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klwright69
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UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:58 pm

Here is an interesting article on how things are going with the UA FA integration.

It doesn't sound pretty. Maybe some of the UA can add their two cents.

https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/wo ... s-why.html
 
SFOtoORD
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:32 pm

Isn’t this all a product of the two FA unions spending years arguing with each other about what they wanted in a joint contract? The systems issues likely cascade down from those delays in joint contract.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:02 pm

It isn’t quite as open and shut as the flight attendant quoted in the article wants to make it sound. sUA are still flying the same number of 777s and 767s they were at the time of the merger, and while they have lost the 747s to retirement, the sUA side exclusively operate the 77Ws. The sUA side are pretty much at metal parity, and haven’t ‘lost’ anything in absolute terms. The issue is that SFO and LAX long haul are dominated by 787s, which are sCO operated. Therefore a lot of senior crew on the West Coast who are accustomed to doing Sydney turns are upset, but their colleagues in ORD and IAD have had an easier ride of it. While not as vocal there are also senior sCO crew in EWR and IAH who complain that sUA have taken ‘their’ flying as so many TATL routes are now operated by 763s. The only real winners are junior staff on the sCO side based in LAX and SFO, but this will all be fixed by fall when they are finally integrated.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:09 pm

I wish we could get to a point were seniority wasn't the driving factor on routes.

Better FAs should do the long international routes, especially up front, not the longest tenured.

Tenure is such a useless deciding factor. Oil and Gas has this same problem . A 20 year veteran who happens to suck is still a 20 year vet. Both industries wonder why when times are down, they have way too high labor costs and low efficiency.
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deltal1011man
Posts: 5365
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:12 pm

Antarius wrote:
I wish we could get to a point were seniority wasn't the driving factor on routes.

Better FAs should do the long international routes, especially up front, not the longest tenured.

Tenure is such a useless deciding factor. Oil and Gas has this same problem . A 20 year veteran who happens to suck is still a 20 year vet. Both industries wonder why when times are down, they have way too high labor costs and low efficiency.

yeah discrimination based on age sounds fun. Maybe we should discriminate based off of age, looks, sex, race etc. etc. etc.


seriously? :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
 
Antarius
Posts: 2713
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:18 pm

deltal1011man wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I wish we could get to a point were seniority wasn't the driving factor on routes.

Better FAs should do the long international routes, especially up front, not the longest tenured.

Tenure is such a useless deciding factor. Oil and Gas has this same problem . A 20 year veteran who happens to suck is still a 20 year vet. Both industries wonder why when times are down, they have way too high labor costs and low efficiency.

yeah discrimination based on age sounds fun. Maybe we should discriminate based off of age, looks, sex, race etc. etc. etc.


seriously? :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Say what?

I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.
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smi0006
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:46 pm

That reserve system sounds horrific! Why not give everyone one months of reserve a year, then everyone could hold a line from the start 11months of the year- seems to work well from the airlines I have experience with QF,VA,NZ, most senior and junior still get their 1 month reserve.
 
77H
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:00 pm

Antarius wrote:
deltal1011man wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I wish we could get to a point were seniority wasn't the driving factor on routes.

Better FAs should do the long international routes, especially up front, not the longest tenured.

Tenure is such a useless deciding factor. Oil and Gas has this same problem . A 20 year veteran who happens to suck is still a 20 year vet. Both industries wonder why when times are down, they have way too high labor costs and low efficiency.

yeah discrimination based on age sounds fun. Maybe we should discriminate based off of age, looks, sex, race etc. etc. etc.


seriously? :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Say what?

I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.


I read your post and interpreted it as I think you intended. Correct me if I'm wrong but you are arguing in favor of merit based scheduling rather than seniority based scheduling. Age, gender, looks and race have nothing to do with it. There are good and bad employees of all backgrounds.

DeltaL1011man, One could even argue that seniority is age discriminate to a degree. A senior FA gets to hold down the best schedule simply because they entered the work-force before a junior FA. No one can help when they were born...

I would have to imagine that FAs are measured by some sort of performance metrics, be it customer feedback, colleague feedback or "secret-shopper" flyers. Those with nonchalant or poor attitudes, or those who hide out in the galley for the majority of the flight shouldn't automatically get routes of prestige just because they've been working longer. I know a lot of FA due to my frequent travels. I understand just how much of a demanding job it can be. At the end of the day, its the job you signed up for so you might as well do it the best you can.

77H
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:01 pm

Antarius wrote:
The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.


No, it's called violating collective bargaining agreements.
From my cold, dead hands
 
77H
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:17 pm

DiamondFlyer wrote:
Antarius wrote:
The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.


