British Airways Mixed Fleet have been recruiting on a significant scale for a number of years now. If you get a job as Cabin Crew with British Airways you will most probably be working for Mixed Fleet. Today I bring to you an interview with Stephanie, former BA Mixed Fleet Crew to tell us all about her experiences.
What’s it like to work for British Airways Mixed Fleet?
What was the application process like?
There was an application form, I can remember being asked to pick which option I think would be suitable for different scenarios (a lot were linked to competency situations dealing with customer service, I also remember some that were linked to your morals in what is right/wrong).
What did the assessment day consist of?
The assessment day took place in Waterside, Heathrow and lasted from 8am-6pm (I think I was one of the last ones to have the interview) I had to go in first to assess the basic requirements such as jump seat (being able to sit in brace position on jump seat) and reach test.
We were all taken into a room and given a presentation on the company, afterwards we had a test and this involved answering questions related to the presentation (we weren’t made aware of this beforehand). The test wasn’t hard – as long as you paid attention!
The next part was a group assessment where I had to work with about 6 other people to design a new uniform for the airline; we were asked to complete a set of questions and each one of us had an assessor watching what we did. The aim of that task was to see how we worked as a team, I don’t think they were really fussed about the actual outcome.
I then had a 1:1 role play where I was asked to play the part of a waitress in a restaurant, I was given a menu to look at initially and then had to deal with a customer who wanted to make a complex order outside of the menu offer.
We were then split into two (like X Factor!) and one group were told they hadn’t made it to the next stage, luckily I was in the other group that did make it through to the next stage.
The final stage (after lunch) was a panel interview with 3 members of the recruitment team asking questions, most questions linked to competency style questions and asked for examples for each area; most questions linked to customer service/dealing with complaints etc.
For more on how to pass your assessment day take a look at my Online Diploma in Becoming Cabin Crew.
What was the training course like?
The training course was based at Cranebank (British Airways old training site which is now not used for crew training) it took place over a 6-week period and each week foucsed on a different area: SEP (Safety on board, evacuations etc), Av-med (Medical), Customer service ETC. A good way to get an insight into the training for British Airways is to watch the ‘Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience’ programme as he took part in this training.
What’s your roster like?
My roster included various trips, if I had long haul trips I would often have a trip for 3 or 4 days then have a few days off and go again. As I worked as mixed fleet I also did some short haul flights – most of my flights were long haul though…
An example of a typical roster included a 9 day Singapore Sydney trip (our longest trip) followed by 4 days off, a trip to Cape town in South Africa for 4 days (nights down route), followed by 3 days off; a euro trip for 4 days which involve some days of 4 sectors (4 flights), a tiring but nice way to see a lot of beautiful European cities.
You can bid for flights and sometimes this works in your favour and you are granted requests for destinations/specific routes.
Can you give a rough idea of the average salary?
Basic salary is given for training and all months regardless of your flying hours, You also get flight pay which is £3.20 per hour and stacks up when you’re away as its calculated as every hour you are away from LHR. You also get commission for inflight sales and this can be high on certain routes, although I would never rely on them.
Sometimes if your hours are high (you can only do 900 hours of flights per year) you might not get as many flights, so it’s worth budgeting and preparing for months when you may not get as many flights.
What is the best thing about working for British Airways?
The destinations are great and there are so many people that work for the airline that no 2 flights are the same.
In the time I was at the airline I visited some amazing places that I wouldn’t have visited/had the opportunity to do elsewhere. Some of my favourite destinations were Tokyo, Miami, Singapore, Rio and I loved visiting places that I hadn’t really considered before like Israel, Baku, Kuwait and South Korea.
You make some amazing friends and the routes are swapped around the different fleets which is great to visit new places and constantly have new destinations.
What is the worst thing about working for this airline?
Some people complain about the salary, but if you don’t spend a lot down route (which I did!) then you can make a good living. Most crew members use flying to see the world so it’s not surprising that they feel like they don’t have much money as it’s expensive being a tourist!
There isn’t much I can say against working for the airline and the only criticism I would give it is that they need to offer crew jobs up North as I found commuting tiring!
What advice would you give to people who want to work for this airline?
Do it! I loved it so much, sometimes people think that you need to be a certain weight/look a certain way – British Airways genuinely recruit people based on their values and what experience they bring to the role.
You can commute in the role, so even if you don’t want to move to London – you can still do it, I commuted and lived in London and I worked with crew that commuted from Scotland and even overseas… my advice would be if you can move to London – consider it as it does add a lot more time on to travelling and expense. A lot of people in training are also looking to move, so you can make friends and move in with fellow crew members based on your friends you create in training (you’ll make loads in training).
Any other points you would like to add?
I loved being crew, its such a unique experience and something you only understand if you have done it. I just wish I started it a lot younger!