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-   -   BA Direct Entry Pilot. (https://www.pprune.org/terms-endearment/538503-ba-direct-entry-pilot.html)

Big Birdie 11th May 2014 22:40

Just to add my penneth worth. I joined BA on the 757/767. Then CHOSE to move onto the 747. Recently I CHOSE to move to the 777. The time down route has been some of the most fantastic experiences I have had. My roster is basically set in stone. I earn well over 100k. I am treated totally as an equal on the Flight Deck. My Family have enjoyed some amazing holidays with Dad as the Pilot........
On the other hand....I am just a number. Jet lag sometimes makes me an old grump.The enormity of the company can be a frustration. Staff travel can be a lottery. Command is still (LH) a long way away.
However, once the doors are closed, then the gears up......it's a pretty good place to be.
I qualify my opinion by adding that I have flown for regional and charter previously.

SinBin 11th May 2014 23:08

I don't regret the move to BA from EZY LGW 3 yrs ago! (I talk from a Heathrow POV) Bidline with a bit of seniority, which on short haul rises quite quickly, means I can have a mix of tours, day trips, weekends off, roster stability, rarely a 4 sector day, never home later than 11 usually. Some short haul pilots commute globally due to the rostering system to enable this!

Short term career prospects include long haul (5 fleets currently) , junior Gatwick commands, very junior OpenSkies secondment commands, we have training co pilots too if that's your thing.

At Easyjet an A319/20 command after 5 years, great then what? Same unreliable rostering system, fatigue like no other!:ouch:

Sorry to those that bang the orange drum, but I feel my life is far and away better at BA. Most months take home recently for me is between £4-5k with overtime etc, at EZY as a SFO my average was c. £3300 on a busy month (may have changed a little since I was there).

Not sold on the pension though! Crew food is, well...crew food! The relationship between the cabin crew and flight crew is improving, although it is very disjointed and still can be dreadful some days! Hotels are great usually in city centres, my Mrs has joined me on the odd trip!

There is a big BUT to all this though! ITSU in T5 is closing! No sushi for lunch! Disaster! It's a deal breaker!:{

ManUtd1999 12th May 2014 00:22

junior Gatwick commands, very junior OpenSkies secondment commands
How junior is junior?

Reasons I'd pick BA over EZY (if I was in the lucky position of being able to choose):
- Option of LH should it appeal in the future
- Training/management opportunities
- Stable rosters and bidline
- Huge variety of routes/aircraft
- A recruitment policy that doesn't involve making cadets pay 100,000 for a flexicrew contract

Alexander de Meerkat 12th May 2014 01:44

There are some very interesting arguments here, and there are some good points well made on both sides. ManUtd1999 - there are plenty of opportunities at easyJet for those that want them. I would also say that roster stability is generally very good and the picture being painted by some others here is not the norm and certainly not my own experience. The reason I joined easyJet was because I thought my previous airline was about to be taken over by BA and I just did not want to work there (Heathrow, time away, time to command, 'being a number', etc). That is an entirely personal view, but I have never regretted my move to easyJet, who have been excellent to work for from my point of view. It would be very difficult, however, for me to say to a young pilot of, say, 25 years old, to stay at easyJet and not go to BA. I do not think that a lifetime on 5/3/5/4 is supportable long term, but I would also have to say that being away from home as much as you are at BA is also potentially catastrophic for married and family life. I think the financial analysis some posts back is pretty accurate - you will take some years at BA these days to get back the financial gain at easyJet, but over a career working for BA is still better financially than at easyJet. The 14.5 percent pension contribution is also incredibly attractive. As a TRE at easyJet I take home about £5500 a month (I am paying £375 into share scheme/25 percent into pension pot) plus I get a one-off 15% bonus annually plus various extra titbits here and there. Of particular note is the excellent share scheme which is about to generate £55k in cash for a £9k contribution - a good return that will probably never be repeated. Nonetheless, BA pilots are well paid and my TRE salary will not be a million miles off that of a BA SFO.

I think there is a powerful but indefinable attraction for many young people about working at BA that we can never really offer in terms of kudos. Also the potential range of flying is much better than relentless short haul. Offsetting that, our fixed-pattern roster, regional bases (if you can get one!) and very pleasant working environment with cabin crew etc is a big selling point for easyJet. That said, it is a very brave man indeed who turns down a job at BA, and in the event few people ever do. There clearly are going to be recruitment opportunities in the near future at BA and many, but not all, of those selected will come from easyJet, who are a known quantity with a guaranteed product. It does not do it for me, but for any young person it would be a massive decision to turn down the opportunity to work for the national carrier. Given that there is no bond and a BA 320 pilot can probably go anywhere he wants afterwards if he does not like it, there would seem to be little to lose and everything to gain by going there. Where the decision is less clear would be for those pilots with current commands elsewhere in their 30s and thinking of what to do with themselves in the future. I would be very wary of giving up a command at that age to go to 15 years in the RHS. It is ultimately horses for courses, and no one is right or wrong in their choice - it is just what fits in with the individual's aspirations and circumstances. There are very few people who go to BA who seem to regret it, so again that tells a story that is hard to ignore. Frankly, if you are in the fortunate position of trying to work out if you want to give up a command at easyJet to be an FO at BA, you are in a great place and many, many people would love to have those sort of choices available to them. Good luck to all those nibbling at the BA door, which appears to be standing ever so slightly ajar.

