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The Crisis At Delta: One Pilot's Point Of View  
User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3045 posts, RR: 10
Posted (8 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 10152 times:

Courtesy: Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Crisis At Delta: One Pilot's Point Of View - 3 Page Article

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2006/04/17/editorial4.html

72 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10067 times:

The pilot was even brave enough to sign his name. God bless him for standing up and pointing out what is wrong with so much in the American economy - Upper level management with nothing to lose out for a short term dollar.

Some companies succeed because they take a long term strategy. Does anyone really believe that the CEO shuffle at airlines and other big industries will result in any stability for the industry?

Golden parachutes should be illegal. If a person has nothing to lose in whether the company succeeds or fails, what motivation do they have to even try?

Do we remember the story of the person who worked at Delta for nine months (without accomplishing much, as I recall) who left with free first class travel for life? That's just morally wrong.

And I'm off my soapbox now.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineAlitalia744 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 4731 posts, RR: 45
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10053 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
Do we remember the story of the person who worked at Delta for nine months (without accomplishing much, as I recall) who left with free first class travel for life? That's just morally wrong.

DL is trying to void that.



Some see lines, others see between the lines.
User currently offlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1979 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9985 times:
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I'm sorry, this editorial is naive and simplistic. The author's suggestion that the carrier should have raised fares to meet (existing) costs would have only created a greater crisis than exists now. This type of mindset completely ignores the fundamental changes that took place in the past decade.

  • The advent of the internet. For the first time, travel managers and travelers alike could compare costs without the aid of a travel agent. Business managers could see just how much allegiance to a particular airline was costing them over taking the lowest fare in the market. Airlines seriously underestimated how price driven the business traveler would be, given free and unfettered access to the information.

  • The economic downturn that started before 9/11. Business travelers were already starting to balk at paying the extortionary rates all legacy carriers used to justify their outdated pricing structure.

  • The entry of strong, well run, low cost carriers, and their ability to attract employees at a vastly reduced pay scale.

  • The failure of both labor and management to recognize that these changes were going to be long term, and the unwillingness to adjust proactively to meet these challenges head on.


For the retirees, it totally sucks to lose the pension you were promised, and for these folks, the government should step in and find a way to protect the retirees pension and benefits.

For current employees, life is messy and competition gets ugly. There are millions of Americans who don't have company funded defined benefit pensions. Most of us have to make do on our own. Sure, it's not what they promised you when you signed on, but the changes in the airline industry are fundamental, deep and painful.

The fact that LCC carriers have no problem attracting people willing to do the same (or more) for a lot less money is really the marketplace at work - determining the true value of any given job in this industry.

Labor unions love to blame management, and management loves to make sacrifices on the back of labor - but the bottom line is that both groups are equally to blame. If both groups had recognized the changes and reacted faster, they wouldn't be nearly in as deep as they are now. With the price of fuel, they would still be in trouble, but not nearly as bad as they are now.

[Edited 2006-04-18 01:05:37]


It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9955 times:

Quoting PA110 (Reply 3):
I'm sorry, this editorial is naive and simplistic. The author's suggestion that the carrier should have raised fares to meet (existing) costs would have only created a greater crisis than exists now. This type of mindset completely ignores the fundamental changes that took place in the past decade.



The advent of the internet. For the first time, travel managers and travelers alike could compare costs without the aid of a travel agent. Business managers could see just how much allegiance to a particular airline was costing them over taking the lowest fare in the market. Airlines seriously underestimated how price driven the business traveler would be, given free and unfettered access to the information.


The economic downturn that started before 9/11. Business travelers were already starting to balk at paying the extortionary rates all legacy carriers used to justify their outdated pricing structure.


The entry of strong, well run, low cost carriers, and their ability to attract employees at a vastly reduced pay scale.


The failure of both labor and management to recognize that these changes were going to be long term, and the unwillingness to adjust proactively to meet these challenges head on.



For the retirees, it totally sucks to lose the pension you were promised, and for these folks, the government should step in and find a way to protect the retirees pension and benefits.

For current employees, life is messy and competition gets ugly. There are millions of Americans who don't have company funded defined benefit pensions. Most of us have to make do on our own. Sure, it's not what they promised you when you signed on, but the changes in the airline industry are fundamental, deep and painful.

