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RogerThat
Posts: 506
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:13 pm

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:00 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 39):
As far as "those wages are never coming back"... I would be willing to bet a small fortune that they will in fact return if not exceed previous values in time. The true reality is that... more planes are being put into the air by airlines, less people are becoming pilots, a lot of pilots are nearing retirement.

This true reality may also be the reason why employee wages won't be going up. Capacity is being added by the low-cost producers. When the current crop of LCC's become high cost carriers, I'll bet a small fortune a new crop of LCC's will come in and keep prices low.

In this deregulated era that is almost 30 years old, there are few barriers of entry. And that is why you won't see the labor rates of the past ever again.

Pilot shortages have been predicted for years. Jack up the retirement age to 65, allow foreign carriers more access and watch those long predicted shortages disappear.
 
Valcory
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:56 pm

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:08 am

PinnacleKid thanks for telling it like it is
 
CO767FA
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:45 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:34 am

Quoting EvilForce (Reply 48):
The airlines need to start recouping a few billion BEFORE any talk of raises for crying out loud.

Does that only apply to employees that don't hold a key to the executive wash room? It isn't just in the airline industry that executive pay is out of line; all over the world we see examples of executive greed.

I wonder how long it will take before we truly see a war between classes.
 
PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:40 am

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 49):
Quoting PITrules (Reply 47):

Excessive pay is hardly one of the largest reasons airlines have been in and out of bankruptcy. Pilot pay would be way behind recession, increased fuel costs, over capacity, and depressed yields.

Economists disagree with you.

So pilots are the main reason for the airlines lost 35 billion over the past 5 years? Show me one "economist" who believes that.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 49):
Since airlines can't exactly change the cost of fuel when they go into chapter 11, can't change the overall economic mood of the country, can't magically increase yields when in bankruptcy, why is it that you think things get better to the where the airline can pay it's books while in ch 11?

Did I say things get better while in Ch 11? I'm talking about post recovery, profit making carriers, such as US Airways. I don't think we are disagreeing on the economic forces at work as much as what is the right moral thing to do regarding employees and their pay.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 49):
Pilots have a history of saying that, and then demanding the best pay scales in the industry or STRIKE when negotiations come along.

Because, as I have stated, it is management who drastically reduces pay and benefits at the first sign of trouble. Believe me, pilots would prefer small but consistant raises (ala Southwest) over the "stick shacker to barber pole" cycle of today's environment. But the hope of small but consistant raises at most carriers is not very reliable, due to Ch. 11 amoung other reasons, such as the uncontrollable costs you mention.
FLYi
 
airfrnt
Posts: 2174
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:05 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:36 am

Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):

So pilots are the main reason for the airlines lost 35 billion over the past 5 years? Show me one "economist" who believes that.

Go re-read your own statement (major) and mine (one of).

Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):
Did I say things get better while in Ch 11? I'm talking about post recovery, profit making carriers, such as US Airways. I don't think we are disagreeing on the economic forces at work as much as what is the right moral thing to do regarding employees and their pay.

From Wikipedia: Nonetheless, captains at major airlines in the US have an average salary of $129,250 per year.

Clearly pilots working for the major carriers are barely making it over the poverty line. The unions are quick to use moral rhetoric to describe this problem, when the answer is pure market economics. The market won't bear what pilots and others want to make.

Now, have certain groups gotten shafted? Absolutely, but it tends to be a reflection of who's union is more powerful.

Unions are doing a great job killing off whatever businesses they work with. That's true in aviation, and it's true in the steel industry and it's true in car manufacturing.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):
Because, as I have stated, it is management who drastically reduces pay and benefits at the first sign of trouble.

As opposed to spending more money? Or somehow magically getting fuel below $20 a barrel?

Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):
Believe me, pilots would prefer small but consistant raises (ala Southwest) over the "stick shacker to barber pole" cycle of today's environment.

Funny. That's the way it works in the non-unionized world. Southwest, as much as they do other things right, also has a very expensive work force.

BTW, I have worked for a bankrupt company before. They cut my pay unilaterally by 50%. Airline workers work in a environment that is more cyclical then most, but that's primarily because of the endless threats of strikes, exorbitant contracts, and stupid management decisions.
 
airfrnt
Posts: 2174
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:05 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:40 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 32):

So, here's the best part... my total pay for the year... if I'm lucky... might be around $25,000. That's it guys... that's my reality, and I'm at one of the best regional airlines.

You work in a system where seniority rather then skill matters. Personally, I wouldn't do that for all the Gold in Ft. Knox. But you are also 23 years old, and in the worst case scenario in a seniority system.

It sucks. I suggest you find a major airline that will pay you on the basis of your skill, not your seniority... oh wait a minute. Airline industry.
 
PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:04 am

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Clearly pilots working for the major carriers are barely making it over the poverty line. The unions are quick to use moral rhetoric to describe this problem, when the answer is pure market economics. The market won't bear what pilots and others want to make.

Which is why there are negotiations, to come to an agreement to meet somewhere in the middle. This would be a raise during good times, and concessions during bad.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Unions are doing a great job killing off whatever businesses they work with. That's true in aviation, and it's true in the steel industry and it's true in car manufacturing.

I am no major fan of unions. However, you are mistaken if you think it is OK for pilots to keep giving during every downturn, without any paybacks during the good times.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):
Because, as I have stated, it is management who drastically reduces pay and benefits at the first sign of trouble.

As opposed to spending more money?

Who is saying pay should be increased during recession or hard economic times?

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Funny. That's the way it works in the non-unionized world.

That's not relevant for most airlines, is it?

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Southwest, as much as they do other things right, also has a very expensive work force.

And your problem with that is .......?????

They have made $$$ for 30 some years, right?

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Airline workers work in a environment that is more cyclical then most, but that's primarily because of the endless threats of strikes, exorbitant contracts, and stupid management decisions.

No, its because of....

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 49):
airlines can't exactly change the cost of fuel when they go into chapter 11, can't change the overall economic mood of the country, can't magically increase yields when in bankruptcy



Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
From Wikipedia: Nonetheless, captains at major airlines in the US have an average salary of $129,250 per year.

Which is half of what they made in the 60's when adjusted for inflation. But that's the industry we choose to work in. But pilots have every right to negotiate for pay when their carrier is making money.

[Edited 2007-02-02 23:35:25]
FLYi
 
tommytoyz
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:08 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:32 am

Quoting PITrules (Reply 56):
Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):
Because, as I have stated, it is management who drastically reduces pay and benefits at the first sign of trouble.

As opposed to spending more money?

Who is saying pay should be increased during recession or hard economic times?

This is a textbook example of not understanding basic economics. The point is REDUCING pay not INCREASING pay.

Either that of productivity has to rise accordingly.

Someone on another topic made the clear observation that the unions and management should get together to stop the boom/bust cycles many airlines face. Not all airlines have them, so people should look at what those companies have done correctly to avoid those cycles.

Blaming failure on 9/11 and everything else is a cop out since there are plenty of airlines that survived just fine.

So both pilots, other unions and management should all get together and ask how they can build a sustainable business model and avoid the boom/bust cycles. In order to do that, every side has to know the true long term economics of the business and work from that basis forward taking everything into consideration realistically, including fully funding the retirement fund of employees.

Anything else is a set up for yet another boom/bust cycle in that company and heartache and financial losses for many employees over the long haul.
 
PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:05 am

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 57):
Quoting PITrules (Reply 56):
Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 54):
Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):
Because, as I have stated, it is management who drastically reduces pay and benefits at the first sign of trouble.

As opposed to spending more money?

Who is saying pay should be increased during recession or hard economic times?


This is a textbook example of not understanding basic economics. The point is REDUCING pay not INCREASING pay

OK - you are quoting my reply to someone else where I clearly state the goal is not to increase pay during hard times (same as your point), then claim I don't have a basic understanding of the subject. You can't have it both ways.

My point is if pilots do not get a slow but continuous raise over time, then they should get one when the airline returns to profitability after giving up so much.

I agree with most everything else you say, except:

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 57):
Blaming failure on 9/11 and everything else is a cop out since there are plenty of airlines that survived just fine.

Not soley 911; but 911, fuel costs, overcapacity, poor yields, etc are to blame.

Saying pilot pay is the cause of all the industries problems is the cop out, not the economic realities of the industry.

Yes, the group hug thing would be nice and ideal, but unfortunately improbable

[Edited 2007-02-03 01:19:26]
FLYi
 
ThePinnacleKid
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:47 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:16 am

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 55):
You work in a system where seniority rather then skill matters. Personally, I wouldn't do that for all the Gold in Ft. Knox. But you are also 23 years old, and in the worst case scenario in a seniority system.

It sucks. I suggest you find a major airline that will pay you on the basis of your skill, not your seniority... oh wait a minute. Airline industry.

I'm not complaining about my pay or the seniority system and pay based on skills is pretty irrelevant... if you are sitting up front you have the skills just like the next guy... I'm merely pointing out to you and others that pilot's don't get paid massive fortunes while all the others starve... And the pay they do receive is not out of line... Pilot pay has a steady progression and starts much lower than most people realize... very very few pilots make the 300/hr everyone seems to jump on.

