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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)

  • Should I put my head above the parapet? says:

    Genuine question regarding the expenses element of the £24k OTE, so I am in no way defending BA.

    I was once told by a friend who became a long haul purser that most airport hotels crew stay at have a crew room which provides food free of charge. His allowance was spent on partying at local bars.

    Is it still the case that hotels that host a large number of crew offer food and facilities to crew? Whilst I wouldn’t want to be at eg Haneda, stay in the hotel and not see Tokyo, the expenses could be seen as income in board and lodging is provided.

    • Bob The Builder says:

      Just to confirm and clarify!

      Crew do not get free food and beverages whilst down route , our allowances are paid so to purchase your food while down route.

      • PrinterElf says:

        Food at the always reasonable prices found on a menu in any hotel(!)

  • Ken says:

    BA – making sure the taxpayer will subsidise cabin crew wages with universal credit.

    Britain’s favourite airline.

    • Lady London says:

      Also from what Rob said recently, amother wheeze is BA calling staff they would havr to recruit and train anyway “apprentices”.

      IIRC.this means the government (that’s your taxes and mine) is subsidising this Spanish-owned company and its higher management multi-million dollar pay packages to the tune of £1,000 given by us every month to British Airways per declared ‘apprentice’. And remember cost of crew allowances is taken off BA’s profits before they pay any corporation tax as well.

  • Edd M says:

    The issue with hollowing out jobs to this extent is that it saves much less that it looks. You are constantly recruiting, training, and disciplining poorly motivated staff to do their roles, with huge levels of sickness and non attendance.

    Conceivably if freedom of movement ends, you may even run out of young crew to burn through (people over the age of 25 or with any family commitment will not want these jobs).

    I would contrast the skill (and pay) of Qantas crew to what BA is offering. It’s a bleak contrast and shows BA’s intended direction of travel.

    • J says:

      Yes it’s probably not cost effective with such a high staff turnover but I think it’s now ideological for Walsh/Cruz to attack long serving staff.

    • Rob says:

      Qantas has 600 crew in the UK, surprisingly. We had a tour of their base last year.

  • Chris says:

    one thing changing conditions for new recrutis, but all these recent years changes in people’s terms of employment/pensions mid-serice, sadly there is to much of this Victorian approach to workers in this day and age, we are sadly going backwards. Do not expect too much of a smile next time on a BA flight. The cutomers are the ones that see the effect – happy employee = happy customer, as the staff care, but if you want a transient employee base, that have no loyalty – this is the way to go

  • Derek Scott says:

    Just curious, through all this chat about BA crew income on Mixed Fleet. Is the proposal, or current reward structure significantly out of sync with other UK airlines?
    How does it compare to Virgin Atlantic? (Of course, I know VS has no short haul Ops), but would be interesting to understand their roster/basic pay/ allowance arrangements and how it fares against BA.

    (When I lived in the LHR catchment area in the late ‘90’s, VS Crew income was pretty poor in relation to others).. is it still the same?

    • Rob says:

      I would guess that Virgin is a slightly different proposition for crew – long-haul only and generally attractive destinations (lots of US and Caribbean). BA Mixed Fleet do a lot of Frankfurt, Islamabad etc and have messier rosters due to the short-haul / long-haul mix.

      • Nik says:

        For the record Rob, Islamabad has always been a WW route since launch.

    • Bob The Builder says:

      Derek ,
      I’m curious if this was happening to yourself and I will ask you the question are you paid market rate in your job in comparison to other company’s ? e.g

      You have worked for your company for 24 plus years and then have the same happen to yourself ? Have a think and let me no.

      Because I live in the LHR area and I thought you were overpaid for your job…but thought I would put it out there?

      • Derek Scott says:

        This isn’t about me, my role, or my industry. I worked for Thomas Cook Retail network in the early 00’s and have never worked for an airline. I don’t have a connection to any airline, I am simply asking about how MF reward package compares, for a bit of context, and as a BAEC member just interested in the wider comparisons rather than BA bashing.
        Respectfully, my employment circumstances are irrelevant to this thread. Thank you.

  • Bill says:

    If you have a good contract paying reasonably well good luck to you.
    Walsh once again is very opputunidtic at a perfect time for him to mangle a few more quid from the lowest tier staff.
    Is there nobody on the board, govenment or media going to raise an eyebrow at the least.
    With a reduced service he knows strike action will not have the effect it could normally do.

    • Bob The Builder says:

      Bill ,

      You have hit the nail on the head spot on!

      Most legacy crew have a minimum of 22 years service of which salary is built up like in lots of company’s loyal employees that are being imposed with new pay new T&Cs it’s immorally unjustly.

      All the best too you Bill 🙏

  • Douglas Soper says:

    Will the wage cuts lead to a massive increase in tipping cabin staff for good service?

    • Callum says:

      No.

    • Bob The Builder says:

      Douglas ,

      You must stay out of the strip clubs buddy , tip the cabin crew? Or from your dictionary cabin staff? Really? stick to tap water!

  • Anna says:

    It’s years since I saw anyone seriously trying to sell duty free on a BA flight (I don’t think they even bring the trolley round most of the time). On my last EasyJet flight (who I hadn’t flown with for a few years), the crew made sure they asked every passenger if they wanted anything.

    • Anon says:

      Hi, I believe that some of the Gatwick aircraft have been densified so there is no room in the galleys for duty free trollies let alone for the crew to make extra commission on board.

      • Rob says:

        There is no duty free on the new short-haul neo aircraft due to no space for the trolley, correct.

        • BrightonReader says:

          Hard to earn commission if BA don’t give you anything to sell whether thay be duty free or BOB where the trolleys are often under stocked with itemst that people do want to buy!

    • CHARLES says:

      So you would expect crew on a A380 to individually ask each passenger if they wanted over priced duty goods ?