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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)

  • AJA says:

    I just read over on FT a post from someone whose wife is BA cabin crew and looking at a £5k pay cut that the salary of £24k is for main crew. BA are apparently offering £32k for SCCMs (I think the acronym stands for Senior Cabin Crew Member). So while the majority of crew will potentially be on the lower £24k salary it sounds like that is not what is on offer for ALL crew. It’s still crap but I also understand that this is a starting proposal from BA and not yet confirmed as the final offer. I hope the unions are actually engaging with BA to try and improve on this.

    • Nik says:

      Exactly! That’s what a lot of people aren’t mentioning also. This is a STARTING negotiating tactic in BA’s kitty. They probably have a realistic target they’re willing to accept in conjunction with unions but naturally have to start off on the lower end to then commence negotiations. Ultimately after consultation BA will reach their “true” figure they were willing to accept and had in their mind all the way along but then of course unions will be all over the place about how they’ve managed a great consultation and great victory for better T & Cs. Which is of course a win in the end. But unions aren’t engaging now and are trying to mount a legal battle. Should they lose, well then they’re the ones to blame as BA will most definitely opportunistically stick to the lowest possible T & Cs and then be licking their lips! So yet again, unions need to engage if they’re to salvage anything out of this. I can’t see courts and law of the land intervening and blocking this. It’s not like we have stringent pro-employee laws in this country anyway!

      • J says:

        Yes blame the victim.

        To be honest it pains me to say but this thread depressingly shows people get the politicians and policies they deserve. Rich bullying management given the benefit of the doubt – while front line staff suffer. It wouldn’t be allowed in France or Germany. No wonder Britain is so unequal and so divided.

      • Rob says:

        But why move? Perhaps BA moves a little so that Mixed Fleet is not worse off. That is 40% of cabin crew signed up as why wouldn’t Mixed Fleet sign on that basis? They only need 66% of the current total based on the current fleet plan, so roughly 40% of the remainder. Some Eurofleet / Worldwide will agree regardless of the pay cut because they know, short term, they won’t get another job. That’s probably enough to keep BA going.

        • Nik says:

          Yes, what I mean to say is BA definitely have something in mind to appease Mixed Fleet if and when unions engage. This will likely be enough as you say Rob to keep Mixed Fleet onboard which in itself is a huge victory for BA. Sadly, this is the end of the line likely for legacy crew or at least with the comforts they have been rewarded with over the last few decades. Deep down BA also know that if and when they need more cabin crew, almost all recruitment campaigns of Mixed Fleet have had 40K applications with only around 2K getting threw, this will undoubtedly continue. Despite what people might say or think now, inevitably it will on the face of it remain an “attractive” job for many people. I won’t say young as there are lots of “older” mixed fleet crew who join later in life after leaving their “main career” in pursuit of “something new” and to see the World.

        • Paul74 says:

          Sadly, yes.

      • Ola says:

        ‘Nik’….you make so many negative comments and pro BA/anti legacy crew…..anybody would think your willie Walsh in disguise…😉

    • Rob says:

      Management is £32k OTE, correct. There are very few managerial roles on offer though – remember that some short-haul flights will now operate without a manager at all, and on a long-haul flight you can have up to 22 crew of which just 1 is a manager.

  • Chris says:

    This is an interesting predicament – it sounds like one group of cabin crew are massively overpaid while another group are massively underpaid.

    This combining of the groups attempts to rationalise both pay problems and on the surface, it makes sense to have all crew on the same pay scales.

    It sounds like the ‘middle ground’ initially proposed by BA is far closer to the underpaid salary amount than the overpaid salary though the negotiations can hopefully bring this up a bit.

    If it were exactly halfways between the standard pay for the two groups then I would argue that it’s fair for both groups in this unusual situation.

    • mark2 says:

      To me it seems strange that the unions are fighting to protect this inequality.