wiggy 12th May 2014 02:29

I would also have to say that being away from home as much as you are at BA is also potentially catastrophic for married and family life.
Interesting observation and one that I heard from colleagues in another organisation many times just before I joined BA as a Longhauler...in reality for me and my own it wasn't a problem. From what I have seen whilst my short haul colleagues aren't always "Back Every Afternoon" ;) neither are they away from home for days on end - yes there are short haul multi-day tours but there are also day trips.

I'm sure somebody who has recent experience of BA short haul rosters will be able to give chapter and verse

Tay Cough 12th May 2014 07:59

How junior is junior?
Everything is relative. You will join BA with a seniority of around about 4000. It is not likely to rise particularly quickly. While the lucky ones who beat the 55 retirement age will begin to hit 65 next year, there are only around 300 or so of them and there is another big stagnation bulge behind them. By way of example, I am a LHR SH Captain, have been a Captain for 8 years and if I were to get a LH command next year, I will be in that seat for at least 20 years (or until I get fed up).

Command seniority generally appears as follows:

LGW SH 2200
LHR SH 1900 (no significant vacancies currently)
LHR LH 1100

There is some variation in these numbers with some parties suggesting longhaul commands will move to about the 1300 level. As time goes on, that is likely to be the case as the acquired BMI LHR slots move from shorthaul to longhaul. Obviously that will be at the expense of shorthaul commands. In theory, the remaining LHR SH commands are likely to get more senior however there are some productivity changes coming which may make them less attractive to the senior LH SFOs who may just hang on for a seat swap. As things stand, there are approximately 300 pilots in that position currently.

There had previously been secondments to GSS (747-8 freighters, now defunct) and to Open Skies. To my knowledge there are literally one or two secondees to OS. Again, their current seniority is at around the 2000 level.

SinBin 12th May 2014 08:19

According to the latest PnP 3006 for OS. Anyone know how many DEP vacancies?

Flaperon75 12th May 2014 08:32

I would also have to say that being away from home as much as you are at BA is also potentially catastrophic for married and family life.
That sounds a bit dramatic to me. I've been with BA for 3 years now on the Airbus and average about 3 to 6 nights away a month. I could do more if I wanted, I could do less if I wanted, but this works about right for me and much as I love being woken at 6am every morning by my "darling little cherubs" at home, having the odd lazy morning down route is a bonus (and probably gives the missus a bit of a break from me too!)

(Written from my hotel bed in Rome after a couple of late night Pernonis and a lie in. Just about to head down to the Piazza in front of the Pantheon that is outside the hotel door to sup a cappuccino in the morning sun before a lunch time pick up :ok:;))

bex88 12th May 2014 08:35

I am quite happy at BA but with experience would I have taken easyjet out of a airport close to home? I think I would to be fair. BA is hard at the bottom but "we have all done our time there and it gets better" says the guys who got commands in 5-6-7 years. 18-20 days work a month and generally 1 weekend off every couple of months. You feel as though you are trapped in stagnation but on the other side of the coin you have so many choices and hopefully a long career in a company that do look after you to achieve them. It's good and bad in equal measure.

My biggest worry is the short haul review. Will short haul go? I don't see how because without it the long haul won't work. It's a question of how it will change. The one thing I think that won't come as a surprise is, if or when the fur flies the current BA pilot group will take up residence in either the BOAC or BEA camp and harp on about how it's a short haul / long haul issue and nothing to do with us.

shaftsburn 12th May 2014 10:21

Not rated on the Bus, but just out of interest what are the options during the Winter period at BA? Reduced salary with time off? Part-time?

BitMoreRightRudder 12th May 2014 10:50

Shaftsburn - voluntary unpaid leave has been offered fairly consistently over the past year or two but we have been carrying extra pilots on SH from the BMI merger, that is no longer the case - just ask the LHR crews!

I think Bex has made the most salient point. The SH review will bring about fairly significant changes. My bet is more hours at work (EASA FTLs), shorter night stops in hotels much closer to the airport and potentially the end of the current bidline rostering system (as we know it) for SH. If you're a junior BA SH pilot this will already sound very familiar..

And the biggest question mark is what IAG do next. Vueling and IB Express are growing. BA SH will only likely grow at LGW - our "cost low" base. IAG has 100 narrow body Airbus on order - and they are currently white-tailed. Any ideas where most of these A/C will end up and hence future expansion will take place......?

