In response to a personnel shortage, British Airways is now providing a £1,000 ($1,300) sign-on incentive for four in-demand positions: cabin crew, ramp employees, bus drivers, and telephone customer support agents.
Staffing shortages at the airline’s Heathrow hub have caused major disruptions in recent weeks, putting the carrier under a lot of pressure. Despite promises to hire more workers, stranded travelers have had more difficulty contacting BA customer support representatives.
British Airways has also come under fire for canceling hundreds of flights, some of which were removed from schedules ahead of time because the airline realized it didn’t have enough workers to keep its operations running smoothly.
British Airways, like the rest of the airline and tourism sector, has launched a big recruitment push to fill employment gaps that arose swiftly when pandemic-era restrictions were lifted and travel demand recovered.
At the height of the epidemic, British Airways gladly reduced employee numbers but has failed to re-hire at levels sufficient to meet demand. A backlog in security clearance for new employees has exacerbated recruitment issues.
To address this issue, BA is now looking to hire new cabin crew members who already have an airside pass, and as a perk, the airline is providing a £1,000 sign-on incentive, with half paid out after three months and the rest paid out after six months.
At Heathrow, where labor shortages have been a major issue for BA in recent months, a similar sign-on bonus is being provided to ramp agents and bus drivers.
British Airways has also been chastised for high wait times when calling its customer support team, and the carrier has committed to increasing staffing at its Manchester and Newcastle call centers.
The current cabin crew sign-on incentive is double what BA offered just a few months ago. Furthermore, the airline is providing instant access to employee travel benefits, which are typically reserved for the first six months of employment.
To make up for the shortfall in staffing, BA is offering significant overtime compensation and the option to buy back annual leave and vacation days.