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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.

  • Robert says:

    Would be interesting to know how much of a bonus CC get for a golden ticket, and if it’s monetary or otherwise.

    • Emily says:

      Ha!! We get no bonus or any kind of financial benefit from a golden ticket! A nice email from our manager is about all its worth.

      • Lady London says:

        Keep the evidence though as a file of things like that can help you with some dirty tricks management might pull

  • Mark says:

    Out of interest how many days do they work a month?

    • Paul says:

      Depends on trips, but usually 8 I think, which sounds great equal to evey weekend, but like everything with BA you have to look a little deeper. If you don’t get home until 10:30 pm having been up all night most of the next day is lost. when you do wake up everyone else is at work, the Golden wedding anniversary or grandmothers funneral has been missed. So yes a normal number of days off but they miss so much

      • CV3V says:

        You also need to factor in a few days of jet lag when home and not ‘working’, then to recover from the jet lag and fly off again. Some LH destinations not so bad, bad long haul to Asia can be tough on the body, think Tokyo is one of the worst.

      • Briandt says:

        Having travelled the world on business for the last 40+ odd years, I too, now regret missing the kids special school and sports occasions as well as the odd family event. But, that’s the choice I, and my wife, made. Do I regret it now, looking back….of course.
        But, I should have changed course years ago, but stupidly thought I was doing it all, for the family. Lesson learned.

  • Scott says:

    Legacy CSDs earned £58k pre-pandemic? Quite a pay differential compared to the standard crew members. Never support downgrading of Ts&C’s but surprised the unions have permitted such blatant inequality between fleets for so long!

    • Derek Scott says:

      Possibly because a higher proportion of legacy crew would afford and pay union fees to protect their interests?

  • Mikeact says:

    According to ‘Paddle your own Kanoo’

    ‘An astonishing 99.2 per cent of British Airways employees say they have no confidence in the airline’s chief executive Alex Cruz over his handling of the Corona crisis in a poll of 15,000 staffers by the Unite union. The landslide result will heap further pressure on Cruz and British Airways who are facing a revolt over plans to sack 12,000 employees and drastically reduce the terms and conditions of employees who remain.’

    • Lady London says:

      WW and Mr. Cruz are both leaving. So they are ideal people for this job. Their replacements will start afresh.

      So many factors have aligned for BA to get this done and I don’t blame them for getting stuck in. Their longterm survival and success depends on getting this done. Assuming civil aviation continues at anything like previous scales BA is going to be performing excellently on a world scale, able to manage their own destiny and a source of taxable revenue to governments that make sure BA shares with them where it operates.

      • Marcw says:

        When is Cruz leaving?

        • Lady London says:

          @Marcw Rob did an article early this year but IIRC around November. BA would be wise to retain him in post until this job is done. The his successor can have a fresh start.

          • marcw says:

            Cruz is not leaving. Luis Gallego, from IB is going to be the next CEO of IAG, while the carrent CEO of Vueling will go to IB and someone from the finance department in IB is going to lead Vueling. AFAIK, no changes planned at Aer Lingus or British Airways.

      • Paul says:

        Long term survival doesn’t depend on the drastic actions being taken, Most of the profits wil be siphoned of by IAG as is the case with Cargo at the moment so relying on a good return from taxes would be a mistake. It’s mainly about Wee Willie Walsh’s ego and the fact that at this moment in time he feels like a failure as he couldn’t get the job done at the first time of asking

        • Lady London says:

          @Paul this is why I mentioned governments will need to make sure BA / IAG share profits / contribute taxes wherever they operate.

          Same issue as has not been resolved with the likes of Google Amazon et al except BA will have more physical presence than those in countries where they earn so easier to tax.

      • Opus says:

        oh, i didn’t know Alex Cruz was leaving?

    • mark2 says:

      what was the turnout?

    • CV3V says:

      An opinion poll will make no difference, cash talks. The only action which will make a difference is to strike, which I can’t see happening. Or fall all the staff to refuse the new contract, which also won’t happen. People will be desperate to hold on to a job in what will be a terrible jobs market. Good old Willie Walsh knows this.

