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Gordon Bethune: A Snob  
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2623 times:

I have heard and agree that Gordon Bethune is a snob towards other airlines, but when it comes down to his airline, He gets the job done without delay. I have recently read an article where CO is the only airline so far that has checked their fuel pumps. Good for them. Gordon may not know when to keep his mouth shut, but he does a damn good job running continental.

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLubcha132 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2776 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2596 times:

I agree 100 percent. Who cares as long as continental flies great planes (they fly all of my faves [757,767,735 all except the f100]) and they have great service. Of all the airlines i'veflown since 9/11, (ok AA and CO but still) CO felt the safest, and served food on the flights (4 AA flights with the same damn type of snack mix). Of course i've never really hated an airline that i've flown..i had a grudge against AA but then i realized it was only the trans-atlantic flights that they put the evil witch F/a's on.

J


User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2577 times:

He is and considering Continental was pulled out of bankcruptcy... successfully, he appears to have done a good job.

Note though that airlines like Virgin Blue have also checked their pumps.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 33
Reply 3, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2520 times:

I have heard Gordon called many things...., but I would say that snob isnt one of them. Snobbery doesn't usually accompany his ..er colorful use of language. He may love his job and blow his own trumpet a lot, but if I had done what he did, I would too...

Jeremy


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2478 times:

I don't think Gordon is a snob. He's a cocky sunovabitch though. That is just his personality. The man is a born leader and he has proven this by leading his airline out of a very precarious financial position.

Unfortunately for him, his ego often comes between him and sound business decisions. A classic example of this was the stock buyback deal with NWA that caused the split between him and Greg Brenneman. That deal has already cost Continental millions of dollars directly and immeasurably more indirectly.


User currently offlineGo Canada! From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2955 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2436 times:

he gets the job down, the airlines come a long way since its past so if hes a snob then let him be a snob, if his ego affects company business(example the NWA dealings) then that affects the company .


It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
User currently offlineAamd11 From UK - Wales, joined Nov 2001, 1059 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2332 times:

Anybody who can turn a company round from a position like that can be a bit snobby if you ask me.
He did a bloody good job saving Continental, and steering it into the black, and keeping it there, and now we have a CO thats in a healthier position than many other carrier that size is right now.

He has my respect, gets the job done.
he likes to fly the planes as well, he has a 757/767 type rating doesnt he?

A^A MD-11


User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

Apparently he does some 757 delivery flights.

User currently offlineCalpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 998 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2262 times:

But he made the biggest mistake of the late '90s. He lined his pockets with no regard to the longterm health of this Airline. He and the Board used half of our profits to buy back stock; so that their stock options would reward only themeselves. All of this while debt skyrocketed, and cash dwindled.

However, man to man he's a great guy.


User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 50
Reply 9, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2216 times:

He may be a snob, but he's a brillient snob...  Big thumbs up

Charles, SJ



The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineContinentalEWR From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3762 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2200 times:

Continental is perhaps the best run, full service carrier in the US and that is in large part thanks to Gordon Bethune, who instilled a completely new work ethic to help turn the carrier around starting in 1994. Continental is facing a lot of the same problems the rest of the industry is enduring right now and it is a highly leveraged airline, but he has built a strong franchise, imposed cost control measures that don't eat into service, and has done quite well.

ContinentalEWR


User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2149 times:

Apparently he does some 757 delivery flights.

If I remember correctly, he also delivered their first 767-400. Or was that their first 767-200. Either way he did most of those. And he is also a damn good pilot. I read in the book how in the simulator, he pushed that 757 to the limit, and brought it back out again.


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2120 times:

Gordon has an ATP with a 757/767 rating as well as an A&P mechanics license. His background was as a US Navy mechanic I believe, which explains the A&P. He then worked for Western, Piedmont, Boeing and then finally Continental.

User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

>>>I have recently read an article where CO is the only airline so far that has checked their fuel pumps.

Don't believe everything you read... Other airlines checked the documentation on their fuel pumps to see if they had any from the suspect batch, and just because each airline didn't have an article published about it doesn't mean they didn't check them...

