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00Dog

Well-known member
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3000
Sorry if it has been posted already. Don't know the source.

Expectations, and how to save $5 on an airline ticket

"When I fly, I always take Delta… That's because they pay their
pilots the most money… You don't want to fly with unhappy pilots."

Johnny Carson, Tonight Show monologue, 1981

Traversing race, culture, gender, education level and socio-economic
standing is the desire to be happy. It is the most powerful force
buried at the center of the human soul. An individual's "happiness"
is directly linked to how life unfolds relative to expectations.
Hopes and dreams in a mate, family, friends, social standing, or a
career are just a few areas that can fall short, meet, or exceed
expectations.

Tragic irony of high expectations is the possibility they will not be
met hence a greater risk of an unhappy life. Throughout life
expectations are created and destroyed. Over the course of a lifetime
a common pattern emerges where expectations follow a trace akin to a
bell curve. Zero at birth, peaking mid-life, and diminishing as one
passes the "mid-life crisis". With this knowledge one might conclude
the key to happiness at any point along the curve is to simply lower
your expectations. Unfortunately expectations are often set as a
result of something external to or as a result of something the
individual did or did not accomplish. Print, video, and other
environmental exposure are powerful influences. Performance in
academics, sports, social life, college and graduate school play an
important part of setting expectations. Success indexes life's
expectation curve higher while failure drives it lower. A driven,
successful, highly capable person who has climbed the ladder to Chief
of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General will have radically higher
expectations than a person who flunked out of high school, smoked
dope for three years before setting a lifetime career goal to become
a forklift driver at the city garbage dump.

Business leaders recognize it's essential in a market-based
enterprise to have happy employees. "Best man or woman for the job"
does not imply the one who has the highest level of capability but
rather the person whose capabilities and expectations most closely
match the duties, responsibilities, and compensation the job has to
offer. Management must balance the need for competence against cost.
When a business cannot meet employee and customer expectations
balanced against revenue, it will fail. When an entire industry finds
itself in this situation, the entire industry will fail.

In the airline industry an unprecedented percentage of unit revenue
and unit expense is outside control of management. In 1978 pricing
power was wiped out with passage of the Airline Deregulation Act.
During the 1990's the Internet matured making it almost impossible to
gain a revenue advantage over a competitor. Awash in red ink it was
no surprise the chainsaw was wielded at labor in an attempt to reduce
costs following the Dot-com bust of 2000 and the events surrounding
September 11, 2001. It was the perfect storm. Luckily the airlines
had resources in place to deal with the tragedy. For the last 35
years a Washington D.C. based think tank funded by the airlines,
Airline Industrial Relations Conference, has existed to achieve one
objective: Control airline personnel cost. How well have they done?
In a word, phenomenal. I will illustrate the fruits of their labor
with their crowning achievement................. Airline pilots

In terms of inflation adjusted dollars, Airline pilots today earn
less than half of what they did 35 years ago. The unit of work can be
measured by flight hours, duty hours, hours away from home, Revenue
Passenger Miles, Available Seat Miles, or most importantly, revenue
generated per pilot.

Industry hyperbole: Pilots are paid way too much. Look at the hourly
wage. Look at how little they work. Seems like a whole lot of money
to pay someone for a part time hobby.

In reality if consideration is given to opportunity cost, time value
of money, true number of hours required to become and work as a
commercial pilot, risk in terms of not completing a career for any
number of reasons, including getting killed; The economic
justification is not substantiated to become a commercial pilot even
if the career goal is attained.

Industry belief: There is not now nor will there ever be a shortage
of people willing to work as pilots at any wage.

True fact. Nor will there ever be a shortage of people willing to be
Professional Ball players, or Firefighters or CEOs at any wage. The
question is this: Will the industry be able to attract and retain the
level of competence required at any wage? The answer is no. At the
current Federal minimum wage you would not be able to consistently
find competent Professional Ball players, Firefighters, CEOs or
Airline pilots.

Industry stance: Pilots don't get paid minimum wage and planes are
not falling out of the sky.

The current national manpower pool of airline pilots came in with
substantially higher career expectations, thus capability than what
will be the next generation airline pilots. Airlines now operate on
borrowed time during the transition. It will take years, perhaps a
decade for current pilots to retire and or leave the profession in
significant numbers before the damage to safety will be acknowledged.

Industry opinion: Statistically we are enjoying an era of
unprecedented airline safety. There will always be some level of risk
to flying.

