rated pilots in the pool than rated?
for how long are you waiting?
what informations did you get regarding the time to wait?
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 17:36
  #3329 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Room 506
Posts: 68
I would agree with the above. I understand that BA's seniority system means that things will only get better, but as someone who joined past mid 20's with family, I have found out that BA 'ain't all that'.

My rosters are less fatiguing than the job I left in the sandpit, and afford me more time off. However perpetual blind lines are worse than the bidding system I left, meaning most weekends at work.

This along with a near 50% pay cut, 20 years to the left hand seat of a wide body (for lifestyle and large pay difference when compared to SH) and constant talk of doom, gloom and cost cutting means that I wouldn't make the same decision again if I had the chance. I'm finding myself looking at flight job pages and careers websites already, when this used to be the proverbial job for life.
Tricia Takanawa is offline  
Old 11th Dec 2016, 20:09
  #3330 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 238
Interesting to read so many comments from people who feel exactly the same as me. I made a choice to leave my last employer based on a feeling they would go bankrupt this year as it turns out my feeling was wrong and I have spent everyday regretting my decision.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing massively wrong with BA, but there is very little right either. The people are nice and the feeling of job security is lovely. But the rosters are terrible, especially if you have a family that you are interested in spending any time with. Time to command seems to have spiralled again and the money is average at best.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but had I known how things have panned out I would never have left my previous job. Everyone has to make their own decisions but my advice is if you are happy in your current job, have a family and are the wrong side of 30, then think long and hard.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 22:51
  #3331 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Uk
Posts: 25
Hi E170

As far as at least I am aware I will not get an offer till if I'm lucky end of 2017 all things staying as is now. Maybe none at all but I'm not rated. Very vague at the moment and am hoping for some improvement. Been in the pool 6 months so far.
basiljet is online now  
Old 13th Dec 2016, 21:14
  #3332 (permalink)  

Supercharged PPRuNer
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Doon the watter, a million miles from the sandpit.
Posts: 1,164
Work-life balance

Some interesting recent posts from fellow new joiners. I appreciate that we all have different situations and priorities, and that one man's oyster is another man's saucer of snot, but my experience FWIW...

After several years flying regional TPs for Exeter Airlines, and a couple of years in the Gulf, trying to avoid being shot at and/or falling asleep at the wheel, BA is pretty damn good. Not perfect, far from it, but I'm struggling to think of an airline I'd rather work for.

I'm very lucky, being long-haul, and I probably wouldn't be this cheery if I was on the minibus, but the quality of life is pretty good; rostering (and swapping) is a different world to the sandpit, and I haven't had so much usable free time since the good old days of Flybe's small bases. I'm forty-something, so more than double the age of some of our younger cabin crew, which makes long haul command pretty unlikely. That said, there's more to life than 4 stripes, and I enjoy working for a company that generally treats me like a grown-up, with generally great colleagues and a very flat authority gradient. And then, of course, there's the job security. Nothing's ever guaranteed, but it's a lot better here than most other places.

For sure BA isn't the promised land, and if you're stuck on shorthaul with a young family and struggling to finance a mortgage in the South East, I can see how it ain't all that. However, it can be very good indeed, even for a new joiner - it just depends on your expectations and what you're used to. For me, it sure beats month after month of 4 & 6 days flying around in crappy weather, and it most certainly beats working in a country where the the same family are in charge of both regulator and airline...
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 23:56
  #3333 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: York
Posts: 699
Pork chop express, tommytailwind, Tricia Takanawa, and Enzo999.

I see that you are unhappy at BA, and would either like to move on, or regret leaving your previous employer, or both?

It might be useful for those here, waiting to join BA, if you tell them where you aspire to be now? I'm sure it would prevent them wasting their time in the hold pool, if you could give them the benefit of your experiences.

Alternatively, where did your 'due diligence' fail, prior to both applying, and then committing to BA?

Rather than telling them what's 'wrong' with BA, how much more helpful to just say where the entirety is better?
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 09:58
  #3334 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 238
Originally Posted by 4468 View Post
Pork chop express, tommytailwind, Tricia Takanawa, and Enzo999.

I see that you are unhappy at BA, and would either like to move on, or regret leaving your previous employer, or both?

It might be useful for those here, waiting to join BA, if you tell them where you aspire to be now? I'm sure it would prevent them wasting their time in the hold pool, if you could give them the benefit of your experiences.

Alternatively, where did your 'due diligence' fail, prior to both applying, and then committing to BA?

Rather than telling them what's 'wrong' with BA, how much more helpful to just say where the entirety is better?
No problem!

