Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Terms and Endearment
Reload this Page >

BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Terms and Endearment The forum the bean counters hoped would never happen. Your news on pay, rostering, allowances, extras and negotiations where you work - scheduled, charter or contract.

BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Old 24th Feb 2018, 00:01
  #4501 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: europe
Posts: 355
why on earth as an experienced pilot you would want to join the bottom of a very long list with race to the bottom TandC I do not know. BA used to be the aspiration for many, it is now just another airline competing in the marketplace for what is becoming a scarce commodity, if you are young with many years ahead of you maybe, to others there are far better deals out there.
bluepilot is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 00:18
  #4502 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: pluto
Posts: 167
bluepilot

As you know, it's whether LH is the be all and end all.

Otherwise, the grass isn't always greener.

Good luck to those that are 'blessed'; whilst their contemporaries may be fat, dumb, wealthier and happier.
blimey is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 07:01
  #4503 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: somewhere in the middle
Posts: 197
why on earth as an experienced pilot you would want to join the bottom of a very long list with race to the bottom TandC I do not know.
Because that race to the bottom is going on everywhere, and maybe BA will level off at a point above the LoCos?

It’s not for everyone, I agree. If I was high houred FO or Captain at a regional base with a LoCo (particularly if that base was far from London) with no particular desire to go long haul, I’d probably stay where I am. But if Long Haul is the aspiration, or you buy into the prestige (yes, it’s easy to sniff at it, but it is our nations flag carrier, and that does count for something) then it’s a harder decision.

And it’s not like it’s a prison camp - I’m sure you can put in your notice and leave if it’s not for you, same as any other job.
thetimesreader84 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 08:04
  #4504 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London
Posts: 91
Have to agree with the sentiments above. Clearly there are a few BA pilots who think only BA pilots are in the firing line.

The truth is the race to the bottom is well and truly on, everywhere. Itís not a BA problem specifically, itís an industry problem. The latest rumours about design your own uniform or training being outsourced are just this weeks examples. And at the moment itís all just rumours.

There will be new rumours every week between now and when you retire - none of which are likely to be morale inspiring in their content. Its been like that in all 3 companies Iíve worked for. Even in times of record profitability the next swing of the axe is (rumoured at least) to be just around the corner. If you canít handle that Iím afraid youíre in the wrong industry. Our terms and conditions will always be under attack.

What I can say with certainty is that the grass isnít always greener. We have our problems and other companies have their problems.
Northern Monkey is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 08:32
  #4505 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: somewhere in the middle
Posts: 197
You'll earn significantly more at Easy as a Captain for 20 years as oppose to a BA FO.
And as an FO? The BA offer for short haul was a chunk more than Monarch (not exactly known for crap wages) paid me.

As I originally said, if youíre a captain or Senior FO at a regional base, then BA may not be for you. For everyone else, Iíd say itís an option to consider.
thetimesreader84 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 09:32
  #4506 (permalink)  
VJW
Sciolist (look it up) of the first order
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 767
TTR - I'm genuinely intrigued....what is the 'prestige' actually worth to you.
VJW is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 10:04
  #4507 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: somewhere in the middle
Posts: 197
For me, the difference between taking a commuting job and BA.
thetimesreader84 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 10:49
  #4508 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Right here
Posts: 23
Just for information; I've recently left BA to take a command at Ryanair. Spent several years as a Longhaul DEP but it's going nowhere; BA went from a Legacy carrier to a Longhaul LoCo in the space of several years... And I figured if I'm going to work for a LoCo I might as well work for one that pays more than BA.
It's sad but there you have it.
All of the former reasons for joining are no longer there; bidline, pension, 24 point payscale, early shorthaul command, early retirement and working less than 850hrs per year... And Alex Cruz isn't done yet; not by a long shot. All that's left now is prestige, I tried paying for my groceries the other day with that, but they wouldn't take it.
Obviously make your own decison, but I've made mine; I'm out.

Last edited by Doppio; 24th Feb 2018 at 11:00.
Doppio is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 11:26
  #4509 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 138
To echo Doppio above, I too rejoined Ryanair as a Capt last year having done a stint as a longhaul DEP at BA.