No, it's called violating collective bargaining agreements.


My understanding is that collective bargaining agreements can and do change. Not saying what Antarius is proposing would ever come to pass but his/her sentiment is not invalid.

Beyond that, your response almost seems to read that collective bargaining agreements (by extension Unions) keep employees with poor work performance around. People apply by the thousands every time an airline opens up FA positions. My interpretation of Antarius' argument is that those with poor work performance, regardless of background should not be flying prestigious routes as the face of the company or working at the company at all. I understand that FAs are people, and we all have bad days, but those that consistently have bad days are, as Antarius put it, bad for business. I know in my position, I'd be afforded very few "bad days" before heading to the job post boards. You applied for the job, do it right or move on and let someone who is willing do it. I know it sounds harsh, but it is my opinion.

77H

77H
 
Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:06 pm

77H wrote:
Antarius wrote:
deltal1011man wrote:
yeah discrimination based on age sounds fun. Maybe we should discriminate based off of age, looks, sex, race etc. etc. etc.


seriously? :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Say what?

I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.


I read your post and interpreted it as I think you intended. Correct me if I'm wrong but you are arguing in favor of merit based scheduling rather than seniority based scheduling. Age, gender, looks and race have nothing to do with it. There are good and bad employees of all backgrounds.

DeltaL1011man, One could even argue that seniority is age discriminate to a degree. A senior FA gets to hold down the best schedule simply because they entered the work-force before a junior FA. No one can help when they were born...

I would have to imagine that FAs are measured by some sort of performance metrics, be it customer feedback, colleague feedback or "secret-shopper" flyers. Those with nonchalant or poor attitudes, or those who hide out in the galley for the majority of the flight shouldn't automatically get routes of prestige just because they've been working longer. I know a lot of FA due to my frequent travels. I understand just how much of a demanding job it can be. At the end of the day, its the job you signed up for so you might as well do it the best you can.

77H


Thank you.

As with any other job, your performance should matter. Not the time you occupied space there.
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deltal1011man
Posts: 5365
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:09 pm

Antarius wrote:
deltal1011man wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I wish we could get to a point were seniority wasn't the driving factor on routes.

Better FAs should do the long international routes, especially up front, not the longest tenured.

Tenure is such a useless deciding factor. Oil and Gas has this same problem . A 20 year veteran who happens to suck is still a 20 year vet. Both industries wonder why when times are down, they have way too high labor costs and low efficiency.

yeah discrimination based on age sounds fun. Maybe we should discriminate based off of age, looks, sex, race etc. etc. etc.


seriously? :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Say what?

I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.

I'm curious how you do such a thing with out discrimination and a fair playing field.
 
Aptivaboy
Posts: 948
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:14 pm

I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.


Here’s the problem with that - who decides that an employee is crap? What metric do you use?

In my line of work, I was also a union rep for ten years. Now, I will fully admit to seeing my share of poorly performing employees. However, I also saw a fair number whom the administration wanted to run out of Dodge for various reasons unrelated to their job performances. Their performance evals suddenly went from excellent or satisfactory to piece of crap overnight, and these were used as excuses to try to fire the employee. Often, the experienced (senior) employees looked like they weren’t working hard when in reality their time in grade allowed them to operate much more efficiently than the young ones, getting more done in less time with far less effort.

The bottom line is that as long as one is operating within satisfactory performance envelopes, however defined, then you really can’t do anything to them, regardless of seniority. But, seniority helps to protect one from age discrimination. In my profession, there is always a push to fire the old folks and replace them with younger, far cheaper employees, and trust me, cost is really the main factor. When the powers that be suddenly went after the oldest, most experienced, most senior employee at our site we all instantly knew why - he was also the highest paid employee.

Just a few things to consider.
 
Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.


Here’s the problem with that - who decides that an employee is crap? What metric do you use?

In my line of work, I was also a union rep for ten years. Now, I will fully admit to seeing my share of poorly performing employees. However, I also saw a fair number whom the administration wanted to run out of Dodge for various reasons unrelated to their job performances. Their performance evals suddenly went from excellent or satisfactory to piece of crap overnight, and these were used as excuses to try to fire the employee. Often, the experienced (senior) employees looked like they weren’t working hard when in reality their time in grade allowed them to operate much more efficiently than the young ones, getting more done in less time with far less effort.

The bottom line is that as long as one is operating within satisfactory performance envelopes, however defined, then you really can’t do anything to them, regardless of seniority. But, seniority helps to protect one from age discrimination. In my profession, there is always a push to fire the old folks and replace them with younger, far cheaper employees, and trust me, cost is really the main factor. When the powers that be suddenly went after the oldest, most experienced, most senior employee at our site we all instantly knew why - he was also the highest paid employee.

