Page 1 of 1

Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:48 pm
by cloudboy
There was a post a little while ago about Pilot compensation, and from some of the posts it seemed like the whole system was stacked against the pilots and seemed a little unfair.

This is mainly for the pilots, but anyone can chime in. If you could totally rework the system, what would you do? I know that there is a lot of regulations in the safety training and stuff, but I mean the whole bit about starting out training, and then moving to the regionals, and so forth, including how and how much pilots are compensated and the work rules (such as number of hours flown and schedules and all that).

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:03 pm
by PVD757
If I had my way, everyone would get a base salary, something a lot smaller than what they get currently, and then everyone would get a profit sharing plan. When the airline makes a billion a year, everyone gets rich. When the airline does not do that well, the employees including management would not bankrupt the company with massively high wages.

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:42 pm
by bucky707
If I could change it, I would go to a system where we were paid for hours on duty instead of hours flown. In that situation, I bet they would find a way to make us more productive, instead of building trips where you only get 11 flight hours for a three day trip.

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 11:46 pm
by luv2fly
I have to agree with PVD757 having a profit sharing based on actual dollars paid when the company makes money, and no dollars paid when no money is made. And have it for everyone in the company! It really does work to motivate and also keep everyone focused on the bottom line.

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:59 am
by cloudboy
On the average, how much of the time you are working are you actually paid for? I know that there is time between flights and stuff, I am talking about when you get to the airport and start getting ready for the flight, checking weather and all the paperwork, and all the stuff after the flight.

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:09 am
by bucky707
"On the average, how much of the time you are working are you actually paid for? I know that there is time between flights and stuff, I am talking about when you get to the airport and start getting ready for the flight, checking weather and all the paperwork, and all the stuff after the flight."

We only get paid for the time from when we push back to when we arrive at the destination gate. So, if I am scheduled to fly 5 hours on a day, whether it takes 8 hours or 12 to get the 5 flight hours, I only get paid for the flight time.

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 2:25 am
by SlamClick
Cloudboy

Typical years during my career went something like this.

700-800 hours of actual flight time (okay, BLOCK time)

3000 hours on duty or away from domicile. (per diem time.)

When bragging about our job, we pilots like to say we get a good full-time wage for a part-time job. Reality is otherwise as shown above. In terms of being away from home my part-time job is roughly one and a half full-time jobs.

It is not the company's problem but most of us commute and so you can add hundreds more hours per year away from home Like I say, that is our problem, but who, making a hundred grand would choose to live across the street from the Newark airport? My not living at my domicile is not all self-indulgence. The company moved. My life was established in one city and they moved to another. One of the choices we face.

PVD757 and Luv2Fly

I know what you mean. I used to believe the same way. But over the years I learned that profit and loss are manipulated in ALL companies. I've said it before - any accountant who could not do that would never find a job. And so, if you are a multi-millionaire principal investor your money might not be earned the old fashioned way.

Bluntly, billionaires skim. They have offshore accounts and the profit or loss is at their whim and little affected by anything the employees can do.
They tell you otherwise to keep you happy in the harness but they lie.

Now you can believe that I lie. But what is my motivation for doing so?
You can believe that they lie. They have gigantic personal profit for motivation. But make up your own mind. As you near the end of your working life you will know the truth. Profit sharing never profited me, or anyone I know, at all.

And as for making some overall reduction in the amount pilots earn - by whatever means. Are you going to ask the Frank Lorenzo's of this world to pick up the cost of training all those pilots ab initio? What is the new guy's incentive for becoming a pilot. I mean, lucky me, I just had to sit there for a year and let people shoot at me and I got all the flying time I could stand. But the training and experience just to land in the right seat of an airliner come at staggering cost. Who is going to bear it?

Anyway, fly-by-wire is just a proof-of-concept, a dress rehearsal for getting the pilots out of the cockpit. One day we will see a big campaign for pilotless airliners. It will start with wide-scale discrediting of pilots in the press. It will be done for "safety" but the real reason is billionaire's return-on-investment.





RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:11 am
by cloudboy
I agree that pilots are paid for a lot less time than they actually spend on the job. How did that even get started? I mean, why are pilots not paid for the time they spend in flight planning and computing weight and all that other fun stuff? How much time does that add to your flight?

I also have to ask - in conversations I have with flight crew (both Pilots and attendants) many of them say they are based out of a particular city, but they live in some other city hundreds of miles away. How do you get back and forth - does the airline actually compensate you for that?

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:18 am
by elwood64151
Now you can believe that I lie. But what is my motivation for doing so?

Well, if you're a pilot, you might have a personal motivation toward getting more money...

Still, I understand what you're saying. I also understand that most airlines pay for your hotel stay at your destination airport, and that's only when they can't schedule you back to your home base.

Also, if you choose to live in a city that is not where you are based, than that's your problem. Companies move locations. It's a fact of life and it's part of capitalism. They'll move to where costs are cheaper and taxes are lower. If you live in Albany but fly out of Pittsburg every day, then you have chosen to do that, and were I the CEO I wouldn't compensate you for it. And yes, if all else failed, I'd let it be a make-or-break issue. I've moved so many times in my life because my work moved or, earlier in my life, because my dad's work moved. Rampers and CSAs do not get paid to travel to work, neither should pilots.

Sorry 'bout that, but I have to play Devil's Advocate from time to time. Not that I disagree at all with my statements.

However, you are right that accountants play with numbers all the time, either to inflate earnings or to hide them. The trick is to not inflate them so much you can't pay your taxes and not deplete them so much that the stockholders revolt. American accountants are extremely good at that. It's too bad the IRS let's them play those games, but you and I would go to jail for it...

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:55 am
by ckfred
As I understand it, most major carriers pay pilots from the moment the plane pushes back until the plane parks at the destination gate, with one caveat. If the plane gets in early, the pilots still get paid for the scheduled block time.

At Southwest, the pilots get paid only for block time, as a motivation to get the flight in on time. I understand the motivation, but it's not the pilots' fault if there is a strong headwind, or low visibility reduces the number of active runways and the like. So why not pay for time above scheduled block time?

The problem with profit-sharing is that lack of profits isn't always the fault of those involved in daily operations. After September 11th, a lot of people didn't want to fly. Is that the fault of the pilots? No. For all of the bad business decisions made by airline managers, many problems aren't their fault. When the dot.coms when under, that represented significant losses in revenue that won't come back. Is is the fault of the airlines that a lot of geeks with no business sense ran their companies into the ground? Yes, so why penelize the pilots, as well as other hourly workers.

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:39 am
by bucky707
"At Southwest, the pilots get paid only for block time, as a motivation to get the flight in on time. I understand the motivation, but it's not the pilots' fault if there is a strong headwind, or low visibility reduces the number of active runways and the like. So why not pay for time above scheduled block time?"


Actually, at Southwest they get whats called segment pay. If a flight is delayed beyond a certain amount they do start to get extra pay for that segment.

RE: Changing How Pilots Are Compensated

Posted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 11:07 am
by barney captain
"Actually, at Southwest they get whats called segment pay. If a flight is delayed beyond a certain amount they do start to get extra pay for that segment."

Correct.There seems to be an ongoing misconception that we don't get paid if we over-block a leg. We get paid actual or scheduled flight time, whichever is greater. We also have new duty day rigs that kick in should our original sequence be delayed for any reason, i.e. we are delayed due to wx or mx and our original duty day doesn't finish on time.