Battling a staffing crisis, British Airways is now offering a sign on bonus of £1,000 ($1,300) for four in demand roles including cabin crew, ramp staff, bus drivers and telephone customer service agents.
The airline has come under intense pressure over the last few weeks as staffing shortages have resulted in mass disruption at its Heathrow hub. Stranded passengers have faced further problems in trying to get in touch with BA’s customer service reps despite promises to hire more staff.
British Airways has also taken flak for cancelling hundreds of flights, some of which have been proactively axed from schedules because the airline has now realised it doesn’t have enough staff to keep its operation going as planned.
Like the rest of the airline and travel industry, British Airways has embarked on a massive recruitment drive to plug staffing shortfalls that quickly emerged as pandemic era restrictions were rolled back and travel demand bounced back.
British Airways enthusiastically slashed worker numbers at the height of the pandemic but has struggled to recruit back at levels to keep up with demand. Recruitment problems have been compounded by a backlog in security vetting for new staff.
In an attempt to address that issue, BA is now seeking to hire new cabin crew who already have an airside pass and as a sweetener, the airline is offering a sign on bonus of £1,000 with half paid after three months in the job and the remainder paid out after six months.
A similar sign on bonus is being offered for ramp agents and bus drivers at Heathrow where staffing shortages have been particular pain points for BA over the last few months.
British Airways has also taken a rap over long hold times to reach its customer service team and the airline has promised to bolster its workforce at call centres in Manchester and Newcastle.
The current sign on bonus for cabin crew is double what BA was offering just a few months ago. In addition, the airline is offering immediate access to staff travel benefits which are normally held back for the first six months of service.
To plug an immediate gap in staffing levels, BA is also showering staff with generous overtime payments and offering to buyback annual leave and days off.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.