Just a few things to consider.


I absolutely agree that it takes effort to come up with a fair solution for everyone. I do not expect them to unveil something instantly that works. I also agree that working smart can easily compensate for working hard.

My issue here is there is zero accountability for what is considered acceptable performance. As long as you don't do something so egregious, you remain, despite being a stain on your fellow employees, the airline and the industry as a whole.

Every single company faces the desire to replace high cost employees with lower ones. Every industry faces the issue of older employees costing more. Why is the airline industry unique?

I think it is solvable. The question is whether people are willing to try
Last edited by Antarius on Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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santi319
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:27 pm

Antarius wrote:

Really?

Saying that people who suck at their job and make the rest of the FA and aviation community look bad shouuld be pushed out despite seniority is discriminating?

Trust me, if FA scheduling went to a meritocracy, the general opinion of people would go up. I do not understand why the community is so desperate to protect the rotten eggs that foul the great work done by the rest.


Of course not! There should always be some sort of serving standard, and being nice and polite SHOULD be a must....

I do think people forget these "rotten senior people" were People Express, or PanAm, they may have lost friends in past accidents, they lived through mergers and furloughs, they went through 9/11, which I know was horrifying for anyone flying at the time, they gave incentives, lost money, changed bases and addresses. The next time you come up with someone "senior" that is a "rotten egg" - I dare you to start a conversation in the galley, ask them about how it was flying in the early 90s, maybe this person worked for one of the first LCC in the US which was People Express, they used to even be gate agents, ask them if they flew on 9/11 and how it was, the stories they have to share will create an utter most respect for them.

I have nothing but admiration for them, because in any other country (besides Europe, Canada and maybe Mexico) being Cabin Crew is over the moment you get pregnant or get sick (ask Emirates).

Thank you to all those seniors at the legacies for what you do!
 
77H
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:29 pm

deltal1011man wrote:
Antarius wrote:
deltal1011man wrote:
yeah discrimination based on age sounds fun. Maybe we should discriminate based off of age, looks, sex, race etc. etc. etc.


seriously? :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:


Say what?

I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.

I'm curious how you do such a thing with out discrimination and a fair playing field.


I named a few possible methods upthread. You can use passenger feedback, colleague feedback, "secret shopper" feedback. I'd be surprised if there aren't employees that are contacted to anonymously observe different customer facing work groups. Perhaps those flying positive space.

77H
 
Cubsrule
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:30 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.


Here’s the problem with that - who decides that an employee is crap? What metric do you use?

In my line of work, I was also a union rep for ten years. Now, I will fully admit to seeing my share of poorly performing employees. However, I also saw a fair number whom the administration wanted to run out of Dodge for various reasons unrelated to their job performances. Their performance evals suddenly went from excellent or satisfactory to piece of crap overnight, and these were used as excuses to try to fire the employee. Often, the experienced (senior) employees looked like they weren’t working hard when in reality their time in grade allowed them to operate much more efficiently than the young ones, getting more done in less time with far less effort.

The bottom line is that as long as one is operating within satisfactory performance envelopes, however defined, then you really can’t do anything to them, regardless of seniority. But, seniority helps to protect one from age discrimination. In my profession, there is always a push to fire the old folks and replace them with younger, far cheaper employees, and trust me, cost is really the main factor. When the powers that be suddenly went after the oldest, most experienced, most senior employee at our site we all instantly knew why - he was also the highest paid employee.

Just a few things to consider.


I don’t know that efficiency is as much of an issue for flight attendants. The most efficient flight attendants are, I suppose, the ones who finish the service quickly and then hide in the galley for the rest of the flight. That’s hardly good service.

I think a fair merit-based evaluation system would likely benefit the older flight attendants who do a good job. I can’t remember the last time I had truly exemplary service from a flight attendant under 40 on a US carrier, and that is especially true in premium cabins. The last two truly great flight attendants I had in F were both men probably in their 50s or 60s (one on YX, one on DL). Of course, it’s possible that some really good older flight attendants aren’t as senior but learned the hospitality skills in restaurants or hotels. Seniority hurts older folks who want to change careers too.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
redroo
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:32 pm

When qantas set up their London base the contract explicitly did away with seniority based bidding for rosters. You were allocated flights as required by the company. The roster rolled so that if you if you flew out on a Monday this roster, you flew out on a Tuesday on the next roster. It was a very fair system. Can’t remember how it worked for booking leave.