RogerThat,
You may want to take notice that Southwest pilots actually get paid higher than most other carriers on that equipment/grade level... and yet they have consistent profitability. LCC does not equal below industry standard pay... LCC refers to keeping the operation lean and sleek and working out inefficiencies to keep operational costs low... Pilot pay is not the evil of the industry like everyone here seems to think. I still contend that the largest barrier to profitability is gross enificiencies in operations in other sectors of the industry... from aircraft utilization, failure or slow to implement new software/technology that would streamline operations, improper management in the beginning to have the forsight to hedge fuel when it was cheaper, not operating as lean as possible for fuel conservation, extra and useless expenditures in other area (mx shops, improper route selection, bad pricing strategies, focus on market share vs profitability, carrying around dead weight on aircraft (ovens on AA MD-80s comes to mind... etc))... Pay was hardly the single factor that sent the airlines into bankruptcy... Most airlines that went into bankruptcy actually used bankruptcy not out of pure despiration but primarily as a strategic tactic to quickly get costs and structures in line to compete effectively amongst each other while slowing the losses without fair negotiations such that AA pulled off... it was a great tool to drop pensions, kill contracts made in good faith (amonst labor and their service providers such as regionals, catering, etc...)


On a side note you are also wrong about low barrier of entry, the airline industry has an extremely high barrier to entry...
Very very few new airlines survive

Out of an article in the USAToday March 1st, 2005.. by Dan Reed:
"Start-ups risk it all to be next Southwest
Despite competition, risks, investors climb aboard "

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 13 airlines were flying at the dawn of deregulation, and 269 have been authorized to do so in the years since. Total: 282. Today, the USA has just 84. The rest have shut down, or never actually flew. And that low survival rate ignores the hundreds of "paper airlines" that never made it even as far as DOT authorization.

[Edited 2007-02-03 02:24:40]
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
tommytoyz
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:08 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 10:27 am

Quoting PITrules (Reply 58):
Yes, the group hug thing would be nice and ideal, but unfortunately improbable

Then the Boom/Bust cysles in that company will continue.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 58):
Quoting PITrules (Reply 53):
Because, as I have stated, it is management who drastically reduces pay and benefits at the first sign of trouble.

AirFrnt was justifying that action in pay reduction and you counter that you're not advocating a pay raise in such times.

OK, so you're not for a pay raise in recession - so what? That's not the topic you initially complained about. So are you for a pay CUT in recession or not, which is what the issue that you brought up and complained about.

Are you ever for a pay cut? Or is it only raise, not raise, hold raise, raise?

Quoting PITrules (Reply 58):
Not soley 911; but 911, fuel costs, overcapacity, poor yields, etc are to blame.

Saying pilot pay is the cause of all the industries problems is the cop out, not the economic realities of the industry.

Since all the events you listed are equal to all airlines, what distinguishes those that did survive these events just fine? What is different? What can be controlled by the company VS. what can not? Pay, benefits and productivity rules perhaps?

I'm not saying Pilots shouldn't be paid a high salary. But there is a point where the expectations and arguments get ridiculous and have no bearing on the economic facts.

Think about a bus driver. He has the lives of 55 people and more in his hands at all times. Should they be paid like pilots due to the same responsibility in terms of number of lives?

My good buddy flies captain 747 for a freight co. He gets paid about $80/hour. That's a little low, but he loves his job and never complains about it and certainly never goes feeling slighted, unappreciated or feeling he's entitled to more pay because of anything. He's happy where he is but tells me his buddies at the airlines bitch all the time.

I think my buddy has the way better attitude and is far happier in life than those who say a pilots, unions and management can never work out a realistic business plan to avoid the boom/bust cycles.

Pilots may know how to fly planes, but that does not mean they know about business. The smart groups know that pay needs to be tied to a great degree to productivity and what they add in value to the company and all the related expenses with their employment.

If seniority is really the most important thing to pilot unions, then avoiding the boom/bust cycle should really be the primary goal above making more money than the next guy.
 
apodino
Posts: 3981
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:32 am

You know I have been thinking long and hard about this as a regional airline employee myself. The biggest flaw with the seniority system is it makes it much easier for LCC's to come in and offer low fares, because no one is anywhere near the top of the pay scale, which is something that could never happen at like American or United. There are other flaws to the system, but I think that discussion is worthy of its own thread.

With respect to the USAirways situation, there are some real issues I have with the unions stance, and I am not sure who they are trying to help. For one thing, USAirways pilots do participate in the company profit sharing, and I believe the amount allocated to the pilots as result of this recently is 21.1 Million Dollars. If my math is correct, that should mean additional an average of 10,000 dollars per pilot. To say that the pilots aren't getting their share of the profits is simply not true. My second issue is this. Last time I checked, USAirways still has a boat load of pilots on Furlough. If the company is prospering as they appear to be, why is ALPA more worried about pay scales than in using the money to help get the furloughed pilots back to work, which would benefit ALPA by bringing in more union dues.

