ktliem@YVR
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 3:25 pm

Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 6:56 am

Reading the press reports on the negotiations between Air Canada & the Air Canada Pilots Association, one get the distinct impression seniority issues are more important than the survival of the airline. (Toronto Star: "Squabble over seniority rights prompts call to stop negotiations"). Swiss seems also to have the same problems with its pilots.

Pilots of major airlines are generally well paid. Even with the pay cut, they're still relatively well paid. So why all the grumbling when the survival of the airline is on the line?

Please enlighten me on this issue.



 
777guy
Posts: 476
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2000 2:50 pm

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:01 am

Last in the door=first out the door. This is one of the biggest problems that goes with a merger of the company.
 
flyf15
Posts: 6633
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:10 am

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:08 am

At airlines, senority means everything. How much you get paid, how often you see your family, where you go, what you fly, what benefits you get, when you get furloughed (if that should occur), etc.

The deal with senority goes well beyond pilots aswell.
 
citationjet
Posts: 2259
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:26 am

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:42 am

Flyf15 is correct. Seniority is involved in almost every airline job. Seniority determines what shift you work, the days off you have, what job you work, when you take your vacation, your pay, whether you work full time or part time, and even what city you work in.

I heard that currently it takes about 20 years of seniority to have a full time ticket counter/gate agent job for American in DFW. This is due to the downsizing.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
Yikes!
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 4:51 pm

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:51 am

"Pilots of major airlines are generally well paid."

It's a scramble. Very, VERY few make it to the majors of those who start. Many will do whatever it takes to get there. Take that however you want to interpret it. Once there, a system of "I was here first" takes over. Childish by some standards, admittedly. But that's the way it's been for decades.

Seniority's biggest benefit is the taking away from "management" the system of favoritism, which some describe as "merit" but most describe as ass-kissing.

In the last 18 months since the industry over-reaction to 911, airlines have taken advantage of a drop in business to attack their highest paid professionals. Payroll is one controllable cost airlines or any business for that matter, has. Attack your costs and the profits will be maximized.

It's also a misnomer. The average pilot makes about US$40,000 when you lump them all together.

A living wage. In some states.

The $350,000/year airline pilot is like a professional sports team or an actor - most make a little; a few make a lot.

Time to dispell the myth...
 
Ejazz
Posts: 689
Joined: Wed May 22, 2002 10:26 am

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 8:23 am

Not all Airlines have seniority systems.

My date of joining here has absolutely no relevance when it comes to promotion, days off, where I fly to, job security etc. The only item it does affect is my salary.
Etihad Girl, You're a great way to fly.
 
JBirdAV8r
Posts: 3454
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2001 4:44 am

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 8:39 am

The $350,000/year airline pilot is like a professional sports team or an actor - most make a little; a few make a lot.

But no one instantly makes that much, either. Every single pilot I know that makes that much money has had some really lean years finance-wise. We all start out at the bottom of the pay scale. I'll be living on $10/hr flight instructor crap pay for a few years...more than worth the fun I'll be having while scooting Chickenhawks through the sky...and the more glamorous job that awaits  Smile
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
Yikes!
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2001 4:51 pm

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 9:20 am

Amen, JBirdAV8r.

Patience, my friend - you'll get there one day!

Best Regards
 
a380
Posts: 652
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2000 11:51 pm

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 9:45 am

Call me childish, but it's hard for me to understand what the Air Canada pilots are thinking.

Reduced seniority is always better than flipping burgers in McDonalds or working in Home Depot, I think?
 
kdonohue
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2001 8:26 am

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 1:28 pm

The problem is Air Canada pilots feel that the pilots for Canadian Airlines were the losers, because they worked for the company that was bought and merged, so they should fall in line behind the AC pilots. Many may think is fair, but tough for the CP pilots who flew for many years with Canadian.

It's a very difficult situation and one that I don't think will satisfy both sides.

K.
 
AA717driver
Posts: 1502
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2002 8:27 am

RE: Why Is Seniority Such A Big Issue With Pilots?

Tue Jun 24, 2003 3:35 pm

Same thing at AA/TWA. TWA was ravaged by poor management and a corporate raider since the '70's(coincidentally, AA nearly went out of business in the mid '70's but the other airlines pitched in and helped them survive) so when AA and TWA arranged their merger, TWA was viewed as the "loser" and AA held all the leverage in the seniority integration talks.TC
FL450, M.85