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Pondering leaving BA

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Pondering leaving BA

Old 17th Jul 2022, 12:01
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This isn't intended as a personal attack, as we are all trying to provide advice based on our own past experiences, both within and outside of BA.

I've been on the receiving end of the "it's not so bad being junior, we've all been there, you only have to be junior once, it gets better" chat from those I fly with. You then probe a bit deeper and out come stories of Bid Line, Clash and Protect, 600 hours per year and rapid movement up the seniority list (in one instance caused by c. 300 BMI pilots being added to the bottom of the list - let's leave those worms firmly in the can!)

We're the first pilots in what, 20/30 years? to be junior under a new bidding system. We're working under a new ruleset (EASA FTL) that is generally regarded as having much less fatigue protection than the old CAP FTL. Many on P32L have lost seniority, some significantly, as CRS pilots were pushed / parachuted onto the airbus fleet (I've not yet met one of them who wanted to be on SH). We've seen what career progression we might have expected (LH, Left Seat Airbus) pushed further away by those same ex CRS pilots who are (and I'm happy to be corrected) unfrozen for any other fleet they wish to move to in the next PRIAM bid. And we have a union that has (in practice, even if not intentionally) abandoned junior pilots as collateral damage).

I struggle to think of a reason to stay other than blind hope that it has to get better as other contributors have said it does, and the thought that after nearly 5 years of promising my family "it gets better, its a long term game at BA" it would be a hard sell to them to move. Again.
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Old 17th Jul 2022, 12:47
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There was a PPRuNe user Tricia Takanawa who had similar thoughts a few years ago when i was joining. We exchanged a few PMs but I'm
not sure what happened in the end, I lost the password to that account. But you might have luck looking them up to see how it went.
From my side, BA isn't the be all and end all, if you aren't fulfilled here now it's unlikely you will be in the future, and is that possibly more a function of airline flying than the particular airline? In that case I doubt moving to VS/J2/EZ/RYR etc would solve that for you. But aviation is big and there are many different roles around the world that have different challenges, so if you are in the position to go seek these out give it a go!
I'm staying at ba myself because i still enjoy it, and I am supporting a young family so i value the regular paycheck and plenty of time off at home.
If I had got into BA at a young age, I think I'd be itching for an adventure. However I did my adventuring earlier in my career so a nice easy stable airline job suits me down to the ground.
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Old 17th Jul 2022, 14:33
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There's a guy in our company who was in BA for about 13 years. He was disillusioned with it and jumped ship to the US. After 2 years of fun over there he returned to the UK. He's been with us for 16 years.
Sure, some days are tough, in fact, this Summer is brutal. We're significantly busier than we were in 2019. Only catch, you need to have an EASA licence.
(Large Fractional business jet company).
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Old 17th Jul 2022, 17:43
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Originally Posted by thetimesreader84 View Post
Many on P32L have lost seniority, some significantly, as CRS pilots were pushed / parachuted onto the airbus fleet (I've not yet met one of them who wanted to be on SH). We've seen what career progression we might have expected (LH, Left Seat Airbus) pushed further away by those same ex CRS pilots who are (and I'm happy to be corrected) unfrozen for any other fleet they wish to move to in the next PRIAM bid. And we have a union that has (in practice, even if not intentionally) abandoned junior pilots as collateral damage).
This for me is the one of the biggest reasons why there is unhappiness and discontent on the line, weíre still picking on each other instead of supporting each other. Had the union truly abandoned junior pilots, then those same CRS pilots would have never been in the CRS and instead taken the place of the junior pilots as the lower ranks were made redundant - LIFO.

I would advise you timesreader to take the time to speak to the CRS pilots who have come back and ask them about their experiences. Many are divorced, most are scarred, some financially broken. If they are unfrozen it is because the company and the union are finally adhering to our agreements. Something to be applauded. If they move to LH or left seat SH, it is in line with seniority. Again something to be applauded after the massive upset of the last couple of years.

Your frustrations are better aimed at the company than your colleagues who are rightfully returning to the job they should never have lost.

I too have been asking myself similar questions as the OP. The best advice Iíve been given is ďweíre still recovering from the pandemic. Sit on your hands and see what it looks like next year. There will always be new opportunities and other jobs.Ē, and that is what I intend to do. I hope it helps the OP.

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Old 17th Jul 2022, 18:27
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Angry

Originally Posted by Whitemonk Returns View Post
Well to be fair I actually do get where the Jet2 bashing comes from but it is a bit weird how quick people on here go mental about any pro Jet2 posts... However, back on thread, if you are going to leave BA and remain a pilot living in the UK you only really have maybe 5 options that I can think of and I'll give you my take, assuming you are an FO:

Virgin - long haul obviously attracts, London base makes the swap easier from BA but from what I have heard I believe they are cutting all of the good stuff, bullets etc and not what it once was, second hand info though. Swapping one seniority list for another.

TUI - same as Virgin with more base options. Very precarious financial situation and would take a brave man to swap BA for TUI right now. Salaries are probably equivalent, a friend has earned close to 100k as an FO doing day offs etc. Seniority list again though and that stupid 7k a year for the TR if you don't have the rating has put most people off, part time contract aswell.

Easyjet: Good salaries for Captain although I don't know the exact figures. European bases, quicker command, if you are already Airbus this is going to be a quick transfer. High workload, don't know what you fly at BA but if I wanted to fly 800 hrs a year i would just go to the desert

Jet2: Growing company. Not top level salaries but 85k+ for an SFO and 130k+ for a Captain is competitive. Probably the lightest workload of the lot if you can survive the random roster. Like night flying it won't suit everyone. Good choice of bases. Summers are busy busy and fatiguing, normally you have the winter to recover but with the growth of the business that may not last forever. Long haul is inevitable in my opinion if that's what you want but TUI or Virgin will. Offer this quicker. Brexit seems to have killed the European bases for now unfortunately.

DHL: safe. Cargo is literally flying and will most likely continue to grow. Night flying is tough, FO salary isn't great. Relatively long time to command but I think its worth it when you get there.
DHL night flying is now the same as any other LH Airline, if you fly at night you normally follow by day, and if you start in the day you'll end at night.
DHL also has a wide range of part time positions probably triple the number of UK AOC's left these days. And time to Command seems to be very quick due to recent expansion albeit at the loss of xx 757's to DHL Austria - blame Brexit for that...

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Old 17th Jul 2022, 18:38
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I have pondered about my employment by BA for quite some time. The way the company is treating it's pilots is a major, but not the only, factor in my decision to now leave - I have submitted my resignation.

I am tired of metaphorically being trampled on. I am also fed up with the chaotic, feels-like-it-is-balanced-on-a-knife-edge operation where the 'supporting operational services' don't seem to do their damn jobs. The result is that this pilot has become weary of fielding the ever-increasing errors being thrown into the operational mix - it is an overload of Swiss cheese slices aligning themselves, and I don't want to be around for the accident.

Sadly, I also feel the BA Company Council (BALPA) have been ineffective in dealing with the big-ticket items, like the pay deduction chaos. I gain no pleasure from stating that, it just is what it is.

I am in the Defined Contribution pension scheme BARP/BAPP, so exiting into the lousy economic forecast is going to be damn tough. I will likely never work in professional aviation again, due age, but I am firm in my position that I no longer wish to be treated by BA as something that shoes are wiped on.

So, I depart shortly! Good luck to my fellow pilots, you are going to need it.
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Old 19th Jul 2022, 09:47
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Enjoy your next stage in life MrBernoulli.
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Old 19th Jul 2022, 10:38
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I have to say, sometimes this job just grinds you down.

I have seen it happen to many many pilots. People who would come to work and absolutely hate it. They had lost all enjoyment of it, could see nothing positive in the daily grind of line flying.

The flip side is that I have also seen pilots, forced to retire, dragged kicking and screaming, out of the crew room. These are the guys that loved every second of it. Every thunderstorm, every visual approach, every touchdown.