It’s not just about the money at all but I’m earning 60% more in net salary now I’m back at Ryanair, with only a v.small difference in company pension contributions. Time to command longhaul would have been 17 to 20 years. Bidline didn’t work for me as a pilot at the bottom of the seniority list and I hated night flying. I have more days at home per month now than I did at BA and my quality of life and bank balance is much healthier.

Many of those I joined BA with think along similar lines and I know of a couple of who have gone back to their previous employers.

Having said that, for some joining BA (longhaul) has been like winning the lottery. It’s still a good job but it all depends what your other options in life / career are. Be careful giving up an easy, well paid life elsewhere to have the ‘prestige’ of a British flag on the tail of your aircraft.
skyflyer737 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 11:37
  #4510 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: London
Posts: 17
I also left BA as a DEP to return to my former loco outfit. Should never have left in the first place. It taught me a valuable lesson not to give up a command chasing the apparent prestige of flying for oneís flag carrier.

Not that itís a bad job at all. For some itís fantastic I imagine, but most on my intake are hugely questioning whether to stay or go back.

Good luck to those in the pool though if thatís what you really want.
tommytailwind is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 11:38
  #4511 (permalink)  
VJW
Sciolist (look it up) of the first order
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 767
TTR you gave an answer but I donít understand it. BAís Ďprestigeí you refer isnít you simplying saying that they offer you a job near where you live is it?

For me to join BA Iíd have to drive further to work than I do now- would you call a decision for me to go to BA from RYR less prestigious because of that?

Plenty to of people (the majority Iíd say) work at LoCoís live close to their home base. Additionally there are people in BA who commute in from abroad- Iím not sure location of your base in relation to your house is what makes the airline itself prestigious or not...
VJW is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:28
  #4512 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,311
But if Long Haul is the aspiration, or you buy into the prestige (yes, it’s easy to sniff at it, but it is our nations flag carrier, and that does count for something) then it’s a harder decision.
Reads above, takes deep breath...removes pin...

Is there a general assumption by those here in the know that aspirational bidding for fleet/seat movement will still be existence at BA in anything like it's current form in, say, 5-6 years time...

Retires to safe distance.
wiggy is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:34
  #4513 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Uk
Age: 37
Posts: 380
Facoff
Just out of interest, were you one of the few who took an early command?
I did not know early or late commands existed. In answer to your question I was granted my bid when my seniority allowed the opportunity to undertake a command course. I am junior on the status but not in time served. The simple truth is BA pays less and rostering is pretty poor at the bottom. There are some benefits of course and if I did not value them I would consider a different fleet and status or a different airline. Would I join from a command position or close to it from RYR or EZY? I would struggle to recommend it, but I would happily say BA is a good employer.
bex88 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:49
  #4514 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Scotland
Posts: 772
For those long haul DEPs who left to return to previous employers, what fleets were you on? I believe junior life on the Jumbo is pretty rubbish and has left a few friends of mine a bit disillusioned. Similarly, DEP Airbus.

Conversely, the 777 and to an extent the 787 offer a pretty good lifestyle wherever you are on the status list.
Jwscud is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 13:54
  #4515 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 95
Wiggy, are you suggesting that aspirational bidding to a different fleet might become a thing of the past and you might end up being Ďstuckíon whatever fleet you join on?
vrb03kt is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 15:15
  #4516 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,311
The following really is just my opinion but:

1.I don't see any reason for the cost cutting to stop,

2. The amount of low hanging fruit on the Flight Ops tree is reducing and the whole Aspirational Bid/PRIAM process in it's current form is still hanging there..

..and

3.BALPA is very fond of hinting the next big issue is the line in the sand...

With all that in mind I certainly think in the near future it is almost inevitable that the company are going to try to reduce aspirational options and conversion frequencies - the Aspirational Bidding agreement will come under the sort of pressure that Bidline suffered...

Worse still if ( big "if" I know ) the current rumour turn out to be true and training gets outsourced to an external company then there really will be pressure to minimise conversions.

As it stands at the moment I don't think people will inevitably get stuck on the fleet they join on but I can see the company really pushing hard in the near future to reduce/restrict seat and fleet changes across a career.