The fact that LCC carriers have no problem attracting people willing to do the same (or more) for a lot less money is really the marketplace at work - determining the true value of any given job in this industry.

Labor unions love to blame management, and management loves to make sacrifices on the back of labor - but the bottom line is that both groups are equally to blame. If both groups had recognized the changes and reacted faster, they wouldn't be nearly in as deep as they are now. With the price of fuel, they would still be in trouble, but not nearly as bad as they are now.

You have so hit the nail on the head it deserves repeating!

People take note, this is the best analogy of the airline industry as a whole.



You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineLN-MOW From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1907 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9955 times:

Quoting PA110 (Reply 3):
For the retirees, it totally sucks to lose the pension you were promised, and for these folks, the government should step in and find a way to protect the retirees pension and benefits.

Wrong. Thay haven't been promised their pension - they have paid for it. It's not the Government's responsibility to bail DL out - it's DL's. DL management have stolen this benefit from the people who have paid for it.



- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
User currently offlineRwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3066 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9935 times:

There are some good points in the article, but it kind of grasps me as "same old tune".

When pilots chose their profession, they made the choice to be a worker on the front-lines. They knew they probably wouldn't earn millions per year. In the past DL has paid its pilots competitive wages with other pilots in the US - It has paid them what they are worth. It has also paid its management competively with management at other companies. Again, it has paid them what they are worth.

Pilots and union employees in general continue to whine about what they get in comparison with management. But it begs the question: if life is so unfair and the poor little pilots are suffering at the hands of big bad management, why didn't they take the management route instead?


User currently offlineAA717driver From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1566 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9913 times:

Maybe the Government would be more interested in fixing the pension problem if Congress' pensions were also at risk instead of guaranteed (I mean REALLY guaranteed).

Same for SSI and health care. As long as the people making the rules are imune to the problems, nothing will get fixed.TC



FL450, M.85
User currently offlineSaturn5 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9813 times:

This article left me disappointed. I was expecting some juicy details, behind the scenes 'dirty laundry' of Delta Airlines but instead I got the same tired lithany of old arguments. He correctly states that high management compensation packages are out of line, that Delta management made mistakes and that basically .. everyone else is to be blamed but pilots. Yet we know that highly inflexible labor contracts share a significant portion of this blame. Not only very one sided story but also a very boring letter I might add.

User currently offlineDesertAir From Mexico, joined Jan 2006, 1445 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 9765 times:

I like the idea that both management and labor must work together. I have often thought that corporate culture needs a hard soul searching. The expensive office furniture, expense accounts, perks and bonuses and the layers of managers who manage managers. A good spring overhaul is needed. I work in the field of education and there is the same difficulty; teachers are told that they are the most important presence in education and are the last to receive new classroom furniture and other needs.

User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9662 times:

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
The pilot was even brave enough to sign his name.

Yep, and he will probably be recieving his pink slip the next time he tries to sign in for a flight. As I recall, he also talked to the AJC during the ALPA circus in front of Delta HQ. And Delta's policy, as well as most U.S. majors, is that you cannot speak about the company to the media. Only Delta's Public Relations department can do that. That includes editorial matter.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
Do we remember the story of the person who worked at Delta for nine months (without accomplishing much, as I recall) who left with free first class travel for life? That's just morally wrong.

Actually, your referring to one of Leo Mullins cronies who he brought in with him in 1997. He was fired and his travel benefits, which he would have gotten after working at Delta, were voided. And then there is Delta's former CFO, Michelle Burns, who threatened to sue Delta because it is revoking her's, and all former DL execs, free life travel benefits.

Quoting PA110 (Reply 3):
This type of mindset completely ignores the fundamental changes that took place in the past decade.

Yea, most of these guys like to point fingers, but fail to see the truth.

Quoting PA110 (Reply 3):
The advent of the internet. For the first time, travel managers and travelers alike could compare costs without the aid of a travel agent. Business managers could see just how much allegiance to a particular airline was costing them over taking the lowest fare in the market. Airlines seriously underestimated how price driven the business traveler would be, given free and unfettered access to the information.


The economic downturn that started before 9/11. Business travelers were already starting to balk at paying the extortionary rates all legacy carriers used to justify their outdated pricing structure.


