BA cabin crew face allowance cut

Cabin crew at British Airways face having their compensation allowance cut as the airline continues its efforts reduce employment costs.

The airline has proposed to scrap staff allowances – which are paid for days spent away from home and cover food and laundry costs while overseas – in favour of single annual payments.

The move is part of cost-cutting proposals designed to help the airline stem losses of £401 million last year, but are not linked to the introduction of new contracts for BA staff on 16 November.

The union Unite, which has been involved in ongoing discussions about BA staffs’ contractual changes, said that the payments are likely to vary significantly for different flight personnel.

By simplifying these payments, BA would be able to limit the amount paid out to staff. It has been reported that the allowance for long haul crew would be capped at £8,000 a year, which could mean their annual income is reduced by £5,000.

Unite also said that the single payment could be counter-productive because it removes the incentive for crew to take longer, more arduous and expensive trips over shorter trips.

A Unite spokesman said: “These big numbers are being dangled before crew but the reality is this payment will never increase and it will very quickly fall in value because while the cost of living rises, this payment never will. It will also act as a huge disincentive.

“Why would crew want to fly for 13 hours to Japan, paying out of their own pocket for time spent in an expensive country, spending days apart from their family, when they can get the same allowance for working a less arduous flight to a cheaper country, like Egypt? Again, it shows a basic failure on management’s part to understand the nature of the crew job. They should bin this proposal and talk sensibly with the union about all change proposals.”

When approached for comment a BA spokesperson said that the firm could not release further details on its proposals at this time.

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