Mainline qantas still have the seniority system. The seniors love it. The juniors hate it.

When you look at it objectively, outside aviation, it would be crazy for me to demand certain projects because I’d got more tenure than another employee.

We are where we are though !!
 
Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:32 pm

santi319 wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Really?

Saying that people who suck at their job and make the rest of the FA and aviation community look bad shouuld be pushed out despite seniority is discriminating?

Trust me, if FA scheduling went to a meritocracy, the general opinion of people would go up. I do not understand why the community is so desperate to protect the rotten eggs that foul the great work done by the rest.


Of course not! There should always be some sort of serving standard, and being nice and polite SHOULD be a must....

I do think people forget these "rotten senior people" were People Express, or PanAm, they may have lost friends in past accidents, they lived through mergers and furloughs, they went through 9/11, which I know was horrifying for anyone flying at the time, they gave incentives, lost money, changed bases and addresses. The next time you come up with someone "senior" that is a "rotten egg" - I dare you to start a conversation in the galley, ask them about how it was flying in the early 90s, maybe this person worked for one of the first LCC in the US which was People Express, they used to even be gate agents, ask them if they flew on 9/11 and how it was, the stories they have to share will create an utter most respect for them.

I have nothing but admiration for them, because in any other country (besides Europe, Canada and maybe Mexico) being Cabin Crew is over the moment you get pregnant or get sick (ask Emirates).

Thank you to all those seniors at the legacies for what you do!


I understand that life is hard for some. And yes, several groups of management (Smisek ahem.. among others) screwed over people. But that's the nature of the industry. It sucks, yes, but that is no excuse for shitty service, IMO. I've had some wonderful FAs (who I've written to the airline to be like this person is the best) and some who have been flat out rude to my face, simply for asking how their day was going.

I am not advocating for an EK model, just one that is more dependent on quality of employee. I am a consultant and if I took the attitude of the FAs I am bemoaning to a client, I'd get fired instantly.

There is a huge middle ground between the EK model and what is currently in place. Several of my FA friends wish we moved to that middle as it gives them a chance to be great. Longhaul routes, especially up front, are money makers... Why not put the best foot forward?
Last edited by Antarius on Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cubsrule
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:33 pm

77H wrote:
deltal1011man wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Say what?

I said choose based on quality. Not discriminate against someone old. Big big difference. If you are a 20 year vet who kicks ass, then by all means keep doing so.

The problem is we have lots of FAs who stopped giving a damn 2 decades ago and clog up routes. Getting rid of the crap employees no matter how old/tenured isn't discriminating, it's smart business.

I'm curious how you do such a thing with out discrimination and a fair playing field.


I named a few possible methods upthread. You can use passenger feedback, colleague feedback, "secret shopper" feedback. I'd be surprised if there aren't employees that are contacted to anonymously observe different customer facing work groups. Perhaps those flying positive space.

77H


Several US legacies had or have programs for elites to reward customer facing employees with a “thank you certificate” of some sort that the company tracked. It’s not hard to do.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
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usxguy
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:53 pm

If I understand things -

A UA 747, staffed by UA, is put to pasture, and replaced by a 787/777 from the CO side, which requires a CO crew. So, the UA crew end up doing domestic instead of their INTL route to XYZ, correct?
xx
 
Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:04 pm

usxguy wrote:
If I understand things -

A UA 747, staffed by UA, is put to pasture, and replaced by a 787/777 from the CO side, which requires a CO crew. So, the UA crew end up doing domestic instead of their INTL route to XYZ, correct?


Yes. Since UA and CO are not metal integrated, if a pmUA 747 is replaced by a 787.. the 787 can only be staffed by pmCO employees. This leaves the pmUA employees who are at the crew station with less options to bid on.

So technically, the most senior pmCO employees are going on the new route, but because they aren't integrated, the most senior pmCO could have less experience than a pmUA FA.

Given that seniority is what drives the bidding, it sucks for the pmUA employees. Honestly, not enough can be said about how awful $mi$ek was. :thumbsdown:
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Boreale
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:22 pm

Not any of the FAs fault the way I see it....just indicative of a merger that was pretty poorly carried out in all aspects. Absolutely absurd that we're ~8 years post merger and old distinctions between companies still matter like this.

(From the article)This is key:
That CEO not only did nothing to complete the merger, he took every opportunity to pit employees against each other, hoping to break people for billions of dollars in concessions at a time when the airline was profiting through capacity cuts and a drop in fuel prices," she said.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:25 pm

Evaluating FA service is almost completely subjective - that is why US Airlines are aghast to go down that road given regional cultural differences..
 
Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:35 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
Evaluating FA service is almost completely subjective - that is why US Airlines are aghast to go down that road given regional cultural differences..


How is it ANY different than evaluating anything anywhere? A giant corporation with offices in San Fran, Shanghai, London, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg doesn't have the same (if not worse) issue?
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767333ER
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:51 pm

Antarius wrote:
I wish we could get to a point were seniority wasn't the driving factor on routes.

Better FAs should do the long international routes, especially up front, not the longest tenured.

Tenure is such a useless deciding factor. Oil and Gas has this same problem . A 20 year veteran who happens to suck is still a 20 year vet. Both industries wonder why when times are down, they have way too high labor costs and low efficiency.

I’m not sure how anyone would measure who is the better performing FA. This isn’t something like retail or car sales or whatever we’re talking about here where you can measure productivity through value of product sold or whatever (although when one is talking about Ryanair this does apply). How does one judge such a thing fairly? It looks to me that such a system would be a very slippery slope towards enabling many forms of discrimination in this situation.
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Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:55 pm

767333ER wrote:
I’m not sure how anyone would measure who is the better performing FA. This isn’t something like retail or car sales or whatever we’re talking about here where you can measure productivity through value of product sold or whatever (although when one is talking about Ryanair this does apply). How does one judge such a thing fairly? It looks to me that such a system would be a very slippery slope towards enabling many forms of discrimination in this situation.


There's metrics - customer feedback, supervior feedback, having the purser review etc. Probably many other ways I am not thinking of too.

Several large organizations such as Starbucks, Costco, HEB (in Texas) etc. are able to function without major issues regarding evaluations. I chose the above as they are large, successful and generally rank as top or very good places to work.
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Aptivaboy
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:55 pm

I'd be surprised if there aren't employees that are contacted to anonymously observe different customer facing work groups. Perhaps those flying positive space.


You won't see that happening. Different employee groups may not get along so any evals they may make could be argued as being inherently biased; they'd presumably have different negotiating goals, may come from mergers, or may otherwise not share commonality thus leading to the appearance of bias, if not actual bias. Also, let's say an airline allowed the mechanics to evaluate the flight attendants. For the sake of fairness, do the flight attendants get to eval the mechanics? And, if so, how, and when? It's an unworkable proposition.

I also have to say that my last few flights have been on HA and UAL. The older flight attendants were the ones who went the extra mile, not the younger ones, even on HA, an airline supposedly known for superior cabin crews. When I flew F last November, the UAL flight attendant was clearly in her fifties, but she was the most attentive flight attendant on the plane, putting the younger ones to shame. When I flew HA in December, the young gal working the flight clearly in her twenties never smiled, not once, and acted as if we were asking a lot to get a ginger ale during beverage service. You know that, "stare down your nose," look? Yeah, that's the one. The funny thing was I remembered from a prior HA flight earlier in 2017 and she acted the same way then, too. The bottom line is that age doesn't equate to good or bad service. Everything needs to be looked at individually.
 
Antarius
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:01 am

Aptivaboy wrote:
I also have to say that my last few flights have been on HA and UAL. The older flight attendants were the ones who went the extra mile, not the younger ones, even on HA, an airline supposedly known for superior cabin crews. When I flew F last November, the UAL flight attendant was clearly in her fifties, but she was the most attentive flight attendant on the plane, putting the younger ones to shame. When I flew HA in December, the young gal working the flight clearly in her twenties never smiled, not once, and acted as if we were asking a lot to get a ginger ale during beverage service. You know that, "stare down your nose," look? Yeah, that's the one. The funny thing was I remembered from a prior HA flight earlier in 2017 and she acted the same way then, too. The bottom line is that age doesn't equate to good or bad service. Everything needs to be looked at individually.


Exactly. Everything needs to be looked at individually. That is all I am asking for. Right now, it isn't looked at individually. It is based on tenure, and nothing else.

For the record, I have NOTHING against older and longer serving FAs. I have has some absolutely phenomenal experienced FAs and pursers. One flight (LHR-DFW on AA), the crew was so phenomenal, I gave them my entire 'Thank you' Coupon book for everyone on board. My issue is someone who isn't awesome being able to take space from someone who is, by virtue of tenure.

If a junior FA or employee sucks, they should be pushed out too. My issue is with the tenure SYSTEM, not the age of any employee.
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:04 am

767333ER wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I wish we could get to a point were seniority wasn't the driving factor on routes.

Better FAs should do the long international routes, especially up front, not the longest tenured.