The entry of strong, well run, low cost carriers, and their ability to attract employees at a vastly reduced pay scale.


The failure of both labor and management to recognize that these changes were going to be long term, and the unwillingness to adjust proactively to meet these challenges head on.



For the retirees, it totally sucks to lose the pension you were promised, and for these folks, the government should step in and find a way to protect the retirees pension and benefits.

For current employees, life is messy and competition gets ugly. There are millions of Americans who don't have company funded defined benefit pensions. Most of us have to make do on our own. Sure, it's not what they promised you when you signed on, but the changes in the airline industry are fundamental, deep and painful.

The fact that LCC carriers have no problem attracting people willing to do the same (or more) for a lot less money is really the marketplace at work - determining the true value of any given job in this industry.

Labor unions love to blame management, and management loves to make sacrifices on the back of labor - but the bottom line is that both groups are equally to blame. If both groups had recognized the changes and reacted faster, they wouldn't be nearly in as deep as they are now. With the price of fuel, they would still be in trouble, but not nearly as bad as they are now.



Quoting RwSEA (Reply 6):
When pilots chose their profession, they made the choice to be a worker on the front-lines. They knew they probably wouldn't earn millions per year. In the past DL has paid its pilots competitive wages with other pilots in the US - It has paid them what they are worth. It has also paid its management competively with management at other companies. Again, it has paid them what they are worth.

Amen boys, amen! checkmark  checkmark  checkmark 

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 6):
But it begs the question: if life is so unfair and the poor little pilots are suffering at the hands of big bad management, why didn't they take the management route instead?

I would love to see an airline created by ALPA. That thing wouldn't even get off paper. If it did, I wonder if the pilots would be unionized, and by who. After all, they can't be unionized by ALPA. That would be a conflict of interest, and ALPA would be the big, bad management.




OttoPylit


User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11116 posts, RR: 62
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9601 times:

Both sides deserve blame. It was hardly all the pilots union that caused Delta's current troubles, but, on the flip side, management is not completely culpible either.

Buoyed by Delta's relative strength after 9/11, and Delta's strong cash balance during the economic downturn of 2001-2003, Delta's management decided not to do much to fundamentally change their business model, and Delta's pilots chose not to accept the realities of the new cost environment and continue with their incredibly generous wages and benefits after their counterparts at American, United and other airlines gave up huge pay cuts relatively rapidly after 9/11 and the economic downturn.

Both fundamentally missed the opportunity to adapt to a new market reality when they had the chance to do it. And now, as a result, they are paying the price by having to sacrifice even more than they might have had they taken care of business.


User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (8 years 22 hours ago) and read 9394 times:

Quote:
I work in the field of education and there is the same difficulty; teachers are told that they are the most important presence in education and are the last to receive new classroom furniture and other needs.

I work in the field of education as well!! And yes, there are many similarities between the high-up corporate mentality and high-up education field.

When budgets are tight, there is a cut-off point in education from which certain upper levels are immune. The only places that see cuts in funding are your children - not once has California's educational bureaucracy ever been cut. Those idols are sacred. It's just so much easier to blame teachers than attack the real problem.

I find it sad when a government entity OR a business decides it's easier to go to war with its own people than it is to actually try and solve a problem. Delta nearly self-destructed trying to prove this point. Until we stop this (and either get both sides talking), a lot of good work by a lot of good people is going to be for naught.



Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineUsdcaguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 871 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (8 years 21 hours ago) and read 9318 times:

Simplifares simply aren't fair, are they?

User currently offlineFloorrunner From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 20 hours ago) and read 9235 times:

Quoting DesertAir (Reply 9):
I like the idea that both management and labor must work together.

This is the reason why many LCC's are so successful, particularly Southwest.


User currently offlineBravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (8 years 18 hours ago) and read 9147 times:

Okay so I may not know everything about this crisis, but why don't you guys blaming this pilot bring out some arguements instead of ranting? Like how much did the management cut their own pay everytime they asked the pilots to etc.
You know why the management has never held a strike?? They don't need to unlike the pilots who do to make the truth known. I don't hear any of this in the media. Can these people ever be exposed? Had this pilot been lying, it would have been all over the place.