Do I think Pilots are overpaid? No. What I do think is that pilots at the Regional level (And while I am at it Flight Attendants, Dispatchers, Mechanics, and Crew Schedulers) are vastly underpaid. This wouldn't be as big a problem had the Pilots union not allowed outsourcing to get out of hand as they could have kept the Jet flying in house but chose not to. Now what happens is job availability at the regional level goes to whoever is the lowest bidder, which means they will get the lowest wages. Fortunately Airlines are starting to realize you can't be too cheap with this either, otherwise you will end up with unreliable service and angry passengers, which is what United and Delta have learned lately after awarding flying to Mesa. And individuals like myself do start their careers at this level to break into the industry, but are forced to do it for next to nothing (A dispatcher starts in the mid to high 20's, and is also the individual that makes life and death decisions regarding each flight and shares operational control with the captain, which makes me think they are underpaid, but I am biased too).

Speaking of which, Air Wisconsin is one of the largest USAirways Express carriers now. Yet they are still stuck with a contract that pays them wages that they sacrificed to save the United flying, which never happened. In order to get the old payscales, you would think the money has to come from somewhere, but USAirways is profiting again. Lets see, both Air Wisconsin and USAirways (East and West) Pilots are represented by ALPA. In my opinion, this is a huge conflict of interest, but it seems to me like ALPA has put much more effort into the USAirways pay issue (And not even much effort into getting furloughed pilots back to work), than they have in trying to help Air Wisconsin pilots, who probably need the money more than the Airways Pilots do. I think the public has ignored the regional industry too long, as has the media, and when they recognize that, then the regional pilots will get what they deserve, and I think the mainline pilots will as well.
 
airfrnt
Posts: 2174
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:05 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:03 pm

Quoting PITrules (Reply 56):
Which is why there are negotiations, to come to an agreement to meet somewhere in the middle. This would be a raise during good times, and concessions during bad.

Why? Why not just say "these are the pay scales" and adjust it to inflation and leave it at that? Why must you demand more money in the up cycles (which then helps screw the company sending it into bankruptcy) only to get it taken back when the company can't sustain it's pay any more?

What was the quote from United Rep? We don't want to kill the golden goose, we just want every last egg from him. The unions are really lousy at figuring out where the last egg is.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 56):

They have made $$$ for 30 some years, right?

I keep trying to make this point, and people keep mistaking it. The entire capitalization of the airline industry is negative.That is to say, more wealth has been destroyed by the repetitive bankruptcies and the chapter 7 liquidations then the companies have made. It's not even a close thing. Out of the majors, the only one that has been consistently profitable has been WN.

Legacy airlines don't make money over a 50 year period. They don't under a 30 year period, they don't under a 20 year period. Only when you get down to a decade (which seems to be the length of management, union and investor memories) do they make any money whatsover.

It's a bloody Greek tragedy. You have Cassandra screaming at the top of her lungs that you can't make money that way, but management and the unions go back into their old cycle making huge profits, squandering it, and then destroying investors capital. Only the obscenly huge capital markets in the US make this possible. There is always another bank stupid enough to lend them money, management stupid enough to think what they are building is sustainable, and unions to demand more money the second the carrier turns a profit. Meanwhile you have company own pensions instead of privately owned 401ks.
 
PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sat Feb 03, 2007 5:41 pm

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 60):
Then the Boom/Bust cysles in that company will continue.

Yes, it will.

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 60):
OK, so you're not for a pay raise in recession - so what? That's not the topic you initially complained about.

The topic I initially complained about is the notion that pilot pay is one of the largest reasons the airline industry has been in the crapper.

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 60):
So are you for a pay CUT in recession or not,



Quoting PITrules (Reply 56):
Which is why there are negotiations, to come to an agreement to meet somewhere in the middle. This would be a raise during good times, and concessions during bad.



Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 60):
which is what the issue that you brought up and complained about.

Again, the main issue I have in this thread is the percieved notion that pilot pay is as much to blame for airline woes as economic cycles, security concerns, low yields, etc.

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 60):
Since all the events you listed are equal to all airlines, what distinguishes those that did survive these events just fine?

Certainly not pilot pay. I would say strategic management decisions, fuel costs (decision to hedge)....there are dozens of items.

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 60):
What can be controlled by the company VS. what can not? Pay, benefits and productivity rules perhaps?

Yes, of course..but is pilot pay the reason for airline woes? In most cases no. But it is controllable, so it is one of the first things to be cut, even if it is not the main reason for problems. OK fine - that's how it works...but when things improve...you bet the employee groups have every right to try to get some improvements.

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 60):
If seniority is really the most important thing to pilot unions, then avoiding the boom/bust cycle should really be the primary goal above making more money than the next guy.

I'm with you, but it isn't that easy, with the threat of CH 11 to take it all away. Who started the boom/bust cycle? Unions? Management? I don't know, it was well before my time. But the reality is the current generation of pilots have to deal with it.

