As I understand it, seniority is important both in the US and the rest of the world, but works a bit differently, or rather the effect is different.
- In the US, the heavier the plane, the more the crew gets paid. So more seniority means you can bid on heavier planes since that's where everyone wants to go to make the big bucks.
- In Europe (and IIRC South America) heavier planes do not mean more pay. So many very senior Captains at say, SAS, will bid on MD
-80s, which fly intra Europe. That way they can be at home more.
Note: I am talking about WITHIN an airline. Commuter pilots get paid less in any case.
I think I have it right, but maybe some pilots can correct/expand on this.
In my mind, the Euromethod is much more logical. If I were a 55 year old pilot with 28 years at the airline, I would want to fly whatever I felt like, whether it be Intercontinental or domestic/intra-Europe. Why should I be forced to fly the heavies. I have seniority. I want to fly what suits me best personally.
Just my $0.02.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo