As a pilot who's been in the industry for quite awhile, I will NEVER feel the need to apologize for my salary.
By the time a pilot reaches that level he or she has more than paid their "dues".
I watched my friends get out of college and go into various businesses starting at 50-80k, while I got a job as a flight instructor making $10/hr so I could build the time needed to land that $20k/ yr commuter job. That time was just while the engine was running. Factor in the time spent hanging around the airport looking for new students or waiting for the weather to improve, and after 4 years it works out to about $1.60/hr. Another 6 years at a commuter @20-40k.
Flight training is very expensive if you have to go the non military route, as I did. I only recently finished paying off all those flight training loans.
As far as the bus driver comparison, I won't even go there because it's so f###ing far off the mark it doesn't even warrant a response.
O/T I do agree however that bus drivers are grossly underpaid for what they do.
Contrary to popular belief, airplanes DO
NOT fly themselves. I'll bet the folks on UA
232 and the Aloha 737 were sure glad there was no "dog" up front.
As a captain, my job is on the line once every THREE MONTHS, either with checkrides or medical certification. An unsatisfactory result in either and my job could be gone. Add that to the constant uncertainty in the industry.
Also I don't recall any airline in history being brought down single handedly by pilot salaries. There are a number of larger issues facing airlines today. Do I think pilot groups should help out? Yes. Do I think they should carry the brunt of cuts just because they make more? No.
As stated in some of the above posts, not EVERY pilot at DL
, etc is making 300k...............
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.