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Hero-Worshipping, Pilot Pay And Fan-Hitting Shit  
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Posted (14 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

Reading the topic you, beloved reader, might ask, what the hell does he want to say. Well, bear with me a few minutes and let me explain.
This is a thread that deals partially with that completely nonsensical discussion about who deserves how much money for doing what kind of labour. Now listen closely, all you pilots, doctors, lawyers, investment bankers (I have to include myself!!), at least those of you living in a so-called free country that runs its economy like a market:

1. How much money does someone deserve to earn, is largely dependent on the guy that needs your service:
-If you are on death row, your lawyer is invaluable for your survival no matter how much money he makes.
- If you are suffering from cancer, your doctor should get millions just to make it go away.
-If you are on board of a B747-400 (I just love this aircraft!) with 3 engines gone and a hole in the fuselage you are definitely ready to rob Fort Knox just to pay the guys upfront.
- If you are currently sitting in your office looking out and trying to concentrate on this posting, you definitely give a flying you-know-what about any lawyer, doctor or pilot, because right now, they are completely useless to me.
If I follow you guys that earnestly believe, a pilot deserves to make at least xxx,xxx USDollars, then I have to tell you, right now he deserves to make nil, zero, nothing, because he is of no use to me and even of no use to people that are right now on board of an aircraft as we speak, because the thing is running on autopilot and in 99.99% of all cases nothing goes wrong, so the pilots are definitely making way too much money for doing nothing. Think about this before you call me a cynic or even worse, an aviation hater, because I am not. I'd rather see the aviation industry well and booming.

Fortunately this is not how it is done:

2. Wages are, though only partially, of course, settled via markets: Your employer will not be ready to pay you more than he can make on the basis of your working for him. This goes for pilots as well and this is how it should be done.
Wages are definitely NOT based on some hero worshipping of some guy that saved the lives of hundreds of people by doing the right thing on board of an aircraft (and thereby saving his own ass, too, do not forget this!). If I recall correctly, most aviation accidents were caused by human error, but that should be irrelevant for calculating the wages, too. Of course there are other factors like social status, cost of education etc. Therefore wages for certain jobs are low, like nurses, though they are needed desperately (at least here in Germany), but I wouldn't recommend anybody to be a nurse, if you don't want to starve.

Unfortunately I don't think the discussion about pilots wages will end now, but I hope I gave some arguments to all you hero-pilot worshippers to broaden your mind on this topic before raving like religious fanatics, because sometimes these posting read like advertisements for a new religion called pilotism.

Now to the "shit hits the fan" part:
Yesterday Lufthansa CEO Weber announced some severe cuts for all employees of LH (wages, working time, holidays etc.). And you know what?? I believe they will accept it, from top management and top pilots to the cleaning personnel, because they, at least, understand that their sheer existence is at stake. Why is this important to the discussion above?
Because I consider LH currently to be the best-managed Airline worldwide. Their CEO knows exactly how to run such a business and he knows as well how to handle situations like the one the airline industry is currently in (that's the shit that hit the fan). Nevertheless he did not ask for the German government to step in financially, only as a guarantor for assurance matters (most governments worldwide already do so). He is still convinced to solve the problems like it should be done on a market.
Now finally ask yourself: Is the work of a LH pilot less valuable in times like these??? Certainly not, but he will make a lot less money nontheless!

Best regards to all, thank you for reading and even more thank-yous for answering.

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineAgrodemm From Greece, joined Apr 2000, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2430 times:

Great analysis Andreas,
I agree on the demand/supply point, and the way that the markets should react,
Keynes would agree as well, he would say that now people will have to work MORE (to earn the same that they were making before), or if you see it the other way round, if you are making $1m a month but you work 18h/day, you would compromise with $300k/month but in order to work 9-5. Do you?

But the counter-argument would say that in this way, everybody's job would be on the stake, everyday....
Not much reaasuring is it?

and definately not an argument to discuss withlabor unions...


User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (14 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2403 times:

If you think a UA 744 Captain makes 3 times as much as an AF or BA Captain you are completely delusional.

User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (14 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2394 times:

Yes. From what i've heard, after their last raise, the most senior UAL pilots are making in the neighborhoood of $250,000. 125,000 GBP = about $180,000. So I don't really think your argument holds much water.

User currently offlineTsully From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 651 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (14 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2387 times:

I'm not going to get into specifics, but Ben88, your UA figures are off by about USD 50k. UA's latest pilot contract provided a substantial pay increase. A senior -400 captain is making over USD 300k per year, if I recall correctly.

In any case, I think the point to be made is U.S. majors have a much higher pay rate than do their foreign counterparts, albeit this pay differential may not be exactly 3-fold per say.