Monarch! 2 sector days, at least 2 weekends off a month, guarantied days off if you wanted/needed them, quite winters maybe 4/5 flights a month, no obscenely complicated rostering system, rock soild schedualing agreement (can't start work before 8.30am after a day off and must be clear by 8pm the day before), see my family everyday, money was the same, 450 day off working payment (which because of the day off protection meant you always got 2), command potential in the next couple of years, lovely people, small enough to know everyone, regularly flew with and spoke to CP, DFO etc, No 5 day trips, no holding for 20 minutes every time you wanted to come to home base, parked right outside the office, cabin crew that actually spoke to you, Procedures that actually work, a training department that realise there is more to flying than constantly saying TDODAR, FNC, PPP, and NUTA, free from arrogance. At this moment that's all I can't think of, I will be sure to update you if anything else comes to mind.

I think I already explained my reasons for leaving, Monarch recently had well publicised financial problems and in my wisdom I decided they would not make it so decided to jump before the end came. Looking back I got this wrong, my decision was heavily influenced by my previous experience of working for a large failed company and the fact I have young family that now depend on me earning a living. Having worked in the ME, I am absolute sure I never want to go back there so I made the "safe" choice and joined the one company that can offer job security based in the U.K.

Not living under a cloud of uncertainty is defiantly a highlight of working for BA but there is no point in me coming on here and saying that it's amazing because it's simply not (what job is though) but it is a secure job and for that I am very grateful. I am not for one second saying people should not come to BA, simply that it's not the holly grail, it has lots of failings and people should be fully aware of that before making a decision and don't be blinded by the name. At the end of the day everyone has to decide what's important to them, family, command, money, time at home, time away, big planes, small planes, weekends off, security etc etc only the indivudual can make that choice all I am doing is providing my own personal opinions and experiences.

Last edited by Enzo999; 14th Dec 2016 at 10:29.
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 10:25
  #3335 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Botswana
Posts: 864
Enzo I think what 4468 is getting at us that for prospective pilots Monarch isn't really an option though is it? As you've alluded to, job security. Monarch pilots will find themselves fortunate if their company is still here this time next year let alone in five. As for the cabin crew not speaking to you, I've had no problem with that whatsoever since I've been here, indeed some of the x rated stuff that gets sent to me by mixed fleet girls after having spoken to them just once would put your eyes on stalks. Never had any problems getting on with the legacy lot either. Are you sure the blame doesn't lie elsewhere on that one?
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 10:40
  #3336 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 238
Originally Posted by RexBanner View Post
Enzo I think what 4468 is getting at us that for prospective pilots Monarch isn't really an option though is it? As you've alluded to, job security. Monarch pilots will find themselves fortunate if their company is still here this time next year let alone in five. As for the cabin crew not speaking to you, I've had no problem with that whatsoever since I've been here, indeed some of the x rated stuff that gets sent to me by mixed fleet girls after having spoken to them just once would put your eyes on stalks. Never had any problems getting on with the legacy lot either. Are you sure the blame doesn't lie elsewhere on that one?
I am happy to take the blame on that one! Once again I have never said don't join, I simply said everyone must decide what's important to them and look at all the facts. I don't want to come across as some miserable old git because that's not the case and on most occasions I do enjoy going to work, even though I miss my family when I do. Really all I am trying to get across is that the grass is not always greener and if you are sat close to a command or have one at Easy/Ryan/Mon then maybe your future would be better served staying because SH at BA might not be the answer you are looking for.
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 10:56
  #3337 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: FL370
Age: 34
Posts: 235
I think the key to having a positive experience in joining BA is about managing expectations. I joined about 18 months ago and was overwhelmingly excited to finally be getting my 'dream job'. Has it proven to be so? Not always, no. But it's still a heck of a lot better than anywhere I've worked at in the past. The negatives are mainly a series of little niggling issues rather than anything big.

Negatives first; this is a big, soulless organisation. The people I work with are generally great (there is of course the odd exception, as with any company). However, chances are you won't fly with them again for a long time. Cabin crew change almost every sector, every two at best, so it's very hard to build any sort of camaraderie. On a multi sector day I find that can be particularly trying. I've done a few four sector days where I've had three different crews. You are very much just a number here. But the anonymity that brings can be a good thing!

'Cost cutting', 'tough trading environments', and the threat of Norwegian are constantly being rammed down our throats by management, all while the company is making 1bil+ profits. That starts to grate after a while. Pay is no longer industry leading, although it is still competitive in Europe. We are lagging behind what our American colleagues make in the US though

So far my experience of training has been a bit hit and miss. Our initial type rating was with CTC and we were constantly being told by our (mainly easyJet) trainers that the BA SOPs are hopeless. The result is that at times, even after 18 months I still feel like I'm often having to learn the BA way from the manuals, which are not particularly easy to navigate! The BA trainers are generally good, although there are one or two who are slightly harder work. Myself and the rest of my new joiner course all agree that in BA you often end up doubting your previous experience at other airlines, which can be rather disconcerting. I never used to be nervous going into the sim at my other airlines, but for some reason at BA I am. That being said, as an FO you are treated as more of a Captain in training and the gradient of command is much less apparent than at other airlines. I find I am constantly learning something new here.

