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Leaving BA for low cost

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Leaving BA for low cost

Old 10th Jul 2018, 22:49
  #121 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: South East
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Originally Posted by Buter View Post
we will see Buter my friend, we will see.

a heartfelt meant good luck.

Wide-Body is offline  
Old 10th Jul 2018, 23:04
  #122 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: somewhere between Miami and Havana
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Originally Posted by Wide-Body View Post

we will see Buter my friend, we will see.

a heartfelt meant good luck.

Thanks, I think we'll need it.

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Old 10th Jul 2018, 23:41
  #123 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by MikeAlpha320 View Post
Apparently making cap so high that everyone has to work most waking hours but letting us try to choose how we do it means that its not fatiguing? Add in forcing trips on people- a very poorly organised operation in and out of LHR and the attitude that BA is still the best and there is nowhere else to go and you've got the perfect recipe for this situation. Not to mention forcing captains into RHS so they don't have to pay FO's for the overworked hours in the working agreement. When will BALPA get out of the companies pocket and actually do something?
Interesting reading. Having recently jumped ship from EZY too, these thoughts aren't too far from my own.

Things to take into account. Many rosters are self inflicted - lots of guys appear to utterly shaft themselves for money, to the point of doing 7/1/7 as you say - that is THEIR choice. The company also appear to acknowledge that 320 FOs are working exceptionally hard at the moment, and appear to be actively trying to rectify that (recruitment/captain RHS). I also gather they are hoping to eliminate the daily aircraft swaps that seem to pointlessly add so much duty time to our day.

All that said, it's swings and roundabouts - BA is by no means the utopia I'd hoped it would be. Is it better than EZY? Apparently most seem to think so, or they'd be on their way back.

What is not so often said is why such numbers leave EZY for BA - and for the most part it's the 75% EZY contract. The combination of training debt and comically poor EZY money appears to be enough to push many an FO off to BA, when perhaps they would rather stay at EZY if it was financially viable. The flip side of course, is that junior BA captains are then disgustingly cheap and many I've flown with are now very interested in the current EZY offering.

EZY-BA-EZY could soon be a standard career route it seems.
FACoff is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2018, 05:43
  #124 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: england
Posts: 655
I think the first action of the new BACC should be a ballot for industrial action. Would give them an idea of the kind of support they enjoy.
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 06:34
  #125 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 141
A very interesting thread. For my own lifestyle reasons my route has been Ryanair - BA - Ryanair....but I’d never rule out Easy if part time contracts people are mentioning here are so good.

Would an Easy pilot care to briefly outline how the various part time rosters work in terms of 5/4/5/3 etc in the UK and how quickly you could expect to get one if coming in as a DEC?

It seems lifestyle / fatigue is the over riding factor in this whole thread and money is secondary - and that’s very much in line with my thoughts. I went to BA for lifestyle and had quite a shock.
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 08:08
  #126 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 714
I think the stressors on modern day pilots who have come to the industry in the last 5 years is Debt, Get a Job, Debt, Command, Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle. The lifestyle one is the only way you'll literally survive a career in aviation in the 21st. century.
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 10:40
  #127 (permalink)  
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Not sure if the thread is of any use anymore, it's probably all been discussed within the first 2 pages.

One thing is quite clear to me though. I see a lot of disillusionment from the majority of (presumably quite young) posters on here. Not very motivating.
From someone who has been dreaming of becoming a pilot I am always astonished as how top of the list goals are: live 5 minutes from your home town/in your country, being home every night, work part time already from a young age, and so on. Basically find a way to make flying as painless as possible to then dedicate oneself to as many other activities as possible.
It's just hard for me to understand why are these top priorities in a career like this?

So, as usual, I am left thinking that people commenting on here have come to a very specific view of the job and of life in general, leaving the many other silent living life and the job as best as they can. Travelling the world, learning new things, meeting new people, trying new experiences and staying positive.