    • J says:

      I think you’re massively overpaid. BA in normal times are a profitable company, nothing unsustainable about euro/worldwide fleets.

      • Novice says:

        But @J, how is this fair or moral?

        • Nik says:

          Novice, I’m glad somebody is consistently bringing up this view. I agree, Mixed Fleet itself is a total bi-product of legacy unions willing to accept BA doing this (and thereafter keeping them totally at arm’s length) so long as it protected themselves. I too question the “morality” of that whereby somebody doing the exact same job, and on a much more intense scale is being paid less within your own organisation.

          • J says:

            Not true. Euro/worldwide fleets were very opposed to the creation of Mixed Fleet. MF were not initially unionised – BA tried to keep it that way but it did eventually unionise. MF though when they have taken industrial action have not been very effective – easy for a 19 year old to be scared out of industrial action through threats about loss of perks and so on. Euro/worldwide fleets unions under law though can’t have anything to do with Mixed Fleet – the action they could take which would work, joined up industrial action of all fleets would be illegal and literally bankrupt the union.

  • Rupert says:

    I don’t understand why such huge anger at this. £24k is more than nurses and police get paid when they start. Unless I’m missing something giving out drinks and food during a flight for a few hours isn’t exactly difficult, and no specific skills are required. I have friends who are / were crew and with the occasional disgruntled customer the role isn’t exactly stressful. Some of the perks such as seeing the world, upgraded seats, free hotels etc are worth the pay. The truth will be when people stop applying to be cabin crew which I cannot see happening at all.

    • J says:

      How would you feel if your pay and conditions from your current employer were suddenly drastically slashed? Can you afford a massive pay cut? One day it might happen to you.

    • Toxteth O’Grady says:

      You forget that the crew are trained in Safety and Emergency Procedures that may one day save your life.

  • Rob says:

    Here’s an interesting one. Would you be happy to resign if you were given a BA Gold card and 250,000 Avios as an extra bonus?

    Before you say ‘no airline would do that’ ….. https://liveandletsfly.com/united-separation-packages/

    • Novice says:

      I would like to apologise in advance if I say anything inappropriate @Rob but I’d like to use HFP as example to clarify my frustration at the lack of equality in this world which is reflected here in comments.

      As analogy; as far as I know, Rhys is young and was recruited by Rob despite lack of experience in the industry. I’m sure everyone will agree that Rhys does a great job and is a good writer (more enthusiastic in his reviews than Rob has ever been). So, taking this as example; Anika has more experience than Rhys in the industry (I am guessing here from what I have read on the site). Let’s forget gender inequality for the moment and still should Rob pay Rhys a massively disproportionate pay just coz he lacked experience and was young to what he paid Anika?

      I’m not saying that an older, more experienced person should be paid same but the BA pay gap seems to be massive. It’s injustice. It’s like telling young people they have no value to add so are expendable in economic sense.

      • J says:

        You seem to fully endorse a race to the bottom. Conveniently though I expect you don’t think it should apply to you.

        • Novice says:

          Honestly I don’t have a clue what you mean.

          But I have made my point a lot of times now. I believe in equality and fairness. I just think legacy crews shouldn’t be talking about morals because they were fine to let the bad treatment commence for younger staff. They can say they don’t like this situation but I would like for ppl to not make it a morality issue because it’s not like anyone can brag about their own morals. I’m young but this is my perspective of the situation.

          • J says:

            It would have been illegal for legacy crews unions to do anything about mixed fleet contracts. The UK’s anti union laws are very clear on this.

          • Novice says:

            I’m talking about the outrage. Where was the outrage? I have never heard anything in the media or otherwise. Are you saying if all legacy crews demanded fair conditions/ pay for everyone, it would have been bad?

            I’m done. I don’t have the patience for repeating myself or hoping for an equal world 🌍 when we have ppl like yourself. You are welcome to your inequal beliefs.

