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American/United

publisher

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The following were gleened from Plane Business --

From American's Don Carty

"I'm [sic] reminded of the Viking conquerors of a thousand years ago, who -- upon their arrival in a new land -- burned their ships, thereby signaling to the people already there, and to themselves, that they weren't going anywhere. They had no choice by to make the situation work, whatever it was.

The relevance to the airlines, in my view, is that like the Vikings, we must accept the fact that as much as we'd like to, going back to "the way things were before" is not an option. We may not have burnt our own ships, but they are gone nonetheless, and they're not coming back."

About United

The overwhelming assessment from our select panel of observers was that the United presentation was awful. Or, as one subscriber said to me, "What planet is Jack Creighton on?"

The most noticeable problem with the airline's presentation to another observer was the fact that with less than two weeks before the ATSB's deadline for loan applications, the airline, or at least the airline's CFO, Jake Brace, admitted that the airline had not even discussed a possible application with the agency.

Hello? Anybody there?

Add this to the fact that at the time of the conference, no agreement was in hand with the airline's pilots (an agreement was announced last Thursday and you can read the summary of the deal by clicking here), and no agreement was close to being in hand with any other labor group, and many observers said they felt the airline appeared to be in a state of "denial."

In keeping with this concept, all the folks we talked to described the airline's presentation as obviously well-scripted. Translation? It was a rather stiff and predictable presentation.

Overall, not a very convincing presentation on the part of the airline to the institutional community.

Oddly enough, the feedback on Creighton's presentation is not unlike that which we have received from his meetings with employees hither and yon. Again, universally, the feedback has not been very positive.

As though Creighton is merely "going through the motions but doesn't have a clue," as one subscriber mentioned.

As another industry observer said to me last week, "What the airline needs desperately is leadership. But I fear the people on the board responsible for finding a new CEO don't have a clue as to what that means, or what they need to be looking for in order to get it."
 

P3-Adub

Bye Bye !!!
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Publisher,

The question begs to be asked, what is your interest in all of this? You seem to have many opinions and critiques, is there anything positive resulting from your seemingly negative posts ? Or are you only trying to insight debate to info source ? Just curious. Do you have any positive suggestions or are you just one of those negative people that only complain all of the time ?

If you are one of our valued customers then there are certainly better venues to voice your concerns.

It is my opinion that Mr. Creighton has done an admirable job considering the conditions he started with, it is a shame that he is not 10 years younger. I truely believe that it is his desire to rebuild United Airlines and regain the employee's commitment to be competetive in today's industry. We all know that there are problems to be solved and they DO take time. Surely you can understand this being the business person you descibe yourself as. What industry did you say that your are in ??? I believe that the quality is on the rise and the employees of United will make a difference.

Good luck on whatever you intensions are.
 

publisher

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Why

For the most part, these boards are gnereally all pilot oriented. I read here and post here to see that perspective. Debates such as the scope issue or RJ issue are significant and their resolutiion will have impact on our industry.

I posted these comments for two reasons. First I thought Don's comments were excellent, not negative at all but used a good example of what we are dealing with.

The comments on United were so the pilots on here can see how things looked to others in the business community who have influence in that community.

Often, it seems to me that some feel that every decision that is made at an airline is to get the pilots, or, to placate the pilots, or to get around pilot contracts.

We do not have an industry in a vacum, however, if you feel I should not post these type things, fine with me. I have no axe to grind either way.
 

furlough-boy

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let the man speak

If you don't like what the publisher posts then don't read it. I thought it was good information. A strong dose of reality.
 

hawkowl88

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United employees make the difference?! Gag. I fly for a company that does both United Express and Delta Connection business. I could go on for hours about United ramp, customer service, gate agent and flight attendants that are not only incompetent, but almost universally surly, arrogant and the most anit-customer oriented airline employees I've ever seen. United's motto from the former CEO on down should be "me first". United is hemorraghing cash on an unprecedented and unsustainable rate, and the employees are insisting on raises?!?

Add to this a completely baffling (or nonexistant) business plan where profitable full routes are cut and whole markets given over to the competition--e.g; west coast routes, in order to maximize feed, NOT PROFITS. Creighton is the only guy they could find to step in on a supposed TEMPORARY basis. However, every reputable airline exec they've contacted has passed up this opportunity to captain the titanic after it's hit the iceberg. It does not matter how good Creighton's intentions are. If he doesn't have an easy to understand, feasible business plan, the stock drops, the funding dries up, losses snowball and bankruptcy is unavoidable. Folks, we are looking at the next Pan Am.
 