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Old 11th Jul 2018, 12:00
  #128 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Originally Posted by bringbackthe80s View Post

So, as usual, I am left thinking that people commenting on here have come to a very specific view of the job and of life in general, leaving the many other silent living life and the job as best as they can. Travelling the world, learning new things, meeting new people, trying new experiences and staying positive.

All of that sounds great but you need a reason to stay positive; You can't merely stay positive for the sake of staying positive. When I started flying the entire last sentence applied fully to my job, but now it is all about managing fatigue, keeping the family together and trying not to get screwed over too much by your employer... In fact I've actively discouraged my own son from pursuing a paid career in aviation because at this point I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Remember me telling you this before you sign your life away on a student loan for pilot training; The old days are GONE.
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 12:31
  #129 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: England
Posts: 17,404
For those interested in LHS part time EZJ and perhaps moving to the regions that is what I am.

50% part time albeit with >10 years in so the full 15% annual loyalty bonus pays about £68k plus 7% basic into a pension. You work 9 days in a two week block that starts Monday and finishes on the Sunday the following week then a fortnight off. You get 14 days leave a year which if you take three or more in one block get two days off wrapped around. I take four three day blocks which equals a week off plus two random days for wedding anniversary’s etc. You get fouR PDO’s which are preferred days off in two day pairs. So four times a year I pick the weekend of the working fortnight and have that off.

So, usually I end up with four “hard months” where I work 9 days. Four “soft months” when I work 9 days but have 3 out of 4 weekends off. Four “easy months” where I work up to 6 days in a 7 day window and have the rest of the month off. I get home standbys and airport standbys just like anyone full time.

We have a preferential bidding system and I bid for all earlies as I prefer to commute to work at 5am in light traffic and can easily sleep in the afternoon.

The share schemes are worth a couple of grand a year even if the share price remained static. My boss is nice to me. When I make a mistake I’m honest about it and the company are supportive. Balpa handle my negotiations. The aircraft are usually less than five years old, the training is fair and the business model and balance sheet look comfortingly robust. Living in the regions mean I have a house that would cost several million were it in the South East of England where I understand it most people do not enjoy both a boating and a fishing lake.

With the political wind blowing in favour of higher taxation and ending higher rate pension tax relief then I suggest earning less but needing less income is the optimal flightplan.


Wee Weasley Welshman is offline  
Old 11th Jul 2018, 13:04
  #130 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: World
Posts: 1,669
I would not even consider working for a company that does NOT provide sensible part time options.
And some of the options available in easyJet in the continent and UK are brilliant, and the only way forward in the long term.
The waiting list can be long, depending on the base and the p/t option choosen and go from 1 to 13 years.

Quality of life comes first.
dirk85 is online now  
Old 11th Jul 2018, 13:30
  #131 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: London
Posts: 141
WWW - many thanks for your informative post
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 16:49
  #132 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
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Originally Posted by bringbackthe80s View Post

It's just hard for me to understand why are these top priorities in a career like this?

So, as usual, I am left thinking that people commenting on here have come to a very specific view of the job and of life in general, leaving the many other silent living life and the job as best as they can. Travelling the world, learning new things, meeting new people, trying new experiences and staying positive.

It shouldn't be that hard to understand. I've seen, listened to and read about a lot of pop stars who slaved for stardom only to find that the glitter wasn't so great after a period of time. Same is true of aviation, I still love flying but the adulation of the crowd.... sorry the disruption of normal family life becomes extremely onerous after a while, so many (not all) end up either being captured by the money and turning bitter or striving for a work/life balance involving PT. thankfully most airlines are getting their heads right about PT as we are expensive assets to lose.
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Old 11th Jul 2018, 17:36
  #133 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: UK
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Originally Posted by skyflyer737 View Post
Stan Wooley - many thanks for your PM. I tried to reply but your inbox is full! I really appreciate the info you passed on.
You’re very welcome.

I’ve cleared some space.
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Old 12th Jul 2018, 14:50
  #134 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 1,223
I wouldn't presume to tell anyone what to do, as every individual has different circumstances, but for me, sticking with EZY is the way to go.