Last edited by wiggy; 24th Feb 2018 at 15:31.
wiggy is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 15:45
  #4517 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 36
I was DEP 747...lasted just over 2 years and called it a day! Tough decision and BA was a good employer but for those chasing LH go in with your eyes open and prepare to feel like you have mild permanent Flu the tiredness is a constant battle!!
From my short time at BA Cruz will cut costs where he can ...he must surely be asking what value is there to BA for a pilot on one LH aircraft bidding to go and fly another one just because they fancy something different!?

Good luck to all in the pool for many I’m sure it’ll be a good move just have your eyes open. If I was command with a Loco or close to it I’d not even consider BA unless you have to do LH to tick that box.
Pork chop express is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 15:53
  #4518 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 698
Is there a general assumption by those here in the know that aspirational bidding for fleet/seat movement will still be existence at BA in anything like it's current form in, say, 5-6 years time...
Iím no more in the know than you Wiggy but itís no secret it is on Cruz and Gunnings wish list as it is a cost they can hack away at. I can see aspirational moves being limited to something similar to the Lufthansa set up (SH f/o - LH f/o, SH Cpt - LH Cpt) Which would be a massive shame as it is one of the few great remaining features of BA.
BitMoreRightRudder is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 16:58
  #4519 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Age: 78
Posts: 3,671
I am just totally fascinated by the fact that some BA pilots fly "for the prestige".

What "prestige"?

Reminds me of one of my old F/Es who got two letters of thanks in one month from the MD (who was a billionaire) thanking him for saving the company money.

He wrote a letter to the MD saying "Dear George, Keep sending the "thank you" letters. For God's sake don't send me any money. My bank manager just loves your letters".
JW411 is offline  
Old 24th Feb 2018, 17:54
  #4520 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 34
To add a little balance to the negativity that seems to be in abundance on PPRuNe.....

Yes things are changing, but letís try and see the wood for the trees -

1. The pension has just improved by 3% for new joiners and is arguably as good if not better than anywhere else. As an example, the total contribution is 50% higher than easyjet (my previous employer)

2. Yes, bidline as a bidding function has gone, but it has been replaced by a powerful new system which remains better than any other system I know of in any other airline.

3. The hundreds of pages long Bidline agreement (Bidline Rules) which is essentially our rostering agreement, is largely untouched as a result of the new bidding system arriving. It is this set of rules that makes our life relatively easy at BA compared with previous companies Iíve worked for.

4. Once the rosters are published they are set in stone. This is a massive plus from a lifestyle perspective and can not be said of too many other companies.

5. Despite the rumours, we still can bid to move fleets. Arenít we trained to make decisions on facts rather than speculation? Besides, even if the rumours do come true to some extent, BA still needs someone to fly all of the aircraft types we have. Movement might slow down, but it logically canít stop....

6. If money is what matters to you, pay might be lower at first, but across a career it isnít far away from the LoCos.

7. We still get off the aircraft and have time to explore the places we visit all over the world. Personally, I canít put a price on the incredible experiences Iíve had on company time. Itís a huge privilege.

8. At Heathrow on short haul, we start work a good hour later on average than LoCos do, and rarely finish beyond 10.30pm. We also seldom do 4 sector days. Compared to LoCo or Charter flying it doesnít take a sleep scientist or a doctor to demonstrate the positive impact this has on health, longevity, mood and happiness.

9. For the most part we stay in nice hotels in city centres, so we can easily enjoy our destinations. Rumours are always that this will change. However, for those without selective hearing there are strong counter arguments to this, and anyway which wise man ever made choices based on rumours?

10. Staff travel, despite its foibles, allows us to take our families on great holidays all over the world for a fraction of the cost, often in premium cabins.

11. As for the prestige, I guess thatís personal. However, rightly or wrongly the public perception is that BA has the best pilots. I personally donít agree, but thatís not the point. We are all human beings and so if someone is impressed by the fact you work at the perceived ďbest companyĒ itís hard not to feel at least a little bit good about it.


I know some people will try to pick holes in the above arguments with nuanced, cherry picked and speculative pointers. I just want to show potential joiners the positives to go alongside the negatives which are so prolifically stated and, dare I say, often exaggerated on this forum.

Good luck to all who are considering their options.
EllanVannin is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.