Airline Pay cuts driving away best pilots

livin'thesim

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Pilots don't "manage" the asset from a business standpoint. They operate a machine. Comparing a CEO to a pilot is not really credible. This is not an argument for or against any particular pay rate, just pointing out the difference.

If the captain 'managed' the airplane like a CEO, that CA would also be making business decisions about the routes it flies and how much to charge for a ticket. I think the argument about managing the asset is not going to get any traction, and is best abandoned.

Look at it this way, is the Captain of a beat-up old 727 worth less than the captain of a brand-new A320? Those two aircraft have very different price tags, but the number of souls aboard is comparable. Should a NWA DC-9 captain make substantially less than an A320 captain, adjusting for the seat count? As they aircraft depreciates, should pay scale down accordingly?

The safety and experience argument is the way to go IMO.
 
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C180drvr

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National seniority list, national contract. Allow lateral movement and elminate the total reliance on "your" airlines' fate in determining your career. Let some airlines liquidate instead of extorting concessions via the "at least I still have a job and where else am I gonna go" route. Fewer jobs but better pay for the pilots with overall seniority to hold them.

Probably never going to happen. And the pitiful pay and benefits packages now seen in the industry won't improve.
I couldn't agree more.
 

C180drvr

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To InstructorDudes posts....

Flying is in my blood too, but I have a small airplane to enjoy. I left the majors after 10 years because the position became untenable both financially and with scheduling. Perhaps I'll return in 4 years when my leave is up, but I highly doubt it. The career has gone in the toilet and wouldn't recommend it to anyone. To think otherwise is truly naive.
 

chjack

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you guys talk a big game about the mpl now, but management will offer you an extra $5 an hour, and you'll sell the profession out permanently just like you did with scope.
 

chjack

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Birdstrike

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Instructordude said:
Yeah but the trash man doesn't have an office with a view like ours.
Or the responsibility. You are selling yourself and skill set out. Do you really have that little self worth?
Sully said:
"The reduced compensation has placed pilots and their families in an untenable financial situation," Sullenberger said. "I do not know a single, professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps."

"experienced crews in the cockpit will be a thing of the past."

Skiles added, "For the last six years, I have worked seven days a week between my two jobs just to maintain a middle class standard of living."
Pilot's aren't the only professionals with devalued "skill sets" suffering from untenable compensation, miserable pensions, and parents hoping their kids won't follow their paths into a once-noble profession.

My wife is a public school teacher. She doesn't even get the great view. And she saves lives too, in her own way.

But unlike your profession, there aren't lines of eager newbies always willing to do even more for even less. That's always seemed to undermine your leverage to me; someone always willing to do it for less. That and too many seats since the industry refuses to allow the sick and the lame to die off so the survivors can regain some semblance of health.

And of course, you eat your young or minimally throw them under the bus instead of truly sticking together.

Though you are highly respected, and most deservedly so, as are teachers...things are rough all over.

You guys have a really tough sell on the public...
 

LoneStarFlyer

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Birdstrike hit the nail on the head.

Here's my question about the MPL. I can see how management views it as a short term fix. So long as you've got qualified captains, you can basically put them up there single pilot with a gear-pulling monkey in the right seat and they'll get the job done, for a while... The problem arises when those captains retire or get sick of the workload. In the past, you moved from the panel to the right seat, and eventually over to the left. If you've got someone who can't hold an ATP sitting in the right seat, who is going to upgrade and replace the retiring captains?

Just like the rest of corporate America, airline managements can't see past this quarter's income statement...
 

Lear70

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Here's my question about the MPL. I can see how management views it as a short term fix. So long as you've got qualified captains, you can basically put them up there single pilot with a gear-pulling monkey in the right seat and they'll get the job done, for a while... The problem arises when those captains retire or get sick of the workload. In the past, you moved from the panel to the right seat, and eventually over to the left. If you've got someone who can't hold an ATP sitting in the right seat, who is going to upgrade and replace the retiring captains?

Just like the rest of corporate America, airline managements can't see past this quarter's income statement...
Oh no, my friend, the MPL is a long-term fix. Let me explain.

Right now you have approximately 34,000 airline pilots in the workforce. Let's say half of those are F/O's (historically it's about 55-60%, but we'll err on the low side).

In the airlines, most pilots fly 700-900 hours a year, depending on how aggressively they fly (70 hours a month with 1 month of paid vacation spread out over a couple months means around 770 hours a year; most pilots fly more).