The media's handling of these last two 737-related items (the fuel pumps, and more recently, some electronic modules) has been pretty simplistic, to the point of being goofy. They scare the snot out of folks by either saying (or inferring) that all 737s are absolutely affected by something, when in reality it's a couple of hundred components that could be installed on any of a thousand or two possible aircraft. They tend to focus on that 1,000-2,000 possible aircraft, as if *all* have the evil part installed, rather than bothering folks with the details that all 1,000-2,000 are being checked for one of the couple of hundred bad components.

I've been in the airline biz for 20+ years, and while the media has been something of a pain when it comes to accuracy and "context", I think it's gotten alot worse in the last couple of years. Reminds me of the old advertising mantra: Don't sell the steak--sell the sizzle...


User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2017 times:

imagine if gordon would just humble himself a bit. he would be a VERY popular guy.

he is on this thread because yes he turned a crappy airline into a money maker. He is popular because he is an ass. If he was to humble himself and keep his mouth shut, what would the world say?

he would be a super star. Laugh out loud


ual 777 contrail


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4525 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2006 times:

If any of you GB fans had been working at Continental for the last year or so
you might change your tune, his leadership and delegation of management skills to Brennerman in the turnaround notwithstanding and his alleged pilot skills 'pushing the simulator to the limit' where do you get this stuff?!!

The reality is that he placed CAL in an extremely vulnerable position financially,
with his reckless buy back of billions worth of CAL stock ostensibly to retain control of the airline but in reality an attempt to prop up the stock price and protect his own job along with his cronies.

Who was the first CEO to go crying to the Government after 9/11? he didn't do it out of any altruistic concern for the industry but because we couldn't withstand a mild downturn, let alone a catastrophe, those billions he blew on the stock buyback could have been put to great use shoring up our finances and preparing us for a downturn, we now have more debt than American airlines!

And how about his new contract, he basicly gets rewarded for losing money!
the contract stipulates he gets a bonus if we ONLY lose 125 million over a fixed period of time, I'll buy everyone a beer if the amount doesn't turn out to be just a little less than that.

You all seem to admire his outspokeness I call it his 'Martini Wisdom' he says a lot of stupid things, he forecast that Jet Blue's IPO would be a failure, I think we all know how that went, and lately he's been blaming our problems on 'stupid passengers who won't pay enough'

Personally I wish he'd keep his mouth shut and do a better job, you don't see Delta and Northwest keeping such a high profile, but they are certainly better off financially.

And just to enlighten you further, if you think that sitting in an office all day and flying once every six months, enable's him to push anything to it's limit but his mouth I'm surprised at your gullibilty, most of you seem to have good aviation knowledge and I think you would realize that currency is vital for proficiency as a Professional Pilot, let alone an amateur one.

When he 'takes delivery' of an aircraft he is babysat by an experienced instructor who has to be very assertive, his flying abilities are very basic and really a pr stunt, it also violates our contract which stipulates that any Cal flying must be done by a Pilot on our seniority list.

If you think this is just because I'm a bitter Cal employee who's been screwed by incompetent management your'e mostly right, but the facts speak for themselves, we have furloughed/laid off more employees percentage wise than any other airline because of his catastrophic 'management'

Forget the mouth, look at the reality.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1921 times:

But unlike employees at other carriers, you guys have not taken a pay cut. GB has done a great job overall. The airline would not exist today but for GB. I cannot speak to the issue of the stock buyback. Everyone makes mistakes.

User currently offlineCatpac From Australia, joined Mar 2001, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1893 times:

just read his book and think he is a smart guy...

User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6608 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1882 times:

How could the CO employees take a paycut....they already make substantially less than employees at the other majors!!! Of course, this partly explains why CO's losses are not as much as DL or UA.

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 week 1 day ago) and read 1879 times:

They haven't taken a pay cut cuz they have the lowest employee cost structure than any of the big 6(except for US now).

Gordon is an idiot. Greg is the real guy behind the turnaround, he just decided not to hire a ghost writer to write a book about him.

And how many unencumbered assets does CO currently have(In USD) compared to AA, UA, DL, and NW?


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4525 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (12 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1754 times:

WE HAVEN'T TAKEN A PAY CUT!!!!!!

Where in the ****** do you get your information, you speak from total ignorance N79969, as subsequent post's have stated, we have always been the worst compensated airline employees to begin with, and what do you think happens in a 'downsizing' there are fewer jobs, everyone moves down the list to a lower paying position.Your hero GB also just eliminated most on-time bonus's for the paid employees.