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 62):
Why? Why not just say "these are the pay scales" and adjust it to inflation and leave it at that? Why must you demand more money in the up cycles (which then helps screw the company sending it into bankruptcy) only to get it taken back when the company can't sustain it's pay any more?

Like I wrote above, I would love for that to be the case. But who do you trust? Can you guarantee those pay scales will be there down the road? That is the question I would like answered.


Now, there is one benefit management hasn't yet taken away - discounts on cocktails at the hotel bar, so I will now go take advantage on my west coast layover while I can....

[Edited 2007-02-03 10:03:58]
FLYi
 
airfrnt
Posts: 2174
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 2:05 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:32 am

Quoting PITrules (Reply 63):
Like I wrote above, I would love for that to be the case. But who do you trust? Can you guarantee those pay scales will be there down the road? That is the question I would like answered.

That's part of the problems with unions. They can only exist when people are afraid of management. Therefore the first rule of a union is to make management look evil, because if they aren't, why would you want a union in the first place?

In other words, unions thrive by making a adversary out of management. The places that are profitable either don't have a union (like B6 and F9) or have a union that doesn't view Management as The ENEMY.

And no, no one can guarantee that these scales will be there in the future, any more then you can guarantee them in any other industry any where on the face of the planet. Why should airlines be any different?

Pilots are skilled professionals, not factory workers with a skill set that is useless outside of their line profession. If history has shown us anything is that skilled professions are very safe, and do not require a union to operate. Look at the IT industry, doctors, lawyers, etc.

The great success of the unions have been to convince pilots that they are worth no more to the customer then a factory worker. I understand the Flight Attendants having a union. But I honestly believe that it hurts mechanics and captains and pilots more then it helps, and it certainly makes companies that much more brittle.
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 1142
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:32 am

Quoting Flyorski (Reply 2):
I think the unions know that the management is taking advantage of the situation, and keeping "normal" employees pay lower than it need be, and taking that money for themselves.

Prove it, honestly with the rash of station closings and carriers handing operations to express carriers suggests that wages are still somewhat inflated.. if the express carriers can function in a market at the lower wage structure then it could be argued that the "normal" employees pay was higher than it needed to be.

Quoting Flyorski (Reply 2):
This is not unions demanding too much, but managements plans to rob employees of money while stuffing there own pockets being checked.

Perhaps it's a matter of Manager's looking at the company as a whole, and deciding which groups are furthest off of the average position they preform... then to mitigate the risk of loosing them, they pay them a SHORT term incentive to help keep them and prevent them from searching out other means on employment..

Quoting Ssides (Reply 9):
What the unions should be fighting for, in my view, is restricted stock compensation much like WN employees have. To my knowledge, no legacy carrier union has really fought for this, instead choosing traditional hour-based compensation.

I tried to put check marks, however it wouldn't work.. I agree, if employees want to be compensated when managers do, then accept the form that manager's do. In the past, I know the unions have been reluctant to take anything besides base pay increases, if Union's had accepted the more variable form of pay for members, perhaps some of the pain would have been avoided over the past few years... plus with employee's as stock holders, it gives them more incentive to preform for the good of the company, because that's the only way to increase it's value.

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 32):
I have to be honest... I find a lot of statements in this thread insulting. What gives any of you the right to degrade professionals and the salary's they rightfully deserve?



Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 32):
instead of saying that pilots have no understanding of financial matters when it comes to large enterprises I might flip it around and state they you might not have a true understanding of the airline industry, as it is not like any other industry.

Rubish, I understand both, if it really comes down to it, yes, there are some complexities that make it a challenge, but no more than any other industry..

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 32):
But, as revenues are starting to come back, so should their compensation (whether it be direct hourly compensation or raising the minimum monthly hours, etc). The part that the pilots and other work groups fight about, is corporate greed, which does exist. Even at your beloved airlines. Should a CEO be "bought out" to force him to leave? waisting millions of dollars?

Let's not forget that there were still massive losses over the last 5 years... the carrier's have to repay the banks at some point here soon... all the pilots, FA's and other work group have done with their concessions so far is allow the carrier to survive short term... there's alot going on right now that could jeopardise any profits, let the carriers make up for the last 5 years before we start talking about any type of give backs...

Well the CEO buy out part is pretty standard at any company.. the idea is that at that level, they are a very precious commodity... and as the Board of directors wants them to stay for a specific period, the candidate wants to know that they will be there for the period of time as well, there's a lot on their plate at that point, and well why shouldn't they have a little security to try some new things.. if you really want, then let's go after the furlough requirements for pilots... but I assume not..

