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British Airways to cut legacy cabin crew base pay by no more than 20%

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British Airways has published its pay proposals for legacy cabin crew today.  The plan is that no-one will see their base pay fall by more than 20%.

The aim is to ensure a soft landing between current pay scales for legacy (pre 2010) crew and the new, much reduced, pay scales.  The new reduced pay scales are very similar to what post 2010 employees currently earn.

Put simply:

No legacy cabin crew member will receive a pay cut (base pay only) of more than 20%

Crew members will receive NO future pay rises until inflation lifts the level of Mixed Fleet pay to the 80% level

British Airways to cap legacy crew pay cut to 20%

Here are three examples – the numbers are from BA:

Cabin Service Director (Worldwide or Eurofleet crew)

Typical current base pay: £56,000

Base pay for the new equivalent Manager role:  £32,000

Pay of CSD is cut to (£56,000 x 0.8) £44,800 with no future increases

Purser (Eurofleet crew)

Typical current base pay: £46,000

Base pay for the new equivalent Manager role:  £32,000

Pay of Purser is cut to (£46,000 x 0.8) £36,800 with no future increases

Main crew (Worldwide or Eurofleet crew)

Typical current base pay: £31,000

Base pay for the new equivalent Cabin Crew role:  £17,000

Pay of crew is cut to (£31,000 x 0.8) £24,800 with no future increases

It is important to note that this analysis ignores any comparison of allowances and bonuses.  Legacy crew will lose their existing bonuses and allowances and will move to the new merged crew package.  It is not clear how these packages compare and whether the difference in allowances is greater or less than 20%.

Will these proposals be enough to persuade enough legacy crew to sign the new contracts and not accept redundancy?  The new contracts also require a move to a mix of short-haul and long-haul flying which will not suit many legacy crew for personal reasons.  Other contractual terms, such as the number of nights legacy crew get to stay away before a return flight, will also change.

As we’ve said before, with 60% of cabin crew on legacy contracts, British Airways needs at least half of them to stay.


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Comments (78)

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

  • Paul says:

    A move in the right direction.
    Just think what the unions could secure for their members if they negotiated!

    • Andrew says:

      Hopefully now that there is an offer on the table that is worth considering they will begin negotiation. They treated BA with the contempt they deserved so far.

    • p says:

      But they will take the credit even though they still seem to not want to consult. Even keeping these salaries you could still envisage some resentment merging WW/EF with MF crew on same flights especially where main crew are doing exactly same job. Claiming paying extra for experience wont wash either with exsiting MF. MFunite should at least raise an issue about the salary difference but suspect they wont as they would have to go up against Baasa

      • Z says:

        I honestly wouldn’t care what a former legacy colleague earned, in comparison to mine. They joined in a different era and it’s not theirs or my fault they are paid more/ less.

        That said, the mixed fleet union has no backbone and would never take their own stance, as is currently being seen.

    • maria fernandez de la mela says:

      I don’t know who wrote this article. But it must be a very good friend of a Ba manager. I’ve been with Ba 21 years. And my basic is 23.000. Maybe they should cut your salary too…

      • Rob says:

        Any wrote the slides the numbers are from.

        My income is down 80% at the moment …..

        • Charlieface says:

          But none of your income is earnings, it’s effectively a dividend. Ergo it will rapidly rise when things get back to normal

      • b says:

        Main crew on £31,000 ? Absolute lies (FACT). This article should be removed until fact checked. These amounts should be checked before publishing, it’s clear in these comments it’s not true.

        • Rob says:

          These are Amy’s numbers.

        • Mikeact says:

          Of course, anybody can say anything, true or false. How are we supposed to know if the figures being bandied around are true?

          • Rob says:

            The figures in the article are taken from the presentation given to legacy crew. It would obviously be very stupid to put incorrect figures on legacy crew pay into a presentation given to legacy crew, so we have to assume it is accurate.

            What is interesting is the £56k CSD base pay figure. For weeks we have had crew posting on here and elsewhere saying that ‘CSDs don’t earn £80,000’ / ‘I have never met a CSD on £80,000’ etc etc. And yet … BA admits in this internal presentation for legacy staff that base pay is £56k on average and so, with allowances, will be £70k+. This means that at the top end, £80k+ is clearly possible.

          • Mikeact says:

            I agree, but wait for the comments……disputing the figures. I dont mind what the negative comments are, as long as they can back them up.

        • Paul says:

          Listen to what the Unions are telling MPs and the public and £31k is wildly low!

      • b says:

        Crew are LITERALLY declaring their salaries in these comments. It’s nowhere near these figures, even if you included allowances.

    • Lady London says:

      The impact will be much greater than 20% as the allowances seem to practically disappear and cant be counted on.

      I would like to see very long serving crew who take VR helped with an extra 3months worked or paid as they.will really struggle and have given their loyalty.

