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Pay Cuts At Airlines  
User currently offlineBels13 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 18 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2529 times:

It seems to me that all that is ever being talked about these days is employees taking pay cuts at mostly all the airlines in the US. Outsiders are questioning why pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, ground crew and customer service people aren't just jumping at opportunities to reduce their pay. "It will save you your job," is the most famous quote. Sure, that it somewhat true. But for all of you who aren't in the business, try to relate it to your job. If you were getting asked to constantly take a pay cut which is happening at US Airways, United, Delta and others, would you just shrink your salary to non-livable wages. No, you wouldn't. You'd start asking management to take bigger cuts themselves. Do most of you know that the average starting salary for an airline pilot today is roughly $17 an hour. That is roughly $17,000 a year. For all of you non-aviation professionals, can you live a couple years making that kind of money. It is very difficult to do so, especially when you are still paying off college loans and flight training loans which average around $60,000 when looking at all the training a pilot does just to qualify for an airline interview. So far, I have only seen one airline who's management team is eager to take pay cuts and that is Continental. Delta's former CEO, left with a huge package, same at US Airways and United. The answer to these problems is not that simple but here is a start. The government needs to step in a create a price basement. For example, it is unreasonable to charge $39 one-way to any city. That is cheaper than taking the bus which by the way, the starting salary at Greyhound is $23.50 an hour and all they have to do is learn to drive. Next, there must be a good investigation at some of the practices of these low cost carriers. In aviation, you don't really make money, therefore the ones who are, must be cutting corners in some areas and I'm sure at one point did something illegal. When the cloud of dust clears, I think the industry as a whole would be a lot better and you can actually get a job that doesn't require you to have a second and third job on the side just to live a little bit above the poverty level.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAV8terORD From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 8 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2463 times:

As a pilot in my first year at a regional, I can relate to a lot of the things you are saying and agree with many of them. However, your assumption that the LCC's are "cutting corners" and "did something illegal" is WAY out of line. The regulations that govern 121 operations are pretty stringent and with FAA inspectors constantly scrutinizing everything we do, it would be dumb beyond belief for any airline to attempt anything illegal (granted there are examples of this being done in the past). The biggest advantages these LCC's have is having a much newer workforce that is still being paid on the lower pay scales. They also have newer unions who haven't gotten greedy to the point of asking the company for ridiculous wage increases. Labor is the number one cost to any airline, followed by fuel. It would be nice however to be making more than a greyhound bus driver in my first year, but I don't know how accurate your quote of $23.50/hour is. If its true, then they make about a dollar more an hour than I do right now. And to think, I made 42K last year teaching middle school!!!  Wink

User currently offlineRIPCORDD From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1197 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2361 times:

I see that Delta is thinking about asking its employees to take more pay cuts because of the added price of fuel. Also there is NW,AA,CO in the rumors of asking for more pay cuts. I can only assume this is all because of the price of fuel. Why cant these airlines stick together and raise the fares 10 bucks to cover their costs. We are paying $2.30 a gallon for gas now you don't see BP/Shell asking its employees for pay cuts to lower the price of fuel no freakin way they pass the cost on to the consumer. Product=X Dollars Profit=X dollars Consumer Pays X dollars. Its very simple. Sorry for the rant I just hate to see the workers take it on the chin again its a downward spiral because it affects the employees morale which they pass on to the customer in bad service. The Big airlines are digging their own grave by doing this they are pushing their passengers to B6/WN/F9 Etc because for the most part their employees treat the passengers a lot nicer. I'm loyal to AA and would & do pay $150 more to fly them over anyone else. Miles mean a lot to me and the ability to go non-stop from my home airport. That's all for the rant for now....

User currently offlineLono From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1337 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2335 times:

before long all current airline employees will be asked for a paycut


Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2230 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2310 times:
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RIPCORDD

Why cant these airlines stick together and raise the fares 10 bucks to cover their costs

They just did that, twice this month, finally.



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlinePadraighaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2300 times:

Quoting AV8terORD (Reply 1):
They also have newer unions who haven't gotten greedy to the point of asking the company for ridiculous wage increases.

It truly saddens me to see people write stuff like this. The implied "it's all the unions fault" or that it is only a matter of time before it will be, all the while the industry is suffering because of unbridled greed of speculators creating absurd capacity excesses, leave me shaking my head in disbelief. The anti-union propaganda mouthed by those who could most benefit from some counter balance to corporate excess makes me wonder if people have lost the ability to think for themselves. Neither union nor management is perfect and any scheme where one has out of control power is unacceptable to my way of thinking.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the U.S. is a nation of Uncle Toms. I know this term is offensive, but how else would you describe people who while being abused, re-gurgitate the self-serving mantras of their abusers?


User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3350 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2312 times:

Quoting Bels13 (Thread starter):
Do most of you know that the average starting salary for an airline pilot today is roughly $17 an hour. That is roughly $17,000 a year. For all of you non-aviation professionals, can you live a couple years making that kind of money.

Not trying to be a jerk, but source please? Looking at first year, First Officer payscales at jetBlue (EMB and 320), AirTran, Southwest, Air Wisconsin, Mesaba, Horizon and PSA, all currently hiring. I got $32.55 an hour, about $28k a year. As a matter of fact, the lowest I could find in that group was $19 an hour, with jetBlue paying $51 an hour.

Quoting Bels13 (Thread starter):
That is cheaper than taking the bus which by the way, the starting salary at Greyhound is $23.50 an hour and all they have to do is learn to drive.

Of course, its very true Greyhound drivers training pales in comparison to that of a pilot's, but think about it - do you wanna be driving a bus full of druggies, prostitutes, criminals and other unsavory (sp?) characters at midnight?