    • J says:

      A survey of regular BA passengers would return a similar result. BA deliver an often poor consumer experience but they’re always going to be the best option enough of the time because they’ve got the majority of slots at Heathrow. It didn’t take a management genius to make BA a cash cow. It’s a common theme that old state monopolies were privatised, inherited all those privileges and then use their dominant status to deliver poor service and value (just look at the trains and BT).

      • Derek Scott says:

        I disagree. I’ve had great service most flights on BA and unless I knew which routes had been MF routes or that the CSM is the MF equivalent of the Lead Crew/ Purser/ CSD, I wouldn’t know of the service was from someone earning £50 or £500 for the flight.

        I can say that where the service has been excellent, it’s been both WW and MF. Where it’s been questionable, it’s been for both Crews.

        I truly don’t believe passengers would vote based on staff pay or conditions… I’ve never filled in a customer survey from ANY company based on how staff are treated… only how I’ve been treated for the service I’ve paid for

  • Derek Scott says:

    I just want to call out that whilst the BA situation is a tricky one, it’s disappointing to see so many people become rude on here, when a good proportion of commentators don’t even work for the company. Wonder if they would behave the same if the shoe was on the other foot?

    by all means have an opinion as a casual observer if you’re not an employee, but be respectful and remember that the only people who truly know the facts of the situation are those going through it. (I am not a BA employee, but I have recently going though a Dismiss & Re-engage contract harmonisation process and know what that entails).

    Most employers these days have considered such an approach when multiple contracts through decades have resulted in difficult situations in managing multiple layers and variances in T’s & C’s.. and irrespective of the changes proposed in each scenarios, the main purpose is reasonable… treat each staff population doing the same job the same, and bring all the conditions together to support that. The end goal of the principle of the process in Law is a reasonable one.

    *this is not an opinion on the handling of the BA situation, as I, like most, don’t have all the facts and figures to have an educated view.

    • CV3V says:


      For a website dedicated to travel and reward schemes although its fair to be kept informed of what is happening to BA i don’t think opening up these articles to comment is proving to be either wise or worthwhile – but it keeps the posting numbers up….

      The judgemental attitude of so many commentators is disappointing to see on what used to be a very positive and only constructive website. Its a real shame to see so many people think they can deem what is and isn’t acceptable for BA crew, and yet they are not fully informed – ill informed comments don’t help. Flying on a plane, and it doesn’t matter how many years, doesn’t make you an expert on the industry. Whats even more ironic/disappointing is that over the years a number of the commentators on here have been BA staff who have provided tips and facts (rather than opinion which becomes confused as fact).

      If I ‘pay’ (ahem) to fly in First or Business on a ticket worth thousands of pounds, on a flight which could last 11 or more hours I want the crew who are looking after me to be well paid, well trained and experienced. BA management seem to have a different opinion.

  • J says:

    Interesting reading from 2009

    BA haven’t changed. You can see why staff don’t trust management.

  • J says:

    Everything the union said in 2009 opposing the creation of MF seems to have come true?

    “Union sources insist that BA has painted a future where cabin crew – traditionally well-rewarded in industry terms with clear promotional opportunities – are replaced by new recruits who are poorly paid, can only afford to live in rented accommodation near an airport, and are expected to quit after a maximum of five years.

    They also claim that BA plans to abandon its commitment to high-quality service”

  • Victor says:

    I’m working for BA as a cabin crew and this article is one big LIE! THAT’S NOT WHAT THEY ARE OFFERING US!!! it’s 14k basic and 3 pounds for flying hours which roughly add up to 22k!!!!! Where did you get that info? STOP CONFUSING PUBLIC!

    • Rob says:

      Er…. this is from Amy’s slide show to EF and WW yesterday 🙂

    • Ian says:

      I’m not confused, just sick and tired of the bleating. If you don’t want to work for BA, leave and find something else to do….I hear Tesco is recruiting at the moment,

      • steve says:

        I think you’re mixing up two completely different types of person.

      • Martin Louis says:

        They only take you if you are a pilot who they can mention at every PR opportunity.

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