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Brianpr3
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Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:49 am

I always wondered how was merging seniority lists betwren the pilots, flight attendants etc were achieved, i heard that when aa acquired twa that merging the seniority lists were very heated and supposedly i heard that tw employees were stapeled to bottom of the list any truth to that?
Brian
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 11:03 am

The top 300-ish TWA pilots were merged on 1 for something rate beginning far from the top of the AA list; then everyone else was stapled you the bottom and furloughed. There’s loads of methods from strict date of hire down to “career expectations”. The two MECs create merger committees, then it usually goes to arbitration. ALPA has a merger policy.
 
LH707330
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:58 pm

I'm curious to know why they have not adopted an industry-wide standard policy based on overall hours of PIC, SIC, turbine time, etc. Why should someone who's got 10k hours of experience get dinged if their carrier goes belly up? In most professions you can make lateral jumps if you've got the requisite experience, why not airlines?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:19 pm

You can’t in US seniority, once hired flight time, PIC time, whatever mean absolutely nothing during a merger, it’s DOH plus the agreed merger plan. Relative seniority is pretty common starting point, if you’re at 59% of your old company’s list, the idea is you’ll be about 50% of the new list. Then, the explosion over DOH. You’re 50% of your list, but your DOH is 10 later than my DOH, that’s wrong based on strict seniority basis. You’re no good, bankrupt twice Company was doomed, so you should expect much, staple to the bottom and furlough for you. (AA/TWA). Similar rules were used at WN-AirTran, too, lots of AirTran pilots lost their captains seats.

When EA bought BN’s Latin American routes, BN pilots expected to be merged into EA’s list. No way, deal wasn’t structured to include pilots and planes, just route authority. Sorry, then it happened to the EA guys 8 years later. C’est la vie.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:30 pm

That’s just how it works in the US.

The ALPA merger policy only applies when both carriers are ALPA. If they are not, then it’s whatever gets worked out between the merging unions, ala TWA and AA. TWA was ALPA and AA is not. If both carriers are ALPA then ALPA funds may not be used to pay for the expenses of the merger. We have a merger fund set up in the event our carrier is merged with another ALPa carrier.

Experience is not portable. When you find employment with another airline, the only place you go is the bottom of the list. It doesn’t matter that you were a wide body captain with 20000 hours. Now you’re at a new airline, you’re a narrow body FO in the junior base and everyone is senior to you. You get to sit reserve in the crashpad hotel on the weekends getting called out to fly red eyes.

Even a merger between two ALPa carriers was contentious - America West and USAirways. It was so bad that the US Airways pilot group decertified AlPA and set up their own union.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
airbuster
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:42 pm

Talk about a can of worms! Europe isn’t immune to this either. When I had my first line flight as a new FO on the Fokker at KLM Cityhopper my instructor captain for that flight had lower seniority than me. All because he was integrated from Air UK into the KLM list just a couple of days after me! At least they could hold their position they had before integration. The later we had a massive clash between Martinair pilots and KLM for their integration....in the end they never integrated and they are stuck flying the freighters and we the rest.

No other line of work I have come across has such rigid DOH principles as pilots. It dictates everything.
FLY FOKKER JET LINE!
 
ILUV767
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:44 pm

Read Flying the Line volumes one and two. These books detail the history of ALPA including how the pilots union was formed, mergers, pay scales, furloughs etc. Its a good read to really understand pilot/management labor relations. It's practically required reading for airline pilots in the United States.

To answer the original question, it depends. ALPA has long since advocated for straight date of hire, but that often leads to inequalities following the merger. A common approach is using relative seniority where the pilot whose at 55% pre-merger remains in roughly the same spot following the close of the merger.

Often seniority integration goes to an arbitrator who will often look at career expectations. For example, if a giant global airline merges with a baby airline that operates one fleet type within one small region of the country, one could argue the pilot's career expectations were vastly different. Often you'll see fences put up around the airline's fleet and bases limiting where that said pilot can bid to keep each group's expectations in line. The US/HP merger's Nicolau award was a controversial integration and led to a massive divide between the two branches of US Airways and the formation of USAPA. Seniority Matters. Until the merger with American Airlines, US Airways essentially operated as two separate airlines with regards to the pilots.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:36 pm

Funnily, in corporate aviation, there’s no seniority and pilots hop around frequently and often get a buyout package when their old department closes. I know one pilot, who when I remade him of the up and down history of his new company, said smiling, “and, I’m waiting for the buyout”. He got it two years later-nice one, too. His third, I think.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:44 am

When I was in corp. aviation in the 70s I never heard of a buyout at all. If the dept closed you were laid off with just the standard separation package. I was lucky enough to fly for 3 Fortune 500 companies and 2 of the 3 eventually closed their dept. I jokingly say I started seeing a curve that wasn't looking good. You start flying a Be-18 and then you get that jet job in a Citation, the the next better job comes along and you're flying Falcon 20. Finally you really get that good job and you're in a Jetstar. Next time you get laid off your age starts to be a problem because all the hungry young guys are out there and you settle for a job flying a Sabreliner. The next layoff puts you back in a Be-18 flying mail. In '82 I decided as much fun as corp flying was it was time to get out.
When it comes to mergers, the Fedex/ Tiger one was a dilly too.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:16 am

It’s changed over the years as retention became a problem, corporate downsizing and upsizing drove packages. A friend recently was 6 months from retiring with a corporate pension plan paying 20% of his average of 5 highest years when they downsized. He got the pension and a six-figure after-tax package.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sun Sep 13, 2020 4:30 am

What happened with Delta and Pan Am as far as merging pilots? I read the book Sky Gods by Robert Gant and it said Delta only took the A310 pilots since that was the only fleet they were buying. How were the Pan Am pilots integrated once the A310 fleet was replaced with the 767? Did they go to the bottom or were they just given 767 spots?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:22 am

LH707330 wrote:
I'm curious to know why they have not adopted an industry-wide standard policy based on overall hours of PIC, SIC, turbine time, etc. Why should someone who's got 10k hours of experience get dinged if their carrier goes belly up? In most professions you can make lateral jumps if you've got the requisite experience, why not airlines?


Because for an airline with 1000 first officers, we're all interchangeable or nearly so. If one guy has 10000 hours and has flown F-16s and another guy has 1000 hours and came from the cadet programme does not change rostering. FO is FO is FO.

Seniority lists become the only way to differentiate.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sun Sep 13, 2020 2:39 pm

Absolutely true Starlion. When I was at my first big corp job we had 2 Saberliners, 2 Jetstars and a KingAire. They bought a G-1 and they hired a G-1 capt from the outside. It kept me from moving and pissed off most of us F/Os. In the airlines you have such a diversity of types of flying but everyone has the min requirements. I remember talking to one of the pilots interviewing with me. He was an Army pilot and I was coming from corp. He said he'd never seen a Collins FD and was struggling during the sim part of the interview. Everyone comes from somewhere. I'm sure this is typical for most of us here but we had Blue Angels, AF One pilot, U-2 pilots, helicopter pilots, pilots from other airlines and corp pilots.
 
LH707330
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:48 pm

Thanks for the inputs, I'll have to go read Flying the Line now!
 
e38
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:49 pm

Quoting TTailedTiger (Reply # 11), "What happened with Delta and Pan Am as far as merging pilots? How were the Pan Am pilots integrated once the A310 fleet was replaced with the 767? Did they go to the bottom or were they just given 767 spots?"

It doesn't normally work like that in the United States.

I do not know what Delta's (or DAL ALPA's) formula was for integrating the Pan Am A310 pilots into the Delta pilot seniority list. Obviously, however, the Pan Am A310 pilots were integrated into the Delta pilot seniority list at some point. The fact that 767 operations replaced the A310 flying has nothing to do with where they would have gone when the A310 was retired. The former Pan Am A310 pilots simply would have submitted a bid during the normal award process (at Delta I think it is call the Advance Entitlement AE process) and then--as long as no specific aircraft fences were in place--they would have been awarded whatever aircraft and position their seniority could hold. In theory, the former Pan Am A310 pilots could have ended up flying any position (Captain, First Officer, or Flight Engineer at that time) on any aircraft that Delta was operating based upon seniority.

Also, quoting GalaxyFlyer (Reply # 2), with regard to American's acquisition of TWA, "then everyone else was stapled to the bottom and furloughed."

It is my understanding--not positive--that American Airlines management and/or APA treated the TWA pilots and flight attendants so poorly in terms of seniority integration that several years later Congress actually passed a law--the Mccaskill-Bond Statute--to protect airline employees from unfair practices during seniority list integration as a result of a merger or acquisition.

e38
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:36 pm

True, Claire McCaskill was the senator from Missouri, which mattered as you might guess.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:34 pm

TTailedTiger wrote:
What happened with Delta and Pan Am as far as merging pilots? I read the book Sky Gods by Robert Gant and it said Delta only took the A310 pilots since that was the only fleet they were buying. How were the Pan Am pilots integrated once the A310 fleet was replaced with the 767? Did they go to the bottom or were they just given 767 spots?


e38 gave the proper reply on the follow-up fate of A310 pilots, coming from Pan Am, at Delta. They were integrated into seniority list, and their further fate would be dependent on that position on the list alone, without any reference to prior background.

