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TYWoolman
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:35 am

No doubt pilots are most deserving of ample rest and high pay. I am truly curious what is going on with due respect to the pilot job and any pilots. With that said, there has been an increase in picketing and open letters and wonder what really is the end-game here?
Is it to:
1) Leverage for higher contractual wages (and then it would be ok to continue to work grueling schedules)?
2) Get management to cut the grueling schedules?
3) Get management to cut service at all costs (including conceding marketshare to rivals)?
4) Make an aggregate "Union" statement (as perhaps post-pandemic unions may be threatened somehow)?
5) To make it known that airlines have not handled the post-pandemic environment correctly?

Does it not seem kind of bold to leverage the post-pandemic environment as a means to shackle one's own airline, so it seems in my opinion? Or is it that management truly is being inconsiderate? Cannot pilots go out sick if tired? Wouldn't rest be better than picketing?

What the hell is going on, really?
 
Airbuser
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:42 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:57 am

Alaska, AA, Delta, SWA. All contracts with the unions are up for renewal. United has a new proposal that comes out Friday. Will be interesting. If it’s a good deal then the pressure will be ramped up.

Airlines are now making money so pressure will be put on the airline to get contracts settled.

There is a shortage of pilots so leverage is on the pilots side.

We are burning out. Ten years ago I flew 75-80 hours a month. Now it’s 90 or more. Schedules are built with 5 hours average of pay per day which means up to three more days on the road away from home.

Get done after 12 hours grinding out a day of rerouting, delays, weather, etc. and then have no hotel room. It gets old real quick.

You can’t call in sick for fatigue. You call in fatigued. May or may not get paid for it. Up to the airline to decide if it was legitimate.

This is just a few of the factors involved. The system is maxed out which causes more disruptions for the passengers.
 
TYWoolman
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:03 pm

Airbuser wrote:
Alaska, AA, Delta, SWA. All contracts with the unions are up for renewal. United has a new proposal that comes out Friday. Will be interesting. If it’s a good deal then the pressure will be ramped up.

Airlines are now making money so pressure will be put on the airline to get contracts settled.

There is a shortage of pilots so leverage is on the pilots side.

We are burning out. Ten years ago I flew 75-80 hours a month. Now it’s 90 or more. Schedules are built with 5 hours average of pay per day which means up to three more days on the road away from home.

Get done after 12 hours grinding out a day of rerouting, delays, weather, etc. and then have no hotel room. It gets old real quick.

You can’t call in sick for fatigue. You call in fatigued. May or may not get paid for it. Up to the airline to decide if it was legitimate.

This is just a few of the factors involved. The system is maxed out which causes more disruptions for the passengers.



So what is a Pilot's solution to all of this?
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:04 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
No doubt pilots are most deserving of ample rest and high pay. I am truly curious what is going on with due respect to the pilot job and any pilots. With that said, there has been an increase in picketing and open letters and wonder what really is the end-game here?
Is it to:
1) Leverage for higher contractual wages (and then it would be ok to continue to work grueling schedules)?
2) Get management to cut the grueling schedules?
3) Get management to cut service at all costs (including conceding marketshare to rivals)?
4) Make an aggregate "Union" statement (as perhaps post-pandemic unions may be threatened somehow)?
5) To make it known that airlines have not handled the post-pandemic environment correctly?

Does it not seem kind of bold to leverage the post-pandemic environment as a means to shackle one's own airline, so it seems in my opinion? Or is it that management truly is being inconsiderate? Cannot pilots go out sick if tired? Wouldn't rest be better than picketing?

What the hell is going on, really?


Airline labor relations are governed by the Railway Labor Act. Picketing and other such activities are all part of the self-help process that must be followed before a group can legally strike.
In case you haven’t noticed, all of the airlines seem to have adopted the strategy of over-promising and under-delivering on their schedules. That has led to overworked crews and many many unhappy displaced passengers! It is really an untenable situation and absolutely deserving of open letters, picketing, etc.
 
TYWoolman
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:07 pm

orlandocfi wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
No doubt pilots are most deserving of ample rest and high pay. I am truly curious what is going on with due respect to the pilot job and any pilots. With that said, there has been an increase in picketing and open letters and wonder what really is the end-game here?
Is it to:
1) Leverage for higher contractual wages (and then it would be ok to continue to work grueling schedules)?
2) Get management to cut the grueling schedules?
3) Get management to cut service at all costs (including conceding marketshare to rivals)?
4) Make an aggregate "Union" statement (as perhaps post-pandemic unions may be threatened somehow)?
5) To make it known that airlines have not handled the post-pandemic environment correctly?

Does it not seem kind of bold to leverage the post-pandemic environment as a means to shackle one's own airline, so it seems in my opinion? Or is it that management truly is being inconsiderate? Cannot pilots go out sick if tired? Wouldn't rest be better than picketing?

What the hell is going on, really?


Airline labor relations are governed by the Railway Labor Act. Picketing and other such activities are all part of the self-help process that must be followed before a group can legally strike.
In case you haven’t noticed, all of the airlines seem to have adopted the strategy of over-promising and under-delivering on their schedules. That has led to overworked crews and many many unhappy displaced passengers! It is really an untenable situation and absolutely deserving of open letters, picketing, etc.


I have noticed. But what is a pilot calling for as a solution?
 
TYWoolman
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:08 pm

What specifically do pilot's want their airline to do?
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 12:31 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
orlandocfi wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
No doubt pilots are most deserving of ample rest and high pay. I am truly curious what is going on with due respect to the pilot job and any pilots. With that said, there has been an increase in picketing and open letters and wonder what really is the end-game here?
Is it to:
1) Leverage for higher contractual wages (and then it would be ok to continue to work grueling schedules)?
2) Get management to cut the grueling schedules?
3) Get management to cut service at all costs (including conceding marketshare to rivals)?
4) Make an aggregate "Union" statement (as perhaps post-pandemic unions may be threatened somehow)?
5) To make it known that airlines have not handled the post-pandemic environment correctly?

Does it not seem kind of bold to leverage the post-pandemic environment as a means to shackle one's own airline, so it seems in my opinion? Or is it that management truly is being inconsiderate? Cannot pilots go out sick if tired? Wouldn't rest be better than picketing?

What the hell is going on, really?


Airline labor relations are governed by the Railway Labor Act. Picketing and other such activities are all part of the self-help process that must be followed before a group can legally strike.
In case you haven’t noticed, all of the airlines seem to have adopted the strategy of over-promising and under-delivering on their schedules. That has led to overworked crews and many many unhappy displaced passengers! It is really an untenable situation and absolutely deserving of open letters, picketing, etc.


I have noticed. But what is a pilot calling for as a solution?


The obvious solution is to schedule the network according to actual staffing levels. Airline networks are over stressed and can’t handle even the slightest irregularity.
 
TYWoolman
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:06 pm

orlandocfi wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
orlandocfi wrote:

Airline labor relations are governed by the Railway Labor Act. Picketing and other such activities are all part of the self-help process that must be followed before a group can legally strike.
In case you haven’t noticed, all of the airlines seem to have adopted the strategy of over-promising and under-delivering on their schedules. That has led to overworked crews and many many unhappy displaced passengers! It is really an untenable situation and absolutely deserving of open letters, picketing, etc.


