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British Airways Offering Cabin Crew up to £225 per Day in Overtime to Cover Staff Shortages

British Airways Offering Cabin Crew up to £225 per Day in Overtime to Cover Staff Shortages

British Airways is offering cabin crew up to £225 per day in overtime payments to work on their rest days over the busy Christmas and New Year travel periods. The airline is struggling with Omicron-induced staffing woes and is trying to persuade crew who aren’t sick to pick up additional trips to head off a possible wave of cancellations.

On Christmas Eve, the UK reported 122,186 new COVID-19 infections which is a new all-time record for the country. Despite a reduced isolation period for positive cases, the UK is facing the threat of major staff shortages over the coming weeks as literally millions of people are forced to lock themselves inside their own homes.

Issues first emerged at British Airways last weekend when the Heathrow-based airline started struggling to find enough crew to operate flights on Saturday morning. The problems escalated on Sunday as baggage handlers and ground workers were also sent into isolation.

Passengers say they were sent home from the airport without their luggage because there simply wasn’t anyone available to unload bags from arriving aircraft. At one point, more than 2,000 cases were stacked up and awaiting sorting, although some of those problems have now been resolved.

With even more crew expected to go sick in the coming days, British Airways is offering senior crewmembers £225 per day in overtime to work on their days off in addition to the usual allowances they would earn. Most other cabin crew could earn £150 per day in overtime payments.

In the United States, American Airlines has been able to avoid any staffing issues by introducing an incentive programme over the holiday period. In contrast, Delta and United Airlines have been forced to cancel more than 200 flights between them on Christmas Eve because of staff shortages.

Both airlines admitted that the staffing shortfall was primarily down to high sickness levels which is being driven by the Omicron surge.

Similar staffing woes are being felt at Lufthansa and SAS, while Etihad Airways took the controversial decision to puts its cabin crew into lockdown for 10-days in an attempt to prevent too many more staff from getting sick with COVID-19.

Etihad Airways told staff its entire operation was at risk because so many crewmembers were getting infected. The Abu Dhabi-based airline reserved the right to extend the lockdown if the current stay at home rules fail to curb the current wave of infection.

View Comments (2)
  • Payments negotiated by BASSA no doubt, while the pathetic mixed fleet unite union do absolutely nothing as per usual. They really are a waste of space.

  • It is hard to know who is in control – cabin crew management BASSA. These payments are not just for over time they are for other areas in which the crisis is deepening and although isolation etc sickness is high there is no other incentive to show up for work beyond the basics because management are keeping things at their lowest cheapest level.
    BA have messed up badly over the job shortages. Too many crew were shoved out one way or another during hire and fire tactics in 2020 and there are not enough now to cover flights and not enough good people available to fill the vacancies although brexit is one the reasons to be fair. However cabin crew management must take the brunt of the problem because they cause it.
    Covid is an excuse that stretches only so far. Incompetence in the cabin crew management is shocking. Every aspect of crew life has been stripped to its most basic form because cabin crew management wants only to make sure the job of managing 10000 crew is as easy as possible from a desk job perspective. . Changes were thrust on fleets but an ability to help manage those changes was taken away so many people left and are still leaving because there are other needs apart from just money. Let’s say it was the army…. BA wants four or five sergeant majors a handful of sergeants, a couple of corporals and all the rest main rank corporals but there is no consideration that the battle needs other skills and talents to keep the whole field on the same winning side. There is no incentive for BA to make good on any of the pledged in the new (well not so new, it is almost a year old) flying agreement so long as the union keeps agreeing to ammendments of this payment type. It is still cheaper for BA to do this than giving crew all of the things they need to offer the best available service whilst feeling their best available selves.

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