The bidding process is overly complex, but this is due to change in 2018. At the moment the whole process takes about three weeks, and just when you think you've got what you wanted, you get roster assigned a trip over the only days you bid off. However, once final rosters are released your schedule is set in stone and the company don't touch it. If you get to learn Bidline Rules and how to swap properly, you actually end up with an awful lot of control over your life. I'm on the small Airbus and am yet to fly my original roster. I prefer day trips and swap for these with relative ease to the extent that I have only done 17 nights away from home in 2016. The only three day trips I've done have been standovers with a day off down route, and both of those have been out of choice when I've taken my wife or friends with me. I'm a season ticket holder at a very substandard football club and I've only missed one home game since I joined BA, and that was because I was skiing, not because of the company! There is no doubt that the schedules can be tiring, especially the increasingly common four sector day trips, but the control I have over my roster is excellent. The high level of work is also offset by very regular leave. With four weeks of leave and two additional duty free weeks I find I am never too far away from another extended stretch off. In fact, as I sit here writing this I'm on my 31st day of no flying in a row (One week of leave with wrap days, one duty free week, some fortuitous trading and now a very quiet reserve period).

BA don't offer a cosy or personal environment in which to work, but they offer stability, job security and reasonable pay. My pay is always on time. I can interact with the company as little or as much as I'd like. When I get home, they generally leave me alone. They were excellent and very accommodating earlier this year when I had to have an extended period off for surgery.

The thing that gets to me most at BA is the endless complexity of even the simplest tasks. Rules are chopped and changed and approvals are needed from several middle managers, often just to get something as simple as a new set of wings for your blazer. The corporate structure can be infuriating at times. This spills over into the flying which is EXTREMELY procedural when compared to other airlines. It feels like your freedom to actually fly the aircraft is somewhat restricted. However, in such a big organisation this standardisation is a necessary evil and you won't often fly with anyone that doesn't do it properly via the SOPs. That can be a positive at times, but I do miss hand flying a visual on a beautifully clear day.

BA is what you make of it. It's lonely, impersonal, at times infuriating, procedural and vast. It's also secure, varied, flexible, often very interesting and generally well paid (although Paypoint 34 isn't ideal).

At the end of the day, I see my family a lot more now than I ever used to, I enjoy good staff travel and fly with some great people to interesting places, staying in generally decent hotels. I'm content on short haul, but that's just my personality.

Join with your eyes wide open and I think you'll be fine.
EMB-145LR is offline  
Old 14th Dec 2016, 11:00
  #3338 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Botswana
Posts: 864
But short haul at BA is a short term thing unless you're after a specific long haul fleet. It's not the best gig in town but then it's far from as bad as is made out on here. For instance I can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of times this year I've sat in the bowels of T5 waiting for my next flight, yet some posters on here would have you believe it's all that ever happens on a day to day basis! Similar with force assign, it's never happened to me.

Now either I'm being incredibly fortunate or some of the stories on here are exaggerations. I have however been credit protected on a couple of trips that were needed for training and given some extra unexpected days off. I've been rostered on a blind line to finish two days early before a three week leave block and cleared Heathrow at 10 o clock - in the morning - on the last rostered day. Something that NEVER would have been countenanced by the planners let alone allowed at a previous outfit I worked for. There are some real pluses here and that bypasses the PPRuNe negativity brigade.

I was very close to beginning the command process at easy. I left because, although the money is great in the left hand seat at easyJet, it's Groundhog Day for the next thirty years if you take your command there and then it's golden handcuffs if (when!) you get bored of it. There's more to life than money and I feel that if you can get yourself onto long haul at BA and go part time (admittedly not the easiest thing to do right now but hopefully behind the scenes this is being addressed) then there's precious little better places you're going to find yourself. Short term pain, long term gain.

Last edited by RexBanner; 14th Dec 2016 at 11:14.
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 11:08
  #3339 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 238
Good post, although we have a wildly different experience of bidding, I did 14 nights away in November alone (and that was with a preference for day trips selected), also I have worked every weekend since September (leave excluded) so I have no idea how you have watched so many football matches. Maybe I don't understand the system properly and if I took the time to really figure it out my roster might improve, but honestly it's more complicated than the aircraft!
Enzo999 is offline  
Old 14th Dec 2016, 11:24
  #3340 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: London
Posts: 238
I agree there is too much negativity on here but then again we are pilots so what else would you expect. Obviously for your own personal reasons leaving was the correct thing to do and I am pleased you happy at BA but there are people like me that have flown LH before and have no desire to do it again. So for us the golden carrot of BA does not exist and all we are left with is command on SH. If that's going to take 10 years again maybe you can see why I feel slightly negative.
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