I have noticed. But what is a pilot calling for as a solution?


The obvious solution is to schedule the network according to actual staffing levels. Airline networks are over stressed and can’t handle even the slightest irregularity.


Yes that is obvious but not sure I hear that specifically coming from the picketing. What would make a better approach to fly home that point is if all airline pilots got together and picketed together at the same time side-by-side so there is one voice calling for industry-wide capacity discipline. The way it's being done seems like a power-play for more money, unless there are some additional contractual change pilots are calling for that would define when an airline is recklessly adding capacity.
 
mjzair
Posts: 419
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 1999 12:10 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:13 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
What specifically do pilot's want their airline to do?


A good start would be to build schedules with the staff that is actually available.

It seems that many of the airlines are hoping for the best when they build the schedules, but don't have a plan B when the slightest of things go wrong.

But more than anything, you know what I would like to see, I would love to see the airlines owning their mistakes, instead of throwing the blame to "weather" or "ATC Related Issues". Yes, those are factors, but the fact that there is little to no slack in scheduling has just as much to do with it. It's funny, if you go to an airline for an interview, and you have the slightest blemish on your record, the advice is always to own it and say what you learned from it, not deflect blame and create excuses, yet this is exactly what the airlines are doing.
 
Lilj4425
Posts: 53
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:20 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
What specifically do pilot's want their airline to do?


Give them a pay raise of course.
 
FatCat
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:41 pm

Lilj4425 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
What specifically do pilot's want their airline to do?


Give them a pay raise of course.

Oh poor airlines, how can they sustain a pay raise for their staff, better let them work too much, then crash planes with hundreds of people aboard, and blame the pilots... Or hire new, incompetent, undertrained pilots and let them crash planes with hundreds of people aboard, and again blame the pilots...
 
TYWoolman
Topic Author
Posts: 1282
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:41 pm

mjzair wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
What specifically do pilot's want their airline to do?


A good start would be to build schedules with the staff that is actually available.

It seems that many of the airlines are hoping for the best when they build the schedules, but don't have a plan B when the slightest of things go wrong.

But more than anything, you know what I would like to see, I would love to see the airlines owning their mistakes, instead of throwing the blame to "weather" or "ATC Related Issues". Yes, those are factors, but the fact that there is little to no slack in scheduling has just as much to do with it. It's funny, if you go to an airline for an interview, and you have the slightest blemish on your record, the advice is always to own it and say what you learned from it, not deflect blame and create excuses, yet this is exactly what the airlines are doing.


Absolutely. I think the current post-pandemic competitive dynamic has changed from striving to accommodate more people to more places where they want to go to striving to accommodate the most passengers in a reliable manner. Reliability will be the key. Now more than ever reliability will be remembered.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:47 pm

I have a related question. European unions seem to announce they will be doing a 1-3 day strike in the coming month, or something like 'no overtime' next week. Management responds in kind, and it all seems to get settled behind the scenes. American unions and management go for the kill and if they can wipe out unions, or destroy the company so be it. I suspect labor laws may in part be responsible. Back in my union days (construction, '50 and 60s'), there were strikes from time to time but I seldom saw the bitterness that seems to exist now.
 
orlandocfi
Posts: 254
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2020 12:53 am

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:02 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
orlandocfi wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:

I have noticed. But what is a pilot calling for as a solution?


The obvious solution is to schedule the network according to actual staffing levels. Airline networks are over stressed and can’t handle even the slightest irregularity.


Yes that is obvious but not sure I hear that specifically coming from the picketing. What would make a better approach to fly home that point is if all airline pilots got together and picketed together at the same time side-by-side so there is one voice calling for industry-wide capacity discipline. The way it's being done seems like a power-play for more money, unless there are some additional contractual change pilots are calling for that would define when an airline is recklessly adding capacity.


I think that is being done to some degree. It’s not very obvious, but you’ll find pilots from other airlines walking picket lines to show support for industry brethren….because it is a concern industry-wide. Our unions disseminate picket information of other airlines so members can participate if they are able.

I can understand how this can appear to outsiders as a money grab by greedy pilots. But there is more to a contract than an hourly pay rate. Work rules and quality of life are equally important and are the majority of negotiation discussions. And that is tied directly to staffing levels, hence the picketing.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:07 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
mjzair wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
What specifically do pilot's want their airline to do?


A good start would be to build schedules with the staff that is actually available.

It seems that many of the airlines are hoping for the best when they build the schedules, but don't have a plan B when the slightest of things go wrong.

But more than anything, you know what I would like to see, I would love to see the airlines owning their mistakes, instead of throwing the blame to "weather" or "ATC Related Issues". Yes, those are factors, but the fact that there is little to no slack in scheduling has just as much to do with it. It's funny, if you go to an airline for an interview, and you have the slightest blemish on your record, the advice is always to own it and say what you learned from it, not deflect blame and create excuses, yet this is exactly what the airlines are doing.


Absolutely. I think the current post-pandemic competitive dynamic has changed from striving to accommodate more people to more places where they want to go to striving to accommodate the most passengers in a reliable manner. Reliability will be the key. Now more than ever reliability will be remembered.

Reliability will be remembered when business passengers return. Those buying fares off the internet search engines often have the memory duration of a fruit fly; they aren't going to demand too much to save $5.

Airlines need staffing with good time off from work; that means hiring a lot more pilots. With the price per pilot going up, that is going to be tough math. One solution is larger aircraft (A321, MAX-10). Eventually, enough small cities will be cut the political solution (1500 hour rule) will be politically solved.

There needs to be a mix of cost/benefit. I personally believe this ends the smaller aircraft (below 76 seats) in the USA. This will have an interesting outcome.

Lightsaber
 
MohawkWeekend
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:11 pm

Lets see -
1) labor costs for airlines are going to continue heading up, actually much higher with new contracts
2) interest expenses on the big debt loads are going up, actually much higher as the FED fights inflation
3) jet fuel costs are still rising and may go much higher if we have supply disruption

And I have to think airline productivity is declining due to the system breaking down every other week (or so it seems).

Management is running hard to get as much revenue possible.
 
ckfred
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:44 pm

One other factor is Covid. A friend of mine who flies had Covid last summer and again this spring, despite being vaccinated and boosted. With the first bout of Covid, he was off for about 3 weeks, because his temperature remained slightly elevated, after the initial higher elevation for several days.. The second, bout, he never felt badly, but he turned a test positive. So, he was off for 10 days.

I suspect that airlines are stressing that if a physician determines that a pilot has something contagious, the pilot doesn't fly until he recovers or is no longer deemed contagious. That has to be adding strain to the system.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:15 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
I have a related question. European unions seem to announce they will be doing a 1-3 day strike in the coming month, or something like 'no overtime' next week. Management responds in kind, and it all seems to get settled behind the scenes. American unions and management go for the kill and if they can wipe out unions, or destroy the company so be it. I suspect labor laws may in part be responsible. Back in my union days (construction, '50 and 60s'), there were strikes from time to time but I seldom saw the bitterness that seems to exist now.