Basically, what was somewhat unique with "Airbus pilots from Pan Am to Delta" transfer situation -- was that Pan Am pilot group did not get to decide -- who are these pilots. Normally, this would have happened via bidding, within Pan Am (meaning seniority).
Delta was expecting to buy a "turn-key" operation -- stations, routes, planes, people to fly these planes on those routes to those stations. They were taking Airbuses, and expected crews to be able to fly those Airbuses from the handover day. In addition, they viewed Pan Am as a "melting ice cube", unable to stay airborne for too long, without a lot of cash thrown at them. So handover day could not be delayed -- or there'd be less to hand over.

So, buying a "turn-key operation" meant that Airbus planes were to be flown by Airbus-qualified pilots, from day 1. And that meant that it was basically Delta selecting pilots they took -- though in reality, it was rather the other way around -- Delta had to take pilots who had a current Airbus type-rating. No matter how you slice it, seniority principle no longer applied -- and that mightily angered the most senior pilots at Pan Am (think of those senior 747 international captains, or folks from National, who landed high seniority list positions during merger, but preferred flying 727 from bases and on routes they could pick and choose), who were not current on Airbus. Lifeboats were leaving, but they were not invited to them. It was apparently even litigated at some point...
AN4 A40 L4T TU3 TU5 IL6 ILW I93 F50 F70 100 146 ARJ AT7 DH4 L10 CRJ ERJ E90 E95 DC-9 MD-8X YK4 YK2 SF3 S20 319 320 321 332 333 343 346 722 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 74M 757 767 777
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Bellerophon
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:33 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Seniority lists become the only way to differentiate.


Yes, often managed the same way in Europe, and whilst working fairly for the majority of pilots on most occasions, it can sometimes lead to unfortunate situations and unhappy pilots.

Some years ago, during a recruiting drive, my airline recruited several F/Os from airline B whilst rejecting many other applicants from the same airline. The successful applicants went to the bottom of our seniority list, the unsuccessful ones retained their seniority at airline B.

Within two years my airline then merged with airline B, resulting in all the previously unsuccessful applicants - who had retained their seniority at airline B - being placed on the merged seniority list well above all the successful applicants we had hired two years earlier, leading to some very unhappy pilots.

Likewise, after a merger with airline C, my airline was obliged to re-employ a pilot they had dismissed some years earlier but who had then joined airline C.

Despite such anomalies, I still view seniority as the "least bad" system for handling mergers, redundancies, types, bases and schedules, and personally I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:37 am

Starlionblue wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
I'm curious to know why they have not adopted an industry-wide standard policy based on overall hours of PIC, SIC, turbine time, etc. Why should someone who's got 10k hours of experience get dinged if their carrier goes belly up? In most professions you can make lateral jumps if you've got the requisite experience, why not airlines?


Because for an airline with 1000 first officers, we're all interchangeable or nearly so. If one guy has 10000 hours and has flown F-16s and another guy has 1000 hours and came from the cadet programme does not change rostering. FO is FO is FO.

Seniority lists become the only way to differentiate.


To LH707330's question, why should someone who's got 10k hours of experience get "dinged" if their carrier goes belly up?

Because ALPA style pilot groups are unionized, or quasi-unionized (Jetblue). Pilots do not want random people applying for the job they hold. So they make it very clear to their employer that they will not tolerate open market talent competition.

Even non-union workers get "dinged" when their employer goes belly-up. So the expectation otherwise is unrealistic.
 
acecrackshot
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:33 pm

LCDFlight wrote:

Because ALPA style pilot groups are unionized, or quasi-unionized (Jetblue). Pilots do not want random people applying for the job they hold. So they make it very clear to their employer that they will not tolerate open market talent competition.

Even non-union workers get "dinged" when their employer goes belly-up. So the expectation otherwise is unrealistic.


Just to update your data, JetBlue is an ALPA carrier, now.

Much of the drive to make seniority paramount is to depoliticize hiring/promotion and make safety decisions dispassionately to the facts, not to a particular managers whim.

The cartel theory of labor you suggest is both historically incorrect and functionally not true,
 
dstblj52
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Fri May 07, 2021 1:59 am

acecrackshot wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:

Because ALPA style pilot groups are unionized, or quasi-unionized (Jetblue). Pilots do not want random people applying for the job they hold. So they make it very clear to their employer that they will not tolerate open market talent competition.

Even non-union workers get "dinged" when their employer goes belly-up. So the expectation otherwise is unrealistic.


Just to update your data, JetBlue is an ALPA carrier, now.

Much of the drive to make seniority paramount is to depoliticize hiring/promotion and make safety decisions dispassionately to the facts, not to a particular managers whim.

