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reltney
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 1:34 am

Re: Early retirement for flight crews

Mon Mar 16, 2020 4:03 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
Canuck600 wrote:
I don't understand why people think this is so complicated, it's a pretty straightforward seniority system, if your work goes away you just bump somebody junior to you. But then again I've worked in transportation or been around the transportation industry most of my life.

twaconnie wrote:

I'm not in the industry and your right it seems complicated.There is a lot to consider.

So, for us, outsiders, what if
1) the next guy, junior to you, is bumped downwards, and you take his/her place.
2) this is a type you are not current on, and you need training
3) the guy you bumped bumps somebody else, and they both now need training
4) some change of bases is in order, apparently, for these displaced folks
5) your retirement is a few months away
6) the airline takes you to a separate room, and offers you to take some money and benefits, and go play golf, instead of all that bumping, retraining, changing of bases, furloughs and other unpleasantries down the seniority list.

Would the hypothetical "you" look at it, or is it all a delusion?

To add nuance to the question -- what if all this displacement creates a rush for simulator time? Does it incentivize the airline to compromise?

And another caveat -- if the training (including waiting for simulator slots) makes sure you are current on your new type, simultaneously with your retirement? Does it incentivize both to compromise?



Great questions. You move backwards and bump the guy lower in seniority. That’s how it works. Good system and cost airlines money so they really need to think about cutting back and the costs associated with the fleet plans.

As for you statement about “the airline takes you to a separate room”. That doesn’t happen as they would have to make the same offer to all pilots.
To get me to retire early is a simple formula. When Delta pilots had their pensions taken away it hurt. My projected value would have been about 2.5-3 million US dollars. If they “take me in the back room” to offer an early retirement would have to be more than 3 million for me personally.

Cheers
Knives don't kill people. People with knives kill people.
OUTLAW KNIVES.

I am a pilot, therefore I envy no one...
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 242
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Early retirement for flight crews

Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:24 pm

Doesn't a CH 11 filing allow contracts to be redone? And pension liabilities wiped out?
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    mmo
    Posts: 2054
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    Re: Early retirement for flight crews

    Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:47 pm

    MohawkWeekend wrote:
    Doesn't a CH 11 filing allow contracts to be redone? And pension liabilities wiped out?


    Not necessarily. Under the Railway Labor Act, the company would have to petition the judge for contract relief and the union would have a chance to argue the motion. IIRC, the company must be able to show the conditions are part of the cause of what led to the bankruptcy filing. The problem is even if the crews worked for nothing the company would still lose money. The travel bans put into place trying to limit exposure to the virus is the cause. It is not an automatic license to get out of contractual obligations.
    If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
     
    MohawkWeekend
    Posts: 242
    Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

    Re: Early retirement for flight crews

    Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:51 pm

    Thats true. Will be interesting to see if airline bailout has conditions on lump sum buyouts etc.

    We are all going to feel better when that bio tech announces a cure.
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      catiii
      Posts: 3521
      Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

      Re: Early retirement for flight crews

      Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:51 pm

      MIflyer12 wrote:
      kalvado wrote:
      Extra training is a cost - with little, if any, benefit for the company at given conditions.
      Handing out that cost in cash for those willing to take it and retire may be beneficial for the company.


      A 30-year old Delta MD-88 FO isn't going to be in a position to retire. Pilots at the top of the seniority list make substantially more, and get their choice of routes, so they have little incentive to leave early. Sixty hours a month, $300K a year - why leave? Buyouts would have to be very expensive to pull 1,000 pilots each out of AA/DL/UA/WN/FedEx.


      Who is flying 60 hours a month making $300K? No one in the US...
       
      catiii
      Posts: 3521
      Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

      Re: Early retirement for flight crews

      Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:52 pm

      32andBelow wrote:
      TTailedTiger wrote:
      anshabhi wrote:

      I disagree.
      We are talking about pilots, which are in a long term skill deficit. Many reports say we need over 1 million New pilots over the next decade.

      Plus what cost are we talking about ? At the most $20-50K for a machine worth millions??


