Leaving BA , as Crew after 30+ Years

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This topic contains 46 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by  x2000traveller 12 May 2018
at 19:46

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  • handbag

    I have just received my final roster for BA. The last entry is “SUN 01 JUL NO LONGER BA CREW”.

    I was originally B CAL and by default became BA, when we were taken over. They have recently offered VR and 600 of us on WW will be leaving on 30th June. There will also be a lot more Euro CSD’s leaving, as the role will no longer exist on Euro Fleet. Some will move Fleet and others will take demotion or leave.

    For some time I have made occasional comments on here from a Crew point of view, especially if I have seen something that I have felt that perhaps the reasoning behind something is not understood. I will still continue to give a Crew perspective, but now from a retired Crew.

    From a personal point of view, it feels weird to be leaving after so long, but so looking forward to it.


    Good luck for the future, in what ever you choose to do.

    You are undoubtedly leaving an industry that has regressed in the way it treats employees and I’m sure that the weird feeling (understandable after so long) will gradually go away and other interesting pathways will open to you.

    BTW, I always liked BCal,a quality operator (albeit in different times).


    Best wishes to you. I’m sure after 30 years you’ll be ready for a break. It’s indeed a shame that experienced crew are being forced out because of the change in the airline business model. I have many happy memories of flying BA over the last 20 years, largely due to the crew.

    Thank you also for your contributions and insights here which are always valuable. I hope they continue.


    In my 34 year career, I have worked for 3 companies – been made redundant once (that paid my mortgage off), been involved with a merger once and finally last September had a 10 year service contract cancelled at short notice. Each time, I was sad to move on, but very quickly realised how fortunate the changes actually were.

    Always found myself in a far better place and the Martyn Sinclair v2018, is for me, the best one yet.

    Good luck Handbag – I hope wherever your professional life takes you, you will be in a position of success, enjoyment, happiness and a continued supporter of this wonderful Forum..

    Tom Otley

    Thank you for all your contributions in the past, and I hope to hear from you in the future.
    Best wishes


    Life will be strange for you come 01 JUL, as 30 years identifying with what has been an amazingly strong brand will be hard to shift into past tense. But you’ll find something fun and interesting to do, no doubt.

    Do you know Rhoda P, a former Cally crew who became a BA CSD on WW? She hardly has a minute to think these days, let alone work…so there is life after BA.

    Good luck, and enjoy the next two months to the max. I’m sure it will be emotional, but you’ll come through that flying high!


    Goodluck Handbag!


    Dear Handbag

    Good luck and enjoy your retirement.

    It’s sad to think that all your experience, knowledge, confidence and common sense will be lost to BA for ever and replaced by someone who, however well intentioned, will simply not be able to deliver a customer experience in the way that you have.

    And of course you are one of many going the same way.

    But think how much money will be saved!

    All the best.


    Good luck Handbag in whichever path you take, but over the years what do you think have been the highs and lows of your, not only career but also the airlines?


    As is the case with far to many “managers” today all they see is the cost and/or saving and have zero empathy/understanding of the effect on the people and customers. Some half wit pats himself on the back because he has reduced his costs by x thousands with scant regard to the in depth know how that is being pushed or encouraged out of the door because they can be replaced by someone cheaper. A manager “who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. As for Alex Cruz´s presentation “action speaks louder than words”


    Hey handbag, good luck to you post July 1st..
    It will feel different waking up on that Sunday morning with the realization that something has changed.
    And I’ll echo Martyn’s point about change, ironically me and my department has just had the dreaded offsite “ 90 day proposal “ meeting earlier this week.

    Some of my colleagues have turned negative and inward, whilst others are still in shock.
    Me, I’m embracing the opportunity, it’s all a question of perspective, after the meeting I headed to my local to be told that an old friend (ages with me) has months to live. Puts my sudden disruption to my day to day challenges into context !!

    Grab the chance to do the thing that you really love, even if it’s walking a pack of mutts over heath !!

    And I’m glad you’ll still be contributing to the forum, your insights have been informative, revealing and occasionally very humorous making them a must read. And I’ll also repeat JohnnyG’s request, please tell ?


    Handbag, the advice I gave to people who were on the end of a forced redundancy or voluntary redundancy was whatever the date for the change ” that will be the first day of the rest of your life”. I was on the end of a forced redundancy and started my own business 14 years ago. Like so many of us most said ” I should have done this years ago”. If you think/believe and put in the effort to forge a new chapter you can make it. Good Luck to you


    I agree with all the sentiments expressed especially those about a fresh start. I was made redundant unexpectedly (I had been told that I was staying on!) and, not only did the company have to pay a reasonable settlement, but I set up my own consultancy and now do what I choose and when I choose to do it. That was 7 years ago and I have never looked back. Good luck Handbag.


    Good Luck and thank you for your contributions!

    Good to hear you will still participate on the forum.


    Thank you for all of the lovely comments. Very much appreciated.

    There have been many highs when I look back a long way, but unfortunately not so many highs in the last few years.

    I am one of the lucky people that as soon as I could walk and talk I knew what I wanted to do “Travel”. As I got older, from watching TV programmes, I wanted to be a Butlin’s Redcoat and then later decided to be an Air Hostess. As I child I couldn’t believe it would be possible to be paid to have fun and later on when I changed my decision to become and Air Hostess (very politically incorrect), that I would be paid to stay in good hotels and travel the world.

    Initially I was too young to join an airline, so instead of Butlin’s, I upped the game and became a Thompson Rep for a couple of years.The Holiday Camp feel, with a bit of travel included. Those 2 years in the Greek Islands, were most probably the most fun 2 years in my life.