Itís horses for courses, some love it, some hate it.
most of us are somewhere on a scale in between.

Good luck with your decision, given you have grown to hate it, itís probably for the best.
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Old 19th Jul 2022, 10:53
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Originally Posted by Jonty View Post
I have to say, sometimes this job just grinds you down.

I have seen it happen to many many pilots. People who would come to work and absolutely hate it. They had lost all enjoyment of it, could see nothing positive in the daily grind of line flying.

The flip side is that I have also seen pilots, forced to retire, dragged kicking and screaming, out of the crew room. These are the guys that loved every second of it. Every thunderstorm, every visual approach, every touchdown.

Itís horses for courses, some love it, some hate it.
most of us are somewhere on a scale in between.

Good luck with your decision, given you have grown to hate it, itís probably for the best.
Couldnt agree more. Once you start to hate it add in the unsociable hours and it will be a drag. I remember a Captain at my previous outfit who had a year left before he would have had to retire. Full time for over 40 years. At 64 he was like an energiser bunny even at 4am. Absolutely loved everything about aviation.
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Old 19th Jul 2022, 11:42
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Agree with all the above tbh. Just ensure that you have something to go to before you make the big move that excites you just like aviation did. I know a couple who have up at covid and have become project managers and love their new life. Best of luck
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Old 19th Jul 2022, 19:06
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Easyjet: Good salaries for Captain although I don't know the exact figures. European bases, quicker command, if you are already Airbus this is going to be a quick transfer. High workload, don't know what you fly at BA but if I wanted to fly 800 hrs a year i would just go to the desert
Captain pay is currently £108k + approx £15k sector pay and once you've been in the company 2+/5+/10+ years you receive a loyalty payment of 5%/10%/15% of your basic accordingly. That's before any rise our union is currently bargaining with the company for.

Is easyJet perfect? No. The things I happen to like...Fixed roster pattern (SFO and CPT), home each night from most bases (odd layovers ex-LGW), decent pay (SFO and CPT), decent colleagues, most of the flying isn't too challenging, part-time options-a-plenty, able to report sick/fatigued when enough is enough. Yes there are plenty of things to moan about, things that could easily be improved by the company and the rosters can be challenging sometimes, but ON THE WHOLE, I wouldn't work anywhere else. For me, the good bits outweigh the crap bits. If you don't take company politics too much to heart and stress yourself about the bonuses management get for cocking it up, then it's a decent company to pay your mortgage and enjoy your time off from!

Good luck with whatever decision you make!
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Old 19th Jul 2022, 21:20
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OP, if it makes you feel any better, there are plenty who were in the PRP (the c.250 that got made redundant) who are now back at BA, staring down the barrel of a 25-40 year career at an airline they feel incredibly detached from and disillusioned with, and whilst your average nigel had nothing to do with how it all went down, being asked every day 'so what did you get up to during covid' or hearing 'it was hard for everyone' is a difficult one to deal with. All this to say, if you truly think you need to move, BA isn't the be all and end all some would have you believe and a fair few of your colleagues would agree with you. Just prepare yourself for it not being much better elsewhere and make sure whatever it is you specifically don't think you can deal with at BA isn't going to be an issue at the next place, or you'll never be happy. Good luck!
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Old 22nd Nov 2022, 08:45
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Just found this thread and it has been very interesting reading !
After 9 years I have thrown in the glove (B777) ! Just canít take the [email protected]£P anymoreÖ.
I just hope Jet2 lives up to the expectations.
Good luck everyone
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 12:45
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Interesting ! What was the final straw? I gather the 777 is one of the better fleets in BA. Let us know how you get on and if the grass is any greenerÖÖ
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 13:30
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Originally Posted by hunterboy View Post
Interesting ! What was the final straw? I gather the 777 is one of the better fleets in BA. Let us know how you get on and if the grass is any greenerÖÖ
It has been on my mind for a while , especially after recent events Ö.
The toxic culture is just not for me.
According to friends at Jet2 the management are much more grown up and do not have legacy problems.
Command should arrive quickly especially with the expansion plans so it will be a pay rise in a short time realistically (hopefully the command process is not as opaque as others have mentioned) .
Supposedly LH could be on the horizonÖ. But I shall leave that to the guys who are desperate for the Jet lag.
I promise Iím not a bitter person , more of a realist
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 15:23
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My experience...