A time bomb is being built as airlines focus on lower expectation
pilots. As the industry continues the "race to the bottom" airline
leadership will confront a pilot labor pool decimated to such an
extent that safe, reliable air transportation will no longer be
feasible within the cost structure they created. As the next
generation pilots take command we will see much more of what is now
just the tip of an alarming iceberg: Unthinkable missteps by
incompetent pilots resulting in massive loss of life and substantial
hull losses. Recent events such as the Helios 737 crash, the West
Caribbean MD-82 crash, the American Airbus A300 crash, the Northwest
Pinnacle CRJ crash and the Delta Comair CRJ crash are examples are
inexcusable errors that should have never happened. Safe air travel
was built by minimizing identifiable risk. The industry has become
complacent with the current level of safety and is willing to accept
increased risk in an effort to reduce personnel costs.

Industry objective: Replace human capability with technology. Over
the last 35 years the modern airliner has been loaded with safety
features in an attempt to idiot-proof flying. If we can teach Homer
Simpson to run a nuclear power plant we can now teach his twin
brother to fly a jet plane.

Flying is a dynamic environment requiring considerable judgment and
intervention beyond the capability of technology. Members of the
Airline Industrial Relations Conference need to dispatch with the
NTSB Go Team so they could see first hand the true fruits of their
labor. The severed body parts and blood splattered airplane wreckage.
The stench of burned human flesh and charred remains at the crash
site of Delta Comair 5191 in Lexington, Kentucky. They should be
required to console the loved ones of those who were killed. Only
Airline Industrial Relations Conference members would attempt to
quantify why such a hull loss is acceptable. Air Conference members
should be held accountable for manslaughter, or if they fully
understand what they have done, murder. Safety of the flying public
needs to take priority over trying to staff airline cockpits with the
cheapest human resources the industry can find. The Simpson's is just
a cartoon.

Interviewing people from every walk of life for three decades he
understood what made people tick. If he were alive today, Johnny
Carson would not be flying Delta or any other airline. He would not
be able to find any well-paid happy pilots. The leaders of the
airline industry have won and the flying public has lost. And it was
all for what? $5.
 

svcta

"Kids these days"-AAflyer
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Posts
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SOLO!
Preaching to the choir.....I'd tell you to pare it down a bit and send it to your local paper, but there's one problem: NO ONE cares about airline pilots being unhappy with their wages. To the public at large we'll always be overpaid and tickets be too expensive because of us.

Billboards over the interstate by the airport, banners in the sky, adverts in papers, etc. I've seen them all and it's wasted effort. ALPA and the rest of the pilot group need to have the dignity to keep this fight behind closed doors.

The only time Frumpmom Q. Lardazz wants happy pilots is when she's on the airplane....and then she forgets about it.
 
Last edited:

The_Russian

Low Level Pilot
Joined
Sep 3, 2003
Posts
2,574
Total Time
Beer30
Preaching to the choir.....I'd tell you to pare it down a bit and send it to your local paper, but there's one problem: NO ONE cares about airline pilots being unhappy with their wages. To the public at large we'll always be overpaid and tickets be too expensive because of us.

Billboards over the interstate by the airport, banners in the sky, adverts in papers, etc. I've seen them all and it's wasted effort. ALPA and the rest of the pilot group need to have the dignity to keep this fight behind closed doors.

The only time Frumpmom Q. Lardazz wants happy pilots is when she's on the airplane....and then she forgets about it.
Well, I have to disagree with you here. The flying public, who spends at least half if not more of their time on regional jets, has a right to know the employment issues that have a direct bearing on their safety. Most people do not know that 50-seater pilots make only 20K and cannot even meet the needs of himself let alone his family.
 

svcta

"Kids these days"-AAflyer
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Posts
1,767
Total Time
SOLO!
And they do not care, so long as their seats are cheap. Hasn't this been proven by almost 2 decades of RJ travel?

Humphrey Q. Lowbrau would put his whole family on an airplane full of ValuJet O2 generators if he thought it would save 20 bucks.

They don't care, save some face.
 

CaptainPablo

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Posts
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Total Time
< 100K
It is true that the general public does not know that RJ pilots with one to two years of experience are making less than the developmentally challenged person bagging their groceries at Safeway. And they also don't care one iota. There have been plenty of articles in major newspapers exposing this fact....google this and you will see. Pilots are their own worst ememy, until ALL pilots band together, from the mainline captain to the first year RJ FO demanding change, change will not occur. As evidenced by the fact that the line is 1000 deep for those 20K a year jobs.....sad fact.
 
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