BA: ‘Mixed Fleet’ DebutsBack to Forum
Anonymous23 Jun 2010
Days after the airline announced that it had reached agreement with unions and trustees to resolve the issues surrounding the funding of the company’s two main pension schemes, smoothing the way towards completion of the merger between it and Iberia, and also on the day that Unite is expected to announce a fresh ballot for strike action, a new website breaks cover:
The site describes the airline’s forthcoming ‘Mixed Fleet’ cabin crew division, and invites applications to the positions of both ‘Cabin Crew’ and ‘Customer Service Managers’.
The structure would appear similar to that employed with union support at Gatwick.23 Jun 2010
Based at Heathrow and will pick up a A320 and 777 license. Mixed flying, with a bidding system for trips, both long and short haul.
Salary £11K p/a and 2.40p per hour flight pay (taxable).25 Jun 2010
Mixed Fleet will have dedicated shorthaul routes to start with, moving onto longhaul soon after.
Cabin Services Managers will have a base salary of £25k, plus flight pay (partially taxable)..12 Sep 2010
Recruitment launched for experienced Mixed Fleet Cabin Crew.
Salaries ranging from £17,000 to £21,200 including flight pay:23 Sep 2010
Mixed Fleet launched on 1 November, with the first flight to Prague. Other initial Mixed Fleet routes are Pisa and St Petersburg. Las Vegas and Denver will come on line in December. 145 crew have already started or completed training, with plans on track to deliver a further 120 crew per month11 Nov 2010
VK – May I ask why you find the alleged and yet unconfirmed rumour that mixed fleet will be flying the routes you have stated ‘splendid news’?
Post factual information not rumour…… and if it is factual then back it up with evidence!30 Nov 2010
What on earth is “splendid”. Inexperienced crew and surely a decline in service from the usual csd and pursers. Didn’t realise my flight in club to Vegas would be mixed crew so will not be expecting much!30 Nov 2010
I think it means that person is looking forward to being served by an overworked, unprofessional/unexperienced crew who would otherwise be packing bags at ASDA (for all the money it is reported BA will be paying them).30 Nov 2010
I have to say VK,it’s a shame,your cover really has started to drop recently and it’s obvious to pretty much everyone that reads this forum.
Your last post,”splendid news” wasn’t a particularly well thought out comment was it?
Any real loyal passenger would see this as a dumbing down of the product. It’s quite obvious to all here in the office that our premium customers are very angry and frustrated about what’s happening to BA. I know many passengers would much rather have an experienced crew who know the job inside and out,who can deal with problems etc. Experience is everything in this job and I’m quite surprised you don’t see that. That’s what makes BA a great airline to fly with don’t you agree?
What a sad day it is on this forum when a regular so called ‘loyal customer’ thinks it’s splendid that all the ‘loyal’ hardworking BA crew will have more of their worked moved at the expense of cheaper labour.
VK,I’m starting to find your posts offensive,vindictive and incredibly suspect.
Shame.30 Nov 2010
Actually, the facts are quite different from the (unsupported) allegations several BASSA-sponsored posters have set out.
All current Mixed Fleet recruits will be experienced crew, many of whom have already spent considerable time working for other British airlines such as Thomson, Virgin Atlantic and bmi. So this allegation of “inexperience” is union misinformation. All crew are trained to CAA requirements; it is simply illegal not to do so.
I have always experienced good service on board BA, though there have been times when things could have been handled better, I would anticipate at least as good service from Mixed Fleet crews. I think the crew will be happier without the negative and poisonous attitude instilled by some BASSA crew on board. Following new passenger –oriented service regimen, rather than following BASSA diktats (“no hot towels, anyone?”) I do not expect any diminution in service from Mixed Fleet.
BA is paying Mixed Fleet market rate +10%. It is right to state this is lot less than the current legacy crew, whose pay scales, T&Cs will be preserved under the latest offer from BA, with a PAY RISE to boot. But it is more than the salary points for recruitment at other UK airlines, and will include a performance-related aspect in addition to base salary. If that is not adequate, then there is a free and open job (albeit not very byoant) market out there. Mixed Fleet will be hugely appreciated, in the same way that the gratitude and professionalism of VCC was recognised by passengers during previous strike action.
An interesting union-sponsored strategy is to attempt to damage forward bookings, initially by suggesting strike would inflict massive harm on the schedules, which it won’t, and now by dismissing the professionalism of Mixed Fleet. Both arguments are fatuous.
It seems many BASSA die-hards are emboldened by the call for strike action. I am pleased too, for the company and the majority of its supportive employees and pensioners and customers, but at the same time I am saddened for those who have been misled into risking their positions to follow this suicidal strike.
Let me explain why.
The decline in the BASSA membership should be exposed (Unite quoted 11,000 members in its press release yesterday, though just 9,279 was the number quoted on the BASSA’s own website in September 2010 before the number was withdrawn from the website, and it surely has declined since September).
The strike action will be unprotected, meaning that the company is legally entitled to summarily dismiss anyone who withdraws their labour. It is the responsibility of BASSA to make its membership fully and explicitly aware of this fact. It has not.
VCC, Mixed Fleet, Temp Crew andWest Leases as well as the vast majority of crew (note the vast majority of *crew*) will keep the flag flying with 100% of BA’s longhaul flights flying at LHR, and no affect whatsoever at Gatwick or London City.
I would imagine there will be an increase in sickness as an alternative to those who vote for a strike but don’t actually carry out that threat. This is also being planned for.
I have booked a few Mixed Fleet flights to test out the service for myself; I would recommend others establish whether their flights might become Mixed Fleet and if they find themselves on those services, make up their own minds.
The people I feel most sorry for in all this is the vast majority of moderate, right-thinking and service oriented crew members who are currently shut out from a pay rise and promotion,
I re-iterate again I do not have any connection whatsoever with BA or the travel industry more generally.30 Nov 2010