User currently offlineSimong From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 17 hours ago) and read 9089 times:

Isn't it the *American Dream* just like fast food and the overall perception of *save a buck* ..... the rich get richer and the rest get poorer. Sink or swim. everyone in the USA is infatuated with *cheaper* *cheaper* *cheaper* and then get insensed when jobs go overseas ...... yes those *Payless* shoes are made in Indonesia why do think you get them for $9.99 ? If more people were willing to pay $15.99 maybe more decent paying jobs with benefits could be had right at home in the good old US of A.


BA all the way !!!
User currently offlineCMHSRQ From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 989 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (8 years 15 hours ago) and read 8988 times:

Quoting PA110 (Reply 3):

You could also say the same thing for GM and Ford



The voice of moderation
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6477 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (8 years 13 hours ago) and read 8788 times:

Quoting PA110 (Reply 3):
The fact that LCC carriers have no problem attracting people willing to do the same (or more) for a lot less money is really the marketplace at work - determining the true value of any given job in this industry.

The problem with your logic is that LCC employees are NOT doing it for less. In many cases, they are doing it for more. Employees at places like WN, FL and F9 make more than many of their counterparts at the legacies. Believe it or not, LCC's aren't LCC's because of low labor costs.


User currently offlineUltrapig From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 580 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 13 hours ago) and read 8774 times:
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Excellent points PA110. But the PBGC does guarantee pension benefit to a certain extent. The reason the Pilots are upset is that they have such big pensions that they exceed the PBGC guaranteed amounts.

Its very interesting to see the Pilot's reactionarypolicies. They oppose government intervention but they want the the government to protect their pensions-By the way this means have taxes paid by lower paid people supplement their pensions. Any have you noticed that while they have labor unions how frequently they cross other union picket lines.

I've said it before-there are many people who would like to fly commercial airliners-and I don't think its that much of an exaggeration to believe that if you set up a new airline tomorrow with new planes and advertised for pilots who would work for expense, no salary you'd get some people who wanted the job-would they be f people quitting legacy carriers no-but some people just want to fly and have an interest in aviation-just see how many a-nutters waste their time on this site like me.


User currently offlineCongaboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 352 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (8 years 12 hours ago) and read 8761 times:

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 6):
Pilots and union employees in general continue to whine about what they get in comparison with management. But it begs the question: if life is so unfair and the poor little pilots are suffering at the hands of big bad management, why didn't they take the management route instead?

Right on. What I have said in other forums on this subject....pilots have pointed out that they have undergone years of training, dedicated their lives, and so on. Well, how long do you think it takes to obtain a senior management position? Ever heard of an MBA? That comes after four years of undergrad.

The other salient point to be made here is the lack of information the pilots and their union have about why the DL management is making their decisions and what it is based on. It's pretty easy to sit back and make judgements about what seems to be a crap decision, but just as hard as it might be for a finance VP to land a 767, how well would a pilot do in preparing cost savings initiatives and strategic business plans? It's tough to make a fine, safe landing at LGA on a windy, wintery day...and it is also tough to make the right calls in a business climate that has LCC's taking aim, fuel prices going nuts, trying to keep employees motivated, etc.



"Joey, you like movies about gladiators?"
User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 10 hours ago) and read 7928 times:

Good job, PA110 and Commavia.

I doubt that the readers of this business journal will be terribly swayed by a pilot that has it out for mgmt. The pilot could well be the loser based on DL’s employee-media guidelines.

Yes, DL was slow to recognize the need to dramatically change the business model and the damage could have been lessened had it been done earlier. However, even though ALPA touts their 1996 concessionary contract not once does DALPA admit that they were working under the richest contract in the history of aviation when 9/11 struck. It is always nice to think that we will be rewarded at some point in the future for making sacrifices today but there is no guarantee of that. Anyone would wants guaranteed, growing income best not apply to work for an airline. And those who are already there should realize it will be a long time before any guarantees can be made again.


User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1787 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 years 10 hours ago) and read 7738 times:
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All of this extreme corporate money throwing around happens in many of our corporations, and we say nothing or don't want to hear about it. That is until there is no more money. Now the lights come on and we say okay that enough. It shouldn't be that way. But then hindsight is always 20/20.


