BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
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Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:10 am

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.
Puhdiddle
 
lubcha132
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:14 am

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
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 1:25 am

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.
 
artsyman
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:12 am

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
 
B747-437B
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:34 am

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.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
go canada!
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 3:08 am

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
 
aamd11
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 6:34 am

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
 
donder10
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 6:37 am

Apparently he does some 757 delivery flights.
 
calpilot
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 7:57 am

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.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 8:43 am

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
 
ContinentalEWR
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:00 am

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
 
BR715-A1-30
Topic Author
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:09 am

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.
Puhdiddle
 
B747-437B
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:58 am

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.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:13 am

>>>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...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:06 pm

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
 
Max Q
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:31 pm

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.
 
N79969
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:56 pm

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.
 
catpac
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:51 pm

just read his book and think he is a smart guy...
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 10:59 pm

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.
 
Guest

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:01 pm

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?
 
Max Q
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Tue Sep 17, 2002 11:07 am

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.
 
Max Q
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Tue Sep 17, 2002 11:12 am

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.
 
co/ba
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Tue Sep 17, 2002 11:27 am

I guess we know who the pilots are.
 
calpilot
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Tue Sep 17, 2002 12:47 pm

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.
 
N79969
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Tue Sep 17, 2002 10:31 pm

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.
 
artsyman
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:07 am

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 come down to the CO level. The last explosion of earnings was triggered by the 28% raise at United as a pacifier for their pilots due to some of the slippery deals being done with US air. Then Delta's union jumped all over it and so on....

CO pilots will get a raise, but they wont get the same as United etc, but I think you will see theirs come down a little.

as far as I am concerned at CO all I have seen that is annoying for so far is that our passes have gone up a little for non-revving...beyond that, nothing has affected me any

Jeremy

 
ual777contrail
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:49 am

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 things go bad.

he has been the true insight here. he has given us info most didnt know. we on the outside dont hear that kind of stuff. your an attorney, this is a hobby. for him it's life. you can turn this crap off whenever you want, he will be there in the morning come rain or shine.

WE employee's of these airlines do get irritated when people on the outside make claims or cast opinions on something they know nothing about. i am not slamming you, i am glad we got the chance to here a CO employee's opinion.

i have always felt G.B. was a snob, but then again i work for UAL and we havent have a good ceo in decades.

thanks MAX Q and CALPILOT for all your news and opinion on this topic.we on the outside get to hear the stories from you guys on the inside.


UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
ual777contrail
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:52 am

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 things go bad.

he has been the true insight here. He has given us info most didn't know. We on the outside don't hear that kind of stuff. Your an attorney, this is a hobby. For him it's life. You can turn this crap off whenever you want, he will be there in the morning come rain or shine.

WE employee's of these airlines do get irritated when people on the outside make claims or cast opinions on something they know nothing about. I am not slamming you, I am glad we got the chance to here a CO employee's opinion.

I have always felt G.B. was a snob, but then again I work for UAL and we haven't have a good CEO in decades.

thanks MAX Q and CALPILOT for all your news and opinion on this topic. we on the outside get to hear the stories from you guys on the inside.


UAL 777 CONTRAIL
 
N79969
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 3:31 am

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 job at communicating the same message without the unecessary over-the-top reaction. My post was based on press releases and other people that worked at CO. How about Artsyman's contribution as an employee? I am sure he has as much insight as the next CO employee. He is not angry and bitter. Does his lack of apparent anger somehow make his opinion less important or less valid?

Fine, aviation is a hobby. How does that have any bearing on the point I was making? Even after taking into account that pilots have slid down the seniority scale, how am I wrong? The pain that airline employees are suffering is not localized to a specific airline. It is across the board and GB is simply playing the same shitty hand that every CEO has been dealt in the last year. I don't think he is doing a terrible job at it either. Stephen Wolf is available, perhaps CAL ALPA would prefer him to GB...
 
calpilot
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:07 am

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, that said, He just really put us in the hole over this stock repurchase plan. "dumb" I would have thought it was "Business 101" to pay down debt, with excess cash on hand.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:33 am

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 out. Wolf is truly not fit to lead an airline. He did not operate airlines, he screwed labor and sold them or tried in the USAirways case. He is a shakedown artist.

Although I don't the know the specifics of the stock buyback plan, stock buybacks don't seem to be a great idea in general. For a company as leveraged as CO, it was a risky move and in hindsight was probably wrong. I'll defer to the CO employees on this issue.

 
EssentialPowr
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RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:40 am

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. Bethune evidently thinks so little of labor groups/"working together" that the on time stat will errode if the bonus is gone???

This statement was a gut buster:
*******
"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."
**********************
The Posit freeze "limit" or the crash impede "limit"???
 
artsyman
Posts: 4516
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:53 am

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 leveraged doesn't actually mean a whole lot in day to day operations. It means that they don't have a strong case for borrowing money as they don't have unincumbered assetts to borrow against, but they don't need to borrow a lot of money at the moment so it is a mute point. Secondly, their cost structure is a lot better than the rest of the majors, their planes are newer, way less mechanicals, way less costs. A wage list that is in line with reality, and generally happy employees. Sure there are people complaining about things but most of this is due to post 9.11 issues such as furloughs etc and Continental did it to a lot less than your Delta's and Americans.

Most of the pilots I know are doing just fine, some of less senior pilots have suffered, but I don't really see it any different at other carriers, it is just a sign of the times, be happy you have a job that gives you half the month or more off and with a great paycheck....

big picture folks...big picture...

Jeremy
 
Guest

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 10:00 am

>>their planes are newer.<<

Yeah, when you include ExpressJet and the ExpressJet CLE hub, home of Barbie Dream Jets.

I need to make something for film, I think that would be a good commercial. With Ken as the pilot.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 10:00 am

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 responses to these posts. I DIDNT find MAX Q'S response angry, I find it more tired and frustrated. I and many,many of my fellow employee's can sympathize with MAX Q is some respect. He is tired of getting crapped on. What I mean in your case is that we are the ones who live this life(airlines, by choice). We get to deal with crappy management and crappy days when flights cancel and people are really hard to deal with.

don't discredit me for the fact I can feel MAX Q'S pain, I do agree with you on wolf. He is a crook and deserves what he gets. He almost ruined FLYING TIGERS,UNITED,and has done it good to USAIRWAYS.

PLEASE N79969 I really didn't mean it to come across that bad.


ual 777 contrail

 
Guest

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 10:41 am

"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 7 billion dollars in debt by cancelling all common stock.............screwing the little guy (myself one of them).

3. Make sure that your outgoing CEO sells all of his stock to SAS...............and then screw them also.

4. Spin off and use Continental/Air Micronesia as collateral for a loan................and be sure to get an inflated price for it (before the Japanese bubble bursts).

5. Screw everyone that you owe money to.

Blow me Gordy!
 
EssentialPowr
Posts: 1646
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 10:30 pm

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 11:55 am

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 losing year if the numbers are juggled correctly...Ask Enron, Worldcom, etc...
 
EssentialPowr
Posts: 1646
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2000 10:30 pm

RE: Gordon Bethune: A Snob

Wed Sep 18, 2002 12:02 pm

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, rise to the top b/c I tell things like they are diatribe common to Bethune's book. (read -Crap)

Jack Welch, Ken Lay, Bethune, Siegal - they all put their pants on the same as the rest of us. USA Today, 17 Sep, front section, editorial, reports that GE pays Welch > $17,000/ DAY as a "consultant." What a waste.

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