      I think the union should try to get crew the option for 2-3 years to be rostered for short haul only, long haul only, or a mix. Mix for everyone after that grace.period.

      I think BA is getting very near to balancing it well given the changes in salaries in the industry that have come over time and given the current situation.

  • BJ says:

    Take it; spend 20% less time on hair and make up, ignore 20% of pax coming on board, give 20% fewer smiles, deliver drinks 20% less often and pour the bottles down the toilet so BA don’t save cash, eat 20% more snacks, arrive at the very last minute for 1 in 5 flights…

    • Lady London says:

      And what’s the advice for the girls @BJ ?

    • Charlieface says:

      They do that anyway, which means it’s actually only an 16% bps drop (80% * 80% = 64%)…

    • Rich says:

      But most of them already do act as you describe anyway!

  • Chrish says:

    This is a Brilliant result for the Unions without having to get into bad negotiation that at this time they probably would have lost.
    This puts the unions back in the driving seat (Not now but probably next Easter/Summer) or 2022
    I Would expect to see balloting for Industrial Action
    I WOULD avoid booking any flights/Holidays around then !
    If you think about it they don’t have a choice

  • SkyFlyer001 says:

    So, legacy CSDs – £44k
    Pursers – £36k
    Main crew – £24.8k

    Wow, listening to all the crew and the government saying how screwed BA crew are, I’d love this deal after being furloughed for 3 months.
    They will have no passengers for months to serve, those that do get a box of grub, made by others on far far less pay and job uncertainty.
    No doubt they (the crew) will bleat on and on about how unfair this is while millions will be made unemployed when furlough ends.

    My ex girlfriend worked for BA, she told me how legacy crew would leave their allowances crew statements on show in the MF check in areas and laugh that their allowances were more than the total MF take home pay.
    Their allowances would be £1000 plus on top of their salary.
    They would also come round and do nothing but moan and complain at how much they hated BA.
    Hated the passengers, hated being away, thought they were all underpaid and even said that if BA wanted to make them leave they wouldn’t leave for less than £100k.

    They are cabin crew for goodness sake.

    If any legacy crew believe they should be paid more than NHS workers whilst laughing at screwing down their now needed MF ‘friends’ contracts 10 years ago should be ashamed.

    So, if they don’t like it, leave, like everyone else does in jobs they hate, working for an employer they despise.

    • Ian says:

      Well said!

    • P says:

      This is why merging the fleets is going to be a challenge given suspect ex MF will resent the fact ex WW/ EF still will be paid more for the same job on the same flight.Also suspect MF will have little sympathy about revised layover times, duty hour or per diem payments , welcome to the world of MF. Doubt any of WW/EF will take up this offer unless it is a choice take it or leave. Of course the unions won’t be happy with anything that BA offer out of principal .

    • GaryC says:

      I’m not sure why you feel the need to share this level of detail. But if you needed to retire to enjoy life, and spent every moment you were employed with a “work to rule” type of attitude, I’d suggest also reflecting on your 30 lost years where you could have enjoyed a fulfilling career.

    • Stevo_UK says:


    • GM says:

      NHS consultant starting salary is around £75K after years of training. No allowances etc and constant fear of being sued, suspended, prosecuted. Junior doctors, nurses, allied health staff earn far less. Hate what BA are doing but that was kind of amazing money!

    • Mick says:

      Exactly, if BA is so bad they should leave, in my view they are full of their own self importance. All airlines seem to be experiencing the same problems. No doubt there will be plenty of equally qualified redundant cabin crew from the other airlines who will jump at the chance to work for BA . You don’t hear much about those equally important people, perhaps we should show more sympathy for them.

  • Opus says:

    Honestly, they should take this deal and put this to bed and this is with no negotiation but unite will still say they did something.

    But somebody will still say this is not enough as usual

  • SkyFlyer001 says:

    In the new ‘normal’ with millions unemployed when furlough ends, why should BA legacy crew demand their current T&C’s continue?
    Lufthansa (despite a 10 billion bailout), Easy Jet, Tui, SwissPort, Virgin, Qantas, Ryan Air are laying off thousands of staff.
    Yet BA crew through social media cry on and on that they are ‘victims’ of a terrible employer.

    Then leave. Oh wait…. There are no other jobs that pay £30k for working 4 times s month.

    Welcome to the real world

    • Chris Heyes says:

      SkyFlyer001@ Save up retire at 50 and go and enjoy life lol

    • Milly says:

      Just reading all these comments here and all seem to be very uninformed. The employees deserve a bit of respect from their employer. Yes there should be changes but they should be temporary as the situation is unprecedented and temporary. Other airlines are doing the same with redundancy but not the way BA is going about it.
      BA has just come out with this and said this is what we are doing and that’s final! No discussion or even exhausting other options available, I’m sure the staff (42000 not just crew) at BA would be happy to try and work this out instead of having to through this misery caused by their employer.
      All it shows that this has been sitting in a drawer for a while and waiting to be applied with the designation of the contracts. So why is it necessary to have contracts with T & Cs when they are worthless anyway.?
      As far as MF, well they (all lovely people) signed on the dotted line when they joined the company just like the staff pre 2010 did, those were the T&Cs / salary at the time set by BA so why should it be ripped up jus like that.
      I for one wish them luck in their plight

      • George says:

        TBF – BA have been trying to work with the unions or look at other options. The propsoals for crew have been tweaked based on feedback and similar tweaks have taken place in other areas. The unions have missed a trick – imagine what they could have acheived if they showed up and fought for their members.