Tenure is such a useless deciding factor. Oil and Gas has this same problem . A 20 year veteran who happens to suck is still a 20 year vet. Both industries wonder why when times are down, they have way too high labor costs and low efficiency.

I’m not sure how anyone would measure who is the better performing FA. This isn’t something like retail or car sales or whatever we’re talking about here where you can measure productivity through value of product sold or whatever (although when one is talking about Ryanair this does apply). How does one judge such a thing fairly? It looks to me that such a system would be a very slippery slope towards enabling many forms of discrimination in this situation.

So how to you fix the problem? I stopped flying UA as their FAs wouldn't leave the galley. How long must a customer wait for service?
There must be a process to out disgruntled employees.

As far as the main point of this thread, it looks like this fall will have an integrated system.

I'm like many others who work in a field where you look at how hard people work. There should be a racking and stacking. That is just how the modern workforce works.

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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:37 am

Cubsrule wrote:
77H wrote:
\Several US legacies had or have programs for elites to reward customer facing employees with a “thank you certificate” of some sort that the company tracked. It’s not hard to do.


That's right. I use my AA "AAplause" certificates all the time.

I don't know where all these negative, awful flight attendants are, but I have NEVER encountered a bad flight attendant in over 10 years of flying AA (1.6 million lifetime miles so far).
 
CONTACREW
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:38 am

usxguy wrote:
If I understand things -

A UA 747, staffed by UA, is put to pasture, and replaced by a 787/777 from the CO side, which requires a CO crew. So, the UA crew end up doing domestic instead of their INTL route to XYZ, correct?


Some 789s are staffed with sub UA FAs and are assigned to LAX-NRT, LAX-PVG and soon LAX-SIN.
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Aptivaboy
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:39 am

If a junior FA or employee sucks, they should be pushed out too. My issue is with the tenure SYSTEM, not the age of any employee.


I totally see your point and I certainly I hope I don't sound argumentative. In a perfect world, I would agree with your position and you would be 100% correct. The problem is that without tenure or a seniority system, in an imperfect world like ours' age would be used to eliminate older, more expensive employees. Retaining or firing employees would have nothing to do with the actual quality of workers, and everything to do with cost.

One flight (LHR-DFW on AA), the crew was so phenomenal, I gave them my entire 'Thank you' Coupon book for everyone on board.


PS. That was great of you. If anyone knows of a way to do something similar on UAL or HA, the two airlines I fly most frequently, please let me know.
Last edited by Aptivaboy on Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
CONTACREW
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:40 am

Antarius wrote:
usxguy wrote:
If I understand things -

A UA 747, staffed by UA, is put to pasture, and replaced by a 787/777 from the CO side, which requires a CO crew. So, the UA crew end up doing domestic instead of their INTL route to XYZ, correct?


Yes. Since UA and CO are not metal integrated, if a pmUA 747 is replaced by a 787.. the 787 can only be staffed by pmCO employees. This leaves the pmUA employees who are at the crew station with less options to bid on.

So technically, the most senior pmCO employees are going on the new route, but because they aren't integrated, the most senior pmCO could have less experience than a pmUA FA.

Given that seniority is what drives the bidding, it sucks for the pmUA employees. Honestly, not enough can be said about how awful $mi$ek was. :thumbsdown:


Not all 787s are staffed with sub CO FAs. Some are staffed with sub UA FAs and are assigned to LAX-NRT, LAX-PVG and soon LAX-SIN.
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smi0006
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:02 am

Why not make the ‘lead flight attendant/pursuer role’ a management role? As I understand it this isn’t the case in the US where the role goes to someone trained and senior on the day. Next week they work economy galley on a 737.

In AU/NZ with NZ,QF,VA the Customer Service Manager/Inflight Service Director is considered a manager with KPIs around OTP and customer complaints, they are responsible for managing and providing feedback and coaching and crew onboard - I don’t believe this exists in the US? This is present on all jet aircraft- 717 to 380.

Business and First class crew are interviewed for their roles and receive specialised service training for long haul, they don’t work in economy and, economy crew can work in business first- their own pool of seniority. Some crew don’t like working up the front.

Equally long haul, and short haul are deprecate groups - not all crew like long haul flying.

All of this fits in with a seniority system, where everyone does a month of reserve and holds a line 11months of a year from day one. Sounds like a good compromise with more choice for crew, and more merit based roles
 
TW870
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:17 am

smi0006 wrote:
Why not make the ‘lead flight attendant/pursuer role’ a management role? As I understand it this isn’t the case in the US where the role goes to someone trained and senior on the day. Next week they work economy galley on a 737.