          • J says:

            Spare me, you don’t hope for an equal world. You’re advocating a world where everyone is treated badly. Do you even understand how a union works? They can be outraged about all sorts of things but they represent their members, and they are very constrained by law on what and how they can take industrial action.

      • Rob says:

        Rhys knows far more about aviation (not loyalty, aviation) than the rest of the team put together, which is why we hired him. He has also run a non-aviation blog in the past (he knows more about WordPress than I do!) and is very ‘presentable’ to senior people as those who have met him will attest – he is not phased by chatting to Alex Cruz, Shai Weiss etc. His age is immaterial as indeed is his background, except to the extent that – as a new graduate – he didn’t have to resign another role to come to us and that was handy.

        • Novice says:

          Exactly. He was hired for his talent and potential value which is great and exactly my point. Talent and skill should be rewarded not age or so-called experience.

          And good on you Rob. But it may be because you are a northerner by birth 😂 so understand this.

          • J says:

            Experience and the knowledge that it brings has value. Talent and skills should be rewarded too, but to say experience has no value is illogical and suggests no real world experience.

        • Mikeact says:

          Age doesn’t come into it when I meet people. When I first met Rhys, I just wished I’d have been as bright as him when I was younger !

      • Nik says:

        You make a very fair point and sadly, some people are selective and cannot reach an overall broader view on it. I don’t by any means believe you are endorsing a “race to the bottom” and think you’re actually exposing matters which are conveniently being hidden in the background in favour of overall BA bashing. Of course that doesn’t mean to say I believe BA are highly ethical/moral – they’re not and in the airline World, probably one of the most brutal.

        • Novice says:

          👍

          Weird thing is I’m younger than most here and I can’t believe the level of BS that I have read. But alas I give up.

          • J says:

            You have no idea how old anyone else here is. I don’t know and I don’t particularly care. Get over going on about how young you supposedly are, it’s dull.

          • Nik says:

            Well I don’t know how young or old I am in comparison, but I don’t think age is necessary to define the quality, validity, balance and fairness when one is articulating their point. By far you have been very dignified and logical in the points you make and sadly the anonymous World and internet will always try their best to troll. Naturally some are personally affected and participating in the discussion here and I don’t blame them, but it would be difficult not to have a tunneled view of it and then continue to bash any other point of view that doesn’t conform to theirs. 🙂

          • Nik says:

            (Above comments refers to Novice btw)

  • KJ says:

    I just wanted to comment on a few bits, I am current Eurofleet crew, I’m post ’97 so I’m not ‘old’ contract, intact I was some of the last intakes before the introduction of mixed fleet.
    I currently live around 250 miles from Heathrow, so it’s not just WW crew who live further afield.

    BA never mentioned zero hour contracts, it was initially misquoted, current new contract crew have a 6 months unpaid leave clause in the contract that the company can use in situations like COVID (although I believe no one has been forced onto unpaid leave upto now) They probably want this in the new contract.

    In true BA style, most of us have not yet received the proposal so it’s always good to read about your new contract online with people who don’t even work here.

    A lot of us on EF are here by choice, having done long haul and have no desire to spend nights out of bed. There is also crew on EF who would embrace the mixed flying style flying, but mixed flying can be tough, some short haul days are multi sector or long ‘there & backs’ some of which are longer duty days than shorter long haul trips, these report as early as 0505 so a combination of long days, early morning and then into a long haul that will usually include an overnight sector as part of the trip with time changes, this will be tough with a minimum of 8 days off per month.

    As a more junior member of post ’97 but pre mixed fleet crew my pay isn’t over inflated, and I have to admit I think I’d struggle to live down south on what I earn now, which isn’t massively over £24k, that’s an average of £1600 a month take home, minus any salary sacrifice such as pension which for me is around £100 a month.
    Who can seriously afford to live near Heathrow, on £1500 a month?