You can't believe everything you read or hear no matter how slick the presentation.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4525 posts, RR: 18
Reply 21, posted (12 years 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 1746 times:

And furthermore you excuse his blowing billions of dollars on the stock scam with 'everyone makes mistakes' his mistakes cost people their livelihoods.

Most rational people would say that would be reason for dismissal.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineCO/ba From United States of America, joined May 2001, 399 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (12 years 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 1735 times:

I guess we know who the pilots are.

User currently offlineCalpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 998 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (12 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 1694 times:

Pilots nothing talk to someone in MX, the company WALKED away from the table last week. Gosh thats "working together"! Talk to F/As about how thay are treated! And yes, I have taken a $20K paycut with the loss of the left seat, so don't give me no paycut.

Ok, sure I still am happy and belive Gordon has done a good job, and I'm not going to quit for some other job, which I know is not out there. However, I want to point out to CO/ba and others that this is not a pilot only issue.

Besides if G.W. decides to take on the rest of the world alone, we'll all find ourselves out of the Airlines business. There will only be one Major Airline left; Southwest, enjoy.


User currently offlineN79969 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (12 years 1 week ago) and read 1606 times:

Max Q,

Relax. A simple "no, you're not correct" would have done the job. From what I have read in the media, Continental chose to furlough and layoff rather than negotiate paycuts with the unions. Is this incorrect? Now, after your rather vehement posting and CALpilot's calmer one, I realize you both got bumped down the seniority list. Sorry to hear it.

I have a relative who worked at CO and realize you guys make less money than your peers. A lot less in many instances. The flip side is that CO employees have a far better chance of staying employed than your exorbitantly paid (pilot) peers at say, UAL. The bottom line is that in the long-run, financially viable airlines will have labor contracts that look more like CO's and less like AA, UA, or even DL. Arguably, you may deserve more money but the market will not bear it. No way around this hard fact. Fare levels are too low and will stay low for a long time.

Finally, I think the 'your hero GB' was also over the top. My point remains the same. In his eight years at CO, the company came back from the brink and was prosperous under his watch until the a-holes of 9/11 showed up. Even now, your airline stands a far better chance of survival than most other major carriers. His stock buyback probably was bad. But the fact remains, if it was not for GB, CO would probably not exist. Even if CO did exist without both GBs, there would be almost zero chance that you guys would be flying all of that nice, new equipment around.


25 Artsyman : I always hear about how Continental is underpaid and how they need to get get the same as the other big 6, well personally I think the others need to
26 Ual777contrail : N79969, maybe the reason MAX Q may have been hot is the fact he is on the inside. he takes the cuts when they happen, he gets tossed around when thing
27 Ual777contrail : N79969, maybe the reason MAX Q may have been hot is the fact he is on the inside. He takes the cuts when they happen, he gets tossed around when thing
28 N79969 : UAL777Contrail, I don't think I disputed what he said about his own situation...I think I even sympathized with him. I do think CALpilot did a better
29 Calpilot : NO Wolf! lol I think we all are close to the same page here. G.B. is good for a laugh, and he has been the best thing I have seen in my 16yrs. However
30 N79969 : CALPilot, I am glad you appreciated my attempt at humor. Wolf should be barred from leading an airline in the same manner that Frank Lorenzo is kept o
31 EssentialPowr : All bonuses at CAL should dissappear; then mgt wouldn't have a basis to receive them for simply losing the least as compared to the other majors. Beth
32 Artsyman : I also think it is really lame to start crying foul when the industry as a whole is struggling as much as it is post 9.11. Continentals being leverage
33 Lowfareair : >>their planes are newer.
34 Ual777contrail : n79969, sorry you took it wrong, I wasn't slammin you and no ARTSYMAN'S contribution to this forum is greatly appreciated, I have always enjoyed his r
35 DirkSavage : "How to pull out of bankrupcy"....a CO how-to guide: 1. File for protection a second time, seven years after doing it for the first time. 2. Write off
36 EssentialPowr : To add to above- Include contract verbage to account for quarterly, vs yearly bonuses, b/c even the airlines can show a profit 1 or 2 quarters of a lo
37 EssentialPowr : One more- Accept a bonus when the company is at Chapt 10.999999 (UAL/J. Goodwin). BTW - I read Jack Welch's book...It's the same anti-establishment, r
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