In AU/NZ with NZ,QF,VA the Customer Service Manager/Inflight Service Director is considered a manager with KPIs around OTP and customer complaints, they are responsible for managing and providing feedback and coaching and crew onboard - I don’t believe this exists in the US? This is present on all jet aircraft- 717 to 380.

Business and First class crew are interviewed for their roles and receive specialised service training for long haul, they don’t work in economy and, economy crew can work in business first- their own pool of seniority. Some crew don’t like working up the front.

Equally long haul, and short haul are deprecate groups - not all crew like long haul flying.

All of this fits in with a seniority system, where everyone does a month of reserve and holds a line 11months of a year from day one. Sounds like a good compromise with more choice for crew, and more merit based roles


They don't do these things because it is expensive. The U.S. airline industry was deregulated in 1978. Those reforms have made the industry much more price and cost sensitive. Airlines had some of the things you name above prior to deregulation - see Jon Proctor's excellent blog which is in part about his time as a flight service manager for TWA on 747 and L1011 aircraft. But since real dollar airfares have come way down, the airlines have worked to streamline every work group. They have decided that a single flight attendant population cross trained on all positions and all aircraft is by far the best suited to the cost pressures of deregulation. There are very, very real issues with age and race discrimination when allowing employers to screen for premium positions that you propose above. This is why unions are against such screens. But that is not the primary reason why the airlines don't do it. They don't have multiple work groups because it makes operations far more costly.
 
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:24 am

smi0006 wrote:
Why not make the ‘lead flight attendant/pursuer role’ a management role? As I understand it this isn’t the case in the US where the role goes to someone trained and senior on the day. Next week they work economy galley on a 737.


Because in many if not all CBAs, the lead/senior/purser/flight service manager role is a contractually-defined union position.
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Rdh3e
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:25 am

Antarius wrote:
usxguy wrote:
If I understand things -

A UA 747, staffed by UA, is put to pasture, and replaced by a 787/777 from the CO side, which requires a CO crew. So, the UA crew end up doing domestic instead of their INTL route to XYZ, correct?


Yes. Since UA and CO are not metal integrated, if a pmUA 747 is replaced by a 787.. the 787 can only be staffed by pmCO employees. :

This is patently false misinformation. There are s-UA 787-9s in service and 787-10s coming.
 
TonyBurr
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:30 am

Is this merger EVER going to be finished???
 
klwright69
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:19 pm

So where do UAs flight attendants do have bases? EWR/CLE/IAH/GUM?
Likewise does COs cabin crew have bases at IAD/EWR/SFO/LAX/DEN/ORD?
Is this still causing operational problems?
Why is it taking so long?

In a lot of professions measuring effectiveness of employees is subjective and difficult. Some of you make sound easy, when it's often not.

I talked to an employment attorney and she said companies can get rid of anybody, if they really want to, except maybe for "Mother Teresa."

A few months ago I was on a Delta flight and the cabin crew were great. All very senior. I am talking about how some had even flown for Republic in the 80's.
 
iflyalexair
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:34 pm

smi0006 wrote:
That reserve system sounds horrific! Why not give everyone one months of reserve a year, then everyone could hold a line from the start 11months of the year- seems to work well from the airlines I have experience with QF,VA,NZ, most senior and junior still get their 1 month reserve.


Delta flight attendants do not have straight reserve. Instead, junior flight attendants get a few "A days" on which they sit reserve while they hold a line for the rest of the month. It's a much more humane system than straight reserve.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:12 pm

I completely understand what the flight attendant in the article is saying and it is completely unfair to senior flight attendants especially at SFO and LAX and to some extent IAD and EWR. As much as I would like to blame Smisek for this issue I think the AFA is also to blame because for the first few years of this merger there was a lot of infighting at the AFA because the cultures at both UA and CO were so different.
When we look at crew bases like LAX and SFO the 787s have helped turn those hubs around. United was loosing millions of dollars flying 747s on routes like SFO/LAX-SYD so they switched those routes to the 772ER. However we still were loosing money because the flights were always weight restricted we were not only leaving freight behind but passengers as well. Less than a year after UA placed the 789s on the SYD routes management did something they rarely do, they posted on Flying together that our operation in SYD which were were loosing money on with every flight are now profitable because of the 789. Senior sUA flight attendants at LAX that use to fly international routes have been displaced by people junior to them because all of UA's international flights out of LAX are now exclusively on 789 aircraft. I understand why UA made the switch and I also understand UA couldn't wait till the FA's were combined but I believe this process could have been done and completed if there was less infighting at the AFA during the early years of the merger.
The complaint about the 77Ws is a valid one, the staffing levels on the 744s was 15-16 flight attendants. The staffing levels on the 77Ws is only 12 flight attendants dispite the fact that the 77Ws have almost as many seats as the 744s, so the work load on the 77Ws is greater than it was on the 744s. I have flown on UA's 77Ws and I agree UA needs at least 2 more flight attendants on these flights but as it stands right now since the retirement of the 744s at least 4 sUA FA's per flight that use to hold international routes have been displaced and are now on reserve or back on a domestic line. Some of this will be fixed this coming October but the staffing levels need be to addressed and I'm not sure what the AFA is doing to get UA's attention. In my opinion UA need to increase the staffing levels across the board on all widebody international flights by at least 1 or 2 FA's.
 