Please go review National Airlines and Northwest Airlines—lots of bitter strikes that went on for months. Joke was they’d merge and call it Cobra Airlines, strike at anything. The ‘80 s had very bitter relations during deregulation—CO, UA, EA. RLA does make it a winner-take-all deal.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:38 pm

Pilots shouldn't be too concerned. There will be an oversupply of them as demand for pilots is destroyed over the next year or so.
Last edited by wjcandee on Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
IFlyVeryLittle
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:31 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:38 pm

Doesn't it strike anyone else odd that labor unions were originally designed to help the working-class men and women of this country stand up to management, and now pilots who often make more than two typical american workers combined and command a multi-million aircraft and the all the people aboard lean on unions to get even more pay and an even better work schedule than most 40-hour a week workers. What next? Neurosurgeon unions?
 
Jetport
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:23 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:40 pm

Airbuser wrote:
Alaska, AA, Delta, SWA. All contracts with the unions are up for renewal. United has a new proposal that comes out Friday. Will be interesting. If it’s a good deal then the pressure will be ramped up.

Airlines are now making money so pressure will be put on the airline to get contracts settled.

There is a shortage of pilots so leverage is on the pilots side.

We are burning out. Ten years ago I flew 75-80 hours a month. Now it’s 90 or more. Schedules are built with 5 hours average of pay per day which means up to three more days on the road away from home.

Get done after 12 hours grinding out a day of rerouting, delays, weather, etc. and then have no hotel room. It gets old real quick.

You can’t call in sick for fatigue. You call in fatigued. May or may not get paid for it. Up to the airline to decide if it was legitimate.

This is just a few of the factors involved. The system is maxed out which causes more disruptions for the passengers.


From what I can gather, FAA limits are 100 hours flight time/28 days. That doesn't seem that grueling to most folks in the general public. Are poor scheduling by airlines/commutes/ground delays, etc. really so severe that 100 hours of flight time turns into 250 hours of "working" time? This is not to be critical, I think there are many other folks on here that would also like to understand this.
 
Virtual737
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:55 pm

FatCat wrote:
Oh poor airlines, how can they sustain a pay raise for their staff, better let them work too much, then crash planes with hundreds of people aboard, and blame the pilots... Or hire new, incompetent, undertrained pilots and let them crash planes with hundreds of people aboard, and again blame the pilots...


Just as easy to write a ridiculous phrase or 10 from the other perspective.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:16 pm

Jetport wrote:
Airbuser wrote:
Alaska, AA, Delta, SWA. All contracts with the unions are up for renewal. United has a new proposal that comes out Friday. Will be interesting. If it’s a good deal then the pressure will be ramped up.

Airlines are now making money so pressure will be put on the airline to get contracts settled.

There is a shortage of pilots so leverage is on the pilots side.

We are burning out. Ten years ago I flew 75-80 hours a month. Now it’s 90 or more. Schedules are built with 5 hours average of pay per day which means up to three more days on the road away from home.

Get done after 12 hours grinding out a day of rerouting, delays, weather, etc. and then have no hotel room. It gets old real quick.

You can’t call in sick for fatigue. You call in fatigued. May or may not get paid for it. Up to the airline to decide if it was legitimate.

This is just a few of the factors involved. The system is maxed out which causes more disruptions for the passengers.


From what I can gather, FAA limits are 100 hours flight time/28 days. That doesn't seem that grueling to most folks in the general public. Are poor scheduling by airlines/commutes/ground delays, etc. really so severe that 100 hours of flight time turns into 250 hours of "working" time? This is not to be critical, I think there are many other folks on here that would also like to understand this.


If it were that easy, there’re wouldn’t be a shortage of pilot starts, no washouts in military training and everyone would be a pilot. T’ain’t so, is it?
 
mikejepp
Posts: 278
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:47 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:33 pm

In the airline industry, as it currently stands, airlines are squeezing every last drop out of pilots. Worked to the max. They're exhausted. Scheduling changes are the worst... you plan your life around your schedule and then the airline destroys it.

Thought you were going to be getting up at 3am? Nope change of plans you're now showing up to work at 10pm and flying a redeye.

Thought you were getting home on tuesday? Now its wednesday... sorry that you don't have any clothes with you and have no idea who is going to pick your kids up from childcare.

Thought you'd help out on your day off because you had a free morning to fly a quick turn? Nope you've now been reassigned to fly 6 flights, thanks for helping!

Oh we forgot to book you hotels for that new city we reassigned you to! (Our hold lines are just as long as passengers' when we're calling for help...) Enjoy staying up until 2am trying to find somewhere to sleep and then getting dirty looks in the morning when the flight is delayed and the gate agent told the passengers that its because you wanted to sleep in.

Not to mention a significant number of pilots working under expired contracts for years. Pilots in the US are worn out and pissed off. This isn't really about pay.... ask any pilot at my airline and guaranteed pay isn't in their top 3 concerns.


Passengers might not realize this but guess what.... airlines treat their employees even worse. You think its a bad experience flying on them right now? Try working for them.

And to everyone who thinks pilots are overpaid prima donnas... well, supply and demand controls pay mostly. If its so easy and so highly paid, why don't you become one? The airlines sure do need them. Every "highly paid" pilot out there found a way to get beyond whatever you might say is holding you back.


So, what do we want? I'd say from everyone I know who is one, generally we want...
- adequate rest
- consistent schedules that aren't upended the second we show up to work every single trip (and to get home when we were scheduled)
- us to fly our trips as assigned (by seniority) instead of treating everyone like a reserve pilot and changing things constantly
- airlines to build their schedules and networks as such that the above items are possible with the staffing they have
- our current contracts to be honored
- airlines to negotiate in good faith for new contracts
- and yes, paid to be raised to compensate us for the the insane inflation currently happening and to attract more pilots so the airline can actually function
 
TYWoolman
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:24 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:46 pm

I have a great respect for pilots. They deserve every penny. In my mind I think of them as royalty in the aviation sector due to the enormous responsibility of commanding an aircraft. Mechanics are behind-the-scenes royalty. I would hope each airline listens to what the pilots' true grievances are. At the same time this is a competitive industry. Airlines feel they need to get ahead of the curve in terms of route planning and marketshare to remain competitive. Perhaps airlines can negotiate higher pay and eventual safeguards into contracts for OT max, perhaps in turn for more resiliency on codesharing and JV's as airlines try to maximize revenue in tough times like these.

Delta pilots are giving a "no-confidence" to management:
https://simpleflying.com/delta-air-line ... ce-letter/

Personally, if I were a pilot, I would be willing to work as many hours required. And I am not sure if I would agree with the position of demanding more money because of that since it is understandable the struggle all airlines have faced in the pandemic and with its aftermath. It seems a bit incredulous if pilot intentions are to just leverage the "fatiguing" aspect to squeeze more money out of what is increasingly becoming a fragile industry. Perhaps they are just plane fatigued (no pun intended) with no confidence that things will look better on the horizon, as the above link indicates. Maybe the airlines can be a little more rational about growth in order to predict with certainty a time when schedules can get back to normal. But with B6 growing, and a new U.S. alliance called the NEA, I think airlines are going to have to get creative...perhaps with each other.
 