Let's also say that the MPL program doesn't happen conservatively for another 7 years, there's plenty of pilots on furlough to last through the next up-turn and down-turn, and the vast majority of the retirees won't hit the streets for at least another 3-5 years.

So say 3% of your workforce starts hitting retirement age each year starting in 7 years. That's a lot, by the way, over 1,000 pilots a year; it'll probably be a much smaller number. In 10 years, you'd have replaced only 1/3 of your senior pilot workforce.

So, each year you upgrade your high-time F/O's who have been swinging gear for 10-15 years in the majors, the regional CA's come over with lots of time, the guys who have been F/O's at regionals for those 5-7 years hit the left seat at their regional, and the 150-hour MPL wunderkids get hired in the right seat of that CRJ/ERJ.

That means a fresh MPL in the right seat of a CRJ is going to build 700-900 hours a year. 2 years and they meet ATP minimums and can upgrade at their regional. 2-3 years later they have 3,000-4,000+ hours and could conceivably have enough flight time to pipeline through to the majors (they've hired that low in the past, and would again if things got tight). That's only 5 years into the MPL replacement program, and those guys will spend another 5-10 years in the right seat at a major before they even see a HINT of upgrade, they'd have 10,000+ total time, almost all of it multi-crew jet time.

Not to mention about 15 years from now, we will have gotten through that big bump in retirements, and the pace will slow dramatically again, allowing slower hiring for a LONG time to come...

The MPL won't cause a restriction in the upgrade pipeline, there's far too many pilots already in the system and not enough pilots coming out to cause that problem. That's one of the reasons so many of us are trying to warn people about it. Things likely WILL get tight in about a decade, and that's going to be the last, good opportunity to improve this profession back to at least SOME semblance of what it was.

Miss that opportunity, and you will once and for all turn this into a blue collar job.
 
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pilotyip

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Still a great career.

I do not understand all this bashing of our chosen profession. For those who feel they can have a better life outside the cockpit, the world is waiting for you. Sully makes what 150K/yr?, works 4 days a week, lives in a 500K house. For most of america this is a dream job. True it is not what is used to be(what is?), but it is still a great way to make a living. Maybe with Sully's input the college degree will continue to be less important is getting a flying job. BTW Do pilots still fly airplanes or do they program them?
 
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Lear70

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I do not understand all this bashing of our chosen profession. For those who feel they can have a better life outside the cockpit, the world is waiting for you. Sully makes what 150K/yr?, works 4 days a week, lives in a 500K house. For most of america this is a dream job. True it is not what is used to be(what is?), but it is still a great way to make a living. Maybe with Sully's input the college degree will continue to be less important is getting a flying job. BTW Do pilots still fly airplanes or do they program them?
I still fly mine. Did at AirTran, too. You don't have to use the automation if you don't want to...

Sure, if ALL of us made $150k a year and got 13-14 days off a month you MIGHT have a point, but at least 60% of the AirTran seniority list makes less than HALF that and the lines have become uncommutable on either end and low days off, which means people are home maybe 10-11 days a month. Most other majors are the same way, and let's not even start with the regionals where people qualify for food stamps as F/O's...

I know you don't know what that's like, you lived in domicile and had mostly day trips, and your kids are long gone out of the house, but for the rest of us WITH kids in the house, it sucks.

Now if that was $150k for F/O's so that at least the majority of us WERE living like that, then sure... I'm all for it. After 16+ years in the industry, I'm certain I've earned it, as have most of my major airline peers. Don't know too many major airline people with less than a decade into their career AFTER 2-6 years of training (2 for people without a college degree who just did their ratings, 6 who did both like me).

We love to fly, but we hate what the compensation package has become compared to what we once had in this industry and we're fighting to change that. Don't know why that's so hard for you to understand...
 

GogglesPisano

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enough
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GogglesPisano

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yes, it is. I am not aware of a professional that does not want to do better though. I think $75k and $150k is a good STARTING point.

I think that $250k a year would be just fine for all doctors to make, don't you?! They on't deserve to make all that money. Wait, now I sound like a socialemocrat.
Politicians decrying high pay?

No, actually. You sound like some Republicans. Like McCain ...

"Another prominent Republican senator, John McCain, blasted pilots at United Airlines for engaging in a no-overtime campaign to "satisfy their personal
greed" that was blamed for increased delays and cancellations during contract talks last summer."