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:31 pm

jayunited wrote:
The complaint about the 77Ws is a valid one, the staffing levels on the 744s was 15-16 flight attendants. The staffing levels on the 77Ws is only 12 flight attendants dispite the fact that the 77Ws have almost as many seats as the 744s, so the work load on the 77Ws is greater than it was on the 744s. I have flown on UA's 77Ws and I agree UA needs at least 2 more flight attendants on these flights but as it stands right now since the retirement of the 744s at least 4 sUA FA's per flight that use to hold international routes have been displaced and are now on reserve or back on a domestic line. Some of this will be fixed this coming October but the staffing levels need be to addressed and I'm not sure what the AFA is doing to get UA's attention. In my opinion UA need to increase the staffing levels across the board on all widebody international flights by at least 1 or 2 FA's.


Is not the AFA involved in discussions about staffing? Is minimum staffing called for in the contract by type? Curious.
 
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Jamake1
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:55 pm

It truly is a lousy situation. Scott Kirby has publicly stated how unfair this process has been to senior flight attrndants. In SFO and LAX there are very junior F/A’s at pm-CO flying the most lucrative routes in the entire network (SFO-TLV; SFO/LAX-SYD; SFO/LAX-SIN; SFO-CDG).

To be fair though, cross-fleeting has also greatly impacted the pm-CO side at EWR and IAH. Senior F/A’s have lost tens of thousands of dollars in lost earnings potential due to cross-fleeting and the opening of subsidiary domiciles in legacy UA and CO bases. There is so much collective anger and ill will on both sides (not towards each other, but towards the company). The joint contract was ratified based upon a promised timeframe for full integration that has since been pushed further back until October 2018. In the meantime, operational inefficiencies continue with lots of deadheading on each others’ metal. For most of us, October cannot come soon enough...
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Jamake1
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:01 pm

TVNWZ wrote:

Is not the AFA involved in discussions about staffing? Is minimum staffing called for in the contract by type? Curious.


Nope. Aircraft staffing levels are not a negotiated item and are entirely at the discretion of the company.
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TVNWZ
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:54 pm

And FAA mandated minimums.
 
BobbyPSP
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:54 pm

Anyone have a reference to tell which metal is which? Especially within the same type

Range of tail numbers?
 
HALFA
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:03 am

Jamake1 wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:

Is not the AFA involved in discussions about staffing? Is minimum staffing called for in the contract by type? Curious.


Nope. Aircraft staffing levels are not a negotiated item and are entirely at the discretion of the company.


All aircraft staffing levels are negotiated with the AFA and HA Management at Hawaiian Airlines. I'm surprised this isn't the case at United.
Last edited by HALFA on Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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santi319
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:08 am

HALFA wrote:
Jamake1 wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:

Is not the AFA involved in discussions about staffing? Is minimum staffing called for in the contract by type? Curious.


Nope. Aircraft staffing levels are not a negotiated item and are entirely at the discretion of the company.


All aircraft staffing levels are negotiated with the AFA and HA Management at Hawaiian Airlines. I'm surprised this isn't the cases at United.


It is, not sure what theyre talking about...
 
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Jamake1
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Re: UA FA merger integration complaint

Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:36 am

Ummm...No it is not. The AFA at UA can certainly advocate for suggested staffing levels (above FAA minimums) but this is NOT a negotiated item. The company staffs as they see fit. The non-Polaris 2-class 767 was staffed with 9 F/A’s after the 3-class 767’s went to a 2-class configuration. The company then reduced staffing to 8...much to the shagrin of F/A’s. Despite F/A and AFA advocacy for a return of a 9th F/A, the company continues to staff at 8 F/A’s. Other than required FAA minimums, F/A staffing at UA is NOT contractual. Pm-CO saw their F/A staffing levels drop after the merger. The pm-CO 777 and 757 each had staffing reduced by 1 F/A. There was nothing the AFA could do about it.
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