737MAX7
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:26 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:06 pm

Lilj4425 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
What specifically do pilot's want their airline to do?


Give them a pay raise of course.

Coming from a ramp perspective the pay raise is nice but it’s more than that. It’s building an unrealistic schedule and then when shit hits the fan whether its ATC/weather etc we are left to deal with the mess. We are the ones constantly being given Mandatory Overtime. And then when we say no we get discipline for it. Oh you worked until 4am waiting on the last terminator? Well we are understaffed so we need to mando you until noon and it’s happening day after day. Got kids to pick up? Well sorry if you don’t stay we are going to write you up. It’s THAT stuff.
 
mikejepp
Posts: 278
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:47 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:07 pm

Jetport wrote:
Airbuser wrote:
Alaska, AA, Delta, SWA. All contracts with the unions are up for renewal. United has a new proposal that comes out Friday. Will be interesting. If it’s a good deal then the pressure will be ramped up.

Airlines are now making money so pressure will be put on the airline to get contracts settled.

There is a shortage of pilots so leverage is on the pilots side.

We are burning out. Ten years ago I flew 75-80 hours a month. Now it’s 90 or more. Schedules are built with 5 hours average of pay per day which means up to three more days on the road away from home.

Get done after 12 hours grinding out a day of rerouting, delays, weather, etc. and then have no hotel room. It gets old real quick.

You can’t call in sick for fatigue. You call in fatigued. May or may not get paid for it. Up to the airline to decide if it was legitimate.

This is just a few of the factors involved. The system is maxed out which causes more disruptions for the passengers.


From what I can gather, FAA limits are 100 hours flight time/28 days. That doesn't seem that grueling to most folks in the general public. Are poor scheduling by airlines/commutes/ground delays, etc. really so severe that 100 hours of flight time turns into 250 hours of "working" time? This is not to be critical, I think there are many other folks on here that would also like to understand this.


I'll give you a realistic example of why this is the problem. Say you're given a fairly simple 2 day trip that flies an out and back somewhere, goes to an overnight, back to the hub tomorrow then another turn and done. So... HUB-ABC-HUB-XYZ.. XYZ-HUB-DEF-HUB. It may have 10 hours of flight time, 20 hours of time on duty, and 36 hours away from base.

It looks fairly straightforward and you're glad because your last trip was a complete cluster, it doesn't work that early or that late so you're on a pretty neutral sleep schedule. You go in mid-day and plan on working until, say, 10pm. Next thing you know your ABC turn is delayed. You have some kind of maintenance issue that takes 3 hours. While those 3 hours pass afternoon storms build and now theres an EDCT time for your destination. You're finally released and fight through turbulence and weather all the way back. You didn't eat dinner because you were planning on being back in the hub by then and were busy working with mx. By the time you get back to hub after your first turn you're still running 3 hours behind. They normally would've replaced you with another crew for the overnight but they don't have one, so you're stuck with it. You hurry to get to your next plane and every restaurant in the airport is already closed. Guess a candy bar from the news stand will have to do. The gate agent is yelling at you why you took so long to get here, passengers are pissed. You get ready, board up. More flying around that weather, except now its late at night. Tower closed at your destination, challenging to figure out what the field conditions are at this point. Dispatch is overloaded and taking forever to respond. You finally land at 1am, way past when you planned on being awake that day. You call the hotel and they tell you they didn't think you were coming, they're overbooked, and they gave away your rooms. Now you're on hold with crew scheduling. Their day as been a nightmare too and they're trying to put it all back together, so it takes 45 minutes to figure out where you'll be sleeping. You finally get to the hotel at 2am and the pizza place says they only have one person working and can't do deliveries, oh well you're exhausted anyways, guess you'll find something to eat in the morning. Oh crap you didn't call your family to say goodnight did you? They'll understand... this happens all the time.

They next day, you sleep in some to recover from last night. You go down to the gym to get some exercise in and your phone starts beeping with messages... your flight back to the hub has canceled. They didn't have a crew to fly it. You've now been reassigned to fly their flight back, which happens to be the 5am departure tomorrow morning. You just woke up at noon. You call your wife to tell her, she said tonight is her night to work late at her job and she can't find anyone to watch the kids. You're alternating between calling babysitters and crew scheduling begging them to put you on something that gets you back home today because its against the contract to be flown into your day off. They say they understand but that flight tomorrow morning needs to be flown and if you have any other questions the chief pilot can explain it to you. The union says "yeah we know, they've been doing this a lot lately, we'll add you to the grievance we started about it 4 years ago that still being processed." You tell the rest of your crew and every single one of them has a different problem they now have to handle. Finally you accept that you're stuck and don't really know what to do about eating, the overflow hotel they put you in is off the highway next to a truck stop. You decide to get some fresh air and take a uber to town to find something to eat and end up getting a sub that cost you, with the uber, $40 and will probably be both lunch and dinner. Back to the hotel, clean up, and get in bed at 8pm so that you can be rested for your 3am wakeup that you had no idea you were going to have to do. Then you get to play the "if I fall asleep right now I will get X hours of sleep" game since you were in bed til noon earlier today. Oh, and out of curisioty, you looked up what ended up happening to your DEF turn today... yup, airline is already out of reserves for the day and another set of pilots had it tagged onto the end of their trip. They had to sit in the airport 4.5 hours then fly it and got home half a day later than they had planned.

You wake up, you're lucky, flight back to base goes relatively easy other than it being oversold and passengers yelling at everyone about how they've been stuck in the airport since that flight canceled yesterday afternoon. You feel bad but theres nothing you can do and it isn't that fun to be a verbal punching bag. You notice one of your FAs is coughing a lot and you ask them if they're ok... they say "oh, uhh, yeah, its just allergies or something maybe... plus if I called in sick I'd get attendance points and I can't get any more of those. They're being really strict with that lately." You say ok but you're thinking about how you're now hoping you're not bringing covid home to your family. You get back to base and both you and the other pilot have voice mails. Crew scheduling has extended you into another turn because its 7am and theres flying that needs to be flown, totally disregarding that today is your day off. You think about how much sleep you've gotten, how mad your wife is going to be when you call her, and your stress level and call in fatigued. Crew scheduling can't believe it... you were off all day yesterday and flew one flight today and you're fatigued?? Now you're worried about how you're going to explain this to the chief pilot. The gate agent just told a hundred passengers their flight canceled because the pilot didn't want to fly.


You just "worked" 5 hours over the course of 3 days and people say you have the easiest job in the world. You come home, chill out some, get on airliners.net and read that pilots are overpaid primma donnas who just want more money. You see another post where people talking about writing their congressmen so that your FO can have even less experience and so that you can keep doing this job until you're 68 years old. You type a post like this one. Oh well, better fill out that fatigue report and so some laundry. Starting a 4 day trip tomorrow and don't have a feeling its going to be smooth sailing. The kids are going to be done with school soon and you want to forget this work situation so you do what you can to forget it and go pick them up. Some other parent sees you at school and goes "Off on another friday afternoon huh?? You pilots never work! My husband would come pick up our kids, but you know, he has a real job... good to see you!"