I love America. I guess that makes me Bush's poodle, but I'd rather be a dog in New York City than a prince in Riyadh.
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 5, posted (14 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 2378 times:

Actually this thread is not about how much money a senior captain makes at UA, thougfh I would like to point out:
In their current situation it is way too much!!! If UA goes broke, he will barely be able to find another job. Please keep this in mind as it is the message from my post.
BTW: Unions are very powerful in Germany and certainly ÖTV which covers LH, yet they agreed to these cuts. (I'm beginning to see the lights.....)

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

United pilots are not making $300,000 this site has a great way of thinking pilot get paid far more then they really do. $250,000 is about as top.
Also realise only the very few top pilots make anywhere near this! Most are making $125,000ish!!

User currently offlineAgrodemm From Greece, joined Apr 2000, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (14 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

I see where you are pointing at Andreas.

I will give another example:
During the past 2-3 years many junior-middle executives have left from "old economy" companies in order to join "new economy" startups, where they were making more money, had stock options etct etc.

The question is: did they actually contributed more to the wealth of the company?

After these compnaies went down, where they able to find similar jobs in other (old and establshed) companies? I guess not.

Without believeing that one's fate is predetermined by where he/she lives or works, I don't think that it is proper to compare jobs in different companies or countries. There is definately an argument on salaries within the same company (and at least in the US it is backed up by law - I think it is called comparative payment or something like that).

But if someone says I work for company A, my job description is Y, and I get X salary, where someone on company B , job Y, gets 2X, then my answer would be,
"why didn't you join company B in the first place? "



User currently offlineSEVEN_FIFTY7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 957 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (14 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2362 times:

Why does everyone on this board always single out UA pilots, when it is DELTA pilots that make the most (among U.S. carriers)????

User currently offline'Longreach' From Australia, joined Jul 2001, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2360 times:

I do not agree with the fact that pilots are paid TOO much!!

Take a look at sport stars or actors or even musicians.

Lets examine say a star from the sitcom "Freinds". Are they or are they not paid around more than a pilots annual wage per EPISODE!!!! ANd what the hell do they do!? Nothing but pretend to be some one else. How can they be paid more than someone who has the control of up to 400 lives at once?

What about Musicians such as Mariah Careys recent signing to Virgin Records for something like $250million for 7 or something records. So she can sing!! Does that justify her getting paid the same amount as over 1000 pilots would get in a year!! No it does not.

What about Micheal Jordon, what did he used to earn? I have no idea but it is a hell of a lot more than any pilot can make.

I don't see how anybody could argue the factor of a pilots wage. Many of you would not understand the amount of work that a pilot puts into just getting to where he has!

Also how many times do you see doctors stuff up and kill a patient due to a simple error? And then compare that to the amount of times Pilots have stuffed up ending in disaster? I think you will find an uneven ratio.

And ANYBODY who refers a to a pilot as a GLORIFIED bus driver should be shot. You must question your own sanity as I constantly do when I see such bullshit written in this forum.

User currently offlineAgrodemm From Greece, joined Apr 2000, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2355 times:

Why does a doctor at Memorial Hospital in NY makes whatever he/she makes where a doctor at a missionary in South Africa, who saves more lives indeed, makes ZERO?

I think there is no point in comparing guys...

User currently offlineAgrodemm From Greece, joined Apr 2000, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2349 times:

and don't forget,

It is always easy to compare with the ones who make more than us, is it?

But why don't YOU compare yourself with somebody that makes less than you?

My point of view: Money isn't everything.
and we have many examples of people who made lots of money just by working hard (and being lucky), very rich people who were unhappy, and vv.

I think that everybody should responsible for his/her own fate. Maybe in a perfect world, as Marx put it once, (but failed in practice) everybody should get the same as evrybody else.

But, is it a perfect world?

User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 12, posted (14 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2342 times:

Longreach: Sorry to tell you but musicians and sports stars do not make "too much money", but they are paid that much, because the clubs or record company is convinced to make even more money by marketing these people you mentioned. If they were not convinced they wouldn't sign.
As to the pilot's wages, I'm afraid you didn't get my message. I never said they make too much or not enough but the wage is determined by
a. a question of supply and demand
b. of other factors
ad a: Currently there are many aircraft grounded, therefore many pilots are unemployed, therefore it is cheaper for Airlines. That is absolutely reasonable, as the situation is bad for Airlines and the problem concerns all employees, pilots are not exempt.
ad b: You already mentioned the long time to become a pilot. Yes correct. Nobody in his right mind (without rich parents) would try to become a pilot if he were not abel to put bread and butter on the table. This is a question of supply and demand as well. But you see this goes for other jobs as well.
btw: I never called a pilot a glorified busdriver, though I have to point out, that a busdriver is someone with a lot of responsabilities, too, he, too, has many lives in his hand. So basically I find the comparison between both jobs not exactly insulting for either of them.
But I do read other postings such as the one from lymanm, and I see something like hero worshipping there, that has nothing to do with the reality of an airline pilot (and I spoke to quite a few of them).