      Uh, that all changed over the last week. No way we need that many new pilots anymore.

      For the next 3-6 months. What about when this is over?


      If you think demand comes immediately back. which no one believes.
       
      GalaxyFlyer
      Posts: 5664
      Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

      Re: Early retirement for flight crews

      Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:22 pm

      catiii wrote:
      MIflyer12 wrote:
      kalvado wrote:
      Extra training is a cost - with little, if any, benefit for the company at given conditions.
      Handing out that cost in cash for those willing to take it and retire may be beneficial for the company.


      A 30-year old Delta MD-88 FO isn't going to be in a position to retire. Pilots at the top of the seniority list make substantially more, and get their choice of routes, so they have little incentive to leave early. Sixty hours a month, $300K a year - why leave? Buyouts would have to be very expensive to pull 1,000 pilots each out of AA/DL/UA/WN/FedEx.


      Who is flying 60 hours a month making $300K? No one in the US...


      A good size chunk of the B777 captains over 60 are doing just that, more likely more, not less.
       
      kaitak
      Posts: 9873
      Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

      Re: Early retirement for flight crews

      Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:30 pm

      reltney wrote:
      Phosphorus wrote:
      Canuck600 wrote:

      As for you statement about “the airline takes you to a separate room”. That doesn’t happen as they would have to make the same offer to all pilots.
      To get me to retire early is a simple formula. When Delta pilots had their pensions taken away it hurt. My projected value would have been about 2.5-3 million US dollars. If they “take me in the back room” to offer an early retirement would have to be more than 3 million for me personally.

      Cheers


      When did DL do this; was this when it took over NW and the NW pilots lost their pensions?

      I thought DL generally did takeovers pretty well (as with WA back in 1986/87), compared to other carriers.

      Do we still have situations where FOs are (other than of their own choice) in the right seat for up to 20 years?
       
      MohawkWeekend
      Posts: 242
      Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

      Re: Early retirement for flight crews

      Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:58 pm

      So a 777 Captain will take a significant pay cut if he goes to a 737. Does the furloughed 737 pilot still get paid as ???
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        DiamondFlyer
        Posts: 3353
        Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:05 pm

        MohawkWeekend wrote:
        So a 777 Captain will take a significant pay cut if he goes to a 737. Does the furloughed 737 pilot still get paid as ???


        Zero. Furlough pilots are unemployed.
        From my cold, dead hands
         
        Yakflyer
        Posts: 123
        Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:07 am

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:15 pm

        kaitak wrote:
        reltney wrote:
        Phosphorus wrote:


        When did DL do this; was this when it took over NW and the NW pilots lost their pensions?

        I thought DL generally did takeovers pretty well (as with WA back in 1986/87), compared to other carriers.

        Do we still have situations where FOs are (other than of their own choice) in the right seat for up to 20 years?



        The NW pilots did not loose their pensions, they were just frozen. When Delta went into bankruptcy they terminated the pilot retirement plan and handed it over to the PBGC. The PBGC then determines how much the retired pilot will receive based on their formulas. As a retired Delta pilot I did receive a portion of my retirement in a lump sum, but would have had a monthly annuity of about $8,000 had Delta frozen the plan and not turned it over to the PBGC. I receive $380 per month from the PBGC. All of the rest of the Delta employees had their retirement "frozen" so that they would not accrue any additional benefit but would still receive what they were due at the time the plan was frozen. All Northwest employees had their plans frozen in bankruptcy and receive 100% of what they had earned on the date of the plans being frozen.

        When looking at both NW & DL the only employees who were asked/forced to fall on their swords were retired Delta pilots.
         
        sdh9
        Posts: 66
        Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:13 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:56 pm

        It's really simple. Imagine a made-up airline with 6 pilots and 3 fleet types, and assume all captains are senior to FOs:

        B737 1 CA (seniority #3) 1 FO (seniority #6)
        A330 1 CA (seniority #2) 1 FO (seniority #5)
        B747 1 CA (seniority #1) 1 FO (seniority #4)

        The airline decides to park the 747 fleet. Two pilots have displacement rights. Now this is where it gets tricky, as technically a pilot can go anywhere their seniority can hold, and there are no new positions created.

