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BA Direct Entry Pilot.

Old 16th Dec 2018, 13:52
  #5601 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 706
Please try and resist the temptation to join BA to call yourself Speedbird or join because you consider it a 'prestigious' job unless you're absolutely sure it's what you want. Only when 5-7 years in as a LH FO or 25 years in as a LH Capt will you reap the lifestyle rewards. That said, my time at BA was a pleasure in terms of the training and the colleagues I met. Great bunch of guys and girls who treat you as an adult.
Very good concise advice.

Regarding JSS. There is a huge amount of negativity out there. Put simply, if you want to write your own roster and have lots of weekends off then you will perpetually be pissed off with life as an airline pilot. Whoever you work for. Most negative reviews are down to a perceived loss of control over what you are bidding for as we now lack visibility of the actual lines of work that are on offer. The principle of seniority hasnít changed though, and the simple rule is the lower down you are the less control you will have regardless of how the work is bid for.

In BA if you are junior you will, to some degree, shovel manure for a few years, depending on how quickly recruitment takes place and which fleet you are on. Then you will have a series of choices to make over your career that will affect your seniority. If you choose DEP LH or an early command on SH you will be consigning yourself to being junior for a longer period of time than the ďaverageĒ.

None of this is news. Itís fairly common knowledge for new recruits if you do your homework.

As Tommytailwind has said be careful with your reasons for joining. I applaud anyone with the wherewithal to quit and go back to ezy etc if they find it really doesnít work for them. If you find life here isnít for you, look elsewhere. I agree that it is rubbish at the bottom. BA management donít think so because people are queuing up to join and not enough vote with their feet when they find the job doesnít work for them, because when it comes down to it admitting you have stuffed up and going back to an ex-employer cap in hand is difficult.

In summary, I really donít think, from a new joiners point of view, that a lot has changed. Weíve had one roster under JSS. I do however understand the gripes and confusion from more established pilots. It will take time to figure out if things are better or worse than life under the previous system. My feeling is it wonít make much difference. We still have the same amount of work to cover. The variable will ALWAYS be how many pilots we have to cover that work. How we bid for it and who gets what has always been driven by seniority. It still is.
BitMoreRightRudder is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2018, 16:43
  #5602 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Within 3 hours of a suitable alternate
Posts: 63
OK I'll pip in.

What is this "Toxic Atmosphere" that a few post about? Is it the management, the training department, or fellow crew?

Nearly 30 years in I still remember joining with many thousand hours at the bottom of the most senior fleet, twas the way that it is was then and always has been, perhaps because we didn't have the internet there wasn't so much bitching.

Just to add in all those years there is only one guy that I wouldn't shake hands with after a trip.
Capt Ecureuil is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2018, 16:46
  #5603 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Cardiff
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by VOR.DME View Post
At a risk of upsetting people on here and bringing this thread back to what it really is all about (Direct Entry), Iíve just been told Iím in the hold pool for the A320, to be based at LGW or LHR.

Can anyone indicate how long people are staying in the pool for at present? Also, which of the two bases is most likely to be awarded?

Thanks for the help!
I got word that I passed the sim on the Monday and got called for A320 Heathrow that Thursday. Donít know if thereís any particular base that you are more likely to get. I have heard of people getting offered one, and after asking for it they got the other. Hope that helps. Take care!
Mansnothot is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2018, 17:10
  #5604 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,494
Originally Posted by Capt Ecureuil View Post
OK I'll pip in.

What is this "Toxic Atmosphere" that a few post about? Is it the management, the training department, or fellow crew?

Nearly 30 years in I still remember joining with many thousand hours at the bottom of the most senior fleet, twas the way that it is was then and always has been, perhaps because we didn't have the internet there wasn't so much bitching.

Just to add in all those years there is only one guy that I wouldn't shake hands with after a trip.
Wasn’t me was it

Seriously....good point about the intergripe.....I think the big irritant ATM is managements never ending bearing down on some aspects of the day job and what some perceive as the hectoring of the line staff whilst they seem OTOH to be ignoring things that really do need fixing but don’t get it done because doing so would cost 10 pence....

As for previous comments about senority and JSS...There seems to several different sides to this and I think the point made about some people expecting every weekend off is very valid. The way I’ve heard it in the last few days is some of the community got their heads around the JSS process early on / got lucky/ constructed bids iaw with their senority and associated expectations and achieved rosters that probably were a match to anything they got under Bidline, if not better. Some of the absolute disasters might have been finger trouble/people being stupidly optimistic and then not having a realistic backstop (if that is not too controversial a term these days) which meant when those didn’t work out they got dumped on, and then there is the issue of those that were previously on Blindlines finding they are now being rostered to a full months flying...I do understand some of the angry reactions I have read elsewhere but I’ve spoken to a lot of people who were happy with the result...I still think it will need until at least Easter until we see how it will work long term.

