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Serious Question For Airline Pilots  
User currently offlineMCOtoATL From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 474 posts, RR: 4
Posted (13 years 4 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1945 times:

I must say that I am not a huge fan of labor unions because I think that the free enterprise system offers numerous opportunities. If I hate my job or employer, I am free to find another job. On the other hand, it is wise for a company to keep employee happy.

But I also do support airline pilots in some cases because their's is a unique situation. Whereas I can leave my job and take a better job elsewhere, pilots are unable to do so. From what I understand (and correct me if I am wrong,) if a pilot at Delta was unhappy and decided to go to United, he/she would have to start at the very bottom of the seniority list. Is this a union rule?

Also, with this in effect, it seems as if pilots are a dying breed - a group who seeks to stay with the same employer for a long, long time. In other words, how do you choose which airline for whom to work?

If you had an offer by a smaller carrier, would you jump at the opportunity? Or would it be wise to "hold out" for a job from a major carrier, where there is more opportunity for advancement and less liklihood (one would think) of the airline failing?

When an airline "goes under," such as Eastern in 1991, what happens to the pilots? Do they go from being high-ranking pilots at Eastern to being bottom-of-the-ladder pilots for other airlines?

What happened to the Eastern pilots? I cannot even imagine the frustration of working hard for many years with an airline, only to see it fail and having to start over again with someone else.

I have the utmost respect for your work and as I read about the airline industry, the preceding questions popped into my mind.

Thanks

3 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

>>From what I understand (and correct me if I am wrong,) if a pilot at Delta was unhappy and decided to go to United, he/she would have to start at the very bottom of the seniority list. Is this a union rule?<<

It is like any company people who have been there longer get first pick. It is unique to the airline enviroment because it has such a great impact not only on pay but on your quality of life.

>>Also, with this in effect, it seems as if pilots are a dying breed - a group who seeks to stay with the same employer for a long, long time. In other words, how do you choose which airline for whom to work? <<

You really do not have a choice, when you have competitive times, you send out a resume to everyone, and who ever asks you to come and work for them first you go with them. If you start getting picking (i.e. want to fly out of LAX) you rapidly decrease your chances of becoming a pilot.

>>If you had an offer by a smaller carrier, would you jump at the opportunity?<<

If it is a regional you pretty much have to fly for them before the majors (unless you are military). But really as I said before you normally take what who you hear back from first.

>>Or would it be wise to "hold out" for a job from a major carrier, where there is more opportunity for advancement and less liklihood (one would think) of the airline failing?<<

Remember Pan Am back in the day they where classed as the most secure airline. Any airline can go gear up, so you still take pretty much what you get offered.

>>When an airline "goes under," such as Eastern in 1991, what happens to the pilots? Do they go from being high-ranking pilots at Eastern to being bottom-of-the-ladder pilots for other airlines?<<

A friend of mine lost his job with a carrier he was a very Senior Captain with them, when they went gear up, he found himself a very junior FO with AWA make 1/4 of his old salary guys half his age being his cpatain, ect. So yes they are at the bottom of the ladder.

Hope this helped!
Iain


User currently offlineCV640 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1895 times:

the above post is correct. It is tough to leave if you are unhappy. Anywhere you go is a huge pay cut and starting over with the worst schedules. It takes years to get back wheer you are at. That is why most airline pilots, especially majors, stay for their lifetimes with one carrier. It is hard to go from a capt on one to a FO on another. Having half as many days off while making a quarter of what you were.
as for jumping to a start up, thats tough. Most go belly up soon after starting operations, so would you leave a company your not thrilled with to go to another that will probably be belly up soon. Plus remember it takes months to get a job usually, back ground checks, medicals, records, etc, plus weeks after that to actually start. HAve to go through training, a number of carriers don't pay you in training and lodging is at yoru own expense. Even if you are training at a place other then where you will be based.


User currently offlineDE727UPS From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 1856 times:

I agree with the above posts......

"I must say that I am not a huge fan of labor unions".....you would be if you were an airline pilot and had to choose between your pilot group or company management....believe me, once you are in a position to choose one or the other, where to put your loyality is very clear.

"From what I understand (and correct me if I am wrong,) if a pilot at Delta was unhappy and decided to go to United, he/she would have to start at the very bottom of the seniority list. Is this a union rule?".....your are correct, if you change companies you lose all your hard won seniority. The seniority system is not just a "union rule", but the airline industry way of doing things.


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