B1900DFO

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"The Next Pan Am" , I think not. If you look it up you'll see that united has 2.9 billion in cash and another 3 billion in unencumbered aircraft and assets. That means UAL could lose 5million/day for the next 1,200 days and still be in business. Possible but unlikely, don't you think?
Also I think that it is rather simplistic to bash the employees for demanding a new contract. You have to understand that when they agreed to concessions in 1994 they were promised a new contract at the ammendable date. Obviously that didn't occur and they went 8 years with concessionary pay! That is a long time in anybody's career and could understandably make someone a little upset. Now they finally get a contract and, what do you know, management wants concessions. Go figure.
 

Boz

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Well, here we are again derbating the same old stuff. UAL management vs Alpa. Lets see who won the battle in 2000. That's right it was the pilots.


So why do we keep finding oursselves in constat battle with the company is that they are simply not interested in listening to the voice that directly has a huge impact on the bottom line.

many of you believe that UAL is still a cash cow, but I can tell you that the cow is looking quite thin these days. UAL cannot be competetive losinig money as any airline cannot. But untill there is a new CEO and management team we are headed down a oneway street. We have probably the most work cut out for any airline that is headed toward recoery, other than USAir.

PS.....Far from outta the wooods.
 

FNB

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Ramper pay scales

how can you say the ramp/customer service folks at UAL deserve a raise. They are making as much as a prop captain at most regionals. How does that work?

$26 * 160 = $4160 (Ramp)

$50 * 80 = $4000 (Captain)

Just food for thought.
 

HA25

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I am probably going to get major flames for this but I really think that airlines are over unionized. I am of the opinion that only the pilots and mechanics should have unions, as unions traditionally are there to represent a "trade" or a "slilled" worker. We as pilots spend tons of time and money (or years of military service) to earn our airline wings and we also work in a job field that is very glamorous and attractive to many people and as such would be at risk to wage depression due to an oversupply of applicants. The mechanics also spend a lot of time and money learing a trade and are placed in positions of great responsibility when working on these planes. However, the flight attendants, ramp workers and gate workers are quickly replaceable and trainable with in a short period of time.

What we have today is an environment where flight attendants and other workers are making careers of jobs that were never inteded as career jobs. the 30,000 plus F/A's and 50,000+ Ramp/gate agents making artifically high wages has been a much greater burden on costs than pilots or mechanics, but it's too late to do anything now, we are stuck with this system.

But the point above is a very good one. Many rampers or gate agents make more than Captains on regional jets at airlines with 1600+ pilots on their seniority list. That is BS! And don't tell me that the gate guy works more hours, cause my time away from base with the airlines was a lot more than 160 hours per month!!

Flame away, I don't care either way...
 
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pilot141

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V7OT5,
I agree that in an ideal world your scenario would work. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. For every pilot who thinks his job is glamorous, there is a mgmt type who is ready to tell him he is only labor and is as replaceable as a LEGO.

If you want to point a finger at unintended careerists, it should go straight to Congress! Ben Franklin, Sam Adams and John Hancock did not ever intend for people to spend their entire life as Congressmen! Yet many of these knuckleheads are now on committees that determine our fate!

As for unions, here I go:
They are not here to protect the most skilled and able workers, but for exactly the opposite: the slugs and incompetents. Of course, the key resides with the definition of each!

Pilots expend a LOT of capital (either time or money) to become competitive for an airline: the ultimate goal is to be hired by a major. Why?

The answer is: work vs compensation. PERIOD. At this level of work, no one can complain about the pay. However, how often do you see airline pilots on TV being grilled about their feelings on having 200 trusting lives in their hands? Of course, never.

The difference? The companies. They are perfectly happy to have the public believe that pilots are like black boxes: interchangeable, unnoticed, and really just an extra expense.

Expect to see this issue come to a head in the next two years: either a federal mandate on our work rules, or each airline will "voluntarily" comply with some new rule from the FAA/TSA/NTSB/DOJ/INS/DOD/CHiP/ Dept of Unfunded Mandates.

I say just let capitalism work! Whatever we negotiate, it's good! If we are so pathetic that people are willing to hop in Uncle Joe's biplane instead, then we suck. If people trust us, then good.

I plan on a separate post for the issue of our own govt trusting us, so for this issue, we're done!
 
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HA25

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Starting a 6 day trip, gotta go, but I agree with much of whay you say 141, however I still thing $30/hr ramp and gate workers and $65/hr F/A's is overkill for a job that is no much different than working at Macy's or the local Gas Station.
 

Freight Dog

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$65/hr FA's

No wonder you don't see any good lookin F/A's on long haul flights. All you see are burnt-out saggy grandmas with attitudes.


Ahhh... the good ol' days.
 
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