    The comments from Nik on here scream jealousy and envy, we all have different experiences from the fleets, I’ve had great WW and MF flights, and equally I’ve had many WW and MF crews were the service was lacking. Often WW become complacent because they’ve done the job so long and often don’t take change, MF on the other hand the lack of experience sometimes shows, and also so does the loyalty to the company. If you’ve shown over 30 years of lolalty to the company why shouldn’t your pay reflect this?

    Changes need to be made to ensure the company survives, we know that…. But not by doing it the BA does, they’d get what they want with fair and meaningful negotiation, not taking the smash and grab tactic they are using.

    • Liz says:

      A happy crew results in happy customers. The way they are treating you is absolutely disgusting.

    • Nik says:

      How are my comments screaming of jealousy? Care to explain. I hope you haven’t mixed me up with comments from other members here who are or have been Mixed Fleet crew (won’t mention names as one can scroll back and verify for themselves). In fact, far from it, I have tried my level best to be as balanced as possible, finding critique where legacy fleets are to critique but also crediting legacy fleets where it’s due. Likewise, consistently I have bashed BA too that whilst it makes business sense to do what they’re doing, I have consistently maintained that the new proposed pay is by no means good, especially in London but have also conversely highlighted that pay in general for “frontline” workers (who form quite a significant portion of people living in London) are in general underpaid as a whole in the country and in the process highlighting a general social issue plaguing us. So how it “screams” of jealousy I don’t know. I haven’t in the process, like other comments, mentioned my career or compared my pay or my job and consequently complained in the process. So hopefully, I will give the benefit of the doubt that you were meaning somebody else and not me, but if you were meaning it to be me, then frankly I think there needs to be a “reality check” as there are proper regular trolls on here that are far more nonsensical than me. Whilst I follow the site regularly, I only occasionally read comments and even more infrequently submit a comment myself!

      My best wishes to you, and trust me, I really hope you (and everyone else affected) gets the best result possible. I would not gain any happiness at all if the end result ruined your whole livelihood.

      • J says:

        For someone who is so “balanced” you seem very relaxed about radically changing people’s pay and conditions overnight. I hope something similar never happens to you.

        • Nik says:

          I appear “relaxed” because there is frankly no point in creating “outrage” on a website like this and by using flowery, borderline dramatic language, it does nothing for the blood pressure, one, and two it doesn’t actually change or make things any better for people who are directly affected by this (in fact it will only further rile them up more the more negative a post sounds/comes across) nor does it help “change someone’s mind” who might be opposing the view.

          On your point of forced contract changes, yes that has happened in my line of work, there was industrial action, thankfully with a lot of public support too, but sadly it went nowhere. The fact this is possible is another matter altogether that entangles a problem on a broader societal level as well as political front and one that should be raised as a grievance to MPs consistently than on here 🙂

          • Nik says:

            For the record J, I have a good handful of people (including in legacy fleets), who work across various functions of BA, that I can call genuine friends thanks to my partner who works in the industry too. It is devastating on a personal level and a point of view I have not shied away from mentioning amongst my other “relaxed” points. BA is brutal, but very sadly a lot of times in our society, it is not against the law.

          • J says:

            As a Brit living in Germany I prefer their mindset around employment rights. Workers here are better off and its a more equal society vs the UK where everyrhing seems to favour management and the bosses. Of course Germany isn’t utopia although for anyone at risk of redundancy (or worried about a coronavirus epidemic!) it’s a better place to be.

        • Nik says:

          Yes agree with you! The fact the employment rights at least at the level they are is definitely credited to EU policies, with those laws clocks ticking come December 31st 2020 and the public highly head over heels over the current government, sadly it only looks to be getting worse after that. I know we might not have got off on the right “footing” so to speak on our previous comments, I just want to say if you indeed are legacy crew and hence going to be affected by this abysmal action by BA, I sincerely hope something better works out for you. 🙂 Genuinely.

