Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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?


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (March 2023)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (295)

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

  • memesweeper says:

    BA would do well to do something to award long service, as Virgin do.

    • Rob says:

      Legacy cabin crew taking VR will get staff travel privileges until retirement, which means 2 x CW tickets each year.

      • Paul says:

        I thought that you kept your staff travel for the same number of years that you’d worked for the company

        • Rob says:

          Could be – I was basing this on someone I know who receives it that long.

          • Rhys says:

            My uncle, who until last year was at Waterside, will get his staff travel for the same number of years he’d worked at BA. Might be different for CC however.

        • insider says:

          you get if for as long as you’ve worked there, as long as you’ve done more than 15 years service. If you take redundancy, I believe you don’t need the 15 years service to trigger this.

      • Briandt says:

        And very nice too..

      • Helen says:

        Wow. If I am correct the tickets are standby and most of the time the staff (or ex staff) end up sitting in economy if they are lucky enough to even get on the flight.

        • Jonathan says:

          That’s the unlimited standby tickets that staff can access. They also get 2 guaranteed tickets a year in W, J or F depending on seniority plus ability to purchase further tickets at a variable discount called Hotlines.

          The basic standby is essentially free but pretty useless as no guarantee where/when you’ll fly & more importantly when you’ll be able to get home!

      • Ken says:

        Is VR (ie enhanced) being offered to any staff other than pilots ?

        Or does the threat of statutory redundancy (Max £16k) still hang over cabin crew ?

        • Rob says:

          Legacy crew get a VR package of statutory plus 3 months notice plus an extra 6 weeks as a VR bonus.

          • Lady London says:

            Its hard on those with very long service and decent salary but if we’re talking about airlines with mainly UK based employees, it’s not as bad as could be imposed.

            As another poster said, although lots of other people are going to be suffering as a result of covid, even BA being willing to sponsor a higher VR package than they legally could, does not help all that much for someone leaving in a pandemic and on the brink od a recession.

            If informal means could be found for very longserving staff (say min. 20 years) to stretch that by about 3 months then I’d say that’s fair.

            And for 2 or 3 -years ask the union to try to negotiate that staff who remain can request to be rostered only for short haul, only for long haul, or make themselves available for both. If too many takers for any of these then some will be asked o reconsider, or VR, if not then R. Fleets to merge after that time.

  • Brian jeffreys says:

    Rule and divide what makes mf think they won’t come for them again
    Utter stupidity

    • Rob says:

      Because with only one fleet after this BA can’t ‘divide’. Future strikes would be total groundings.

    • Sophia says:

      Trust me, this deal is not a win for mixed fleet. No one is fooled.

    • Lady London says:

      I have a feeling BA won’t get too many strikes in future once this is settled.
      They have the upper hand and staff will do well to remember it. The UK is an open economy and so there will always be plenty of people incoming to take any jobs at the entry level (where most of the jobs will be) if anyone’s unhappy and wants to quit.

  • Journeying John says:

    Smoke and mirrors that will have little real benefit for the bulk of staff faced with massive salary reductions. This does precisely zero for the pilots, engineers and other non flight staff and is clearly a move to try to garner positive press coverage whilst doing an absolute minimum to support their staff (still majority being paid for by the UK taxpayer)

    • Geroge says:

      Have any other areas received full details of the proposed future contract?

    • Opus says:

      Oh please, this obviously for cabin crew so this statement is extremely daft. about roughly 50% are legacy, the other 50% are MF, so i guess we should throw the other 50% in the trash since one half earning over double what the others have for the same work but no you don’t want to talk about.

      Also the this UK taxpayer line is such trash because they only get about 35 million pounds from the coronavirus retention scheme,

  • Geroge says:

    Not sure what conditions you’re after…. BA have shared the proposed Ts & Cs with crew. Its broadly in line with MF’s current conditions with a few improvements (more annual leave, the ability to choose a couple of days that are guaranteed off days, knowing your roster for next month earlier).