    I then left and joined British Caledonian in 1986. From my point of view it was a Company to be proud of with impeccable standards. Working there was most probably given me the best grounding in interaction with different people, grooming, etiquette and feeling comfortable in any situation.

    The standards were extremely high, but that was what made it superior. I still remember the ruling on 1″ x 1 metre long velvet ribbon for hair with brown or tortoise shell clips. Nothing else allowed. All had to wear the same shade grey stockings, you could buy from M & S Dove Grey, BHS Gris or Dior ?? Never bought the Dior ones, but lots did. The main fact was that we all knew not to be an inch out of line. We all got checked for our appearance as we checked in. One day got severely reprimanded by a Supervisor who had watched me get out of my car from the Window and asked “Why did I feel it necessary to disembark my car and alight the stairs with wearing my beret”.Little things like that have always ensure that even now I like to be immaculately presented. I can’t now always remember things from a few weeks back, but the professionalism instilled there stayed for life.

    My fondest memories are of BCAL, although they are the the furthest away in years. There were so many characters that worked for them, that life was never dull, but always professional. I remember spilling tomato juice on my shirt and trying without much success to wipe off. One of the in charge Crew saying “What size do you wear darling?” she then went in here bag and produced several freshly laundered and gave me one in my size.

    Another time I had gone to help in First Class. I was not normally allowed in that part of the aircraft as I was not senior enough. Unlike now when I have to remind the Crew, that when they come up, can they please be mindful of noise and our passengers. The very glamorous and formidable First Class Purser in her long Tartan kilt that she had changed into to serve dinner, immediately asked me to go and get a “cuspidor”. I had no idea what this was, so I rushed in the galley thinking I would ask someone. There was no-one there so I sheepishly went back and said what was a “cuspidor”, she said “get me a sick bag NOW”

    There were a lot of very well to do young ladies, who worked for them (who had personal allowances and didn’t really need to work). Why they worked I don’t know, but it did result in us taking evening wear in our cases, to go to the various Embassy parties we were invited to down route. The slips in various places were a lot longer that we normally get now, a flights did not go every day, so we therefore would stay longer. We had some amazing evenings.

    In 1988, BCAL got taken over by BA and around the same time Airtours joined BA too. I hated every minute of that time. I would like to think that I can socialise with everyone regardless of their background. when BCAL and Airtours mixed, it was like oil and water. BCAL had a mix of regular girls and some very wealthy, Airtours had a mix regular girls and those that were more used to dealing with the Benidorm bucket and spade brigade. There style of working was very different. In the hotels, we used to have breakfast included and all meet for breakfast. At this time BCAL would be one table and Airtours the other. Not an environment I was comfortable in.

    Luckily secondments were offered to LHR. I was over the moon, as lived the other side of LHR and my journey would be quicker, away from the friction (which eventually went) and lots of new routes. My first reaction was to be gobsmacked how different BA was compared to BCAL. I had never worked for another airline, so had nothing to compare. I was just amazed, that everything seemed so lacks in comparison. I had always imagined BA to be superior and was very surprised that it didn’t even come close.

    One of the biggest highlights for me was after only being there a few weeks, getting a roster with a 21 day Australia trip. I thought I had hit the lottery. Needless to say if I got one now, I would not be feeling the same. At the time though, I was ecstatic. Over the next few years, had some amazing trips, went on a light aircraft over Niagra Falls, went to Victoria Falls, went on Safari and too many other things to mention. I couldn’t have been happier.

    I interjected my time flying with time in the training school for about 10 years. Flying it is difficult to make friends, as you fly with different people every week (friends for a trip, you know their life story ,but possibly ever see again). I made some good friends in the training school that will stay with me forever.

    Not sure when things changed for me, but I went from feeling I was proud to work for BA , to not really wanting to mention what I did or who I worked for. I get fed up for apologising for lack of IFE, paid for legroom and not got it, lack of a meal choice etc. etc. When on my days off, I certainly didn’t want to hear that I am not happy with BA because of this or that.

    I cannot pinpoint the time it actually happened, but for many years I have felt that BA will be happy when WW Crew are gone and replaced by Crew on cheaper contracts. I believe that the majority of Crew on WW also feel like this. There will always be some that don’t, but the majority do. I realise that a Company has to move on, but in doing so, this does not mean that they have to make those that are there already there feel devalued.

    Cant necessarily even pinpoint all the subtle subliminal messages, but they are certainly there.

    When Mixed Fleet started, (apart from the promotional Team), they were the only ones to wear hats. We were told they were the Elite Fleet. Needless to say that didn’t last long and the Company decided that perhaps it wasn’t an advantage to differentiate between the Fleets and now it is aircraft dependant.

    Six months after I had been with the Company for 25 years, I received a brown envelope at home. Inside a 25 year certificate, with a piece of paper attached letting my Mananger know the options for presentation. One of which was post to me – you would have thought she would have at least taken off the paper clip and her instructions. Needless to say it went straight in the bin. Just read, that someone on a Crew Forum received hers this week – four years late.

    I will shortly be receiving an email to let me know when and where to drop my uniform off. This will also remind me that if I cannot produce any items, I will have them deducted from final pay. On my last trip after over 30 years, if I choose not to mention it, I will do my flight, get off and go home. Not so much as a goodbye from anyone in the Company.

    Regardless of how we feel about BA, I honestly believe the vast majority of WW Crew feel that they want to go to work and do the best they can for several reasons, their own personal professionalism and self respect, knowing that when they are a passenger, how they would want to be treated and because just because they feel let down by their employer it is not the passengers fault.

    In-between flying, I have always had other outside interest / business, which is why I have been part time for such a long time. So on leaving I will not be taking up another career, but it will allow me more time to both manage those interests and also spend time travelling on my terms. I CAN’T WAIT.

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