I became a pilot because I love flying. The flying I do at EZY can be hard work, but also incredibly challenging and rewarding. When the conditions are appropriate and my colleague is sat next to me, I am able to take all the automation out, FDs off, ATHR off, and fly it like a Seneca again. I found IR training too hard to particularly enjoy flying raw data non-precision approaches. Now I find them very enjoyable, and a good healthy stretch of the technical, non-technical and handling skills.
A raw data manual thrust SID out of one of the Greek Islands, or a visual into Valencia is thoroughly enjoyable if you're moderately competent with the aircraft (although many fellow pilots, at EZY and elsewhere, are sometimes a bit too nervous to do things like that, but the company has a sensible automation policy that allows, and when appropriate, encourages it)

However I became a commercial pilot in my early 20s when I was young, free and single. I had nobody else to worry about other than myself. That is no longer the case, I'm in my 30s, and have wifey and kids, plus live much much closer to my elderly grandparents than my parents do (30 mins vs 4-5 hours). Being home nearly every night is important to me, and to the missus and the little ones. There are a few scheduled night-stops out of LGW, only 3 currently (LIN, MAD & INV), with an early and a late rotation. Unscheduled night-stops are rare (only 2 in the last 5 years, one due to missing a slot and therefore exceeding 2 hours of discretion before pushback, the other due to AOG down route in a non-base). There are out-of-base trips to cover annual leave in smaller bases, or where they've had crew leave for new pastures, but these are not too common. Many captains commute (and stay in the airport hotel) so are happy to pick up trips like that and save on their hotel bills.

We have good scheduling and rostering agreements in the UK, things like no pre-6am starts on Day 1 of a block, an ability to refuse (or accept, for a cash compensation) short notice disruption changes (starting/finishing more than 2 hours earlier/later, short notice night-stops), total ability to refuse to work into days off (so much as getting off the plane and going home, flights have been cancelled as a result but days off are days OFF, however the payment for working into days off could and should be a bit better) and fatigue mitigation such as transition control, and an unchallenging fatigue reporting system. Never have I had to justify calling in fatigued, or offloading myself as fatigued, or where commanders discretion has been refused, or used to reduce FDP/increase rest.

The pay is pretty great actually. The problem is the UK taxation of that pay.
I don't think anybody can earn £105k basic, plus up to 15% loyalty, plus annual performance bonus, plus £15k+ sector pay, plus 2 weeks/£3000 tax-free performance shares, and say they don't earn enough.
But many people are maxing out their pension contributions to £40k including the company's 7%, just to try get under the £100k mark and avoid that 62% taxation band. Already many are looking to 75% or 50% part time, to reduce their tax as much as improve their lifestyle. If/when the government reduce the 40% pension tax relief I can see even more part time requests coming in.
Then theres the company share schemes... BAYE were you can buy £1800 shares a year and the company will match it (up to £1500). Or SAYE where you save an amount up to £300 a month, for 3 years, and get to buy the shares at the original 20% discounted offer price, or at worst, take all your money back. A zero-risk savings, worst case you get 0% return on it, best case, more than double in 3 years.

The trick with EZY is to not get stressed and worked up by things you can't control. Summer at Gatwick is a $hitshow. Everything turns to brown stuff. But you can't help the ground handling problems, you have no control over it. So you don't worry too much, you control what you can. You exercise discretion, or you don't. You work into a day off, or you refuse. If your duty is 4 hours late, then your report is delayed the next day. If you're not fit for it then you go FTGD. As long as you treat a working day as a working day and don't make any plans that can't be cancelled last minute, then you don't get too upset by it all.

I hear many of the FRV guys have nearly all their weekends off as well. Fixed pattern with the Preference Bidding we can bid for earlies or lates. 2 sectors or 4. Nightstops or not. The random roster guys can also bid for particular days off, ie for a birthday or wedding, or weekend away etc.

