I meant to put the wink smiley face. The point I was trying to make is that the shareholders can't do a darn thing about pilot costs. I have simply echoed every sentiment that the pilots have told us on the employee message boards.
Don't get me wrong, I would like to see the pilots give concessions and the company make money; not necessarily in that order. I DON'T think that Delta's financial problems are all the pilot's fault.
BTW it was not only pilot PAY issues that caused DL
to not order more 777s, DAL
ALPA did not see eye to eye on work rules either. They wanted the crew rest facilities installed for long haul flights, they were not content to have business elite seats reserved for them while they were off duty. They got it. DL
reconfigured the three 777s for the ATL
leg with the overhead crew rest facilities at great cost to DL
. Every 777 under the new contract would have had to be redone. Understandably DL
said forget it. It's an expense that will have to wait until DL
is making money.
I do my part for DL
. I sell their product, I sell their partners, I do what they ask when they ask me. They have changed my insurance, my sick time, my retirement plan, I don't care. They have consistently paid me and I get enough benefits to be happy about it.
HOWEVER, I did not start working for an airline with the notion that it afforded me any type of job security. Heck, Pan Am went under when I was a kid and that was really on my mind when I joined an airline. At the time they were making oodles of money and giving raises and such. I was barely working for DL
a year when the pilots inked their current contract. It was 9 days before my two year anniversary that September 11th happened.
I have loved working for this company. I like most of the people that I work with. I don't expect things to go well in the near term with the rhetoric coming both from the pilots and from management. I hope Mr. Grinstein follows through with what he wants to do, but I am not optimistic that the problem of costs will be solved without chapter 11. I am not afraid of losing my job, as I have plans for most contingencies. I would be sad, but not shocked.
The most heated message board argument I got into was with a pilot who, when asked about the possibility of management going into bankruptcy to get concessions, threatened that ALPA could STRIKE! I ended up telling him that if he struck I would immediately search for a different job, so when he didn't have one maybe I would be the one making more money than him.
I just wanted to give you guys an idea of what mentality is coming from the pilots. Management is just as bad, but their sin is acting as if the current money-losing business model will work indefinitely. They may say that our biggest competition is from Low Cost Carriers, but actions speak louder than words and Delta is still trying to be all things to all people. If you don't believe me just check out the Delta board over at flyertalk. The FF
program could not possibly get more convoluted. DL
seems to have no direction. It is frustrating, give me something I can sell more than schedules. God knows the fares aren't any different than anyone else. I would love to tell someone something that makes Delta different. Where did the "Delta difference" go?, appearantly the same place as the "Delta family".
Once again, I want Delta to succeed. I wish no ill on any airline, especially not the one that pays me, but pilots are just the current convienient scapegoats; they are not the only problem. DL
needs some good leadership so it can become a good airline again. I don't have all the answers. I will follow anyone with good ideas.