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Airtan Pilots

CRJsensa

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Nov 18, 2005
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Airtran pilots,

I realize this might not help much but I wanted to share my experience at SWA. I was a capt at a regional airline and on reserve for 4 yrs. I only had 11 days off a mth and was used every single day I was on reserve. I routinely was given min rest of 8hrs to work a 14hr day the next day. I am sure many of you can relate to this schedule and I am not sure how similar the reserve system at Airtran is. What I would like to try and explain is that it is nothing like that at SWA. In fact, seniority is not treated the same at SWA either.

1.) Jumpseat - Seniority has no weight. It is on a first come basis and there are three jumpseats on most airplanes. So, if you are a commuter and many of you will be no matter the SLI, this will help with the pressure of commuting. We also have a very good commuter policy. One SWA flt that gets you into base one hr prior to report and your good.

2.) Bidding - While bidding is done on a strict seniority basis. We have hard lines and the quality of the trips are just about the same. The only thing you are bidding on is days of the week and length of trips (which can all be altered on the 25th).

3.) Vacation - You bid one week of vacation/round. So, you very well may get that week of vacation in June you want. Only the top 10% get the vacation over the holidays.

4.) Holidays - I have been at SWA for 6yrs and have yet to work a Christmas or Thanksgiving. Maybe it has been luck?

5.) Open Time - Bidding open time straight pay or premium pay is seniority based up to a point. That point, I believe, is 115% average mth line value called the CAP. So someone senior to you, but over the cap, will not out bid you.

6.) Reserve - Not really seniority based either. It is a leveling system that I do not think anyone really has figured out:) Someone senior to you may get called before you do. Reserve is no where near as bad as it was at the regionals. When assigned a trip, you will most likely complete that trip in its entirety. You have 15 days off a month and can give away your blocks of rsv. Example - Three day block of rsv assigned. You sit the first day and do not get used. You can give away the other 2 days once you are released from day 1. And, yes there are plenty of people who will pick up a 2 day or 1 day block of rsv. This allows you pick up a 3 day in open time or from another pilot and thus crediting much more than your rsv guarantee. Another thing unique to SWA reserve. Anyone legal for a trip assigned to a rsv can take that trip at anytime prior to that rsv reporting or push with mutual approval. This is great if you live in base or want to do a little extra flying.

7.) Furlough protection - Well, SWA has yet to furlough any pilots. I realize this may change, but SWA is very well positioned making the risk of furlough less.


I keep reading Airtran pilots complain that their QOL will be hurt, but I think once you are on property and figure out the system your QOL will improve over what you have at Airtran. You will work when at work, but this is what allows you to have 17 + days off/mth and 110 trips for pay (tfp). At 6yr pay that is 110 tfp X 116.60 = 12,826/mth or $153,912/yr. I think this close to what a current Airtran capt makes. The above numbers are very realistic.

So, when you hear SWA pilots complain about this AIP, it is because we feel that every Airtran F.O. is getting their upgrade by coming to work at SWA. Every Airtran Capt is at the very worse remaining status quo or getting a second upgrade $ wise. The only thing we have to make this deal equitable is upgrades. If this AIP gets voted in then from our (SWA FO) perspective every pilot group except for SWA FO's are getting their expected capt pay.

As for seniority, yes it is important, but maybe a little less important at SWA than other airlines. The $$$ is what makes the difference. I once heard a very senior capt complain that his "seniority made absolutely not difference in his QOL except the days of the week he worked"


Not sure if this helps anyone. I know there is a lot more cheese being moved on the Airtran side and thought maybe this would help with some of the anxiety of all this cheese being moved.
 

labatt

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Thanks for sharing that. Great post. You answered a lot of mine and I'm sure other's questions.
 

Fubijaakr

Seniority is Forever
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Dec 7, 2003
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So, your theory is AAI pilots should just roll over and play dead for you. Highly unlikely.
 

anewunion

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May 2, 2005
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173
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6000
Screw job for the Airtran pilots.Period.

Outside looking in- relative seniority throughout the entire list, no fences, no different ID's, no B-scale pay.

Don't sell yourselves out, because at the end of the day where all looking for direct Beeno to get home faster.
 

Lear70

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CRJ, I appreciate your post, it's well-thought and professionally-written, thank you.

The only angst I have is what you wrote towards the end: "The only difference is what days of the week I work". That's a pretty big difference when you start talking about weekends off with family, holidays off, better vacation bidding, etc., and if the SWA pilots are right and growth happens only for attrition, that crappy work schedule lasts for over a decade for most of our pilots.

The money is good, no doubt about it, but you'd have to be blind not to see that losing 1/3 of your place on the list is a bitter pill to swallow. Hence the angst. Hope you guys can understand it, even if you don't agree with it; we all have our perceptions and points of view.
 

LearLove

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the SWA guys all sound like drug dealers trying to push crack at some school kid (AT guys)

"come on, just take it. you know you want to. all the cool kids in the orange and blue 737's are doing it, come on kid - just a hit..."
 

scrub

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7:58pm
Hey SWA guys, I'm right at 33% seniority at AT, I'm based in MKE I get my 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice in bidding my schedule not bad heh! At SWA I will move to 68% on the list and spend the rest of my career (15 yrs ) commuting to Oakland to be on reserve, there are aprox 1200 FOs that will upgrade on top of me so I will always be on reserve!!! No friking thanks!!!!!!!!!!
 