      • Kevin says:

        You appear to be the one who is uninformed. Times change and with that so does employment practices. No point living in the past. The market rate for cabin crew is very different to what it was so why should BA have to keep paying people double? Legacy cabin crew are way over paid, hence why they have suck low turnover.

  • Ben says:

    I think BA have massively shot themselves in the foot. You will have a large group of massively pi**ed off staff, many of whom will be motivated after having their pay cut. Customer service will suffer. It’s a disgrace for BA are a disgrace to cut their staff pay in this way while taking millions off the taxpayer.
    And to pay cabin crew just 17k! How can anyone live off that wage.

    • Ben says:

      I meant to say NOT motivated obviously

    • Briandt says:

      And another out of touch with the real world….. suggest you apply for a job with Virgin or Easy jet.

    • p says:

      A base salary pay increase for MF from 15.6 to 17k although hidden in the proposal are some dubious changes to duty hour payments and allowances so probably not any better off. OTE are totally unrealistic anyway given no way to predict rostered hours and as for including per diem/incentive bonus/flex as part of OTE thats a whole different debate. Still get a free uniform though and free parking until HMRC decide those are taxable ‘benefits’

    • Aeronaut says:

      “And to pay cabin crew just 17k! How can anyone live off that wage.”

      An awful lots of people do just that. Or rather struggle with doing just that.

  • ChrisW says:

    This seems like an odd way to get ‘all crew on the same contract’. Still very uneven pay scales for people doing the same job, and surely resentment from legacy crew in the future because ‘i won’t receive any pay increase for decades because MFs pay is so low that inflation won’t increase it enough to increase mine’.

    If BA have been waiting for a once in a generation event to finally rationalise the very uneven pay scales then a 20% decrease doesn’t seem like much of a change!

    • Rob says:

      I agree. Clearly there is a LOT of admin saving in just having one fleet, but the cost savings overall will be a lot lower this way.

      However, as per the article, BA does NOT hold all the cards. If all legacy crew leave, BA has zero chance of running any sort of schedule since it will only have 40% of its crew. You can’t train huge number of new recruits quickly because the infrastructure isn’t there.

      Even now, BA isn’t being fully honest. Half of legacy crew are not trained for short haul aircraft, the other half are not trained for long haul. They can’t join mixed fleet until they are certified on both. How is this meant to be done overnight? This is before you even begin to consider how training numbers will be curtailed due to distancing rules. Realistically it will take a number of years.

      • insider says:

        but they don’t really need to make the adjustment overnight. They can align the contracts, then spend the next year or two making the operation more efficient. Given that they said they won’t be operating at 2019 levels until 2023, it gives them a decent amount of time and flexibility to make the changes necessary.

        Still seems like a strange negotiating position from BA though, given that Unite will probably take this as a starting point. Maybe they calculate that the new rostering will be unbearable for legacy crew who are used to ‘easier’ schedules, that there will be much higher attrition in future.

      • P says:

        Maybe BA will plan to slot any cross fleet training into their annual recurrent training to cut down on time… Seems unlikely all 8k or so of WW/EF would leave although of the two would imagine EF would be the least impressed having long haul forced upon them from a work life balance, although likewise I guess WW same with short haul if they have long commutes of their chosing.

      • ChrisW says:

        I don’t think legacy crew will immediately quit en masse once the deal is finalised. Where would they go? Especially for those who live in regional areas, where else would they find the sort of hugely-above-market pay and benefits like only working 12-ish days a month that they were accustomed to with BA?

        Sure some might take an early retirement, some may start looking for alternate work and theyll surely complain about the pay cut to anyone who will listen and say ‘im only staying until I find something else’ but realistically , in the UK, this year, with millions of people put of work including thousands of cabin crew from other airlines that would happily take their place.

        The crew who do quit will do so on dribs and drabs over time which should allow BA time to train new crew to take their place.

        No one wants to accept a paycut but the reality of what is expected to be the biggest recession in our lifetimes means plenty of well-paid people in the travel industry would happily take a paycut in order to keep their jobs right now.

        • Rob says:

          If they quit voluntarily they don’t get any cash. If they take the VR package now then they will get something …. probably around £30k on average for legacy crew. The £30k is tax free as well.

          If you’re not prepared to stay for another 3+ years you’d be mad not to take the money.

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