JetBlue verses FedEx?

AlbieF15

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Airline guys and wannabes...

Since 9/11, its been a long time since we had a carrier X verses carrier Y thread.

Here are my choices--FedEx on Jan 14 or JetBlue on 7 Jan. Which would you pick and why? I know I was very blessed to have a choice in this tough market.

I would encourage anyone who is looking for work to throw apps into SWA, JetBlue, and AirTran. If you are "on file" at FedEx...keep the faith. Things seem to be turning around there.
Good luck to everyone.

No hiring department is going to get torqued about this--my decision was made Monday and all parties have been informed. I would like to know what some of you think...if only to reinforce my decision was best for me. Eagleflip, JeffG, and Reuter know my choice...no fair spilling the beans.

Fly safe and sound off!

Albie
 

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Shem Malmquist
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Let's see, a fairly new "startup" company, although a fairly promising one, or an established major carrier with a more extensive route structure than any other single carrier on the planet. Hmm....
 

Goose17

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Want to know your choice

AlbieF15,

I would like to know your choice. Since I am a member of the Fed Ex pool, I would like to know if a slot just became available.

Thanks in advance

Goose17

(Break, Break)

AlbieF15...

Thanks for the private message.

Goose17
 
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Rock

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Well albie, since you currently fly an old, behemoth dinosaur, you probably wouldn't be comfortable flying new iron at JetBlue. I'm betting you're itching to sit sideways in an airplane that's the same vintage as your rodan.:D
 

KTHornet

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Albie,

I feel your pain! I'm in the FedEx and SWA pools right now but have a jetBlue class date of Feb 4th. Jennifer called today and told me to expect a class after April; Ouch! I've been agonizing over the right choice to make and feel there really are no wrong choices. Doing the math, I figure to be approx $120k ahead of FedEx going with jetBlue after the first 5 years due to the 8 month upgrade time to Captain. Captain pay at FedEx is significantly higher but I think stock options and profit sharing will go a long way toward making up the difference. I feel it's not as safe a move going with jetBlue over the others but I like a little spice in my life. As you can probably tell I'm leaning Blue but ask me again tomorrow and I may or may not give you the same answer.

KT
 

Kjet

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I would have to say that FEDEx has difinitely proven itself over the test of time for long term stability and would be the number 1 choice.

However, there are so many variables with each individual, ie: base locations for commutiblity, time off, pay(pretty equal), people vs boxes, day vs night, pension vs 401K, better to serve your military obligation etc.

I have a hunch that because you mentioned Jeff G. in your post you're going blue! Am I right? Make sure you do tell us the answer.
 
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Buffy

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Still Waffling?

It's a tough decision. There's not a lot of happy folks at FedEx, and I'm not just talking about pilots. I have never seen such a hostile environment toward pilots -- not what I expected. However, you'll make more money (which is the ONLY reason to do this airline gig) and have a much better retirement package in the end. Speaking of the end -- chances are FedEx will be here, are you sure 'bout JetBlue? FedEx won't be as enjoyable as SWA (are 8 legs a day enjoyable) or JetBlue, but it probably makes more sense in the long run (as long as you can survive the schedule). Whatever decision you make, it's a win-win situation -- an enviable one to be in. Good Luck.
 

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Shem Malmquist
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Buffy,

What other airlines have you worked at to have a reference point? In what way do is anyone hostile? Most of the folks I deal with are pretty nice, just doing their job. Does management negotiate hard and play hardball? Sure they do. Tell me an airline where they don't! SWA management is a possible exception, but that depends on who you ask. Some say it's great, others say that it is great so long as the pilots take what ever management offers them, but no more. Not being there, it's hard to say. Compared to UPS, AA, UAL, NWA, etc., I don't see much difference.
 

EvilJim

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I'm going Blue

Albie,

I wish I had the choice to make. Right now jetBlue is my only option and I am truly fortunate to be assigned to the Feb 4th class. Good luck to you and thanks for all the great info you have passed along.