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offline'Longreach' From Australia, joined Jul 2001, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2338 times:


YOU just compared a bus driver to a pilot! by saying they too have a lot of lives at stake!

have you ever flown a plane? Do you know how hard it is!?

and why are most bus drivers semi retiered old men?

I was not reffereing to you saying that pilots are glorified bus drivers but take a look in the archives and youll see many who have.

User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (14 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2336 times:

Agrodemm: I see from your profile we are working in the same branch. Are you covering aviation, too?

Let me tell you, I do not exempt myself from the earnings discussion. I know I make more than most people and I had a long way in terms of education, much longer than that of a pilot. Yet I would still prefer to be a pilot (honestly!! I still love flying, though all those delays are starting to get on my nerves). But as I said earlier, I do not deserve that payment, whatever that means. It is the amount my employer has chosen to pay, as he still believes (at least I hope he does!!), it is to his advantage as I make more money than i cost.
btw, 50% of my yearly pay is strictly bound to profit. If I don't make any deals, my pay would be very much average.
Now I do not have to rescue people in the middle of the night in stormy weather over the Kaschmir mountains, but if I make a mistake, hundreds or even thousands of people lose their jobs, and that is not a very funny thought either (that goes to longreach as well!).
I'm afraid I cannot change the situation I am living in, but I try to see as realistically as possible, and that is, what this thread is about!
Best Regards from a very sunny but icecold Frankfurt/Germany (today I can see the aircraft from Rhein/Main take off, and I just love that!!!!!)

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 15, posted (14 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2333 times:

Longreach: Yes, true, what you say. But it is a fact that more people die in bus accidents than in airline crashes. That should give you something to think about as concerns the job of a busdriver. The difference is not as wide as you say (I don't give a damn whether there are 40 people's live at stake in a bus or 350 in an Airbus). I think it is no insult to a pilot (or a doctor or a lawyer or whatever) to be compared to a busdriver, I do not glorify any of them, but you are right, many people say that to purposefully insult pilots.

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offline'Longreach' From Australia, joined Jul 2001, 505 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (14 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

YOu basically just gave me a great example of how BUS drivers are paid so much more less to do a way easier job than pilots are but there are far more fatalities? If that is the case do you think that lowering pilot salaries will result in more fatalities?

User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (14 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2307 times:

Longreach: Sorry for the delay, we closed a deal last week and are in syndication now, so I have to be on the phone sometimes to talk to Bankers all around the world, and right now, America has begun to work.
Back to the topic:
I'm not sure I understand what you said, but if you lower salaries for pilots to the level of, say, busdrivers (oops, how did I get to busdrivers??), yes, basically I believe that the rate of fatalities WOULD in time go up, because it were much less attractive to capable people to become pilots. On the other hand, this will not happen, as the equipment pilots are handling is extremely expensive. The Airlines (well most of them)will not allow a certain basic rate of crashes to happen in order to save money with salaries. I am afraid that is the case in bus logistics, as you don't necessarily have casualties when a bus crashes. Furthermore the insurance coverage is much better, the news headlines much smaller.
I hope this is what you want to know.

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineTT737FO From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 472 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (14 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2298 times:

Here are some comparative pay scales, so that we can put this crap to bed once and for all. This is based on contractual minimums. The UAL progression is based on junior bases and logical seat availability. One's choice of domicile could affect pay.


1st year Skywest (non union) EMB120 FO: $19.02 per flight hour. With a 75 hour per month guarantee, the low end of the pay scale would mean $17,118 per year.
This could be considered an entry level airline position (with mins of 1000/100). For a civilian, the costs of training (PPL/IFR/CML/CFI/ME/MEI) may be in excess of $30,000--if one chooses to do the FBO route.

1st year UAL 737 FO: $42.52 per flight hour. Multiplying out by 78 hours per month, that would mean about $40,000 per year.


5th year Skywest EMB120 Capt: $48.49 per flight hour.
$43,641 per year.

5th year UAL 767 FO: $110.43 per flight hour. $103,362 per year.


10th year Skywest CRJ Capt: $73.71 per flight hour. $66,339 per year.

1st year UAL 737 Capt: $140.53per flight hour. $131,536 per year.


18th year Skywest CRJ Capt. $92.87 per flight hour. $83,583 per year (capped).

7th year UAL B777 Capt. $196.47 per hour. $183,895 per year.

User currently offlineAgrodemm From Greece, joined Apr 2000, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (14 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 2294 times:

Andreas: No, I am not in the Aviation sector, but I share your point of view.
I hope that the world economies will be stabilized soon.