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 32):
Airline upper management is also grossly underpaid compared to other industries. The sticking point though is as employees take the cuts, so should management. As management starts to give themselves raises, they should pass SOME of that on to the labor group that helped them out.

ok.... as I recall they did, Parker took no raise when he was promoted... I don't think Aprey did either initially when he was promoted either...

Quoting PITrules (Reply 34):
Sorry, pilots were not responsible for recession, 911, and overcapacity.

ok, true, they did not directly cause either of the 3, but I would say they made it hard for the airlines to respond... i.e. when they over inflated their wages through contracts over the years and lax work rules, it makes it hard for the airlines to respond...

Quoting PITrules (Reply 34):
Exactly. Give the pilots something back for their contributions to profitability.

maybe some stock options... but anything that is reoccurring, I don't think you'll see till after a few years of profitability... and besides.. next thing you know the unions are going to argue for a lot more... just look at what happened at AA with the China route...

Quoting PITrules (Reply 34):
So the average pilot is only away from home 1.25 days per week? When you see a pilot in the terminal, or during boarding, he is not getting paid. Your comparison is way off base.

I think he might not be too far off, most of the upper 30 percent on the seniority structure enjoy lax schedules... while I know some that are junior have fired back to this point, I'd like to hear it from the guy that flies EWR HKG 2-3 times a month and that's it... and I'm not saying that the junior people don't have a point, but it's only one view on a large point..

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 35):
Good point. So it matters what the economic viability of the airline is. If it's low, you can't expect pilot pay the same those at UPS or FEDEX.

Not all Pilots can be paid the same at all companies, it doesn't work that way.

also different requirements... there aren't any commercial carriers that I know of that Basicly require that 80 percent or more of their employees ONLY work 3rd shift... I know a lot of companies that pay a premium for that...

Quoting Tommytoyz (Reply 35):
Sorry, but none of the above drove airlines to BK as is proven by the airlines that did avoid BK. Bad business decisions are to blame, including granting pilots pay and benefits that were not supportable, obviously.

Agreed but then again the work groups did have the mgmt in a corner, strike or take this... everyone knew there was a tech bubble, but no one was really sure how big it was or how quickly it was going to deflate... it's alot like the housing bubble now (only now we understand them a little more)

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 39):
Furthermore, the airline industry is NOT like other industries... it simply isn't. The returns have never been like other industries, the margins have never been like other industries... An acceptable or good return on investment is not at the same percentages as other industries. Man, a quick watch of the MSNBC "Inside American Airlines" would help you a ton in seeing the differences.

yes it is.. people invest because they want to make money.. most of the same basic principals any company deals with the carriers are forced to as well... granted they may be more exposed to the US economy and the government than alot of industries, but the principals are the same... and yes I did work in the Biz and I did watch the special... My opinion is still unchanged....

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 39):
As far as "those wages are never coming back"... I would be willing to bet a small fortune that they will in fact return if not exceed previous values in time. The true reality is that... more planes are being put into the air by airlines, less people are becoming pilots, a lot of pilots are nearing retirement. Looks like a simple issue of supply and demand... Demand increasing, supply decreasing... Looks like pilot values will be going up if you ask me... give it some years and we'll find out.

Agreed let's wait a few years and see.. I would argue that they'll remain flat, especially given what's going on at regionals right now, with all the excess capacity at that level... carrier's will have a nice supply of cheap labor for a few years at minimum... the "global" crisis that is being warned of will affect foreign carriers before the US carriers...
1.4mm and counting...
 
RogerThat
Posts: 506
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:13 pm

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:50 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 59):
RogerThat,
You may want to take notice that Southwest pilots actually get paid higher than most other carriers on that equipment/grade level... and yet they have consistent profitability

I'm someone who is riding in the back of your plane more than I want to be. And I'm all for pilots, mechanics and the other skilled workers making as much money as they can get. But supply and demand works on the revenue side of the equation as well.

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 59):
the forsight to hedge fuel when it was cheaper

How is your foresight? What will the price of oil be one year from now? If your carrier hedged and the price of oil didn't go up, you would have lost all the money you paid to get into the hedge contracts.

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 59):
the airline industry has an extremely high barrier to entry...
Very very few new airlines survive

Two different things. Re-read Dan Reed's article.
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 1142
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:56 am

Quoting RogerThat (Reply 66):
Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 59):
the forsight to hedge fuel when it was cheaper

How is your foresight? What will the price of oil be one year from now? If your carrier hedged and the price of oil didn't go up, you would have lost all the money you paid to get into the hedge contracts

You may recall from the annual calls for 2006, A few carrier's are reporting charges due to the losses on hedging.... it's exactly that.. a bet... secondly, I do recall that the hedges that really panned out for WN were purchased from AA, somthing that was necissary to finance Carty's severence package because the unions wanted him out... (Note: I'm not discussing the cirumstances, merely noting that AA had to sell those hedges to WN).