Evil
 

dgs

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FedEx vs. jetBlue

The contrast between FedEx and jetBlue couldn't be more striking. If you are customer oriented, computer smart, and like the challenge of flying new equipment in a leading-edge company, then pick jetBlue. Sure, it's a risk, but I have many friends who opted for Delta or American who are on the street today waiting for a callback. jetBlue wants people who are willing to take a risk. I personally think they are a great company that has a better chance of survival than many other major airlines that are hemmoraging cash. You need to be a bit of a risk taker to go with jetBlue, but I think the rewards--both financial and personal satisfaction will be greater.

For those whom money is the only reason you're flying airplanes, I feel sorry for you. Personally, I want to go to work and have fun every day. That's why I targeted jetBlue and SWA. I interviewed with both and was a bit disappointed in the pre-9/11 attitude of the pilots I met at SWA. They were all focused on the union meeting with management on 9/14. They didn't seem to have the passion for the job that your read about in Nuts. (In fact, from an employee perspective, I think jetBlue is more like the company in Nuts than SWA is these days.) Still, you have to acknowledge they are probably the safest bet in the pax hauling business.

If you see pax as a nuisance, then fly the boxes! I have several friends who fly for FedEx who tell me, "It's a job and pays well." FedEx is a great company and I don't mean to disparage them or my friends here, but they don't seem to have the passion for flying they once had. If you see airline flying as a means to another end, then FedEx is probably a good choice for you.

Bottom line: There is no one right answer for everybody. You have to decide which airline matches your needs/desires best! Whatever course you decide, you need to be convinced that it is the best option for you. Please don't show up in Miami hoping that you'll get the call from SWA. I'm sure every company and everybody working for that company would rather have somebody who is truly excited about coming to work than somebody who moans that they should have made another choice. As pilots we make decisions daily that affect the rest of our lives, like a previous poster said, "Make the decision and don't look back." Good luck. -- dgs
 

BluDevAv8r

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Albie,

I'm crushed. Where's my email with your decision?! Hrmph....no Archer ride for you! lol......Congratulations man. Whatever it is, its the right decision for you...couldn't have gone wrong either way.

-Neal
 

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Shem Malmquist
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Dgs,

What you missed in your analysis is the one common thread in all of this. You note that FedEx used to be "really fun", and that even SWA no longer is there. Newsflash! Companies are more fun to work for when they're small and new! As they grow the relationship changes. Much of the "discontent" at FedEx is just that in recent years the company has grown to the point that it is no longer "fun" (actually, most of us still have a lot of fun at the job!), but those that remember what it was like even 10 years ago feel that we've lost something. True, but we've also grown to over 4000 pilots from under 1000 in the late 80s.

Southwest? Same story, but a few years behind us on the curve.

Jetblue? Brand new, still riding high in that new company feel. 20 years from now the company will probably feel a lot different (assuming it's still around, most probably it will be absorbed into some other company by then).
 

Kjet

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Morris Air

One thing that might be worth looking into was why did Neeleman sell Morris Air to SWA a few years back. Why did he not develop that into a jetBlue?

I know the owner Mrs. Morris had become ill but I don't know if that was a reason for selling out to SWA and not just allowing Neeleman to buy and/or grow the company. Maybe somewould could shed some light on this, and perhaps answer whether selling the company could be in Jetblues future. It could be a reason to Fedex vs jetBluing.
 

dgs

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Risk Takers

As I thought about my comment about jetBlue wanting people who are willing to take a risk, I realized that some people may misunderstand. I wanted to make sure my point was crystal clear. I'm sure jetBlue doesn't want any cowboys in the cockpit or people who are willing to "take the risk" to press approach minimums. What I mean is people who are willing to try new things--like their considerable use of computer technology. Those who aren't willing to try new things because "they've never done it that way before" probably won't enjoy the level of change inherent in a new, growing, and thriving company like jetBlue.

Profile -- I agree with you in general that newer companies are more exciting. It might be an interesting exercise to think about why. Is it the new people working for a dream? Is is management with a vision and a dynamic leadership style? Is it just the excitement of working for a new company and the personal stake people feel in making it a success? How do companies lose that excitement? Why do people become disillusioned? Is it a function of the size of the airline, or the length of time it has been in business? Does leadership, management, or labor get stale? Are unions destined to help or hurt the relationship with management in their struggles for better pay and benefits? It is probably not any one thing, but a combination of things that cause companies to lose their initial spark. There are tons of books aimed at managers of companies who are facing exactly these same problems, and I'm sure we could spend a long time philosophizing over the matter.