What I wrote above isn't some crazy situation, it is what we airline pilots are living every time we go to work lately. We want predictable reliable schedules for both ourselves and our airlines so that we get rest, fly the trips we bid for with our seniority, get home when we're supposed to AND so that our airline functions and passengers are taken care of. Sure, more pay would be great and I wouldn't turn it down, but it is a tiny concern compared to the above.
Last edited by mikejepp on Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:08 pm

mikejepp wrote:


So, what do we want? I'd say from everyone I know who is one, generally we want...
- adequate rest
- consistent schedules that aren't upended the second we show up to work every single trip (and to get home when we were scheduled)
- us to fly our trips as assigned (by seniority) instead of treating everyone like a reserve pilot and changing things constantly
- airlines to build their schedules and networks as such that the above items are possible with the staffing they have
- our current contracts to be honored
- airlines to negotiate in good faith for new contracts
- and yes, paid to be raised to compensate us for the the insane inflation currently happening and to attract more pilots so the airline can actually function



Those are fair points. Do you think a solution will be had within each airline or will there have to be an industry-wide sweep at the hand of some kind of government intervention? I mean, fatigue is no joke. Is the claim truly that airlines are recklessly treating pilots in order to compete against each other?
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:26 pm

mikejepp wrote:
Jetport wrote:
Airbuser wrote:
Alaska, AA, Delta, SWA. All contracts with the unions are up for renewal. United has a new proposal that comes out Friday. Will be interesting. If it’s a good deal then the pressure will be ramped up.

Airlines are now making money so pressure will be put on the airline to get contracts settled.

There is a shortage of pilots so leverage is on the pilots side.

We are burning out. Ten years ago I flew 75-80 hours a month. Now it’s 90 or more. Schedules are built with 5 hours average of pay per day which means up to three more days on the road away from home.

Get done after 12 hours grinding out a day of rerouting, delays, weather, etc. and then have no hotel room. It gets old real quick.

You can’t call in sick for fatigue. You call in fatigued. May or may not get paid for it. Up to the airline to decide if it was legitimate.

This is just a few of the factors involved. The system is maxed out which causes more disruptions for the passengers.


From what I can gather, FAA limits are 100 hours flight time/28 days. That doesn't seem that grueling to most folks in the general public. Are poor scheduling by airlines/commutes/ground delays, etc. really so severe that 100 hours of flight time turns into 250 hours of "working" time? This is not to be critical, I think there are many other folks on here that would also like to understand this.


I'll give you a realistic example of why this is the problem. Say you're given a fairly simple 2 day trip that flies an out and back somewhere, goes to an overnight, back to the hub tomorrow then another turn and done. So... HUB-ABC-HUB-XYZ.. XYZ-HUB-DEF-HUB. It may have 10 hours of flight time, 20 hours of time on duty, and 36 hours away from base.

It looks fairly straightforward and you're glad because your last trip was a complete cluster, it doesn't work that early or that late so you're on a pretty neutral sleep schedule. You go in mid-day and plan on working until, say, 10pm. Next thing you know your ABC turn is delayed. You have some kind of maintenance issue that takes 3 hours. While those 3 hours pass afternoon storms build and now theres an EDCT time for your destination. You're finally released and fight through turbulence and weather all the way back. You didn't eat dinner because you were planning on being back in the hub by then and were busy working with mx. By the time you get back to hub after your first turn you're still running 3 hours behind. They normally would've replaced you with another crew for the overnight but they don't have one, so you're stuck with it. You hurry to get to your next plane and every restaurant in the airport is already closed. Guess a candy bar from the news stand will have to do. The gate agent is yelling at you why you took so long to get here, passengers are pissed. You get ready, board up. More flying around that weather, except now its late at night. Tower closed at your destination, challenging to figure out what the field conditions are at this point. Dispatch is overloaded and taking forever to respond. You finally land at 1am, way past when you planned on being awake that day. You call the hotel and they tell you they didn't think you were coming, they're overbooked, and they gave away your rooms. Now you're on hold with crew scheduling. Their day as been a nightmare too and they're trying to put it all back together, so it takes 45 minutes to figure out where you'll be sleeping. You finally get to the hotel at 2am and the pizza place says they only have one person working and can't do deliveries, oh well you're exhausted anyways, guess you'll find something to eat in the morning. Oh crap you didn't call your family to say goodnight did you? They'll understand... this happens all the time.

They next day, you sleep in some to recover from last night. You go down to the gym to get some exercise in and your phone starts beeping with messages... your flight back to the hub has canceled. They didn't have a crew to fly it. You've now been reassigned to fly their flight back, which happens to be the 5am departure tomorrow morning. You just woke up at noon. You call your wife to tell her, she said tonight is her night to work late at her job and she can't find anyone to watch the kids. You're alternating between calling babysitters and crew scheduling begging them to put you on something that gets you back home today because its against the contract to be flown into your day off. They say they understand but that flight tomorrow morning needs to be flown and if you have any other questions the chief pilot can explain it to you. The union says "yeah we know, they've been doing this a lot lately, we'll add you to the grievance we started about it 4 years ago that still being processed." You tell the rest of your crew and every single one of them has a different problem they now have to handle. Finally you accept that you're stuck and don't really know what to do about eating, the overflow hotel they put you in is off the highway next to a truck stop. You decide to get some fresh air and take a uber to town to find something to eat and end up getting a sub that cost you, with the uber, $40 and will probably be both lunch and dinner. Back to the hotel, clean up, and get in bed at 8pm so that you can be rested for your 3am wakeup that you had no idea you were going to have to do. Then you get to play the "if I fall asleep right now I will get X hours of sleep" game since you were in bed til noon earlier today.

You wake up, you're lucky, flight back to base goes relatively easy other than it being oversold and passengers yelling at everyone about how they've been stuck in the airport since that flight canceled yesterday afternoon. You feel bad but theres nothing you can do and it isn't that fun to be a verbal punching bag. You get back to base and both you and the other pilot have voice mails. Crew scheduling has extended you into another turn because its 7am and theres flying that needs to be flown, totally disregarding that today is your day off. You think about how much sleep you've gotten, how mad your wife is going to be when you call her, and your stress level and call in fatigued. Crew scheduling can't believe it... you were off all day yesterday and flew one flight today and you're fatigued?? Now you're worried about how you're going to explain this to the chief pilot. The gate agent just told a hundred passengers their flight canceled because the pilot didn't want to fly.


You just "worked" 5 hours over the course of 3 days and people say you have the easiest job in the world. You come home, chill out some, get on airliners.net and read that pilots are overpaid primma donnas who just want more money. You type a post like this one. Oh well, better fill out that fatigue report and so some laundry. Starting a 4 day trip tomorrow and don't have a feeling its going to be smooth sailing.

What I wrote above isn't some crazy situation, it is what we airline pilots are living every time we go to work lately. We want predictable reliable schedules for both ourselves and our airlines so that we get rest, fly the trips we bid for with our seniority, get home when we're supposed to AND so that our airline functions and passengers are taken care of. Sure, more pay would be great and I wouldn't turn it down, but it is a tiny concern compared to the above.