The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 23, posted (8 years 10 hours ago) and read 7712 times:
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You can't raise prices when your competition is lowering them unless you have a market willing to pay higher prices for extra service. That market does not exist in sufficient quantity to make it feasible.

Grinstein and co have worked for little remuneration, and the pilots are blaming the failures of Mullin & Co. because they don't have any where else to go with their anger.

Pilots took the raise when revenues were starting to drop and they want salaries not profit sharing.

This pilot was throwing in one direction and not accepting any responsibility for the success of the airline, or for the two way street a strike would have represented. If all the pilots thought the way he did then ATL and Georgia would have lost tens of thousands of jobs with the pilots feeling no guilt.....luckily economics and the thought of paying their house mortgages on pizza delivery tips took over.

The former management was incompetent and should refuse to accept one more penny from Delta, if they had any morals. Anyone trying to get first class tickets for a failed 9 month tenure is an ass.

Everyone needs to look to the future.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 1):
Golden parachutes should be illegal.

They certainly should be considered to immoral to take. They're only good if the company is trying to get rid of you to save money while making profits that you helped to create.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineCrash65 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 74 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 hours ago) and read 7551 times:

Yup, you people are so smart and have all the answers. The pilots are just overpaid, pampered, self righteous switch flippers. If it is printed in a newspaper and spoken by someone wearing a suit and tie it must be gospel, if it is written by a member of a union it must be sour grapes with a total lack of understanding of the business model. United and USAirways are so fresh out of bankruptcy and flush with exit financing that we can't tell yet if their "new" business models are actually viable, yet many of you seem to think you know better, and also seem to believe that because executive compensation is so high across the board it must be OK for these "MBA's" to earn (did I really say earn?) such grotesque rewards. Before there was a pilots union there were no rest or duty limitations, safety was secondary to launching the airmail into bad weather to make the schedule. Why didn't I take the management route? Because those that can fly the line. Those that can't go into the office. I'll put my certificates, type ratings, and 12000 hours against any Phd in terms of time spent studying, training, testing, and learning. There is a far greater sense of accomplishment walking away from an intact airliner with the same number of souls walking off it, that walked onto it, than there is by pushing away from a desk with an empty "in" basket. Honestly, I felt studying business in college was the easy route. My friends would sit in the library with a highlighter and a text book while I was working out equations in aerodynamics to the 8th decimal place. It was difficult and challenging but I loved it because it was real. Flying is tangible, no one can fake it or call it in from home, you have to put your own fanny on the line everyday and while financial rewards are nice the personal rewards are far greater. Pilots in general are highly self motivated and self critical, we are always striving to do it a little better and a little smarter. Despite some cocky behavior out of the flight deck that crap doesn't wash in the window seats. If you don't check your ego at the door your next "firm" landing or system abnormal will knock that crap out of your head and get it back in the game where it should be. But whining? Did you actually say whining? If you have struggled to climb the corporate ladder and fancy yourself as a future executive that is fine, but if you have never felt the sweat in your crotch wrestling a ship back to earth on a marginal weather day then you have no perspective, insight or experience to judge what we do, how we do it, or what monetary value should be placed on it. I will spare you the stories of having to sleep in my truck after work because I was too tired to drive from the airport, or having low blood sugar from the lack of food available (protein bars will get you only so far) and landing with the sweats and shakes. We sacrifice many nights away from home and endure testing and retesting and we are scrutinized in everything we do at and away from work, and dammit we expect to be compensated for those sacrifices. Many of you have pointed out that startups and LCC's have no trouble finding people to do the job for less and that is absolutely true. But there comes a point where the sacrifices even the LCC pilots make on a daily basis, leads them to the conclusion that, what the job entails and costs the individual, they deserve better than what they earn. SWA is the prime example, they are unionized and pay above the industry standard, yet are considered an LCC. They have the lowest management to employee ratio in the business and there executive compensation is far lower when compared to the avg employee pay on a percentage basis. The model has worked very well for them. Bottom line is this. When the weather goes down the tubes and the the holding patterns are stacking up as the fuel gauges creep towards zero, there are no 2 hour lunches, company cars, or lavish stock options. We stick with the ship and the situation and make very difficult decisions that can ultimately cost millions of dollars and affect 1000's of lives (an old boring mantra to the paper pushers but still true and relevant). If we don't walk away from that aircraft at the end of the day, with the airframe or occupants being intact and relatively healthy, there are tremendous repercussions in our lives and careers. We very likely will never be given the chance to do it again. I have never known a pilot to walk away from a smoking crater, to be rewarded with millions of dollars. Some of you have pontificated that pilots wouldn't understand or effectively deal with the complex issues of senior management because we don't have the education or experience. Well I submit that unless you have worked in the industry and had to fight the fight to have a decent lifestyle, you don't have perspective of our sacrifices and what should be considered appropriate compensation. Obviously you are all aviation enthusiasts, else why would you spend the time to come to this website and further more contribute to the discussions, bear in mind that without aviators this would be trains.net or trucks.net, so why do so many of you hold us in such low esteem? We defend our profession because very few outside it would. We acknowledge that we are above no one, but we are not beneath them either. We are trained to recognize hazards and if they cannot be avoided we do what we can to mitigate their effect. We are far from perfect and make mistakes, we learn through training and experience to use the tools around us and the people we work with, to manage those mistakes to prevent them from leading to something far more serious. We are goal oriented and have learned not to take things for granted because (it wasn't supposed to work out this way) can kill us. Flying can be a great metaphor for the business world and a metaphor for life. What aggravates us is that we expect others, aka management, to be held to the same standard. If they show no results or make things worse through poorly executed or foolish business plans, they should have to deal with the repercussions and share in the sacrifices. Now how can such an intelligent, diverse and enthusiastic crowd such as yourselves not see our logic and perspective in that?

