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Exclusive: British Airways reveals (improved) cabin crew pay offer – a win for Mixed Fleet

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British Airways has unveiled its revised pay proposal today for cabin crew.

This is, it has to be said, an improvement on the original package.  The winners are current Mixed Fleet crew who will see a modest increase in their total earnings.  This should be enough to finally put to bed any threat of strike action by cabin crew.

It does, of course, still represent a sharp cut in pay for legacy crew members.  Legacy crew who accept the new package will also have to commit to mixed long-haul and short-haul flying with poorer working conditions.

British Airways new cabin crew pay package

This is how the proposed new package looks:

Cabin crew:

Total target earnings: £28,000

Comprising:

  • Base salary – £17,000 (£16,000 for new entrants)
  • Duty pay based on hours flown – £3,000 to £5,000
  • Incentive pay – £1,000
  • Flex allowance – £850
  • Per diem – £3,500 to £5,500

Remember that the ‘per diem’ includes payment that normal employees would consider expenses such as meal allowances when away.  The incentive payment is target based.

’Flex allowance’ is a sum which cannot be taken as cash but can be used towards certain employee benefits or paid into a pension plan.

Realistically …. if you assume that crew spend 75% of their ‘per diem’ money on living expenses whilst away, and that the bonus is not triggered, you are looking at £17,000 + £4,000 average duty pay + £1,100 ‘profit’ on the per diem, which is £22,100, plus the £850 of non-cash benefits or additional pension contribution.

For comparison, based on the latest numbers I could find, Virgin Atlantic crew start on £17,000, rising to £18,500 after four years.  They receive additional ‘trip pay’ of £96 per return trip, with five to six trips per months, plus an overnight allowance.  This is a different sort of role, of course, as it is exclusively long-haul flying.

British Airways cabin crew new pay deal

Lead cabin crew:

Total target earnings: £31,000

Comprising:

  • Base salary – £20,000
  • Duty pay based on hours flown – £3,000 to £5,000
  • Incentive pay – £1,000
  • Flex allowance – £1,000
  • Per diem – £3,500 to £5,500

Manager:

Total target earnings: £39,000

Comprising:

  • Base salary – £32,000
  • Incentive pay – £2,000
  • Flex allowance – £1,600
  • Per diem – £3,500 to £5,500

On top of this, all crew will receive pension contributions of up to 11% and staff travel concessions.

British Airways says that this is a ‘market leading package’.  It will still be a tough pill for existing legacy cabin crew to swallow, however – even £39,000 for a Manager represents a 33% pay cut for most legacy Cabin Service Directors.  For standard cabin crew on a legacy contract, the drop would be similar.

In the short term I reckon that British Airways needs at least 50% of legacy crew to remain with the business if it is to run a 60% schedule. Will enough stay?

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Comments (295)

  • C says:

    I’d love to see the reaction from all the people on here vehemently defending BAs actions should their very own employers decide cut their pay by 50% in the middle of a pandemic and on the edge of a recession. Ask yourselves how quick you’d be to defend your employer. Why should anyone just ‘take it on the chin’ and be grateful? These crew are being played.

    On the other side of this, whatever the outcome, employee engagement is going to be through the floor and for the first time, all fleets are going to be united and could take action collectively if they wish to and make a big impact on operations with the further backing of all pilots and ground staff who are similarly now going to be very jaded. The way this is being handled only serves to affect many of your future travel experiences for a long time to come. And not for the better.

    • marcw says:

      Don´t worry too much about bein united. They will do the same as IB did… creating IB Express, just so they have a bargaining tool when dealing with unions. Interestingly there´s been a lot of peace at IB´s Unions since IB Express creation.

  • Talay says:

    Can someone tell me what the transferable skills are from flying a few days a month on a plane to the real world of going to work 5 days a week ?

    And then show me the ground based job which pays the same or more ?

    No, the truth is that whether the tactics are right, the BA staff seem overpaid and I don’t think trolley dollies need £1000+ a week for 1 or 2 shifts a week.

    • J says:

      Let’s hope you never have a heart attack at 38,000 feet.

      • J says:

        But I’m not gonna lie I have nothing but contempt for those who lack empathy. I’m sure one day an employer will do you over – or a loved one. Remember how it feels. Gigantic corporations are attacking ordinary people – if you’re on their side you’re just a useful idiot (assuming you’re not a billionaire).

        • Joe says:

          Jeremy Corbyn – is that you?

          Seriously if you have useful marketable skills they can’t really screw your over.

          • Lady London says:

            Sorry @Joe but not true. There may aell be a surpkus of people with the same set of skills. Or for relatuvely unskilled work, juat too msny people avsilable who coild do the job.

            And if your government has accepted your country having an open market for people as well as goods, then you have to take int account populations in other countries if they can mobilise to reach your country (and your job) as well.