Bake

I LIKE THE GEEZER METER!!
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CRJ, I appreciate your post, it's well-thought and professionally-written, thank you.

The only angst I have is what you wrote towards the end: "The only difference is what days of the week I work". That's a pretty big difference when you start talking about weekends off with family, holidays off, better vacation bidding, etc., and if the SWA pilots are right and growth happens only for attrition, that crappy work schedule lasts for over a decade for most of our pilots.

The money is good, no doubt about it, but you'd have to be blind not to see that losing 1/3 of your place on the list is a bitter pill to swallow. Hence the angst. Hope you guys can understand it, even if you don't agree with it; we all have our perceptions and points of view.

Lear 70, I respect you and your intellect on this SLI right up to the point that you say things like this when you were very willing, TWICE, that's 2 times to be a new hire at SWA and give up everything. Be real and you will be more respected.
 

CRJsensa

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SLUF4 I have not had a need to be on FI for the past 6 yrs. Since I got a job with SWA.

Lear, I know it sounds unrealistic to imagine you could be awarded a line with all weekend flying and never have to work a weekend the entire mth. I will not lie and tell you it is simply to do, but it is very possible. Although, someone has to work the weekends. I get a weekend sch of Fri, Sat, Sun almost every month. Through Line Improvement Trip Trade (elitt) and Trip Trade Giveaway (ttga) I am very successful at trading this into the sch I want and my first choice when bidding which is sun mon tue turns and 2 days. For now you will just have to take my word. You will have it all figured out soon enough.

If you wanted to keep QOL and same $ then you could give away half your flying and enjoy 20+ days a mth off and 60 ttfp. The choice is yours. This mth I currently have 68 tfp and 22 days off. I will pick up open time and credit close to 135 and 15ish days off. I live in base which makes it much easier to be flexible.
 

UALX727

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CRJ,

Just wondering how much the staffing changes at your bases over the year. Is it common for guys on the bottom to float around on reserve or is there more stability there then we are seeing? For example, can a reserve pilot move to a junior base and be safe from all of the "bumping"? Thanks for the info. The reserve issue is something a lot of us will be dealing with if this all pans out.
 

CRJsensa

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UALX727, If the airline is growing there is no problem and no one gets forced out of base. The ups and down of staffing has been a recent (2-3yrs) occurrence and primarily in the bases of seasonal flying (MCO) I am not sure how many other bases have experienced as drastic of a change as MCO. Most of the time the number of pilots is in the single digits. The problem is, the pilot that is displaced does not have any "super seniority" to return to that base so when there is a vacancy it could be filled with a more senior pilot. Most pilots I have talked to that have been displaced from a base they live in are fairly successful at giving away there flying and picking up in the base they want.

What base are you considering?
 

On Your Six

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So, your theory is AAI pilots should just roll over and play dead for you. Highly unlikely.

Some of the SWA pilots on here are really trying hard to sugar coat this turd. GK wanted this deal, not SWAPA. The best thing that could happen IMO absent arbitration is for the AT MEC to vote this down and send it back for a better deal. As future SWA pilots, the AT guys will work just as hard for the high pay as their corndog counterparts, but why accept the bad deal from your own NC? Get rid of them too.


OYS
 
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UALX727

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Basically anything but OAK. Heck, it really doesn't matter...BWI, MDW, or even LAS.

I think many of us here at AirTran have sat a lot of reserve in the last 5 years or so, including me. I'm off reserve now, but I can tell you it was a living h#ll back a few years ago. 10 days off a month...a lot of 5 on, 2 off....while commuting. Ready reserve was used all the time. One time I called in sick and after returning was assigned 5 ready reserves in a row...basically they used it as a way to punish guys who wouldn't "play ball". I could go on and on....

So at AirTran we really aren't used to reserve being a good thing, that's why a lot of guys are really upset. Sounds like it's tolerable over there...at the Tran it isn't pretty. I know it's gotten better since the contract was done. It really helps to live in base when sitting reserve at AirTran....I'm looking at 10 years plus on reserve....the only way I figure I can control my quality of life somewhat is by moving to a base. Thanks for the input. Off to fly my red-eye!
 

redflyer65

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It sounds like the differneces in reserve at AAI and SW are huge. What you posted above is the kind of treatment normally seen at a regional. That's not a slam just an obseravtion. For starters we have no ready reserve at all. Two hour call out. Hope to get long call on the next contract. We have either 3 or 4 day blocks of reserve with either 3 or 4 off. The only time you might get a long stretch of reserve days is on monthly overlap...that sucks but it can be challenging to bid around.

We get used on reserve a fair amount. Especially over this busy summer season. I've been on reserve for awhile and other than not know which trip you will get, its a lot like having a line here. Very rarely to I ever talk to scheduling. I just self notify the trip they assign and I'm on my way.

RF
 
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