Appreciate that. Respect to you and your colleagues. What has been management's reaction to all of this? Do they say it's a temporary thing? Are they actually hiring to mitigate this? Are they listening?
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:09 pm

The obvious solution is to schedule the network according to actual staffing levels. Airline networks are over stressed and can’t handle even the slightest irregularity.


A friend is a 737 pilot for one of the Big Three. He says much the same, that there isn't enough slack built into the system to handle irregularities and oddball occurrences. Basically, if a pilot can't make the flight for any reason, there is a much higher chance of a cancellation simply due to a shortage of pilots.

I'll let the negotiators work out solutions other than pointing out the obvious - hire more pilots. If you can't hire them, then retain the ones that you do have. How that's done, people smarter than I will have to figure out.
 
N353SK
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:27 pm

IFlyVeryLittle wrote:
Doesn't it strike anyone else odd that labor unions were originally designed to help the working-class men and women of this country stand up to management, and now pilots who often make more than two typical american workers combined and command a multi-million aircraft and the all the people aboard lean on unions to get even more pay and an even better work schedule than most 40-hour a week workers. What next? Neurosurgeon unions?


Almost any skilled labor group will benefit from organization. In 1934, as pilots were just beginning to organize in appreciable numbers, copilot pay at most mail carrying airlines was $120-$225 per month, which would equate to an annual salary of about $31,000-$58,000 adjusted for inflation. The wages earned by pilots today are reflective of not just the necessary skill, dedication, and responsibility, but also exceptional solidarity and successful bargaining over many decades. Pilots are skilled laborers and the fact that many of them earn good salaries is a testament to the successes of their unity.

Additionally, with more and more medical residents in the US organizing, most recently in Los Angeles, we already have neurosurgeon unions :)


Jetport wrote:

From what I can gather, FAA limits are 100 hours flight time/28 days. That doesn't seem that grueling to most folks in the general public. Are poor scheduling by airlines/commutes/ground delays, etc. really so severe that 100 hours of flight time turns into 250 hours of "working" time? This is not to be critical, I think there are many other folks on here that would also like to understand this.


At most airlines 90-100 hours of block time would equate to spending 17-19 days per month away from home. Here is one example of how a single "average" day can get very long very quickly when an airline isn't running its operation very well.

A duty period of flying with 7 hours of block time will commonly involve three flight legs. The pilot will duty-on an hour before the first leg. Maybe the first two legs are an outstation turn, so the turn is scheduled for an hour of ground time. Then, when you get back to the hub, the pilot might have a 2:30 sit and plane swap before flying the last leg to the overnight, where he will duty off 30 minutes after block-in. So, as you can see, it can be quite common for a "seven hours of flying" duty period to have the pilot scheduled to be on duty for 12 hours if everything goes perfectly. If that third flight leg gets delayed the pilot can easily wind up being on duty for 15 hours. Repeatedly getting to your hotel room at 3:00 AM instead of midnight because your airline is an operational mess is exhausting.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:28 pm

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/1 ... f-00040714

According to this link, July 4th will be the test on whether the government will intervene (in some form) via enforcement action.

Key Point: "Buttigieg said his department could take enforcement actions against airlines that fail to live up to consumer-protection standards."
 
travaz
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:15 pm

I am not a pilot however I support their complaints. I have been around the Trucking industry for quite awhile. You get paid by the mile. You leave home PHX and are allowed to drive 10 Hours. You clock on to your electronic monitoring device and head out to the warehouse to get loaded. The warehouse is backed up and they take 7 hours to get you loaded. Now I can drive maybe 130 miles cause my company has the truck governed at 58 MPH. You all get the idea. 2 Weeks later while your in PA and you call dispatch and remind them you have home time because you and the Wife have an event planned and what you get is: Can you take this quick load to Miami? I feel all Pilots pain and sympathize with all of them and hope you get what you deserve.
 
INFINITI329
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:20 pm

mikejepp


damn.. I am speechless
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:54 pm

STANDING OVATION @ mikejepp for NAILING IT 100%. This is the reality today.... It's not an outlier, it's become "the new normal". And in the name of "resource optimization" intra-continental trips (rotations, parings, patterns, whatever internal lingo you use) are built to be legal but productive to the point of pushing circadian sleep cycles. Ex: day 1/2: midcontinent hub to the west coast with a red eye to the east coast. Dayover (hotel time from 0600 to 1945 pick up). Later that night after legal rest flying one segment to Florida. Overnight. After 13 hours and 6 minutes fly to LAX with a tag to SFO. Minimum layover before flying a red eye back to base. And that's assuming everything goes as planned.
No professional pilot this complaining because they are "sweepy" . It doesn't matter how healthy you are and what good habits you have this kind of whiplash will take a toll over days/weeks/months/years.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:01 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
No doubt pilots are most deserving of ample rest and high pay. I am truly curious what is going on with due respect to the pilot job and any pilots. With that said, there has been an increase in picketing and open letters and wonder what really is the end-game here?
Is it to:
1) Leverage for higher contractual wages (and then it would be ok to continue to work grueling schedules)?
2) Get management to cut the grueling schedules?
3) Get management to cut service at all costs (including conceding marketshare to rivals)?
4) Make an aggregate "Union" statement (as perhaps post-pandemic unions may be threatened somehow)?
5) To make it known that airlines have not handled the post-pandemic environment correctly?

Does it not seem kind of bold to leverage the post-pandemic environment as a means to shackle one's own airline, so it seems in my opinion? Or is it that management truly is being inconsiderate? Cannot pilots go out sick if tired? Wouldn't rest be better than picketing?

What the hell is going on, really?


Always #1. It’s not about reality, it is about if pilots have leverage, they are going to make use of the leverage. They have a bit of leverage right now. They will convert that into income and/or lifestyle for them and their families. The words in their story may differ, but this is the actual story.
 
FlyinRabbit88
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:11 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/19/buttigieg-airlines-consumers-behalf-00040714

According to this link, July 4th will be the test on whether the government will intervene (in some form) via enforcement action.

Key Point: "Buttigieg said his department could take enforcement actions against airlines that fail to live up to consumer-protection standards."


Still think what Buttigieg is threatening is hilarious. The government still has been slow to hire/train new ATC controllers to help the strain in the system. What about hiring more CBP agents to fill the empty positions to allow entry into the country faster. Or hiring more TSA agents, making KCM standard for all major US airports, etc etc etc.

Yes the airlines have issues but the US govt/FAA are a major part of the problem too. Can’t just threaten fines when the many ATC delays can be attributed to staffing in various centers (Washington and JAX).
 
CobaltScar
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:32 pm

mikejepp wrote:
In the airline industry, as it currently stands, airlines are squeezing every last drop out of pilots. Worked to the max. They're exhausted.



Everything you listed applies 10x to other airline employees too, especially FAs, and with less rest and a fraction of the pay. Always amuses me when Pilots attempt to get the general public to feel sorry for them.
 
FlyinRabbit88
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:39 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
mikejepp wrote:
In the airline industry, as it currently stands, airlines are squeezing every last drop out of pilots. Worked to the max. They're exhausted.



Everything you listed applies 10x to other airline employees too, especially FAs, and with less rest and a fraction of the pay. Always amuses me when Pilots attempt to get the general public to feel sorry for them.