Quoting RogerThat (Reply 66):
Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 59):
RogerThat,
You may want to take notice that Southwest pilots actually get paid higher than most other carriers on that equipment/grade level... and yet they have consistent profitability

I'm someone who is riding in the back of your plane more than I want to be. And I'm all for pilots, mechanics and the other skilled workers making as much money as they can get. But supply and demand works on the revenue side of the equation as well.

You may also note that WN has the highest productivity rates of pilots... I.E. their work rules are heavily slated to the company, which helps to justify the extra income... a lot of carriers are still lagging in this regard... (APA)

[Edited 2007-02-04 00:27:24]
1.4mm and counting...
 
RogerThat
Posts: 506
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:13 pm

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:17 am

Quoting HPAEAA (Reply 67):
the hedges that really panned out for WN were purchased from AA, somthing that was necissary to finance McCarty's severence package

I hadn't heard that before.

But a happy ending for Don Carty. Just heard he is Dell's new CFO.

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/g...graphies/en/index?c=us&l=en&s=corp
 
style
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:40 pm

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:11 am

Tommytoyz
ThePinnacleKid

Both of you made great points but I do have to agree with Tommytoyz on this one. $300 an hr is just not realistic and viable to have a profitable company. ESPECIALLY in the airline industry. Thats not to say of course that what starting pay is shouldn't be upped. It definitely should.
 
style
Posts: 208
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:40 pm

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:21 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 46):
CO767FA... you know.. I know how much you guys are looked down upon, how much you guys get picked on... but in all actuality.. you guys have one of the hardest jobs in our industry if you ask me... at least in my current role, we get to the shut and lock the door for the flight.. and when I was a customer service agent.. I got to at least put the passengers on the plane and "ship them away" when it was one of those days...

Up until here I agreed with you but that comment totally changed my view on your statements. Obviously if you think agents have it good by 'just shipping them away' then you have no concept nor did you actually do the job of a Customer Service Agent. Unbelievable.

Where are FA's looked down upon? Pure BS!
 
ThePinnacleKid
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:47 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:07 pm

Quoting Style (Reply 70):
Where are FA's looked down upon? Pure BS!

They are looked down upon all the time... from the general public to their own peers at times.. with jokes etc.. or for that matter.. the pure disrespect of not even paying attention during the routine and highly boring safety demo's... hey... if people looked up to them so much and valued their real role of being there for their safety they would still pay attention during the demo... hate to tell you... but most don't listen at all...

Quoting Style (Reply 70):
Obviously if you think agents have it good by 'just shipping them away' then you have no concept nor did you actually do the job of a Customer Service Agent. Unbelievable.

Man... I actually had extremely high reviews... high enough that regional management called my station manager to reverify they we're correct, but that isn't even remotely pertinent.. so lets not try to cut me down personally shall we???... but, I was simply trying to talk to CO767FA and say that I feel for them... and yes, as an agent.. on the ground.. during irregular ops... we do have the luxury of being able to take a few moments from time to time to regroup by going to the back for a few, and when its time to finally get the flight out... unfortunately a lot of times issues can't be resolved due to being out of our control and the passengers were still upset... I merely felt then and still feel for the F/A's because they are often "THE" airline and the ones who get most of the brunt of customer "abuse" when it is dished out... as they are seen for an entire duration of the flight with nowhere to really regroup themselves totally away from the customers... its a really difficult job and most of them do it very very well.
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
ThePinnacleKid
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:47 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:19 pm

For all of you who want to try and discuss pilot hourly pay figures.. it isn't cut and dry...

Hourly pay is most of the time based on BLOCK to BLOCK... and is set up off of a minimum monthly # of hours... so an American MD-80 pilot at say $160/hr is not even equal to comparing to a Delta MD-80 pilot at say $160/hr due to the fact one airlines contract hours per month might be set to min pay at 65 hrs per month vs. 75 hours per month...

You guys seriously should stop trying to bash pilots about their pay and concentrate on things more important in life like your own careers and your own pay...

You all should be happy that a lot of pilots and other skilled professionals in the airline field on here like to sign on this site to help out and discuss their passion with enthusiasts and answer all the questions in Tech/Ops etc... they aren't doing this because they love signing on here and reading how you guys think they're overpaid and ruin airlines.. really, I'll say it again....

The views on this topic and the manner in which some of you have posted in here are truly very insulting.
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 1142
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:35 pm

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 72):
You guys seriously should stop trying to bash pilots about their pay and concentrate on things more important in life like your own careers and your own pay...

Mines doing just fine, no problems here...

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 72):
they aren't doing this because they love signing on here and reading how you guys think they're overpaid and ruin airlines.. really, I'll say it again....