        The A330 CA can either bump to A330 FO, B737 CA or B737 FO. The A330 FO can only bump to B737 FO. Let's say they both bump to the 737. So they take the new positions, knowing this keeps them employed and a slightly smaller paycheck coming in. The 737 CA can then bump to A330 FO or 737 FO (for the sake of argument takes A330), but the 737 FO has nowhere to go and is unemployed.

        There's one more position to go, as we have 4 seats for 6 pilots. The now-displaced A330 FO can't hold anything else, so he goes out the door too.

        At the end of the day, this is what we are left with:
        A330 CA (seniority #1) FO (seniority #3)
        B737 CA (seniority #2) FO (seniority #4)
        Furloughed (seniority #5 & #6)

        It's basically a really terrible game of musical chairs, with real life implications. The company could try to offer a buyout plan to entice the 747 pilots to just retire, but the problem is the CA can't replace most of his/her income in their peak earning years, and the buyout probably wouldn't even make up half of the difference, and the FO isn't typically old enough to retire.
        Last edited by sdh9 on Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
         
        KlimaBXsst
        Posts: 840
        Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:14 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:00 am

        Most US airlines do NOT have retirement pensions. All you get is what you have squirreled away in your 401K. Look where they are now.

        This is particularly devastating for those at retirement age as one cannot butter and toast then eat their lifetime flight benefits in retirement.
        Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
         
        strfyr51
        Posts: 4904
        Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:03 am

        32andBelow wrote:
        What’s a flight officer?

        A Pilot in civilian lingo
         
        User avatar
        DL717
        Posts: 2146
        Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Tue Mar 17, 2020 6:19 am

        lat41 wrote:
        We can assume that some senior pilots were planning or slated to retire when the aircraft type they are working goes out to pasture. Some AA 763 flight officers or crews who fly DL MD88, 90s as two examples may be ending their careers when the aircraft gets pulled off the line. What will happen to these pilots if carriers quickly retire certain types en masse due to corona virus reduced flying. Any compensation or just a farewell handshake?


        My brother retired yesterday. He planned to fly a couple more years. The offers are going out already from at least one major.
        Welcome to Nothingburgers. May I take your order?
         
        lat41
        Topic Author
        Posts: 640
        Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:23 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:33 pm

        PhilMcCrackin wrote:
        lat41 wrote:
        We can assume that some senior pilots were planning or slated to retire when the aircraft type they are working goes out to pasture. Some AA 763 flight officers or crews who fly DL MD88, 90s as two examples may be ending their careers when the aircraft gets pulled off the line. What will happen to these pilots if carriers quickly retire certain types en masse due to corona virus reduced flying. Any compensation or just a farewell handshake?


        They'll rebid according to their seniority. They're not just kicked out the door because their type was retired, that's not the way it works.

        Nor what I meant to imply. I was referring to pilots who happen to be old enough to retire along with the particular aircraft type upon its planned phaseout. Suddenly like now the, MD88, 90, 763 may go away in a week's time.
         
        lat41
        Topic Author
        Posts: 640
        Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:23 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:34 pm

        32andBelow wrote:
        What’s a flight officer?

        Really?
         
        32andBelow
        Posts: 4814
        Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:09 pm

        DL717 wrote:
        lat41 wrote:
        We can assume that some senior pilots were planning or slated to retire when the aircraft type they are working goes out to pasture. Some AA 763 flight officers or crews who fly DL MD88, 90s as two examples may be ending their careers when the aircraft gets pulled off the line. What will happen to these pilots if carriers quickly retire certain types en masse due to corona virus reduced flying. Any compensation or just a farewell handshake?


        My brother retired yesterday. He planned to fly a couple more years. The offers are going out already from at least one major.

        I’m sure atlas would love to have him.
         