The fact is that the companies are different and will meet different needs for each individual. The key to happiness is finding the company that matches your personal goals. I only have 18 years left to fly before I hit the magic 60, so I'm hoping that the excitement will not fade before I depart the fix. -- dgs
 

dgs

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Morris Air & jB buyout

I think there were probably at least 20 million reasons ($) that persuaded Neelman to sell Morris Air. That kind of financial security at 35 would be difficult to turn down. I also expect it was more than just the money, but I don't have any other insight into the decision.

I have considered the consequences of IPO and eventual buyout of jetBlue. One thing that makes me sleep better at night is knowing that the JFK slots are non-transferable--meaning that if another company bought jetBlue, they would lose their JFK operations. I sometimes think of jetBlue in the puffer fish analogy. It may be a tasty morsel, but if another company tries to eat it, it may kill them. I think that was a pretty ingenious move by Neelman to prevent a hostile takeover.
 

Marko Ramius

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Dgs,

The non-transferability of the slots in JFK means nothing. None of the major airlines are really interested in a domestic hub in JFK. JFK is essentially an O & D international, and transcon airport for most airlines. Most of the majors focus on bringing domestic passengers into EWR & LGA unless the perimeter rule prohibits it. One of the B6's advantages is that so far it has shielded itself from direct competition by using JFK and LGB. None of the other airlines are going to reduce operations in LGA, EWR, LAX, etc to compete directly with B6 on a large scale, which helps them. If one of the other majors were to buy B6, they would likely just take their capacity out of inventory, raise fares, and reallocate the aircraft to other markets. Since the slots aren't transferable, they wouldn't have to worry about them going to a competitor, and even then they would still own the hard assets like the gates to block off new entrants. When the rumours were going around that UAL was going to make an offer for JetBlue, the plan was to basically move the capacity and planes to IAD.
 

SpeedBird

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Last year when I attended my new-hire training in Miami, David Neeleman stopped by to visit our group. He fielded several questions from our class. Of course, someone asked if he would sell the airline, like Morris Air. I thought his answer was revealing when he said that for him jetBlue represented a "legacy opportunity" that he never had with Morris Air.

His answer, along with some of his other insights and comments gave me the impression that he was sincere and truthful in his statements to our group. Since then, I've never had a reason to change my mind about him and his motives. However, with that said, he is also a very smart businessman, and if the right set of conditions were present, he would sell the airline. This based purely on sound business reasons, if nothing else.

My guess is that when jetBlue goes public, it will control the amount of float on the secondary market. In other words, the airline will probably hold at least 50% of the authorized shares in reserve, and not allow them to be traded publicly. This would be an easy way to circumvent a potential hostile takeover.
 

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Shem Malmquist
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No great mystery. When companies start out it's a team effort, with employees going above and beyond to make it work. Small enough so the senior management can take the time to thank people on an individual basis or do other things to keep things close and personal. As the company grows and becomes established, management is not in the trenches as much (if at all) and the employees come to expect some "payback" for the previous hard work. From then on it gets less friendly.
 

backflip

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My uncle was the VP of Flight Ops at Morris Air prior to Neeleman selling out to SWA. He worked very closely with Neeleman and they remain friends to this day. When I asked my uncle what his thoughts were about JetBlue and the possibility of Neeleman selling out in the future he believes that it won't happen. He said that Neeleman has told him on several occasions that selling Morris Air was a mistake. Neeleman appears to be the real deal on JetBlue. My uncle believes that jetBlue will be around a long time. When you look at thier financial backing and their tremendous start, with Sept 11 not even really phasing them, I'd have to agree with my uncle that jetBlue is here to stay (for the long term).
 

dgs

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jetBlue here to stay

backflip -- Thanks for the inside view. That's really great news. From my perspective I'm glad Neelman made a fresh start with jetBlue because it gives him the opportunity to do it even better than Morris Air could ever have been. I know he and a few close friends spent several years thinking up EXACTLY what they wanted to do with jetBlue while he was waiting for his non-competition agreement with SWA to expire. I'm sure that kind of vision and strategic planning will be critical to the success of jetBlue. -- dgs
 
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