For those of us who aren't that bothered by long haul (I get severely bored on a long SH sector, Greek Islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt etc if my colleague is not especially chatty) and dread the thought of an 8+ hour flight, or some of the extra long haul stuff, and that like being in their own bed nearly every night, and like knowing NOW that they're going to be off on Saturday 25th September 2021 for their 20th wedding anniversary party or whatever, or the kids sports day/school play/etc, then EZY is probably one of the best.

Things could definitely be better. But they are a damn sight worse in some other LCCs.
The grass is always greener. Except when it isn't.
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Old 12th Jul 2018, 16:31
  #135 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Originally Posted by Wee Weasley Welshman View Post
For those interested in LHS part time EZJ and perhaps moving to the regions that is what I am.

Part Time is generally loved by Airlines and crews alike.
If WWW (been at EZY a long time) goes part time it means;
He is happy.
He is less expensive for the Airline being a senior Captain
He is replaced by a less paid Captain
Who might be a FO promotion so another happy crew member
Who is replaced by a wannabie F/O who is cheap and happy
It normally assures retention
So a win win.
Yes it does mean the AOC has to train more crews and insurance / social charges may be higher.
It just takes the Management and bean counters to look further ahead than the end of their noses.

It is also no coincidence that two of the UK AOC's with approved FRMS are well into part time (EZY and DHK)

Last edited by Twiglet1; 12th Jul 2018 at 16:32. Reason: add one more line
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 12:25
  #136 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: HonkyDong
Posts: 264
Very informative thread. As a 35 year old with decent varied experience behind me and a need to get back to the U.K. from the Far East, it is interesting and also rather tricky to know where will be the most beneficial place to get my career back on track. Easy or BA?! The initial TR cost plus the initial 75% contract are factors that sometimes sways me towards BA however the quick upgrade times at Easy then sway me in the opposite direction. With a newborn baby and possibly just my salary to support us I know initially it could be tough at Easy however I like the ethos of the company and the people seem very friendly plus I know it will get better relatively quickly. BA command upgrade times and roster horror stories put me off somewhat however there are always horror stories wherever you look...just check out Fragrant Harbour!! I know opinions vary however I’m keen to get my command sooner rather than later, not interested in long haul as have been doing that for a few years now and kind of tired of it plus with a new family keen to be home every night. As a 35 year old, is the TR cost and 75% initial contract worth tolerating with the knowledge that life at Easy is pretty good once the salary is at 100% and there’s an upgrade on the horizon? Not interested in the SSTR argument here. Opinions welcome from those who have gone from one to the other and in some cases back again etc etc.
BizJetJockey is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2018, 13:38
  #137 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 118
75% contract: is that with BA? You won't get part time straight away and at the moment there is a huge waiting list.
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 13:56
  #138 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 1,223
The 75% is a travesty on EZY FOs, and until very recently, the company were recruiting DEFOs onto 100% whilst "loyal" FOs were stuck on 75% (which is 100% summer, 50% winter roster) because there were "no 100% positions available" for them to upgrade.

IE the company were screwing over the FOs who joined them as cadets on a terrible contract, and knowing the contract was so bad that nobody would accept it for Direct Entry, were offering the full time contract to new experienced pilots.

I believe now BALPA are forcing them to do something about all that, but not sure what or how long it'll take.

EZY is a great company to work at eventually, but the first few years are really $hit because of the contracts and general distain and contempt for their FOs. In the smaller and cheaper bases it may not be such a problem.
In & around the London bases, the early years FO contracts really doesn't pay very well compared to the rest of the UK airline market.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 05:42
  #139 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 387
Regarding joining EZY as an FO. With a high level of experience you’d join the airline as a SFO into the UK at least, but yes it looks like being on 75% contracts.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 07:39
  #140 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: HonkyDong
Posts: 264
I’m not entirely sure how my hours would be factored. Roughly 3500 mostly of which are business jet and A330/350 P2X/SO (Cruise Relief). Hopefully I would start with EZY as an FO at least.
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