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Pilots - Overpaid "Bus Drivers" Of The Sky?  
User currently offlineGoallegheny From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 340 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10637 times:

Has anyone ever encountered friends or others who think that commercial airline pilots are just overpaid bus drivers of the sky? I've been amazed at the number of my otherwise intelligent friends who think that. Don't get me wrong - I've met a couple of pilots (pre-9/11) who had grown tired of the routine and the automation, and perhaps they thought of themselves as bus drivers, but I hadn't realized the extent to which the general public thought that as well, even as pilots continue to be responsible for hundreds of lives at a shot and millions of dollars of expensive equipment.

We've come a long way (down), I would say. Perhaps in this sense the industry is a victim of its own success.

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10561 times:

I disagree. I think pilots should make a lot of money. There not overpaid bus drivers b/c the two are different things.


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineSSRJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10505 times:

During day to day operations, pilots of modern airliners are more technician/computer operator than anything else - and they are overpaid - at the major airlines.

On bad weather days, with decreasing vis - they earn every penny they get paid.

The guys that do earn their pay every day are those souls flying older jet and turboprop equipment. You should see the guys that fly aircraft like the Metro III as they literaly wrestle their aircraft around Florida thunderstorms and other bad weather.

They really WORK.

Thanks,
-SSRJ




When all else fails, read the directions. Else then, get the hammer
User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6659 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10493 times:

It doesn't cost $100k plus just to become a bus driver.Only a lucky few get into the majors anyway.

User currently offlineN951U From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 10431 times:

There's only about 85,000 airline pilots in the United States right now. How many bus drivers are there?


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10383 times:

A rather inflamatory choice of topics...

Was Al Haynes an "overpaid bus driver?" I think the survivors of UAL 232 would argue otherwise... (I sure would...)


User currently offlineSSRJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10372 times:

If there are about 85,000 airline pilots in the United States, that also means that there are about 85,000 airline pilots that think they should be CEO of their airline just because they know how to fly an airplane.

Let's make it clear:

1. Pilots drive/control airplanes for a living.
2. Airplanes fly.

Pilots in effect drive very technical machines that carry people from place to place - like a bus driver. They are both demanding jobs that require professionalism and safety, or people die.

Thx



When all else fails, read the directions. Else then, get the hammer
User currently offlineShankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1528 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10368 times:

There will never be a 400 seater bus that will loose an engine at max weight at V1 at night in a rain storm. Worth every penny.


L1011 - P F M
User currently offlineCanyonBlue From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10360 times:

If I'm flying to BOS when there's fog everywhere with 200 passengers and the Captain or First Officer lands the plane safely, I say give them a bonus. I could see the "Bus Driver" argument if the weather is perfect, but for those of us who reside in the northeast we know that isn't always the case. I still find it amazing to see a 744 or 777 land in any type of conditions. I don't think pilots are overpaid at all, I believe a vast majority are underpaid.



User currently offlineSSRJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10348 times:

A pilot will never drive a bus on a muddy dirt road within inches of a 2,000 foot cliff with no wings in a rainstorm in a thirld world country for a living.

No wings.

Hey guys, I gotta go catch a Frontier flight to ATL via DEN.

And I am very happy that my pilots will be TRAINED to do a very repetitive job VERY WELL.

Have a great weekend.

Thanks,
SSRJ



When all else fails, read the directions. Else then, get the hammer
User currently offlineSSRJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10331 times:

The machine lands in zero vis.
Now if your in a CRJ and you're CAT III and can't go down to 100' on auto pilot and the vis and celing suck.. You ARE earning your pay and are beyond a bus driver.

See my previous comments about good/bad weather.


Keep it real.
-ssrj
Bye ! or I'll miss my flight!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



When all else fails, read the directions. Else then, get the hammer
User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10327 times:

we're not bus drivers. we do the job because we want to. thats all there is to it. what Donder10 said, we sink so much money into getting our lisences that getting paid that much money is fair.


"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4482 posts, RR: 22
Reply 12, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10296 times:

SSRJ,

Man, I can't wait until some of the line pilots catch wind of this...you're gonna get it...

Pilots in effect drive very technical machines that carry people from place to place - like a bus driver. They are both demanding jobs that require professionalism and safety, or people die.

Man, life according to you must just be so black and white...a simple explanation for everything...

A bus is not a technically sophisticated machine. It drives along the road. There are what....hundreds of millions of cars in the United States alone. A bus driver, in effect, has very little training over the level of the average private driver -- of which the overwhelming majority of the population is. They learn to drive a bus, put on a bus driver uniform, and drive senior citizens to casinos. There's really not a lot more to it than that.

Pilots, on the other hand...I can't believe someone with your alleged position in an airline doesn't know what pilots do.

We pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for highly specialized training; training that the majority of the population just doesn't receive. We study every aspect of our aircraft, from the inner workings of the guidance equipment to the way the toilets flush. Show me an average bus driver that knows completely how every item on his bus works and I'll eat my shoe.

On top of that, pilots go through a VERY selective hiring process. Airline pilots spend weeks in ground school at an airline to learn everything about the specific aircraft type we're flying. If you don't make the grade, you flunk out..and what other major airline is going to hire someone that flunked an indoc program at another major?

