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Leaving BA for low cost

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Leaving BA for low cost

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Old 19th Jun 2018, 18:15
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Leaving BA for low cost

Hi,

Im seriously contemplating leaving BA 747 to go to low cost short haul for a quick upgrade, but most people that I speak to look back in shock. So I'm looking for anyone that has done the same, to basically try and find out if they regretted it. And anybody else with any insight that might be helpful.

Any help appreciated!

TT
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 18:34
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There Is couple I know of who came back to Ryanair from BAs 744s. They had already been captains though, and came back as captains. The one I spoke to absolutely hated life on the 747.
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 20:13
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There are a few junior A320 captains working their notice and going to EZY too.

No great surprise those in the LHS look shocked. It ain’t the junior long haul life they lived.
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 20:14
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Not sure many will have done this. I was in the BA hold pool but decided last year to stay orange after moving right to left. For me, as a 7000 hour pilot and 10 years experience, it was the thought of reverting to two stripes and many years waiting for an upgrade in the BA seniority process that influenced my decision. I am not sure I would choose to leave though once I had started. I have no real interest in long haul at this stage but I do not know what the next 10 years might hold. In some ways the time to command in BA makes it a more valuable prize.
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 20:31
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In response to TT (the OP) and:

Im seriously contemplating leaving BA 747 to go to low cost short haul for a quick upgrade, but most people that I speak to look back in shock
Just pointing out the perhaps obvious for anyone thinking of joining as a DEP on a Long Haul Fleet:

1. you are never going to get a quick upgrade on Long Haul,

and

2. Post joining type freeze means you aren’t going to be moving to a relatively fast upgrade fleet for a few years ...


Originally Posted by Jwscud View Post
There are a few junior A320 captains working their notice and going to EZY too.

No great surprise those in the LHS look shocked. It ain’t the junior long haul life they lived.

Frankly if anybody in the LHS at BA is shocked they are either acting or they need to pay a bit more attention to what is going on around them.

It is a commonly held POV that large parts of the rostering system formerly known as Bidline has been trashed and the consequences of that have really bitten this summer. Nobody in either seat, regardless of seniority, can make concrete plans for days off even a month ahead, outside of leave. You can have successfully bid for work that gets you above the CAP and even so still get an extra trip stuck on your line/line rejigged- in other words forced overtime (July seems to have been bloodbath on the 744)........and to add to the problems as we head towards some fairly important elections for Union reps the association is giving a fair impression of being in disarray.









Last edited by wiggy; 19th Jun 2018 at 21:08.
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 23:32
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it wonít be long and weíll be seeing a lot more pilots leaving BA for other airlines.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 00:53
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If the low cost life style suits you better then why not, but once you're there that's pretty much it as far as progression is concerned. The training department is the only step upward and it's not for everyone.

Lots of four sector days and early starts but mostly in your own bed at night, hard work and you will be tired but its a different kind of fatigue to long haul, back of the clock, multiple time zone changes.

Financially, a LCC will get you into the money seat sooner but the pay isn't usually as good as a legacy. An older applicant will do better in an LCC as by the time he upgrades at a legacy airline he hasn't got too many years in the Captains chair until retirement, a younger applicant will do better in a legacy as he will have more years on premium pay to make up for the longer upgrade time.

Horses for courses.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 02:06
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I tried both.
As a young stud I did long hauls and more long hauls, 30-40 hour duty days, around the world, crazy stuff.
Did 24 years of it, then started short-haul, or turns as we say here in the colonies: MIA-STT-MIA and similar.
I really liked to be home every day to wife and dog, sleep good then do it again next day. More time on the road driving to the airport, but got a good car and a subscription to satellite radio with the comedy channels. Figured that would be as much fun as I had all day and loved it.
Did the occasional long haul, like MIA-MAD, or CDG but got tired of being tired, back to short haul.
(on the 757/767 fleet you can do both and change every week or every month, perhaps same with BA?)
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 02:43
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Originally Posted by Tricia Takanawa View Post
Hi,

Im seriously contemplating leaving BA 747 to go to low cost short haul for a quick upgrade, but most people that I speak to look back in shock. So I'm looking for anyone that has done the same, to basically try and find out if they regretted it. And anybody else with any insight that might be helpful.

Any help appreciated!

TT
Just curious because opinions can differ, but what about life on the 747 fleet at BA is better or worse than life on other fleets like the 777 and 787? Is it longhaul Flying in general or specifically life on the 747 fleet that is objectionable (ie changing layovers, contracting number of routes, specific schedules, etc.)?
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 05:28
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Might be one for a current 747 pilot to answer - in the mean time obviously (?) the 747 Fleet is seeing a gradual reduction in “plum” destinations but it has still got some good ones. One even ended up in SIN last month as “sub” for the 380!!!!

OTOH all the Longhaul Fleets are seeing some uncertainty and last minute plan changes due to the 787 engine issue.

As for Longhaul life at BA in general - TBH I am increasingly of the opinion that many will find the model BA seem to be aiming for and one which BALPA seem to less and less able to moderate will be one that is unsustainable over a full time, multi decade career. A single person with minimal commitments outside work who additionally never gets a cold or flu might manage.....for mere mortals with families, especially young ones I have my doubts.