As odd as it sounds, pilots picketing tends to get more attention to the issues among labor than if 1000 southwest FAs did it. Not to say their reasons wouldn’t be any different. Hence why many pilots support the various unions when they strike or have issues.

The airline labor groups deserve a voice to their disagreements, especially in the public that allows them to say things are wrong. It’s just that the pilot unions get more attention when they informational picket.
 
Silver1SWA
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:35 pm

CobaltScar wrote:
mikejepp wrote:
In the airline industry, as it currently stands, airlines are squeezing every last drop out of pilots. Worked to the max. They're exhausted.



Everything you listed applies 10x to other airline employees too, especially FAs, and with less rest and a fraction of the pay. Always amuses me when Pilots attempt to get the general public to feel sorry for them.


Nobody cares when most airline employees are upset at working conditions. When pilots speak out it gets attention. They’re leading the charge for everyone.
 
Moosefire
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:20 pm

All of these companies could fix this “shortage” by upgauging their fleets and reducing frequencies . It’s not a fast fix but it’s available to them. Until they do there’s not really a shortage… just inadequate pilots to match the existing system form.

Tomorrow American is scheduled to fly 14 segments from Austin to DFW, some on aircraft as small as a -175. That could easily be reduced to 8-9 and still offer a very competitive schedule if they up gauged appropriately.
 
Airbuser
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:34 pm

Moosefire wrote:
All of these companies could fix this “shortage” by upgauging their fleets and reducing frequencies . It’s not a fast fix but it’s available to them. Until they do there’s not really a shortage… just inadequate pilots to match the existing system form.

Tomorrow American is scheduled to fly 14 segments from Austin to DFW, some on aircraft as small as a -175. That could easily be reduced to 8-9 and still offer a very competitive schedule if they up gauged appropriately.


I count 13 flights today on AA AUS-DFW and they are all mainline 737 or A321
 
Moosefire
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:49 pm

Airbuser wrote:
Moosefire wrote:
All of these companies could fix this “shortage” by upgauging their fleets and reducing frequencies . It’s not a fast fix but it’s available to them. Until they do there’s not really a shortage… just inadequate pilots to match the existing system form.

Tomorrow American is scheduled to fly 14 segments from Austin to DFW, some on aircraft as small as a -175. That could easily be reduced to 8-9 and still offer a very competitive schedule if they up gauged appropriately.


I count 13 flights today on AA AUS-DFW and they are all mainline 737 or A321


3916 at 0930 operated by envoy.

But the larger point is that they certainly could operate aircraft larger than the 321 if there was a true crunch of pilots, they are choosing not to.
 
gwrudolph
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:40 am

Aptivaboy wrote:
The obvious solution is to schedule the network according to actual staffing levels. Airline networks are over stressed and can’t handle even the slightest irregularity.


A friend is a 737 pilot for one of the Big Three. He says much the same, that there isn't enough slack built into the system to handle irregularities and oddball occurrences. Basically, if a pilot can't make the flight for any reason, there is a much higher chance of a cancellation simply due to a shortage of pilots.

I'll let the negotiators work out solutions other than pointing out the obvious - hire more pilots. If you can't hire them, then retain the ones that you do have. How that's done, people smarter than I will have to figure out.


Gotta love that one . . . “I can’t tell you the solution, only the problem. Those seemingly insurmountable dilemmas should be for someone else to figure out.”

Honestly, I don’t think there are any good short term answers. Running it wound up so tight leads to reliability and burnout issues, but cutting capacity by 10-15% to get ahead of it will have serious repercussions as well. These supply and demand imbalances are going on everywhere. I do believe things will stabilize. It is just going to take a bit of time.

Crazy times
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:56 am

I'm sorry, but 1) aren't pilots pretty darned well compensated already? 2) don't union contracts already specify work rules with repercussions for employers who breach them? What am I missing here?
 
Silver1SWA
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Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:19 am

GSPSPOT wrote:
I'm sorry, but 1) aren't pilots pretty darned well compensated already? 2) don't union contracts already specify work rules with repercussions for employers who breach them? What am I missing here?


Much of the thread apparently.

Here you go…

mikejepp wrote:
Jetport wrote:
Airbuser wrote:
Alaska, AA, Delta, SWA. All contracts with the unions are up for renewal. United has a new proposal that comes out Friday. Will be interesting. If it’s a good deal then the pressure will be ramped up.

Airlines are now making money so pressure will be put on the airline to get contracts settled.

There is a shortage of pilots so leverage is on the pilots side.

We are burning out. Ten years ago I flew 75-80 hours a month. Now it’s 90 or more. Schedules are built with 5 hours average of pay per day which means up to three more days on the road away from home.

Get done after 12 hours grinding out a day of rerouting, delays, weather, etc. and then have no hotel room. It gets old real quick.

You can’t call in sick for fatigue. You call in fatigued. May or may not get paid for it. Up to the airline to decide if it was legitimate.

This is just a few of the factors involved. The system is maxed out which causes more disruptions for the passengers.


From what I can gather, FAA limits are 100 hours flight time/28 days. That doesn't seem that grueling to most folks in the general public. Are poor scheduling by airlines/commutes/ground delays, etc. really so severe that 100 hours of flight time turns into 250 hours of "working" time? This is not to be critical, I think there are many other folks on here that would also like to understand this.


I'll give you a realistic example of why this is the problem. Say you're given a fairly simple 2 day trip that flies an out and back somewhere, goes to an overnight, back to the hub tomorrow then another turn and done. So... HUB-ABC-HUB-XYZ.. XYZ-HUB-DEF-HUB. It may have 10 hours of flight time, 20 hours of time on duty, and 36 hours away from base.

It looks fairly straightforward and you're glad because your last trip was a complete cluster, it doesn't work that early or that late so you're on a pretty neutral sleep schedule. You go in mid-day and plan on working until, say, 10pm. Next thing you know your ABC turn is delayed. You have some kind of maintenance issue that takes 3 hours. While those 3 hours pass afternoon storms build and now theres an EDCT time for your destination. You're finally released and fight through turbulence and weather all the way back. You didn't eat dinner because you were planning on being back in the hub by then and were busy working with mx. By the time you get back to hub after your first turn you're still running 3 hours behind. They normally would've replaced you with another crew for the overnight but they don't have one, so you're stuck with it. You hurry to get to your next plane and every restaurant in the airport is already closed. Guess a candy bar from the news stand will have to do. The gate agent is yelling at you why you took so long to get here, passengers are pissed. You get ready, board up. More flying around that weather, except now its late at night. Tower closed at your destination, challenging to figure out what the field conditions are at this point. Dispatch is overloaded and taking forever to respond. You finally land at 1am, way past when you planned on being awake that day. You call the hotel and they tell you they didn't think you were coming, they're overbooked, and they gave away your rooms. Now you're on hold with crew scheduling. Their day as been a nightmare too and they're trying to put it all back together, so it takes 45 minutes to figure out where you'll be sleeping. You finally get to the hotel at 2am and the pizza place says they only have one person working and can't do deliveries, oh well you're exhausted anyways, guess you'll find something to eat in the morning. Oh crap you didn't call your family to say goodnight did you? They'll understand... this happens all the time.