  • Ronald says:

    This is just an attempt to divide and rule. Ca not believe how low a company can go. 🤔🤔🤔

    • Doug M says:

      Again, the divisions exist because WW legacy crews sold out the future cabin crew to line their own pockets in the short term.. The divide happened in 2010, not now. Short term thinking allowed the cabin crew to end up where they are. Tube drivers anyone!

      • Rob says:

        I think you’ll find, in your own company, there are people on better pension deals than you. When I joined HSBC you worked 40 years for full pension. The year before I joined it was 20 years (!). A few years later the scheme went to defined contribution. I don’t remember any staff members, inc myself, suggesting we go on strike to protect the pensions of those coming after.

        Almost certainly, new joiners to your company get a worse contract than you got. I doubt you stood up for them.

        • Doug M says:

          I actually my pension is unique*, but I get the point.

        • Doug M says:

          It’s a relatively small business, less than 200 UK employees, there is no union representation whatsoever. My situation doesn’t change the facts around BA and the various fleets.

          • Rob says:

            Doesn’t need union representation. You could still have threatened strike action or protested to management when you saw that new joiners were not getting the same deal as you.

          • Doug M says:

            Oddly each new member of staff’s salary and terms were not approved by or reported to me. I could have done many things, but realistically it’s just choose to move on.

      • Bagoly says:

        Yes, the salaries for train drivers at https://www.aslef.org.uk/information.html are typically over £50k – decidedly high in comparison.
        I rate the skill required as similar to cabin crew, not to piloting.
        Advice: driver the Heathrow Express instead of serving in an aircraft to earn twice as much.

        Is there a problem with that of unionised incumbents blackballing/bullying newcomers who don’t fit?

        • BlueThroughCrimp says:

          Remember why the driver’s wages are why they are at the level they are now.
          The free market.

          BR wages were poor. Overtime made up a lot of the take home pay. Then privatisation came along. It was suddenly cheaper to poach a rival TOCs trained driver for a few grand a year more, than pay for the initial training yourself, and wait for them to qualify.

          I’m also guessing you’ve never been a driver…

  • Fly guy says:

    I’m not sure where these pay amounts are coming from. I am legacy crew, with 20 + years service and don’t get anywhere near these amounts, earning approx £28,000. I am full time. I really wish both sides can come up with something sensible, absolutely nobody is against change to get our airline through this crisis. The trouble is these proposals dig very deep and are permanent.

    Surely a compromise can be reached. It’s extremely upsetting that our employer is showing no respect for its workforce. We have had months of hell and uncertainty, we deserve much better than this.

    • Tom says:

      If you’re currently on £28K and the new proposal for main crew is £28K how are you losing out?

      The company keeps inviting the unions to give input to the proposals – maybe its time they start.

      • Fly guy says:

        It’s not just about money. It’s about being forced into long haul when you have a young family to support and your partner also fly’s. Also being forced into shorthaul when you live abroad if you look at it from the other way around. Also the new 28000 includes allowances also so many detrimental things along with it if you look in great detail.

        • marcw says:

          Sorry, where do I have to sign so that my salary and T&C remain “intact” until I retire? And the training required for my career is not just 6 weeks training. I’ve been in “training for 8 years, and I have a bloody 3 years constract. After that, I need to look for a new job.

          • BJ says:

            Moving on every 2-3 years is the best way of progressing your career though, it’s not a hardship with the right mindset..

        • Nonflyguy says:

          Fly guy, you can’t compare your base salary of £28k to this total of £28k. I would assume when you take into account all allowances you’ll be close to £45k. Saying you currently earn £28k is just confusing everyone!
          If you look at your P60 (which doesn’t include anything non-taxable down route) I bet you took home much more than £28k.
          BA need to do better if they want to keep their legacy staff, the main reason most people choose to fly with them.

          • the_real_a says:

            I have a great deal of sympathy with effected staff, but BA has demonstrated they really do not want to retain legacy staff. They would be quite happy if over the next 12 months they all quit. Maybe with an exception for First, regular travelers choose airlines based on cost/convenience – I`m afraid staff come very far down the list. I’m pretty sure that 99.99% of passengers could not tell the difference between legacy and MF. And there is a sizable minority of legacy fleet who are awful, hate their jobs and really should have been set adrift years ago.