          • J says:

            I am not crew, although like you I have friends in both (legacy and MF) and we agree in wishing them all well 🙂 Indeed the lack of employment rights in the UK is alarming. Any MF crew for example who are made redundant and who’ve been with BA for less than 2 years (which will be quite a few) are entitled to nothing in terms of statutory redundancy pay.

        • Nik says:

          Yes I know it’s bad. Sadly I just can’t see the situation improving on the employee protection front in the UK at least in the medium term and I’m generally an optimist. Well I’m glad that broadly we both agree on the core principles of the human side of things here. Fingers crossed that at least the best possible outcome can be achieved, but likewise it is inevitable they will never be as cushty as the legacy contracts, but that’s purely a result of the way the aviation market has been going, blame Michael O’ Leary, Tony Fernandes, Stelios for that collectively, though yet again, balancing things out, people too have been content that this has made aviation far more accessible as a hole, sadly it’s the frontline that have to take the brunt!

      • Joy laughlin says:

        Perhaps you should refrain from commenting on the details of a job that you don’t actually do and obviously have little understanding of ..I have been flying 39 years today and have experience of another profession also but wouldn’t dream of giving my opinion of the terms and conditions of a job I’ve not been involved in

        • Nik says:

          Clearly I’m not the only one. It has been out there and there have been 400+ comments out of which I’m sure a huge majority do not work in the industry or have any idea. I at least have deeper insight into the industry thanks to the other half. So if crew didn’t want it publicly torn apart, they shouldn’t have leaked it in the first place, and best still, they shouldn’t have attended Amy James’ session which the union strictly advised against 🙂

          • Nik says:

            Of course, now it’s the public domain, anyone is from anywhere can say anything they wish. For one, mine have definitely been the more moderate of comments here.

  • Eloise Faggi says:

    If BA who are sitting on BILLIONS of euros profit
    are allowed to get away with this, using the coronavirus pandemic as a excuse, ( not forgetting management have a long held desire to get rid of legacy contracts) what’s to stop any organisation or company following suit?Why bother with any contract anywhere if they can be ripped up on any downturn? Some of legacy crew have worked for 30 years and more helping BA achieve billions of pounds of profits and do not deserve this disgusting and unnecessary treatment. Part time could easily be offered until the lucrative aviation industry picks up again.
    BA ‘our national carrier’ should not be allowed to get away with this opportunistic attack!
    Beware anybody anywhere who has a contract if it does…..

    • marcw says:

      MF have worked and helped MORE than WW or EF crew. MF work more, get PAID less, and this has been so for years. WW and EF have SHOWN ZERO solidarity towards MF. From a customer pov, it seems like EF and WW are “entitled”, while MF are “key workers”. It’s time for this dichotomy to end, so ba employees can fight for industry comparable contracts.

      • J says:

        Zero solidarity? Amusing for someone so right wing to use the word. But anyway the law is very clear – Worldwide/Euro fleets have no influence and can take no action regarding Mixed Fleet. The UK’s strict anti union laws ensure this, and so joined up industrial action across fleets for example would be illegal.

  • CV3V says:

    Think I preferred HfP when it used to be about collecting points and peoples posts were generally informed and constructive i.e. worth reading and considering. It is in times of trouble and need when you see people for who they truly are.

    • J says:

      There is certainly some jealousy. Someone referencing crew living in France and gawping at their Facebook pictures claiming their lifestyle shows they’re overpaid. I also don’t think it’s fair to reference pay in relation to other jobs where people “work harder”. Nurses should get paid more – that doesn’t mean BA crew are overpaid. There’ll always be someone who needs a job more and will do it for less. Do people realise where a race to the bottom will take us?

      For whoever mentioned that crew should work harder I like this quote.

      “If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.”

    • Genghis says:

      +1

    • Craig W says:

      it is easy to get wrapped up in the comments and there has been a huge amount of politics and ideological sharing of views on here recently which has led people to bite (including me on occasion).

      I agree 100% it is better to just stick to the points…

  • Paul74 says:

    Yep