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EXCLUSIVE: the new British Airways cabin crew pay offer revealed – substantial cuts for legacy crew

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British Airways has just given cabin crew details of the new contract and pay package for staff at London Heathrow which they must accept if they wish to remain with the airline.

It is VERY grim reading for legacy Eurofleet and Worldwide crew members, many of whom will have to accept a substantial pay cut of up to 50% if they wish to remain.

the new British Airways cabin crew pay offer revealed

What is the new British Airways cabin crew package?

BA is promising an OTE package of £24,000 for standard crew.   This comprises basic pay, flight pay and other allowances.

There is the potential for extra income on top, such as commission from in-flight sales.  There is a contributory pension scheme and optional health and insurance benefits.

It is worth noting that the unions have often claimed that British Airways ‘OTE’ figures are more than the majority of crew receive.  For example, the £24,000 figure includes the allowance that crews receive to pay for food in hotels whilst travelling.

Initial feedback is that even existing Mixed Fleet crew will be taking a cut in overall pay and benefits on this new contract although the exact figures are not available.

The contract allow for 30 days of annual leave, but this includes public holidays.  The equivalent for an office worker would be 22 days holiday, given that there are eight public holidays each year.

For clarity, there will be no ‘zero hours’ contracts offered.

New British Airways cabin crew contract

What grades are available?

The new structure has only two grades.  A substantial number of existing senior crew members will be required to downgrade to the level of ‘basic’ crew if they wish to remain.

  • Manager – leading a team of up to 21 cabin crew members
  • Cabin crew – standard crew roles

Some short-haul flights will have no managers on board.

Managerial crew must be willing to take on standard cabin crew roles on certain flights if required.

Crew must agree to work in departure and turnaround roles inside Heathrow if required.

What aircraft will be flown?

All cabin crew will fly a mix of long-haul and short-haul services.  

This will force many existing legacy crew members to resign.  Eurofleet (Heathrow short-haul crew) are unlikely to want to move to spending large amounts of time away from home.  Worldwide (Heathrow long-haul crew) are often based outside London – some even live abroad – and commute to London for each of their 3-4 monthly flights.  This lifestyle is not possible if a short-haul requirement is added.

One upside of combining the fleets is that those who remain will be able to bid for flights across the entire network.  At the moment Heathrow crew are restricted to the routes allocated to their particular fleet, ie Mixed Fleet, Eurofleet or Worldwide.

All crew will be licenced on the A320 and Boeing 777/787 family, with an additional third type on top – either A380, A350 or Boeing 747.

Conclusion

In general, this is what we expected to see – and, for legacy Heathrow crew, it isn’t pretty.  I would expect the majority of Eurofleet and Worldwide crew, who by definition have at least 10 years of British Airways service, to refuse to accept the new contracts.  Most will find it financially or logistically impossible to continue.

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Comments (505)

  • Briandt says:

    Just asking for clarification.. something wrong with that ?

  • Craig W says:

    @Novice

    I said a few weeks ago that I liked reading your posts as half the time I nodded along and half the time I rolled my eyes so hard my head nearly fell off.

    Don’t stop posting because of one individual having a bitter view towards your opinions (some people can’t accept opposing views/debate) – whether I agree with them or not, I always find them interesting and read them!

    • Josh says:

      Agreed. Wouldn’t want anyone to stop posting. Please keep commenting, Novice.

      • Lady London says:

        just try not to keep telling us you’re young all the time! you’re not alone you’d be surprised at the age range on here.

  • Alex Clarke says:

    I feel very sorry for the staff involved, many of whom have been with the company since leaving school. It’s been their life. They need to be offered a decent redundancy package. If they stay on the new terms they are likely to spread resentment and bad feeling throughout the remaining staff – I don’t blame them – I would! But that’s bad for business and customer service. Sickness levels will rise and it won’t end well. Pay them off – do the right thing – in the long term the cost is negligible.

    On the other side, since 9/11 everyone working in the airline sector knows how vulnerable the industry is. It’s not a an industry I would venture into for job security. Plus the green lobbyists are all over aviation so in the next 10 things will change.

    People are quick to jump all over capitalism etc but are quite happy when capitalism brings competition and cheap flights.

    The very best of luck to all those in aviation & hospitality.

  • Andy S says:

    Most cabin crew would be better off getting a job with their local train company as a station assistant.

    Long term I can see BA having a recruitment problems, as these wages makes it near on possible to live near LHR with housing costs.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      Many people live in London on those wages – just not at the level of comfort or financial freedom some people here seem to think they’re entitled to as an employee of a near bankrupt company in a collapsing industry.

      • J says:

        BA is nowhere near bankruptcy. If you work in the private sector perhaps your company is now experiencing a drop in revenue – are you volunteering for a permanent pay cut and permanent loss of benefits? As there’s someone else who will do your job for less – do you deserve to lose your job? Some people believe in an unrestricted capitalism with little to no protection for employees. I don’t.

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      I agree the wages are poor, but as long as people keep applying and the positions get filled, I can’t really see them struggling. I imagine if they were struggling to get people, they’d increase the pay.

      Pre crisis there was a waiting list for mixed fleet

      • J says:

        True people keep applying but not many are staying – having such a high staff turnover and needing to constantly recruit cannot be cheap. And there’s value to any business in having some experienced people in these roles (as demonstrated by the “legacy” fleets achieving higher customer satisfaction scores).

  • Opus says:

    Are the unions actually thinking of taking BA to court? Did they commit a crime?

    • Rob says:

      It is unlawful not to have a proper consultation. BA has also allegedly broken various binding agreements given in the past.

  • Rebecca says:

    Just a technicality, but are you able to amend your article to 4 – 5 ‘trips’ per month, not 3 – 4 flights?
    Most people think of a ‘flight’ as one flight, to us that’s one ‘sector’.
    A ‘trip’ can often comprise of 4 transatlantic flights (in 5 or 6 days). So that’s more than your article suggests for a month carried out in 5 days. We do these back-to-back transatlantic 4 sector trips once every month on longhaul as a rule (could be more than once a month). On top of that many other trips are multi-sectorial, even on each day and in each direction, e.g. LHR-BAH-DOH DOH-BAH-LHR, 4 flights, one very short trip. On average it’s 5 trips per month unless you have more than one long trip (most are short in terms of time away these days- though still long sectors).
    Average sectors per full month (i.e. no annual leave & full time) is about 14. Including 1 back-to-back (4), one multi-sector (4) and 3 x there and back nightstops (@ 2 sectors each).
    So, 14 flights per full month, not 3 – 4.