The really big thing to understand is the senority aspect of working at BA is not going away any time soon.

Last edited by wiggy; 16th Dec 2018 at 18:37.
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Old 16th Dec 2018, 19:13
  #5605 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
Age: 40
Posts: 126
Have a few mates who are JSS trainers and got another mate who is a BALPA rep. Both say 9 out of 10 are happy with what they got given in January with their first JSS bid. From the 10% who are not happy around 75% made an error in their bid or simply didn't put in the work to fully understand JSS.

I guess it always the 2.5% who weren't happy who scream the loudest. I for one really appreciate seniority, it makes things fair and transparent. Have seen it in previous airlines who rather took Direct Entry Captains than promoting their own staff. In BA at least loyalty is rewarded and everybody begins at the bottom of the long list and works him/herself up. I still remember we got told on day one "In BA you only have to be junior once" this is so true. With that in mind it makes me laugh some choose to be junior for a prolonged period with their career choices and then start complaining about it. I doubt they will get much empathy from anybody they fly with.
Jumbo2 is offline  
Old 16th Dec 2018, 20:15
  #5606 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Dublin
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by Mansnothot View Post


I got word that I passed the sim on the Monday and got called for A320 Heathrow that Thursday. Donít know if thereís any particular base that you are more likely to get. I have heard of people getting offered one, and after asking for it they got the other. Hope that helps. Take care!
similar timescale for me - took about 2 weeks to get the result of sim assessment and from then less than a week in the pool.

Last edited by The Foss; 17th Mar 2019 at 18:58.
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Old 16th Dec 2018, 21:18
  #5607 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by Jumbo2 View Post
Have a few mates who are JSS trainers and got another mate who is a BALPA rep. Both say 9 out of 10 are happy with what they got given in January with their first JSS bid. From the 10% who are not happy around 75% made an error in their bid or simply didn't put in the work to fully understand JSS.

I guess it always the 2.5% who weren't happy who scream the loudest. I for one really appreciate seniority, it makes things fair and transparent. Have seen it in previous airlines who rather took Direct Entry Captains than promoting their own staff. In BA at least loyalty is rewarded and everybody begins at the bottom of the long list and works him/herself up. I still remember we got told on day one "In BA you only have to be junior once" this is so true. With that in mind it makes me laugh some choose to be junior for a prolonged period with their career choices and then start complaining about it. I doubt they will get much empathy from anybody they fly with.
You only have to be junior once? I guess that is true if you wish to stay in the same fleet and seat all of your career.

I believe that your comments about JSS are just as accurate for many of us. It is early days for JSS but I think that in time most of us will bitterly regret giving up BidLine, just as we have regretted so many other changes over the last 10 years.
Pickled is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 07:14
  #5608 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London
Age: 40
Posts: 126
Originally Posted by Pickled View Post
You only have to be junior once? I guess that is true if you wish to stay in the same fleet and seat all of your career.
Not really, what they meant with it at the time was you are only junior when you join the airline after that it is by choice. You don't need to jump at the first command opportunity or go straight into LH after your SH engagement freeze is over after 5 years. You could stay 1 or 2 extra years on the fleet in a senior position before going LH. Having said that with the 800+ pilots recruited over the last few years, of which a fair few went straight onto LH, if you move to LH after your engagement freeze is over you would be around 75-80% on any LH fleet at the moment.

I hear what you say about JSS, it wasn't my choice either, but the majority has voted and unfortunately JSS is reality now. Being a JSS critic myself I have to admit I was impressed with my January roster. But I do think there is still a fair bit of work to do on the inhibitors to make the (mainly LH) seniority gradient similar as what we had with Bidline.

Last edited by Jumbo2; 17th Dec 2018 at 07:27.
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Old 17th Dec 2018, 10:27
  #5609 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Uk
Age: 38
Posts: 403
Jumbo2. I have to agree that the seniority system is about the only one which works. Start at the bottom and work your way up. You earn the opportunity for a seat change or command but you still have to prove you are capable.

What I disagree with is how seniority is used to such a extent that it so negatively affects the day to day lives of a good 20% of any status. Yes there should be a gradient but that gradient is very steep. We have a problem getting people to take commands because of it.

There are simple solutions which could resolve this but the top rules and there is no appetite to do anything.

Some of us would love to ďstart at the bottom and work our way upĒ the reality is we stay at the bottom forever unless we give up our command. That is not a fair system at all.

bex88 is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 11:08
  #5610 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: WILTSHIRE
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by bex88 View Post


Some of us would love to ďstart at the bottom and work our way upĒ the reality is we stay at the bottom forever unless we give up our command. That is not a fair system at all.