Or Lott ...
"Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott this month urged the Department of Transportation to examine pilot wages and worker-related delays. "What do
they make? Look at those salaries," Lott told the DOT Inspector General."


http://archives.californiaaviation.org/pilot/msg00010.html
 
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Smarta$$

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you guys talk a big game about the mpl now, but management will offer you an extra $5 an hour, and you'll sell the profession out permanently just like you did with scope.
Exactly. They will.
 

Smarta$$

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you guys talk a big game about the mpl now, but management will offer you an extra $5 an hour, and you'll sell the profession out permanently just like you did with scope.
Double whopper.
 

StopNTSing

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Sometimes jobs have other perks that make up for the pay, which isn't all that bad in my opinion. 150k for a Capt and 75K for an FO is good money IMO.
Spoken like someone who has never actually made that salary. Try raising a family & paying a mortgage in most domicile cities on that. It can obviously be done, but you won't feel 'rich' either.
 

Smarta$$

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I do not understand all this bashing of our chosen profession. For those who feel they can have a better life outside the cockpit, the world is waiting for you. Sully makes what 150K/yr?, works 4 days a week, lives in a 500K house. For most of america this is a dream job. True it is not what is used to be(what is?), but it is still a great way to make a living. Maybe with Sully's input the college degree will continue to be less important is getting a flying job. BTW Do pilots still fly airplanes or do they program them?
Any executive position. While middle class wages have significantly decreased, executive wages have significanlty increased. So much for a rising tide lifts ALL boats. A rising tide olny lifts REALLY BIG boats.
 

JohnDoe

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you guys talk a big game about the mpl now, but management will offer you an extra $5 an hour, and you'll sell the profession out permanently just like you did with scope.

This one deserves another bump.

The folks that have been selling scope away for years will fall over each other to get at the prospect of more pay in exchange for approval of the mpl.
 

Flopgut

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This one deserves another bump.

The folks that have been selling scope away for years will fall over each other to get at the prospect of more pay in exchange for approval of the mpl.
I'm afraid 65 made this a foregone conclusion in that it enables a particuliarly selfish generation to remain in a position of influence.
 

C180drvr

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Who else but a goofball pilot would say "we shouldn't be paid that much" or X amount is too much? Absolutely ridiculous. I have friends in almost every other profession and have NEVER heard one suggest they're overpaid, or would not seek a raise because "that's just too much money." Only a goofball pilot could say that. Moreover, pilots ARE underpaid when you consider comparable training, education, barriers to entry, etc. Yes, I love flying, but refuse to do it for next to nothing. Two separate goals and believe you need to be willing to walk because you love flying and not do it for free.
 

ACL65PILOT

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Most of the individuals I fly with have advance degrees. I myself decided that to make 150-180K a year as an FO in 10 years, and 280-350K as a CA at the end game, was worth going after my dream, instead of being a Doctor. I gave up med school for this.
My point is that at many majors that is the norm. The military pilot went to the airlines instead of consulting et al, why because there was enough money in it, that he choose to make a little less and enjoy what he is doing. The civilian got in to it because it paid fairly well, and it was what he loved to do. (I knew I would make less than a medical profession, but decided that 200K+ was good enough for me. I was going to be a radiologist. They start at 600K a year and have over 15 weeks of vacation Most of them are making over 1 million their first year out of residency. Point is that I knew there would bea difference)
Now take these pay cuts and other cuts we have all faced. I cannot leave to go be a Dr. I would be in my late 40's before I would be out of residency. I have the proverbial handcuffs on. I am not the issues, and management knows that. What the issue is, is what is around the corner.
People going the civilian track are finding it very hard to get financing for a Riddle degree. Why? Well, the banks know we are paid horribly and we are a bad risk. Most regional FO's just default on their 200K loans. Military guys have a longer commitment. If you are in for 10 might as well go for 20 and get a retirement. We all know that there is not one in the airlines.
Furthermore, anyone with an iota of intelligence realizes that there are other jobs out there that will pay much more for a lot less effort, pain and suffering. In effect I will just buy my airplane and fly it on the side. I know if I had a crystal ball and could see this I would of.
Qualified people, the ones that you parents want flying them will not become pilots in the future, that will effect the safety of our profession.
management assigns a cost to safety, they have just been able to stick it to this generation because they know we cannot leave.
 
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