The views on this topic and the manner in which some of you have posted in here are truly very insulting.

don't try and exempt yourself from that catagory..
1.4mm and counting...
 
xjet
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:09 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:02 pm

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 72):
You guys seriously should stop trying to bash pilots about their pay

This is what I don't understand.... How is it that everyone wants to blame airline hardtimes on the pilot pay??!?! It has so little to do with anything in the long term. Yet, that's the first place management goes when they are looking for cuts. Just look at all the sub-contracted companies out there charging $70 for a window-wash on an aircraft. I think there are better ways to run the operation. Its like PinnacleKid said earlier, LCCs don't always have low pilot pay. They are smarter in all the other areas. Thererfore, they can pay their people what they deserve, which in turn creates better customer service.

All pilots are tired of being blamed for the some of the bad management tactics at the airlines.  banghead 
 
ThePinnacleKid
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:47 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:14 pm

I will outright apologize if I somehow insulted anyone in this discussion, as HPAEAA claims I have. I merely was trying to defend my chosen profession some have chosen to belittle.

I said in the beginning with my first topic where I started my defense (I believe it was my 2nd post in this discussion) that I was personally insulted and yet we all chose to continue on this avenue of arguing points back and forth. I think it in my best interest to just refrain from posting further on this topic as it is simply an "agree to disagree" thread. I find no enjoyment in this back and forth and frankly am turned off from even wanting to continue to post on this site. This is the main reason I have tried to keep my activity in the past to the Tech/Ops forum as it is less based on emotional bickering and is more of what I enjoy: providing explanations to those who are interested in procedures and the workings of the job to people who truly appreciate and are engaging. It is a great opportunity to also learn from other individuals who fly other types of equipment or work for other carriers or from people outside of flying and their perspectives on aviation in an operational setting.


Thanks again XJET, CO767FA , PITrules, PeterPuck, and Valcory for your comments to me in here...
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
User avatar
Tugger
Posts: 10895
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:01 pm

Someone else pointed it out, it isn't really pay we are talking about it is the work being done for the level of pay earned. Again as noted earlier in the thread SWA pilots are some of the highest paid for their category but they also have to work more hours to get that money. AND they don't get a defined benefit pension, they get profit sharing (I believe this is true for all their employees though pilots get the lions share) and they have to invest their own money to ensure their own retirement. That is why Southwest is consistently profitable. More hours worked for the same pay.

Lastly, hedges are used to EVEN OUT the price fluctuations of oil/fuel. Normally you buy and sell them to keep your costs within an expected level that so you can plan your fleet use for a profit. Southwest just got lucky at a critical time and kept all their hedges, to their benefit. The fact they also have the cash available to actually buy the hedge helps to, that was something that airlines like Delta and United (and others) couldn't do because they didn't have the liquid cash available. Otherwise they all would have been doing it too.

Tug
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. - W. Shatner
There are many kinds of sentences that we think state facts about the world but that are really just expressions of our attitudes. - F. Ramsey
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 1142
Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:24 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:39 pm

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 75):
it in my best interest to just refrain from posting further on this topic as it is simply an "agree to disagree" thread. I find no enjoyment in this back and forth and frankly am turned off from even wanting to continue to post on this site

Fair enough, it's one of those topics that can be highly charged back and forth... bttm line, the industry is being redefined... it can be painful for a lot of folks..
1.4mm and counting...
 
tommytoyz
Posts: 1195
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:08 am

RE: As Airlines Surge, Pilots Want Share

Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:52 pm

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 75):
I will outright apologize if I somehow insulted anyone in this discussion, as HPAEAA claims I have. I merely was trying to defend my chosen profession some have chosen to belittle.

I certainly am not insulted if anyone including yourself disagrees with me. If I felt insulted it would be my fault and my problem - that I've learned a long time ago.

And I don't think anyone here is insulting pilots here either. I haven't read a single post like that.

Nobody has specifically blamed the pilots for an airlines BK either. But it certainly has been a contributing factor. And by pay I also mean productivity rules, not just hourly pay. The defined benefit retirement plan is just but one example. Most pilots I've talked to don't even know the difference between a defined benefit and a defined contribution plan and what that means for the company and liabilities.

Anyway, if ALL SIDES looked at the real numbers and agreed to a long term viable plan, then it would be financially better for everyone, especially the pilots.

For anyone to suggest nobody should have an opinion about pilot pay if they're not an airline Pilot is nonsense. Any investor in an airline and recently even regular tax payers and policy makers have a vested interest that pilot costs not be passed onto them anymore.

Just one reason that cones to mind is when the many pilot retirements are borne by a government agency that is already underfunded and might require a tax payer bail out, that makes is everyone's business.

No disrespect here to the pilot profession, but the boom/bust hurts more than just pilots. This cycle really is nonsense.

I'm also not blaming the pilots, but they are a part of that process....

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