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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


  • 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


  • 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


Total target earnings: £39,000


  • 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)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Josh says:

    A fair deal I would say, given the circumstances now.

  • Lumma says:

    A front of house worker in a reasonable London restaurant would earn more than these people who are responsible for safety

  • Aston100 says:

    A very fair deal IMO.
    Particularly this: “all crew will receive pension contributions of up to 11%”

    There are overpaid union controlled hardcore elements in a number of other workplaces around the country, particularly on TFL. Hopefully they too will be brought in line.
    It is long past time that the most militant of unions who would bring the country to it’s knees are disbanded.

    • Fred says:

      The flex allowance is part of the pension contribution make up. If taken as cash they will not receive the 6% top up. And no money going into a pension for their retirement. They’re having decide whether to top up a poor wage or save for the future.

    • Lady London says:

      ‘up to’ 11%
      Bearing in mind that minimum pension contribution by employers for those auto-enrolled is only recently upgraded to 5%.
      I would be the very great majority will see 5% or just possibly fractionally more.

    • BlueThroughCrimp says:

      Yes, it was the unions who brought the world to it’s knees when the bankers trashed the economy. Rollseyes.

  • Anita says:

    Fantastic news. A much better deal for hardworking cabin crew.

  • Chabuddy geezy says:

    I guess the unions were right in not negotiating with BA. BA had their hand forced by bad publicity.

    • Lady London says:

      No, BA planned it

      • Chabuddy geezy says:

        BA had this up their sleeves for after negotiations had started with the unions. Unilaterally improving the offer without any negotiations makes BA look like they had poor judgement.

  • Briandt says:

    Wait for the outcry, “It’s nowhere near fair enough “. There’s just no pleasing some people.

  • Paul says:

    Has duty pay changed from time away from base to flight hours only?

    • Geroge says:

      Seems it. But in addition to Duty Pay they are offering tax free per diem’s which are new.

      • BS says:

        If flying hours only then could that literally mean door shut to door open with nothing specific for report or return to base time or any time down route even a turnaround. Depends I guess on the definition of flying hours whether report and turnaround time paid but not downroute night stops. Although if actually only flying hours which understand are 900 max not sure how the 3000-5000 range would be arrived at using the current MF per hour rate unless does include report times.

        Including a per diem as potential salary is all very well but per diems are subject to HMRC and I seem to recall somewhere seeing Virgin Atlantic had issues with per diems so cannot be guaranteed

        I have no connection to BA so above just speculation based on what have read on this forum among others

  • johnnt5a says:

    I guess they’re bringing legacy contract salaries in line with other airlines.

    • Milly says:

      Do other airline crew have the same profitability per person as BA staff do ? And why have your pay cut to less than when you started all those years ago. The contract that was signed at the time with the terms and conditions set by BA. Is it ok to just rip them up and start again and be told that the years of service you have given isn’t good enough!

      • AJA says:

        Milly, you do not have a right to continual employment for life without contract variation. If that was the case you could also never leave your job. All contracts of employment allow for both employee and employer to re-negotiate or end them.

        That is what happens when you have an annual review and get an increase in salary. Your contract has altered by increasing your salary even if no other terms have been amended.

        Usually employees can end their contracts by serving notice but you can just leave immediately, withdraw your labour and in exchange forgo any further pay. Even so you would still be entitled to outstanding holiday pay.

        The employer on the other hand also has the right to renegotiate the contract by varying the terms of the contract or indeed making you sign a new one. They can only do this if they have given you notice (which BA did) and they have given you the opportunity to discuss the new terms. In the case of BA that negotiation was supposed to be with the unions representing the staff. Since the unions failed to negotiate BA has now, unilaterally it seems, offered the contract as mentioned in the article.

        This new contract seems on the surface to be a good move by BA. I am sure there will still be those who grumble, especially those on legacy contracts.

        • Lady London says:

          “eave immediately, withdraw your labour and in exchange forgo any further pay. Even so you would still be entitled to outstanding holiday pay.”
          …I think if you left without notice, I think most employers would take your accrued holiday pay as part of the notice you didn’t give them, so you would n o t get your accrued holiday pay from them?

          IIRC everywhere I’ve seen redundancy programs the terms have stipulated any notice that doesn;t have to be worked, any unused accrued holiday days will be used towards and they will not be paid out.

          Tell me I’m wrong. for I would love this to have changed.

          • AJA says:

            @LL Almost all workers in the UK are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). Employers must pay for untaken statutory leave,

            Holiday pay, like your wages, is accrued and usually taken/paid in arrears i.e. you have to have worked several months in order to be entitled to take the holiday. In practice most companies, though admittedly not all, allow you to carry over unused entitlement from one year to the next.

            If you have any outstanding holiday balance accrued when you leave employment you are legally entitled to have it paid to you in addition to any pay due for serving notice, The employer must pay even if a worker is dismissed for gross misconduct. .You can also choose to take holiday during your notice period. But a company cannot withhold e.g 5 days holiday pay due simply because you withdraw your labour and leave without serving your notice.


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