They next day, you sleep in some to recover from last night. You go down to the gym to get some exercise in and your phone starts beeping with messages... your flight back to the hub has canceled. They didn't have a crew to fly it. You've now been reassigned to fly their flight back, which happens to be the 5am departure tomorrow morning. You just woke up at noon. You call your wife to tell her, she said tonight is her night to work late at her job and she can't find anyone to watch the kids. You're alternating between calling babysitters and crew scheduling begging them to put you on something that gets you back home today because its against the contract to be flown into your day off. They say they understand but that flight tomorrow morning needs to be flown and if you have any other questions the chief pilot can explain it to you. The union says "yeah we know, they've been doing this a lot lately, we'll add you to the grievance we started about it 4 years ago that still being processed." You tell the rest of your crew and every single one of them has a different problem they now have to handle. Finally you accept that you're stuck and don't really know what to do about eating, the overflow hotel they put you in is off the highway next to a truck stop. You decide to get some fresh air and take a uber to town to find something to eat and end up getting a sub that cost you, with the uber, $40 and will probably be both lunch and dinner. Back to the hotel, clean up, and get in bed at 8pm so that you can be rested for your 3am wakeup that you had no idea you were going to have to do. Then you get to play the "if I fall asleep right now I will get X hours of sleep" game since you were in bed til noon earlier today. Oh, and out of curisioty, you looked up what ended up happening to your DEF turn today... yup, airline is already out of reserves for the day and another set of pilots had it tagged onto the end of their trip. They had to sit in the airport 4.5 hours then fly it and got home half a day later than they had planned.

You wake up, you're lucky, flight back to base goes relatively easy other than it being oversold and passengers yelling at everyone about how they've been stuck in the airport since that flight canceled yesterday afternoon. You feel bad but theres nothing you can do and it isn't that fun to be a verbal punching bag. You notice one of your FAs is coughing a lot and you ask them if they're ok... they say "oh, uhh, yeah, its just allergies or something maybe... plus if I called in sick I'd get attendance points and I can't get any more of those. They're being really strict with that lately." You say ok but you're thinking about how you're now hoping you're not bringing covid home to your family. You get back to base and both you and the other pilot have voice mails. Crew scheduling has extended you into another turn because its 7am and theres flying that needs to be flown, totally disregarding that today is your day off. You think about how much sleep you've gotten, how mad your wife is going to be when you call her, and your stress level and call in fatigued. Crew scheduling can't believe it... you were off all day yesterday and flew one flight today and you're fatigued?? Now you're worried about how you're going to explain this to the chief pilot. The gate agent just told a hundred passengers their flight canceled because the pilot didn't want to fly.


You just "worked" 5 hours over the course of 3 days and people say you have the easiest job in the world. You come home, chill out some, get on airliners.net and read that pilots are overpaid primma donnas who just want more money. You see another post where people talking about writing their congressmen so that your FO can have even less experience and so that you can keep doing this job until you're 68 years old. You type a post like this one. Oh well, better fill out that fatigue report and so some laundry. Starting a 4 day trip tomorrow and don't have a feeling its going to be smooth sailing. The kids are going to be done with school soon and you want to forget this work situation so you do what you can to forget it and go pick them up. Some other parent sees you at school and goes "Off on another friday afternoon huh?? You pilots never work! My husband would come pick up our kids, but you know, he has a real job... good to see you!"

What I wrote above isn't some crazy situation, it is what we airline pilots are living every time we go to work lately. We want predictable reliable schedules for both ourselves and our airlines so that we get rest, fly the trips we bid for with our seniority, get home when we're supposed to AND so that our airline functions and passengers are taken care of. Sure, more pay would be great and I wouldn't turn it down, but it is a tiny concern compared to the above.
 
XRadar98
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 4:23 am

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:53 am

I find it hilarious with all of these “What are they whining about, they get good money” comments. Sorry you are so misinformed, and jealous.

I grew up with a dad that was also a pilot. I’ll keep the story short, but there was a time in the 70’s to the 80’s, being a pilot was not so glorious. Pay cuts, trying to help the company survive, furloughs too. Sure, it’s better now pay-wise, mostly due to the mergers.

You still have this scenario today as it was when I was a kid:
Mom, what day is Thanksgiving and Christmas this year?
Well, we are having Thanksgiving on Tuesday, and we will celebrate Christmas and New Years the same day on the 28th.

Mom, is dad coming to my Little League Championship game next week?
No, but he wants to see you play next year.

Mikejepp explained it all pretty well to you that don’t understand, but a good salary only compensates for so much. He told you how a 5 hour trip turned into a full blown nightmare, he also showed a bit of the F/A side too. I just gave a small sample of a pilots kids life. It’s not about the glory, or cutting lines (BTW that’s not treating like royalty, that’s lookatmeism). My guess is over 75% of pilots that bus your butt around the world are doing for the love of flying, Little League games or not. No amount of money will compensate for lost family time. It’s about the human factor that so many seem to be not understanding.

And, I am Involved in the industry, and have some of the same issues, with a bit less pay. Aviation is in my blood like football is in the Manning blood
 
MDC862
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:12 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Thu Jun 23, 2022 3:46 am

You are talking if a time period 40-50 years ago when your father flew. It was his choice to go into aviation. If he missed your recital or little league game you should have had that conversation with him to choose a different industry where he could be home to listen to your complaints.
The reality is pilots are compensated extremely well for a group that can only work 1,000 hours a year. Do they miss family events, of course they do but mostly because they choose to live across country or internationaly and commute to their base. What is major term used by flight crews? Quality of life which means working less and getting paid more for sitting at home. 13 fight days is too much in their view while the rest of country works 22 days a month.
Sorry no sympathy from this corner.
 
Silver1SWA
Posts: 4802
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:06 am

How many signs held by SWAPA yesterday were exclusively about pilots and their pay/needs?

Want to talk about entitlement? Start with the attitudes shown here. I’ll never understand why aviation enthusiasts on an aviation forum love to consistently crap on airlines and their employees.
 
d8s
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: Pilots' open letters to the public & picketing at airports

Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:40 am

FlyinRabbit88 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/06/19/buttigieg-airlines-consumers-behalf-00040714

According to this link, July 4th will be the test on whether the government will intervene (in some form) via enforcement action.

Key Point: "Buttigieg said his department could take enforcement actions against airlines that fail to live up to consumer-protection standards."


Still think what Buttigieg is threatening is hilarious. The government still has been slow to hire/train new ATC controllers to help the strain in the system. What about hiring more CBP agents to fill the empty positions to allow entry into the country faster. Or hiring more TSA agents, making KCM standard for all major US airports, etc etc etc.

Yes the airlines have issues but the US govt/FAA are a major part of the problem too. Can’t just threaten fines when the many ATC delays can be attributed to staffing in various centers (Washington and JAX).


Whats happening in the airline industry is happening in nearly every industry: Lack of qualifiied employees, too much work for those working. A simple fix: supply and demand solution - the demand for air travel far exceeds the supply so the prices need to be increased dramatically to balance down the demand.

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