And then, there's the issue of recurrent training. I don't know a single pilot who doesn't sit around studying everything he can in his spare time, trying to stay ahead of the curve. Every six months we're back in the classrooms and back in the sims...refining our skills, catching up with the industry and the art of aviation. Sounds something like a doctor...doesn't it?

Then they get in the airplane, make critical life-or-death decisions, go through incredible amounts of paperwork that MUST be correct or it's their job, and rocket scores of people through the skies in a metal tube with skin about the same thickness as your pinky finger.

But yeah, we're nothing but bus drivers.

Go Greyhound,
Jon



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10298 times:

Why focus on pilots? How about those greedy CEOs that get rewarded for guiding their respective companies towards bankruptcy?  Insane

No, I think there are more serious anomalies in remuneration in other industries...

Anyhow, the analogy with bus drivers isn't really helpful; pilots bear more training and responsibility, as well as having to contend with smaller/changing margins for error & dire consequences should mistakes be made.

That doesn't mean I think pilots should be paid the ridiculous amounts paid to other professionals/CEOs....but the whole issue of pay is quite complex, and I for one don't think it's as simple as just saying 'they get overpaid'.

Probably the vast majority of pilots aren't on the pay many think they are. I'd say very few would be earning over $100k....

rgds

[typo edit]

[Edited 2003-09-20 00:10:28]

User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4482 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10263 times:

Probably the vast majority of pilots aren't on the pay many think they are. I'd say very few would be earning over $100k....

No doubt. The vast majority of pilots...the ones less glamorized, the ones you don't hear about...make a pittance.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10251 times:

It depends on the airline I guess....I agree some make too much. When they make more than the president, that's a bit much. But they have a lot of responsibility!

User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4482 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10238 times:

When they make more than the president, that's a bit much. But they have a lot of responsibility!

Lots of people make more than the President. What's he making now, anyway, around $200k a year? I can count the number of pilots I know that are currently making over that on one hand...and I know a lot.

So some of our higher-pay doctors and lawyers are making too much then?

I say...hey, if you're a 55-year old airline pilot making $200k a year...great. You paid your dues...you deserve it.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineN951U From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10215 times:

Don't compare salaries to the President unless you're prepared to include all of the benefits (houses, transport, security, meals, etc).

User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10173 times:

Unfriendly Skies is a great book(a little dated, but still very good) that will lay it all out on just why pilots are paid so much. They earn every penny, and there is a reason they are professionals, not bus drivers.


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 10172 times:

It's still alot of money. I always thought the pres was underpayed anyhow! OH well.

User currently offlineFSPilot747 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 3599 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10154 times:

"Has anyone ever encountered friends or others who think that commercial airline pilots are just overpaid bus drivers of the sky


often. but when shit hits the fan at 37,000 ft at Mach 0.84, they tend to quiet down.

FSP


User currently offlineMD11LuxuryLinr From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1385 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10114 times:

My roommate thinks pilots are overpaid bus drivers. Of course I disagree, radically. I don't know any bus drivers personally, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't take a bachelors degree and thousands of hours of driving to be a bus driver...


Caution wake turbulence, you are following a heavy jet.
User currently offlineCaptain Moya From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10066 times:

"Pilots in effect drive very technical machines that carry people from place to place - like a bus driver. They are both demanding jobs that require professionalism and safety, or people die."

I disagree. You can't compare a bus to a plane, man. A bus can pull over on the side of the road if something goes wrong for any reason - an aircraft doesn't have that option. This is where thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of flight training come in baby!


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10038 times:

>>>often. but when shit hits the fan at 37,000 ft at Mach 0.84, they tend to quiet down

Nicely said...


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 7 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 10039 times:

Not to spark a political firestorm here, but to answer an earlier inquiry, the President now earns $400,000 annually. I believe this started when George W. Bush took office in 2001. I think Bill Clinton was at $200k. Congress I believe sets the salary for the President.

For the most part, on an uneventful flight, pilots are managing the flight systems, dodging weather developments, etc. When things go south for whatever reason, better hope he/she knows what's going on. Much rather see the captain make $200k, etc. than put my life in the hands of a computer. I agree...Al Haynes earned every penny, and then some, on UA232, just like so many others in a difficult situation.

Out of respect for my Dad, who was a UA mechanic, I will also offer up this point: remember that the salaries of pilots are based on the fleet type, seniority, route, etc., they operate, and that is stated in their contract. Having said that, remember that mechanics and ground crews and flight attendants, as well as c/s agents MAKE THE SAME RATE *regardless* of what aircraft they work on. My Dad (and those like him) earned his same hourly rate to work on those various fleets and regardless of the complexity of the problem or aircraft, and that rate was pale in comparison to what the pilots make to operate them. If the aircraft isn't operable, the pilot is then worth $0, he/she sits in the ready room until the plane's ready to go. Now, in a case like that, all of a sudden the mechanic is worth his/her weight in gold! This is a perceived inequality amoung most airline worker groups that has created a lot of animosity and ill will towards flight crews at virtually every major carrier. How will that get resolved? I don't know.