-The preceding rant was the work of a union pilot at a legacy airline with 13 years airline experience, 19 years aviation experience, a BS in Air Transportation/Flight Technology including studies in aviation law, airport planning and management, aircraft design, and accident investigation.


25 TL8490 : One of the fundamental values of the corporate world is that compensation of top managers must be tied to performance of the overall company....The be
26 Commavia : A bit simplistic, no? Even more simplistic, no? Well, did you every study business in college? I can say, at least from my personal experience, that
27 CXB744 : This is a pilot's point of view after all. As the saying goes, "listen to both sides and somewhere in between lies the truth." He does make some good
28 Starrion : "One of the fundamental values of the corporate world is that compensation of top managers must be tied to performance of the overall company....The b
29 Commavia : Well, if Delta's experience was anything like the experience at other legacy carriers, the airline was likely forced to sell its fuel hedges (which c
30 RwSEA : Management at DL has taken huge paycuts. The CEO is working for $200k per year - look for another company of DL's size and see a CEO making that litt
31 Access-Air : I actually e-mailed Mr Rosenkranz and pointed out this very serious mistake initiated by Delta in 1996 of selling consumer direct and taking away Age
32 CXB744 : The artilce states, "In early 2004, at a time when oil and fuel prices were beginning to increase significantly, Delta executives decided to settle a
33 Congaboy : Actually, Crash, I do work in the industry, and do understand your life, dedication, and talents. I have many acquaintances that are DL pilots, so it
34 Crash65 : Yes. Yes again, I was fuming pretty good and although I was being overly simplistic, it was the general tone of what I percieve from many of the post
35 SeeTheWorld : That was, indeed, absolutely awesome. You nailed it, and that's exactly what has happened.
36 SeeTheWorld : Yes, and they are more productive either in hours they work or work rules. Stop trying to oversimplify the situation by only comparing hourly rates.
37 Crash65 : I really don't disagree with the gist of what you are saying, and I certainly don't expect to be compensated at or near executive level. That said, I
38 SeeTheWorld : You forgot a "chip on your shoulder" and "an axe to grind." No one ever said life was fair. Welcome to the real world.
39 Goaliemn : Everyone is taking cuts. Management doesn't strike. If someone who isn't union doesn't like their job, they look for another one. Union people expect
40 Post contains images B777ER : Late at night when the winds are howling, the rain is falling and visibility is down to a few hundred feet, you can thank the Delta pilots who ensure
41 Deltamike172 : You know what is really ironic? When everyone talks about how SWA and jetBlue are the only airlines making money, and they debate why....and then they
42 Commavia : Southwest, AirTran, Frontier, JetBlue, et al. Trust me, I know about it. I know people who have experienced it. I have seen it very up-close. I know
43 Airzim : Not exactly. Let's call it the "Perfect Storm." 1) The internet did something way more fundamental to airline pricing; it made it transparent. It eli
44 IslandHopperCO : >In June 2000, after years of record profits, the pilots signed a new four-year agreement. Some would say the raises provided in the contract were ove
45 Bucky707 : Delta execs should be the lowest paid in the industry, they have done the worst job.
46 AirEMS : During this period, these same executives went on a huge spending spree. According to the 2004 annual report, capital expenditures during 2002-03 were
47 PA110 : Good additional analysis, except for the following: When I left the airlines, I went to work for a succession of corporate travel agencies. I could no