User currently offlineDe727ups From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (14 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

12 year UPS 727 F/O....way less than 200K.

Only very senior pilots, on the largest aircraft, make the kind of salaries that some of the mis-informed posters at airliners love to quote.

"You know a senior 747-400 Captain at UA probably makes 2.5-3 times as much as his counterpart at BA, AF, LH and it is probably the European drivers with their superior standards that are the better trained."


I've provided initial training to some of your "European drivers" early in their careers. Your "European drivers" come to my company and use our simulator and training facilities in the USA. I fly trips intra-Europe, myself, and don't find any difference between the quality of job a "European driver" and an American pilot can do. You can debate all day about putting a well trained, 300 hour, pilot into the right seat of an Airbus as opposed to having a guy work his way up through the US regionals to get into the seat. Personally, I'd take the regional guy any day.......

Mr Bove....Exactly what do you mean by "European drivers and their superior standards are better trained"?

User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (14 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 2255 times:

A pilots of no use to you when you're sitting in your soft office chair? Do you get mail? Do you take pictures? Do you go to a bank?

Pilots get a lot of the mail to you.

Pilots fly film around to get developed and delivered.

Pilots fly bank notes.

I have a friend that flys this stuff. He lost an engine on a stormy day with minimum ceilings. No one so much as THANKED him for delievering his cargo that day. He poked his way through thunderstorms and ice in an airplane that didn't have all its instruments working and no one so much as THANKED him. He makes DIRT for pay, and all you people who say he means nothing to you benefit from him moving bank notes around. Don't go spouting your mouth off before you know what we do. Next time something goes wrong with your money at your bank, or your mail is a day late, wonder if maybe that's because my friend DIED while trying to take care of YOUR DAMN MONEY WITH NO THANKS FROM ANYONE.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineAndreas From Germany, joined Oct 2001, 6104 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (14 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 2253 times:

Please read my first posting again. If you have any problems in understanding what i'm trying to say, just tell me and I will retry.
But what you just said, is completely and utterly nonsense.
Please try again!

I know it's only VfB but I like it!
User currently offlineBhill From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1319 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (14 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 2246 times:

A question I have..How much of a pay cut is the CEO going to take, and will he still get and obscene bonus even if the company is in the red at the end of the F.Y.?

Carpe Pices
User currently offlineDragogoalie From Australia, joined Oct 2001, 1220 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (14 years 7 months 12 hours ago) and read 2247 times:

I might be wrong, but doesn't the shit hit the fan, not the fan hit the shit?


Formerly known as Jap. Srsly. AUSTRALIA: 2 days!
25 Andreas : drago: You're right but i think fan-hitting shit means shit that is hitting the fan. Doesn't matter, we do mean the same thing! Bill: Good question! I
26 De727ups : Well...it should be shit hit the fan but something was lost in the german to english translation....I thought it was really funny, though....good laug
27 DCA-ROCguy : Sounds like LH's management is realizing what's starting to sink in on the wetsern side of the Atlantic. The market, not unions or managers, have fina
28 Lymanm : Andreas, I find it amusing that you took the time to accuse me for "Opening a completely useless thread!" because there was one already similar. The r
29 MD11Nut : One can never make too much money. You always try to get as much money as the employer is willing to pay. That's what I love about the free market. Gr
30 Post contains images DCA-ROCguy : MD11Nut: Whoever pays more, ultimately get the best people. If they don't, their business will fail. It's the survival of the fittest. This system wor
31 DCA-ROCguy : De727UPS--actually Andreas' grammar is fine. It's just his analogy that's confusing. The adjective phrase "fan-hitting" modifies the noun "shit." The
32 De727ups : Jim... HEHE....Thanks for the grammar lesson. Your post was very confusing to me....glad I just fly planes for a living so I don't have to worry about
33 Tsully : As posted in another thread, here is what I have to say about pilots' salaries: It seems to me those who criticize pilots' high salaries are just jeal
34 Bacardi182 : The only people that say pilots are overpayed probley have never flown a plane! Go get your private, and in a few months and $5000+ later, we will see
35 Andreas : Good morning everybody from a very sunny and bloody cold Frankfurt. Weekend 's coming up, I'll be boarding an aircraft tonight, subsequently my mood i
36 Lymanm : Andreas, you senility seems to have left you with cheese curds in your head. I understand that you clearly aren't comfortable with the english languag
37 Andreas : Well then, i wish you a good life, that you make 200 grand per year as a pilot (assuming that there are still companies to hire you), may your English
38 Agrodemm : Hey Guys, Why do always someone gets off-topic (based on the original post of the one who started the topic) and it ends up attacking on personal issu
39 Andreas : Thanks for the posting, but hey, everybody (even that one) needs some fun, weekend is about to start. But seriously, I was actually trying to discuss
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