I have seen awful employment practices. You probably don't.
That's quite a sweeping statement! This is the problem, airlines like Norwegian get away with awful employment practices and the wider public has no idea. Need to call in sick? Don't get paid. Pressure then gets put on you, with massive training loan debts, to violate the privileges of your licence and the company tries its hardest to get you to report for work when you're unfit to operate. No roster stability - duties changed literally the day before. Pilots at Ryanair on Brookfield contracts get just a week's notice to have to fly overseas for a while having to find their own accommodation and transport for the duration and at their own expense. Threats of disciplinary action for not exercising commander's discretion to extend an FDP are common. Even established airlines in the Middle East are guilty of horrific employment practices to the point where on day it'll result in a serious accident.
Pilots job market will never be even close to similar because there is a very large threshold to get the competence of the pilot and there will never be a flow of job applicants that are ready take the job at any conditions.
You're now starting to understand why pilots are paid more than the average worker. It's not a profession the average worker is capable of doing or has the aptitude to do. I appreciate that is also true of doctors and several other professions but that is why they are paid more. I'd never suggest their pay was "excessive".
If one is found unsuitable, one cannot get a decent job. Medical doctors need some minimal social skills.
It is extremely difficult to enter to study medicine in a university. And after the degree you may have to do low-paid internships to get the license
The same is true of flying. While you might be able to go and buy some flying lessons at many schools, the most prestigous places will require passing stringent checks. And look at how many pilots have to instruct on virtually less than minimum wage to build hours to meet minimum requirements of airlines. You don't just fall out flying school and into the left seat of a 777 on $200,000 a year.
There are other academic careers where a significant fraction do not get a decent job ever. And there are fields where young graduates are fought over but when you are 40 you are thrown out for good.
Gosh that sounds a lot like flying!
In which professions will one earn even close to that in their first year?
This has already been answered by others. Law, engineering, IT, financial services...lots. the difference is, few of them will have $200,000+ in school fees to pay back.
And you're right, trucking is a respectable profession. Just remind me the last time a truck driver had an engine fire at 35,000ft with no where to pull over?
Never heard of Air France, to start with?
The unions at Air France might dig their heels in a little more than at other airlines but that doesn't equate to dictating company strategy. Far from it.
Preschool teacher, to start with. For that you need 3 to 5 years education, compared with a couple of months course for a flight attendant (though many have a previous vocational or even academic degree, but it is not a requirement, but due to large amounts of applicant they can choose the best.)
I guess preschool has changed a lot since I was there. My teacher certainly never cooked and served 300 meals, nor expected to deal with intoxicated adults. There are indeed similarities and you're right, many of the crew I fly with are highly qualified and are flying as cabin crew for a few years to build their CV. But I wouldn't say preschool teachers are overpaid, so why say it of cabin crew? Just remember - they may save your life in the event of an emergency.
It has been claimed in this forum that in SAS a purser may earn more than a pilot.
There you go, proof that pilots really aren't paid enough!
How many other jobs have you done to claim that you deserve so much more than those?
A few. But Indon't need to have been a doctor to know that a consultant heart surgeon deserves to be well paid. If it's so easy and so overpaid being a pilot, why doesn't everyone do it? It's like saying it must be easy playing in the NBA or NFL or being a popstar or a movie actor, surely they must be overpaid? But they're not - they have specialist talents for which a premium is commanded, just like being a pilot.
At long deflation keeping the pay is a relative increase of salary, when everybody else has huge pay cuts. My last salary was only a third of my salary eleven years earlier and not better than my very first salary, given inflation. And yes, I was "nurse, police officer, waiter, chef" and also customer leader, entertainer and toilet cleaner and was supposed be a firefighter and to lead people in case of emergency evacuation that never happened. I fully recognize that the most important task of a FA is to lead an evacuation, but most cabin staff never have any emergency situation in their career.
There you go, you know what it's like to your promised future taken away from you. So why do you wish that on others? I'll never understand that envy. If it's so easy and overpaid being a pilot why not go through flying school?
It would be awful to passengers (and bad for owners and investors whom we do not have to care about) - pilots would find other jobs, as usual. Not everybody, but then another jobless pilot would get a job. Zero sum.
Long live Norwegian.
It would be awful for the passengers requiring to ve repatriated home but ultimatelt it'll be better for passengers to be flying with financially secure airlines that run very little risk of stranding you downroute with nothing to fall back on. It's time this race to the bottom was reversed and people were paid a respectable wage for the important safety-related role they perform. Then again, if you just want anyone, regardless of how suitable they may be for the job, flying you around the skies, I won't be onboard. If risking your life is worth saving £5 over, that's up to you, but I'd rather we were all part of a safety first culture.