          • the_real_a says:

            *staff

          • MT says:

            I am afraid this is where the world changed, people no longer choose to fly with BA due to their staff. I have had such mixed experiences with BA mainly in First I must say but actually generally I find the staff to be average and if anything a bit negative. The cityflyer staff from LCY now they are the ones I have generally found to be the best.

            As for the difficulties of long and short haul, I am afraid in this day and age if you only want shorthand, work for an airline that only does that, it is a large additional cost to business to have an inflexible workforce and when that workforce costs you more rather than less than the competition who’s workforce is more flexible it is is a bit like the crew want their cake and eat it. The industry like most has changed and wanting it to be like it was just isn’t realistic, BA should be doing a better job at this but I do feel the unions have provoked them one to many times and now suddenly BA have the upper hand and position of power the tables have turned and they are going to drive home the advantage as if they don’t do it now they will never be able to.

        • Lady London says:

          I agree with you that the really bad deterioration is in the far worse terms and conditions imposed.

          Can the union negotiate to have crew rostered either short or long haul but not both? Even a five-year period of this might help staff adjust their personal arrangements over a fairer period -or make a different decision in that time.

    • AJA says:

      I really feel sorry for you and all your colleagues. This cannot be good for you to read about this via a website. I do hope whatever contract gets put in front of you is acceptable to you. It’s unsettling but I do hope it will end well because I like flying BA and just want to get back to doing so.

  • Naomi says:

    Why would I want to sign up to this catastrophic contract. Has anyone actually read the small print. Who’s going to pay for my rent and bills when they stand me down when it’s not as busy and “non-seasonal” the additional pay is subject to destinations.. This isn’t a contract it’s poverty pay. Not even industry rates. The devil is in the detail. READ, READ and read again

    • Nick says:

      Hi Naomi I really hope things work out for you all you all work so hard Kindest regards Nick

    • Josh says:

      I really don’t see the justification for legacy staff to retain their previous conditions and wage levels, especially when BA wants to shrink employee numbers.

      • Fenny says:

        You mean apart from having a signed contract? If the legacy crews don’t agree and BA have to pay redundancy, how much will that cost? And given that the jobs aren’t redundant, that’s a whole other argument.

        • Paul74 says:

          +1

        • the_real_a says:

          Is an enhanced redundancy package in their current T&C`s? I’m not sure it is… Otherwise legal minimum redundancy is not much at all.

          I am confused if people will be made redundant on the old or new contract terms, and if the new contract has inferior terms in regards to enhanced redundancy packages. It seems the new contract is a product of consultation with the expectation that some people will leave and the process would require a further stage of redundancies (or not) once the numbers signing the new contract are known. At that stage (i guess) they would be made redundant from the new contract if the expected natural wastage does not occur. (?)

        • Josh says:

          Then be prepared for BA to fail. Then nobody will have a job.

          I don’t agree about much with BA…but those who think everyone single member of legacy staff can stay on…under their old conditions…when 1/4 of staff need to be cut…is just delusional.

          • J says:

            You’re very misinformed if you think there’s any chance of BA failing.

          • Josh says:

            @J

            BA would fail if delusional WW and EF cabin crew believe the airline should continue paying their inflated salaries without any redundancies

    • Wendy Robinsex says:

      Standing with you Naomi ! 6 weeks of being stood down per annum on no pay – wonder how my landlord would feel about that ! Wish you well – hope the company wakes up and pays you your worth rather than the poverty pay they’re offering. xx

      • Josh says:

        I’d rather there be equality myself and for all members of staff to work under the same conditions…as in the new contract.

        Legacy contract is no longer sustainable.

  • C says:

    I’m really confused re how some of the highest paid legacy crew can earn £78k (2x £39k).
    What would a breakdown of salary on this look like (e.g. base salary ++?)

    • Briandt says:

      It’s very easy on a public site like this for disgruntled employees to air their grievances…many one off posters, and that’s it. I assume that they have their own non public forum somewhere which might reflect other opinions…. but not on here where they can say whatever they want.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.