The cartel theory of labor you suggest is both historically incorrect and functionally not true,

Open market talent competitions for pilots result in less safe operations almost everywhere they exist
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Fri May 07, 2021 3:21 am

dstblj52 wrote:
acecrackshot wrote:
LCDFlight wrote:

Because ALPA style pilot groups are unionized, or quasi-unionized (Jetblue). Pilots do not want random people applying for the job they hold. So they make it very clear to their employer that they will not tolerate open market talent competition.

Even non-union workers get "dinged" when their employer goes belly-up. So the expectation otherwise is unrealistic.


Just to update your data, JetBlue is an ALPA carrier, now.

Much of the drive to make seniority paramount is to depoliticize hiring/promotion and make safety decisions dispassionately to the facts, not to a particular managers whim.

The cartel theory of labor you suggest is both historically incorrect and functionally not true,

Open market talent competitions for pilots result in less safe operations almost everywhere they exist


Where do they exist and what have been the safety implications? You made the assertion, please back it up.
 
dstblj52
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Fri May 07, 2021 3:47 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
dstblj52 wrote:
acecrackshot wrote:

Just to update your data, JetBlue is an ALPA carrier, now.

Much of the drive to make seniority paramount is to depoliticize hiring/promotion and make safety decisions dispassionately to the facts, not to a particular managers whim.

The cartel theory of labor you suggest is both historically incorrect and functionally not true,

Open market talent competitions for pilots result in less safe operations almost everywhere they exist


Where do they exist and what have been the safety implications? You made the assertion, please back it up.

their common in the business jet world, and it tends to encourage limit pushing, flying over weight, moving through limits, ignoring mel's etc etc, are way more common on the bisjet side because the pilots pay packet is conditional on keeping the aircraft owner happy and he is the person demanding the push
 
acecrackshot
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Fri May 07, 2021 2:10 pm

That’s the real problem with 91/135 flight departments...some are frankly better than any state level VIP unit in the world, and others I wouldn’t use to transport a POW. In 91 ops, that’s a function of the owner/corporate structure, which is uneven. In 135, it’s also a function of ownership/corporate governance but also of real vs. perfunctory regulatory compliance.

The FSDOs can be contradictory within an office, let alone between offices. Part 135 POIs are spread thinner and often less resourced than 121 oversight operations.

Underlying the 91/135 safety world is the pay-for-training aspect. It’s troubling enough with reputable training providers but worse with less stringent training operations.

There are plenty of outstanding 91 flight departments (outside even the likely Fortune 100 candidates) and plenty of very safe 135 operators. In the 135 world, they have work with a stacked deck of shady 134 and 1/2 operations, and the commodity nature of pilots is a component here.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat May 08, 2021 3:02 pm

dstblj52 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
dstblj52 wrote:
Open market talent competitions for pilots result in less safe operations almost everywhere they exist


Where do they exist and what have been the safety implications? You made the assertion, please back it up.

their common in the business jet world, and it tends to encourage limit pushing, flying over weight, moving through limits, ignoring mel's etc etc, are way more common on the bisjet side because the pilots pay packet is conditional on keeping the aircraft owner happy and he is the person demanding the push


Opinion, any facts, statistics, some other than your anecdotes? I spent a lot of time in corporate aviation and my experience is just the opposite—greater margins, less “bottom line” thinking. I’ve flown with a lot of operators in a prior career and I didn’t see it.

Look at the ASN records of in-production bizjets, Cessna 680 series and 750; Bomardier 300, 605/650 and Globals, Dassault 2000, 900 and 7X, Gulfstream G280, G550, G650–over 5,000 frames—3 fatal hull losses.
 
dstblj52
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:38 pm

Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat May 08, 2021 6:05 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
dstblj52 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

Where do they exist and what have been the safety implications? You made the assertion, please back it up.

their common in the business jet world, and it tends to encourage limit pushing, flying over weight, moving through limits, ignoring mel's etc etc, are way more common on the bisjet side because the pilots pay packet is conditional on keeping the aircraft owner happy and he is the person demanding the push


Opinion, any facts, statistics, some other than your anecdotes? I spent a lot of time in corporate aviation and my experience is just the opposite—greater margins, less “bottom line” thinking. I’ve flown with a lot of operators in a prior career and I didn’t see it.

Look at the ASN records of in-production bizjets, Cessna 680 series and 750; Bomardier 300, 605/650 and Globals, Dassault 2000, 900 and 7X, Gulfstream G280, G550, G650–over 5,000 frames—3 fatal hull losses.

5000 hulls with how many flight hours? cause business aviation has a crash rate twice 0.79 versus 0.34 per 100,000 hours of operation
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Airline mergers; merging the seniority lists

Sat May 08, 2021 7:47 pm

Where do you get your stats? NBAA is showing .03 per 100,000 flight hours. In any case, a vanishingly small number of professionally flown corporate accidents.

https://nbaa.org/aircraft-operations/safety/statistics/

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