48 Rdwelch : You're right in that the CRJs have a lower operating cost but a less desirable CASM, Cost for Air Seat Mile (I think that's it, as opposed to RASM or
49 Post contains links Crash65 : I was very much in the real world when I watched the world trade center burn from the L2 cockpit window of a 737, waiting on the EWR ramp to fly to D
50 Commavia : Who said anything about pay? It was the "thousands of airline jobs" comment that I was responding to.
51 Crash65 : You are correct, you did quote jobs and I went off on my pay diatribe. My apologies. I think the point I was trying to get at is that it has been sug
52 Texfly101 : Again AvWeek has a very interesting and informative article on this whole mess entitled "One Strike and You're Out" in the April 10 issue. I won't bel
53 AirEMS : Rdwelch Thanks for the information that does add a little clearing to the fog Fly & Work Safe -Carl
54 Airzim : Sorry I have to disagree. All travel agents knew you could buy lower fare higher stricted tickets; or at least they should have. My corporate travel
55 Rdwelch : No problem Carl. It's my pleasure. Gus.
56 RwSEA : That's not true. Simplifares has helped DL. In fact, I read an article a few months ago in USA Today stating that AA had benefitted from Simplifares
57 Deltamike172 : Here, let me add something I think we are fundamentally missing in general. It refers to a mention of retirees and pensions and how companies seem to
58 Saturn5 : Not sure what is a bad road. If the company is about to go belly up they may no longer afford pensions. Where are they going to get the $$ from to fi
59 Swissy : Could not agree more with you, the laws should be changed so that companies can not access or neglect these funds for any reason........... I mean wh
60 Post contains images OttoPylit : Well, in late 2004, Gerald Grinstein refused to accept any pay for the last 3 months of the year to share in the sacrifice of all the pay cuts that w
61 Knightsofmalta : What is it with pilots, why do so many of them seem to think that they know how to run a airline just because they know how to fly a plane?
62 FlyPNS1 : It's not the job of the pilots to make the company competitive. That's management's job. If the 2000 Contract was so bad, why did DL management agree
63 SBN580 : Primarily yes. However, I do not care what type of organization you are talking about, everyone in an organization has a stake in the success of the
64 Saturn5 : True in most companies. But in a heavy labor-unionized places this is often not so simple. Management very often would like to make changes but can't
65 Congaboy : You know the answer. The union pulls out the same old "dooms-day" option, knowing that what ever the biz climate, it severly cripples if not kills th
66 WorldTraveler : It is precisely because the DL pilots wanted to protect their “investment” from the 1996 contract that they wanted a seat in the board room. And
67 FlyPNS1 : Can you tell me who this mysterious BOD member is that represents the pilots? AFAIK, DL pilots have NEVER had a BOD member. Please correct me if I'm
68 Post contains images OttoPylit : Then tell the pilot author at the top of the thread to stop trying to tell management how to run the company. Weren't around or into aviation at that
69 WorldTraveler : DALPA most certainly has had a nonvoting pilot employee in the boardroom. Don't know the name of the person (and wouldn't post it on a public forum if
70 Post contains links FlyPNS1 : So what, if the guy can't vote, he has no say. Even if the ALPA representative thought Song, Simplifares, etc were bad ideas, there is nothing they c
71 Post contains images OttoPylit : Once again, you believe everything you read? Since all of your remarks lead to one question, you will make it easier for me to reply. Thanks. Of cour
72 Swissy : Up to a degree yes, the way I see it: DL is a name but what makes DL is the employees it has, "Team Spirit" that includes the pilots and management a
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