Last edited by wiggy; 20th Jun 2018 at 08:22.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 08:57
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Im seriously contemplating leaving BA 747 to go to low cost short haul for a quick upgrade
I am not sure how long you have been in BA, but many find the first few years hell. I nearly left to go to EK.
I am now 75% part time to make my work life balance bearable. However I do not think that LC would be any easier than BA SH/LH unless you get a based where you live. Not necessarily an easy thing to achieve. I have conssideded that myself.

But regardless make sure to think long term. What do you want in 10 years time and how do the T&C compare with LC when you get there.
If you hang in there on the 747 until your freeze is up, youíd be almost guaranteed to get a A320 command at LGW. Do 6-12 months and then move to LC.
At least you have your command time and youíll have many more options.

I know people who have chased quick commands, and it has rarely worked out, due to empty promises or unexpected downturn etc.

Just my opinion. ATB with whatever you choose to do


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Old 20th Jun 2018, 09:36
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Re the SH Captains working their notice, I believe there are many more seriously looking around given many of the discussions I have had over the past year. I’m led to believe also that the latest recruitment campaign has not been as oversubscribed as it has been in the past. Perfect storm coming of people leaving and recruits not so much drying up perhaps but certainly not plentiful. Maybe this will wake Cruz and Walsh up to the fact that the constant attack on Ts & Cs is having real detrimental effects and will do in the future.

(Wouldn’t hold my breath though)
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 10:00
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Originally Posted by Tricia Takanawa View Post
Hi,

Im seriously contemplating leaving BA 747 to go to low cost short haul for a quick upgrade, but most people that I speak to look back in shock. So I'm looking for anyone that has done the same, to basically try and find out if they regretted it. And anybody else with any insight that might be helpful.

Any help appreciated!

TT
Hi Trica

I left the 747 at BA to go back to low cost. Haven't regretted it for a minute. Feel free to PM me if you want any more info. Good luck. It's a massive decision to make but for me it worked out well. Everyone is different depending on their circumstances.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 10:05
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I also jumped ship from the Queen of the Skies at BA to head to low cost shorthaul. People were shocked - I even shocked myself - but in hindsight I’m a whole load happier. The reality is I should never have gone to BA in the first place but I’m still glad I tried it.

Edited to say I completely agree with Wiggy and planning my life at BA was nigh on impossible and work basically rules your life unless you have leave / duty free week etc planned. For those single chaps / chapesses it’s fine but for those of us with family commitments I find the low cost roster (although still tiring) way better. Having a command also makes work far more enjoyable.

I did think about BAP’s idea of bidding for an LGW command after initial type freeze was up (5 years) but then thought why wait 5 years for something I already had at easyJet? Money is not the be-all and end-all but the financial incentives also stacked up being LHS low cost.

Best of luck in your decision making!

Last edited by tommytailwind; 20th Jun 2018 at 10:27. Reason: additional comments
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 11:23
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Thank you for all of the info, including the PM's! Its nice to know that I'm not nuts considering it.

BAP, I've been in just shy of 3 years. Funny you should mention EK, as I did consider that option, then read the Middle East forums
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 11:44
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Originally Posted by Tricia Takanawa View Post
Thank you for all of the info, including the PM's! Its nice to know that I'm not nuts considering it.

BAP, I've been in just shy of 3 years. Funny you should mention EK, as I did consider that option, then read the Middle East forums
Youíre not nuts at all. Anyone who suggests you are needs to wake up to the world outside BA, as Wiggy has alluded to.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 12:03
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Having done UK regional flying, the sandpit, and now BA LH, I – personally – find BA the easiest of the three. That said, it probably helps being on the 787, as everyone else is doing our flying for us.

Also, I don’t mind working weekends and am in a position where I can prioritise lifestyle over cash or command, so I’m quite content in the RHS. I quite understand that others will have different priorities, for all sorts of reasons. But like what Wiggy said:
many will find the model BA seem to be aiming for and one which BALPA seem to less and less able to moderate will be one that is unsustainable over a full time, multi decade career.
I couldn’t agree more. Being late to the party, I’ve got a maximum 20 year career with BA, but I can’t imagine being full time until retirement – part time is the only way to make the job work long-term. One could ask whether it would be any different in low cost short haul? If not, I’d suggest the workload / sustainability issue is an industry wide problem, and not restricted to BA.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 18:27
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My take on it is BA is now very much just another airline, and the full time job has pretty much become unsustainable for an entire career, particularly since the introduction of EASA FTLs. Life expectancy will seriously reduce for anyone who attempts it. Part time is the way forward, and once youíre going down that route, youíre looking more and more at lifestyle choices, and being based at Heathrow is not one of the better lifestyle choices. Iíll have been in for 20 years by the time I get my first command, but once I have sufficient command hours, Iíll be looking very seriously at other airlines. Working for BA has drained the life out of me. Iím constantly bewildered by anyone who leaves another airline to join up. I donít think outsiders appreciate just how weak, and indeed actively damaging, BALPA within BA is. Our decline at the hands of the current BACC has exceeded all expectations.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 19:40
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Our decline at the hands of the current BACC has exceeded all expectations.
I suspect it has exceeded even the companies expectations.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 21:16
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LC even admits on Yammer that DEP’s are signing or being offered contracts to start & then turning them down! Quite simply we’re not the only/best gig in town... However long may it continue... the only way things will improve is if people stop coming!

‘Part of the CAP pressure has also been down to some DEPs signing contracts with us, and then withdrawing, for various reasons’

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