Quoting Bels13 (Thread starter):
government needs to step in a create a price basement. For example, it is unreasonable to charge $39 one-way to any city.

Why should they? There are some profitable carriers around. As a matter of fact, Southwest would be making money $39 O/W PHL to PIT and would even make about $4 flying PHL to MHT for the same price.

I think airlines need to stop looking at pay cuts and more on workrules. A five year Captain at US flying the B733 makes $116 an hour. A WN Captain with the same seniority makes $168 an hour. Guess who is profitable?

I still don't understand why flight attendants at majors don't clean the cabin between flights. Ok, an international, widebody flight should probably be cleaned by a cleaning crew. Why is cleaning the cabin a routine job for a WN flight attendant, but below a flight attendant at US or NW or UA?

 twocents 
AAndrew


User currently offlineYeggerman From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2293 times:

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 6):
I still don't understand why flight attendants at majors don't clean the cabin between flights. Ok, an international, widebody flight should probably be cleaned by a cleaning crew. Why is cleaning the cabin a routine job for a WN flight attendant, but below a flight attendant at US or NW or UA?

Not to take a jab or a shot at anyone or anyone's personal feelings, but the above statement is what a union creates. "It's not my job to clean a plane" attitude exsists with some of the legacy carriers. Grooming your own cabins it an awesome money saver. I heard a quote that said WS saves $4 mil annually by grooming its own cabins between flights. In comparison I think a larger airline such as AA, CO, NW, UA could save $10 - $15 mil a year by grooming its own cabins (on domestic of course, some long haul routes would need professionals). With that kind of money saved, you wouldn't have to ask for as many pay cuts... Just an idea...



"All great things must come to an end"
User currently offlineRsmith6621a From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 194 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2276 times:

>>>Why cant these airlines stick together and raise the fares 10 bucks to cover their costs

They just did that, twice this month, finally.<<<<

Im afraid it will take more than two TEN BUCK raises to really make a difference......Id say more like 25-50% increases.

The paying public is getting away with paying to little for their flights. I am an airline employee who has taken a paycut recently, I have adapted to a degree a messure of OWNERSHIP with my customer. My attitude is if I have to take a loss to make sure you are able to fly my company at a below market value then to a degree I OWN YOU.



Did You Ever Think Freedom Could Be this Bad
User currently offlineRDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1548 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

Quoting Rsmith6621a (Reply 8):
Im afraid it will take more than two TEN BUCK raises to really make a difference......Id say more like 25-50% increases.

That's only because most airline's costs (excepting current fuel costs) are way out of line with the current economy. Don't forget, there are carriers currently making money in this country.

David Neeleman was quoted in "Blue Streak" as saying a few years ago, "There are two types of airline business models in this country. Low cost carriers that have low costs and low fares, and high cost carriers that have to compete with them." I think that sums it up pretty well.

Quoting Rsmith6621a (Reply 8):
The paying public is getting away with paying to little for their flights. I am an airline employee who has taken a paycut recently, I have adapted to a degree a messure of OWNERSHIP with my customer. My attitude is if I have to take a loss to make sure you are able to fly my company at a below market value then to a degree I OWN YOU.

(sarcasm) That's a great attitude. (/sarcasm) Although it's not really a surprise after reading your tag quote...

Truth be told, all of us airliners have sacrificed the last few years. I've worked for 3 different carriers since 9/11. Going to the bottom of seniority/pay 3 times sucks. The industry just isn't what it used to be. It's still fun, but it's just different.



Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
User currently offlineDokken10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2214 times:

How we forget the past!! I'm going to use NWA as an example other airlines past are similar. In the early 90s NWA threaten BK and they were not doing that well. The employees agreed to consessions in a quick manner,shortly after the consessions were signed damn near all management got big bonus and their bonuses continued during the duration of the employees contracts. Employees were also told and in writing that when things got better they would be rewarded for their sacrifices. Well things got a lot better and large profits were being made.NWA could have done the right thing and started giving money,vacation etc. back during consessions but they did not. Mid 90s consession contracts end, the pilots had it written in plan English that they would get a 3% snapback at the end of their contract. NWA refused and the pilots had to sue. 1998 pilots after 2 years of contract talks and had to go on strike for 2 weeks for basically a future COLA increase. NWA lost millions during that strike. Mechanics,Bag handlers,Ticket agents etc. (IAM) over 2 years of talks and a terrible T/A shot down by the Mechanics and the other groups. Mechanics sick off the IAM and their lack of concern over Mechanic issues,lies and secret letters of agreement decided it was time to change unions. Mechanics voted the IAM out and AMFA in, this took about 1 year because of the IAM lying about things that happened before and during the vote. During this year the remaining IAM groups voted in the second T/A same as pilots a future COLA increase. Mechanics back at the table with NWA and more foot dragging by NWA. AMFA finally released by the NMB to start the 30 day cooling off period before a strike. George Bush steps in and stops the strike with the PEB,more delays. After months of hearings the PEB sets a date when the will announce their recommended contract. Days before the PEB recommendation was released NWA offers the Mechanics damn good pay increases but some terrible language. I still say the PEBs recommendation was more and NWA knew this that's why they gave such a good increase. The tech's vote this in just looking at the $$ not the crap language,which is why so many tech's got laid-off. F/A about 3-4 years to get a new contract. Anyway, as you can see if NWA and other airlines would do the right thing and give back money when things are good in a timely manner employees would be more willing to give consessions the next time things are bad. I believe this is the main reason that SWA is a profitable airline is that the don't jerk the employees around as much as the other airlines. I bet that if SWA went into some bad times employees would have no problem taking consessions!! As you can see this is why employees are fighting consessions because of airline managements past history.

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