            So people with skills an employer can choose are
            1. local employees (who may not have the same standard of education as immigrants)
            2. immigrants eg EU or other authorised immigration sources. Including from countries with historical links to the UK and often family links
            3. illegal immigration.

            So long as the UK economy remains open for people, whether this is UK government’s strategy or not, then those who have the same skills as sufficient available people in any of the above categories are likely to find that in the UK their income is under pressure to drop in real terms.

            For those in those categories that can’t mobilise to reach the UK then digitalisation, including automation of white collar tasks by AI, and outsourcing may mean you can take someone’s job in the UK without having to mobilise tonbe in the UK.

            The French call digitilisation ‘dematerialisation’ and that’s what’s happening to jobs – they’re dematerialising. Remaining lowish-skilled jobs like cabin crew are going to find salaries keep dropping in real terms until the supply of labour balances.

            Some would say this gives a more level playing field around the world but the opportunities seem to be mire for entrepreneurs and possibly the self-employed than the employed.

      • marcw says:

        You better hope there’s a nurse or doctor on board.

      • Neil says:

        He probably will with that level of toxicity in his body.

    • BS says:

      Just to clarify that nearly 50 percent of BA Cabin crew start off with 15600 basic and then only earn anything extra at just over 3 pounds an hour from the time they checkin to base the time they return to base with no guarantee on how many or how long any trips they might get every month. Sure they get to stay in 4 star hotels but have to pay for their own food or take with them. For that money they have to be prepared to give first aid , clean up someone being sick, at times take a lot of abuse from passengers plus be subject to regular assessment to ensure that should there be an emergency they can act accordingly.. Sure you could argue that the other 50 percent of crew get paid more or too much but thats not their fault as opposed to their employer so cannot put all BA crew into a single bucket beyond them performing the same role.

    • steve says:

      A ‘tolley dolly’ who would get you out of the plane in an emergency, despite you deciding you’re too cool to have watched the demonstration earlier. Who will tackle an on-board fire. Who will intervene and stop abuse from drunken passengers. Who will try to save your life when you have a heart attack six miles up and away from any health-care professionals or even, as has happened in the past, deliver your baby. All this in addition to spending on average three nights a week out of bed and having to cope with 8-10 hour time-changes and not being with their loved-ones for birthdays, Christmas, school plays and open-nights. No, I really don’t think they’re worth more than a shop assistant do I?

      • Nigel says:

        Worked for BA many years ago, the silence was deafening from cabin crew when we all lost our jobs. The situation is simple. The aviation industry has undergone massive change (even before Co-vid), with the emergence of low cost carriers over the years, and where now the industry rate for a cabin crew member is 16-20K per annum. For years I’ve been told the role is primarily safety, first aid etc. If that’s the case, why is the market rate 16-20K, don’t other airline staff perform the same duties? Secondly, BA are not only facing increased low cost competition, but their profitable market (long haul business travel), is the biggest unknown factor in the future, given the increase in video conferencing etc. All in, BA cabin crew should appreciate they’ve had it good for many years, but the reality, just like in many other industries over the years, the good times are over. Either carry on, and earn less, or get yourself down to Morrisons for a check-out role.

        • Wardy says:

          I suggest you re read Steve’s message of 21 June a little more closely.

    • Clifford says:

      You probably wouldn’t make it thru the six weeks training or wet your pants doing the evacuation drills.

      • Nigel says:

        Clifford, sliding down a slide, really scary!!
        Any chance you could answer my question and justify £50-80K a year for your role?

  • David says:

    Yeah for sure regardless they will check in to Hotels and Pubs and complaint to get free drinks

  • Centre Left says:

    Some very bitter and unpleasant comments On here. It would be interesting to see if these people are as cold in real life. They remind me of the middle management type with the chip on their shoulder. the people they work with and under them
    They treat like dirt. TheY have the illusion they believe they mix in the income levels of the C-suite. Who in a heart beat would cut them from the work force to save the Bonus for the people at the top. But They could also just be bored trolls on furlough.

    There are going to be many more middle class And middle England small C conservatives finding themselves on Unemployment in this Crisis with the rise of automation. My firm has already started useing AI software From an outsourcer to do basic checks on contracts. Your be wishing you have union support And better unemployment benefits When the time comes. Remember Universal Credit is £72 a week.

    • BlueThroughCrimp says:

      Here here. Too many of the I’m alright Jack, cos I’m a big shot in the City type postings.
      It’s sadly turning HfP from the first website of the day to view, to I’ve scanned the email, and not bother.

  • Oliver says:

    This new pay offer makes no mention of those on Single Fleet at Gatwick, is this a hint that BA or withdrawing operations from Gatwick?