Like all of the ex BMI Boys and Girls who remain at the bottom.........
red9 is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 11:26
  #5611 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Home of the Gnomes
Posts: 363
Originally Posted by red9 View Post
Like all of the ex BMI Boys and Girls who remain at the bottom.........
Apart from the ones who jumped the seniority to get Longhaul commands. There are some on 747 and 787. I believe there may even be some into the A380 this year.
Tay Cough is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 11:49
  #5612 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: England
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by red9 View Post
Like all of the ex BMI Boys and Girls who remain at the bottom.........
Not quite true is it Red9...

From day one the ex bmi boys & girls have been able to join RHS LH & therefore leave the bmi bubble... indeed I watched through my 5 year engagement freeze junior pilots do exactly that... & get commands on LH&SH! Frustrating for me yes but that was the deal. Any ex bmi Pilot bidding for a protected command also knew the deal & therefore would enter the bmi bubble, wether thatís fare or not thatís the deal. So to assume there was no choice is frankly wrong, it was their Choice!

However in 2016 Commands went so junior that a group of ex bmi pilots achieved an aspirational position, I along with many feel they should be in the BA list & why BALPA doesnít correct this I donít know... I guess because it doesnít suit them & by them I mean IG. Iíve also been told that itís to do with MPE , but thatís a load of pony because as people eventually retire it will become impossible to maintain that MPE. Donít forget it was the ex bmi Pilots that scuppered the last JSS vote too!

Red if you want the bmi bubble to be disbanded then be my guest to complain to BALPA, weíre all BA pilots which means we all adhere to the MOA & all have a MSL position. I respect the negative aspects of the integration deal, so should everyone.
BASHLH is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 13:23
  #5613 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Uk
Age: 38
Posts: 403
BASHLH. The protected command thing is all very grey and mostly not covered in the agreement. 100% spot on with the 2016 commands though.

I just wish it could be sorted. Itís nearly 7 years now and it is still paralysis. The only way out is from the top to take a LH command (< 2 % ) of LH commands or give up your command.

Anyway I repeat myself again and again. I think we agree on the subject.


bex88 is offline  
Old 17th Dec 2018, 17:09
  #5614 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: united kingdom
Posts: 173
It is true The ex BMI could go right hand seat and go long haul.
Believe it or not not everyone wants long haul despite more money etc etc, so the only choice they have is to go RHS short haul if they want to leave the bubble,
I take my. Hat off to the FOís who chose to take command and re enter the bubble to forward their career which I believe is what we all probably wanted when we first started out. I do get it as to why so many long haul pilots just stay where they are with many retiring in the RHS.

king surf is offline  
Old 20th Dec 2018, 08:50
  #5615 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 10
Hi all,

Anyone passed the sim recently knows the time frame from entering the hold pool to getting an offer/start date? And what fleet is currently being offered?

Thanks!

Last edited by cBoxMungo; 20th Dec 2018 at 10:37.
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Old 20th Dec 2018, 10:17
  #5616 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Cardiff
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by cBoxMungo View Post
Hi all,

Anyone passed the sim recently knows the time frame from entering the hold pool to getting a offer/start date? And what fleet is currently being offered?

Thanks!
Scroll up a couple of posts and you can read some peoples experiences. Most people seem to be waiting about 1/2 weeks before they get an offer. As advertised, the 320 is still the main fleet being offered but people have also been getting 74, 77, and 78.
Mansnothot is offline  
Old 20th Dec 2018, 12:28
  #5617 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 515
By way of an update and for mí2pence worth the latest is command airbus at LHR has now gone senior, Gatwick is off the end of the list, very junior. A friend of mine who is airbus rated has just been given long haul 787, 5 days in the hold pool. I think the lady in charge has now been given the green light to offer courses out. If youíre swimming, expect news very quickly. If youíre applying, expect a very quick application process and gen up on the 767 pitch and power numbers for the assessment. You wonít have to wait long, theyíre using the 76 now full time for selection. Good luck

OBK! is offline  
Old 20th Dec 2018, 13:44
  #5618 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,494
Originally Posted by OBK! View Post
I think the lady in charge has now been given the green light to offer courses out.
Isnít it a bloke now?

In any event as you say there seems to have been a major reshuffle/rejig of Airbus courses and training.
wiggy is offline  
Old 20th Dec 2018, 14:10
  #5619 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Going East
Posts: 15
With JSS and the new crack down on pre duty commuting, would current pilots now consider it difficult to commute in from other parts of the UK while maintaining a decent quality of life? LH or SH.
pilotpete123 is offline  
Old 20th Dec 2018, 14:20
  #5620 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 5,494
I think itís a bit early to see how JSS will really work out, it will take another 2-3 months before we see how typical rosters shape up and how they would fit with ďcommutingĒ.
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