BA will continue to offer an attractive set of T&Cs and the lifestyle on LH will still appeal to many but changes are coming, and this is worth thinking about.

CABUS 12th May 2014 11:43

I am not in BA and it is not for me however, no matter how hard you try you are going to struggle selling Easy NCL base over sipping Pina Colada's in the Maldives.

razor27 12th May 2014 11:45

'Guys that have just joined on the LGW fleet are not massively happy either from what I hear.'

Really? I'm delighted with the move actually. Whilst there are frustrations and things that easyjet does a lot better it is a significant improvement overall. Most importantly I can foresee myself being here for the rest of my career without having to move to part time just to be able to cope with the fatigue levels I experienced at easy.

Captain Spam Can 12th May 2014 11:55

The reason ADM takes home £5500 as a TRE as he says, he puts the max amount into the share schemes BAYE and SAYE and puts 25% of his salary into his pension....I'm guessing to stay below the £100k mark.

Just to put my '2 cents' in with an unbiased opinion, I'm an EZY SFO on an 'old contract' command coming up. It's a good life at both, at EZY (regional base) I have good roster stability vary rarely have changes and rarely get called off standby, usually work 3-4 days a week, good mix of routes from 4 sectors to long 2 sectors, good pay and bonus's, work with great people and all things going well an early command this year. However that command will be in Gatwick which i have heard is a busy base, and for some people they say the best the job is just a line captain no stress or worries, well I'm quite ambitious and it's a long time 30 plus years in the same role.

Now this is the BA thread not BA or EZY thread, I haven't worked at BA just know what I've read from here and usual 'mates' who work there. BA pay is actually better due to the duty payments from being away, okay your spending it down route that's what it's there for but putting SFO EZY against FO BA side by side it's a few hundred more at BA. At BA my friends do work very hard up to 6 on due the shortages of A320 f/os. Pension is also better at BA.

My honest opinion is life at BA short haul prob isn't as good as EZY, however overall BA is better long term let's face it if your 35 and younger, as there's more opportunity in the company to switch fleets, see the world, go into training and recruitment as an f/o, and feel proud to fly the flag.

It's horses for courses but overall BA is a legacy carrier and the terms are slightly better, and if you want to go long haul there is no comparing. If you do get into BA And EZY or You are in EZY and get into BA let's face it your in a good secure position and lucky to have that choice.

For me like for like pay isn't a factor as it works out about the same over a career, but it does come down to lifestyle and if you want to see the world and fly differnt aircraft go to BA, if you want to be home most nights and are happy short haul then it's EZY.

Btw I'm looking at BA when they recruit, it costs nothing to apply and see what's on offer, you can only make the choice if your lucky to get the job and that applies to any airline you apply for.

SinBin 12th May 2014 12:14

Anyway BA are recruiting DEPs on the airbus.....:8

Jenson Button 12th May 2014 15:08

Its great that BA might be taking a few DEPs. But what do you do if you don't fly Airbus huh…If you happen to fly ATPs, Boeings, ATRs, Jetstreams, Dashes or Embraers eh. If you've been flying those for the last 5 years or so and really want to move your career onwards then the future is either orange or green after buying a rating. The other alternatives are look east and not just the middle east. If anyone on here is wishfully thinking that BA might take non typed guys in the next five years I'd suggest you have plan B, because plan B is more likely. And just for information, the BA salary (or easy for that matter in the UK) over a 20 or even 30 year plan is coming up short against so many other industries. The pay in the far east, middle east and the US is superior, especially when you factor in working 1000 hours under EASA very soon. Good luck, but writing my own schedule and a better quality of life than number 4000 are more important. :E

clearedfortaxi 12th May 2014 17:47

BA Direct Entry Pilot.
Have they opened recruitment? I cannot find the vacancy on their website.

simples 12th May 2014 17:52

BA Direct Entry Pilot.
Jb, where is the future green after buying a rating?

Callsign Kilo 12th May 2014 17:56

Last round of DEPs
In the last round of recruitment, DEPs were mostly type streamed. With the 737,767 and 744 being culled off slowly; are the guys who went there most likely going to head to the bus due to their lowly seniority? Just a curious question relating to the Airbus shortage and the lengthy waiting list for LH positions.

LastPastthePost 12th May 2014 23:02

I did the Maths on the EZY vs BA that is referred to on page 2.

I made it to the final stage at Waterside for the FPP, but screwed up the group exercise so didn't make the cut. I was working out if it was worth waiting for next years FPP or getting on the easyJet equivalent.

It assumes the FPP pay scale and PP34. So thats why the numbers might look a bit low for a DEP on PP24..

When I get a minute, I will work the numbers again based on the public information on pilotjobsnetwork for DEP and put them on here..

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