25 Post contains images B747skipper : Overpaid... xxx Many of you know I am a management 747 captain and check pilot/instructor. Because of the devaluation of the ARG. Peso, my monthly sal
26 Alessandro : Hard to say, not all pilots get a job, but the bus drivers usually get a job. Bus licence goes for most buses if not all, but pilots are only allowed
27 Post contains images N766UA : I disagree. You can't compare a bus to a plane, man. A bus can pull over on the side of the road if something goes wrong for any reason - an aircraft
28 Positive rate : Nope i think airline pilots deserve evry penny they get. To suggest that an airline pilot is a 'bus driver' is ludicrous. Do bus drivers have 400 live
29 Flyingbronco05 : I know a guy who flies for a fortune 500 company and he said he gets paid well over $115,000 a year. He has been flying jets since 1998 and is type ce
30 Post contains images JBirdAV8r : I know a guy flying for a F500 company myself...I'd imagine he makes that much, but he's around 26...they bought him a house, and as soon as his kid's
31 Jetdeltamsy : pilots are highly intelligent people. highly trained, educated, etc... the requirements for their job is among the most rigorous of any profession. th
32 Ual777contrail : GOAL, You started a topic that is very taboo on this forum, pilot pay. Be careful there are some very sensitive pilots on this forum. UAL 777 CONTRAIL
33 BN747 : Tell your friends/roomate (the bus driver supporters) that a surgeon usually holds a single life in his hands in a day. Many 'flying' bus drivers hold
34 Boeingfan : Hmmm, think about that on your next inflight non routine interruption (emergency.) You'll be glad the guy from Greyhound or dear Mrs. Jones from your
35 VonRichtofen : People say this because a lot of them are jealous of people with high paying, hard to get and highly respected jobs. These are the same people that sa
36 Saab2000 : I am an airline pilot and I am not overpaid. I earn a salary with an equivelant buying power of maybe $25,000 per year. Yes, I can live from that. But
37 Marco_polo : Majoring of the U.S domestic airlines pilot are not over paid and compensations are adequate. The over paid people are doctors and healthcare people i
38 WERNAIR : Don't think that they are overpaid... It's a long and expensive way up to the sky!
39 N6376m : I think that it is completely ridiculous to compare absolute salaries of pilots to those of other professions. The fact is that pilots literally have
40 Usairwys757 : I too think its ridiculous that pilots are considered overpaid bus drivers. The last time i checked bus drivers go to school for about 6 weeks, pilots
41 Post contains images Luisinho : Hiii folks Well, i don't know if they are overpaid or not, but one thing i know: - I love flying so much that if one airline who i worked for couldn't
42 727LOVER : Pilots ARE overpaid IF their airline can't afford it. Pay must be in line w/ revenue, thus when revenue declines significantly, pilots (as well as oth
43 Yyz717 : Pilots ARE overpaid IF their airline can't afford it. Pay must be in line w/ revenue, thus when revenue declines significantly, pilots (as well as oth
44 FSPilot747 : 727LOVER: You can't expect ANYONE to take a 30% paycut quietly. Who the hell wouldn't "bitch" about it? You wouldn't know because you haven't been in
45 Post contains images JBirdAV8r : 727LOVER: You can't expect ANYONE to take a 30% paycut quietly. Who the hell wouldn't "bitch" about it? You wouldn't know because you haven't been in
46 Pilotpip : I'm working my way through my ratings right now. That means I: Have another year or two of paying $25,000 at my college. Have to work part time while
47 Wingman : Well, I'll say at least one thing on this topic, your typical bus driver is more challenged in getting passengers safely to their destination than any
48 Post contains images JBirdAV8r : Most airplanes we all fyl do 99.99% of this work. And how much flying do YOU do? PLEASE, since you apparently know SO much more about airplanes than a
49 SQ325 : Lately I had a very difficult inflight situation where our immediate reaction was needed. After that it was the first time I really realized that we a
50 Yyz717 : You can't expect ANYONE to take a 30% paycut quietly. Yes you can when they're already making 6-figures and their employer is bankrupt or losing tons
51 Goose : Airlines are a business. Yields are dropping, which means that pilot salaries are dropping. This will likely continue. No one is forcing anyone to be
52 Buckfifty : Trust me, I flew in the jumpseat of a KLM MD11 from AMS to SFO last year and as much as I respect pilots and admire their skills, they really don't do
53 Donder10 : Lot's of people are ignoring the profession which is going to be a problem in the medium term with traffic predicted to double between now and 2020 or
54 Yyz717 : True, but unlike a University degree in a certain field, having a pilot's license with a commercial rating really limits you to one industry to work i
55 JBirdAV8r : Yes you can when they're already making 6-figures and their employer is bankrupt or losing tons of money. Pilots need to lose their sense of "entitlem
56 Yyz717 : for NO other reason than mismanagement of funds on the part of the airline? Much of that so-called mismanagement is due to the powerful unions making
57 Diezel : If I was responsible for the payroll of a major airline, I would try to pay as less as possible to any of my employees including pilots. I think this
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