I joined BA on the 320 post redundancy elsewhere. Before that I had the privilege of a decade working for a couple of really decent operators between scheduled/charters, SH/LH.

My opinion- overly corporate, impersonal and being junior the rosters were totally unworkable unless you lived at the end of the runway and/or hate your kids. The whole place just lacks any soul or enjoyment.

Out of 5 flying jobs so far it was my least favourite by a distance and I would never consider the 320 again for any amount of money. SH is likely not even close to being the airline you probably think it is. And as somebody has put above re: the whole "You're only junior once..." Lolz- not quite. Try pretty much every time you change seat/fleet.

Fortunately... being binned due Covid gave me the kick up the arse to turn a little side business into a proper one. I now do that plus a bit of freelance flying and have a lifestyle I'd never have in a million years in BA.

So yes, the grass is potentially greener outside BA, certainly was for me.

All the best with it.

Last edited by FRYVA; 23rd Nov 2022 at 16:13.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:40
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Originally Posted by FRYVA View Post
My experience...

I joined BA on the 320 post redundancy elsewhere. Before that I had the privilege of a decade working for a couple of really decent operators between scheduled/charters, SH/LH.

My opinion- overly corporate, impersonal and being junior the rosters were totally unworkable unless you lived at the end of the runway and/or hate your kids. The whole place just lacks any soul or enjoyment.

Out of 5 flying jobs so far it was my least favourite by a distance and I would never consider the 320 again for any amount of money. SH is likely not even close to being the airline you probably think it is. And as somebody has put above re: the whole "You're only junior once..." Lolz- not quite. Try pretty much every time you change seat/fleet.

Fortunately... being binned due Covid gave me the kick up the arse to turn a little side business into a proper one. I now do that plus a bit of freelance flying and have a lifestyle I'd never have in a million years in BA.

So yes, the grass is potentially greener outside BA, certainly was for me.

All the best with it.
Covid certainly gave me a bit of a wake-up call that although I love flying and seeing new places, I achieve the majority of my happiness/life satisfaction etc by spending time with my friends and family, and that's usually done at the weekend, or after work (which is troublesome if you're in bed ready for a 3am alarm, or you're in a different country entirely with a group of admittedly lovely people but who aren't actually *friends* with).

Bills need to be paid and i'm not one for sitting in an office so remaining in my current flying job is the best option at the moment, but investing some of my salary into part time and cutting my cloth accordingly, in order to achieve a better work/life balance is high on the agenda.

Also, the triple is no place to be if you're junior, either, from a quick glance at some of the rosters...!
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Old 24th Nov 2022, 05:36
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I am replying to this from the other side of the pond, but I have some experience. I was at one US legacy carrier that was not financially stable and so I left for another legacy carrier. That airline (Northwest) eventually entered bankruptcy and I could not imagine a good long-term outcome and so I moved to the cargo side. Had I stayed, I would have been fine (and very senior at Delta). Iíve had 5 airlines in my past.

what I will say is that there is no sharpshooting the system. Sometimes you need to have the long view and realize that company leaders change and union leaders change. Who is the financially most stable today may not be tomorrow. I have enjoyed my journey, but it seems a little bit neurotic to many.

You wonít know if you made the right decisions until the end of your career and you look back. There are some priorities that you can identify, such as long-haul flying or living in base. I think those reasons always merit consideration when thinking about moving to another airline.

As somebody else pointed out, there is no wrong decision, it will just result in a different experience. Only you know what it is that is creating your dissatisfaction, and if it rises to the level that you will do something about it, but sometimes a bit of patience, and the long view can help. No rash decisions.

good luck in whatever you decide!
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