        User avatar
        DL717
        Posts: 2146
        Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:57 pm

        32andBelow wrote:
        DL717 wrote:
        lat41 wrote:
        We can assume that some senior pilots were planning or slated to retire when the aircraft type they are working goes out to pasture. Some AA 763 flight officers or crews who fly DL MD88, 90s as two examples may be ending their careers when the aircraft gets pulled off the line. What will happen to these pilots if carriers quickly retire certain types en masse due to corona virus reduced flying. Any compensation or just a farewell handshake?


        My brother retired yesterday. He planned to fly a couple more years. The offers are going out already from at least one major.

        I’m sure atlas would love to have him.


        He’s good. He’s 57. They’ve been building a retirement home about 3 miles away. It’s been nothing but interior work going on since October and that’s down to paint and carpet. They sold their house over summer and have been renting. Looking like a genius right now. He was planning on commuting starting in the Spring, now he’s just going to ride off into the sunset.
        Welcome to Nothingburgers. May I take your order?
         
        bennett123
        Posts: 9631
        Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:18 pm

        IMO, this is likely to be somewhat short sighted.

        Folks may recall that pre Coronavirus, there was concern about a pilot shortage.

        Once this is through in 1-2 years, passenger numbers will bounce back.

        By then many of these pilots will have moved on, others will reach retirement age.

        Result we are back to a pilot shortage, and you can't buy them down at Walmart.
         
        TTailedTiger
        Posts: 2377
        Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:19 am

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:24 am

        mmo wrote:
        MohawkWeekend wrote:
        Doesn't a CH 11 filing allow contracts to be redone? And pension liabilities wiped out?


        Not necessarily. Under the Railway Labor Act, the company would have to petition the judge for contract relief and the union would have a chance to argue the motion. IIRC, the company must be able to show the conditions are part of the cause of what led to the bankruptcy filing. The problem is even if the crews worked for nothing the company would still lose money. The travel bans put into place trying to limit exposure to the virus is the cause. It is not an automatic license to get out of contractual obligations.


        Why don't the pilots voluntarily work for a lower wage, at least temporarily? The airline executives are forgoing all of their wages for the time being. What does the average pilot make? $400,000? Maybe agree to work for 75% of that until the airline stabilizes again. Isn't that better than being out of a job all together?
         
        User avatar
        DL717
        Posts: 2146
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        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:30 am

        TTailedTiger wrote:
        mmo wrote:
        MohawkWeekend wrote:
        Doesn't a CH 11 filing allow contracts to be redone? And pension liabilities wiped out?


        Not necessarily. Under the Railway Labor Act, the company would have to petition the judge for contract relief and the union would have a chance to argue the motion. IIRC, the company must be able to show the conditions are part of the cause of what led to the bankruptcy filing. The problem is even if the crews worked for nothing the company would still lose money. The travel bans put into place trying to limit exposure to the virus is the cause. It is not an automatic license to get out of contractual obligations.


        Why don't the pilots voluntarily work for a lower wage, at least temporarily? The airline executives are forgoing all of their wages for the time being. What does the average pilot make? $400,000? Maybe agree to work for 75% of that until the airline stabilizes again. Isn't that better than being out of a job all together?


        I think the best route is same rate, less hours. Spread things around until things get better. Unions always lean on seniority, but reducing hours with something like this vs. a furlough would be better.
        Welcome to Nothingburgers. May I take your order?
         
        PGNCS
        Posts: 2260
        Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:07 am

        Re: Early retirement for flight crews

        Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:00 am

        TTailedTiger wrote:
        Why don't the pilots voluntarily work for a lower wage, at least temporarily? The airline executives are forgoing all of their wages for the time being. What does the average pilot make? $400,000? Maybe agree to work for 75% of that until the airline stabilizes again. Isn't that better than being out of a job all together?


        You're nowhere near the ballpark for an average wage. Pilots at majors, on average, are somewhere closer to half that depending on what their years of service, aircraft type, and airline are. I've taken the pay cut twice in my career and spent four years on furlough making nothing. I would be much more likely to retire than ever do either again.

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