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Magenta Line, Saturday 10-03-09 - Part 1

calfo

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Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Posts
204
Total Time
13.5K
Magenta Line, Saturday 10-03-09
You are at cruising altitude. The westering sun is pink on the disc. Your eyes flick the gauges. The engines are contented. Another day, another dollar.

You look down at your hands on the wheel. They are veined and hard and brown. Tonight you notice they look a little old. And, by George, they are old. But how can this be? Only yesterday you were in flying school. Time is a thief! You have been robbed, and what have you got to show for it?

A pilot. Forty years a pilot. A senior pilot.

But what of it?

Just a pilot.

The voice of the flight attendant breaks in on your reverie. The flight is running full.
Can they begin serving dinner to the passengers?

The passengers. Oh, yes—the passengers. You noticed the line of them coming aboard: the businessmen, the young mothers with their children in tow, the old couples, the two priests, the four dogfaces. A thousand times you have watched them file aboard, and a thousand times disembark. They always seem a little happier after the landing than before the take-off. Beyond doubt, they are always somewhat apprehensive aloft.

But why do they keep coming up here in the dark sky despite their fears?

You have often wondered about that.

You look down at your hands again and suddenly it comes to you:

They come because they trust you—you, the pilot.

They turn over their lives and their loved ones and their hopes and their dreams to you for safekeeping.

To be a pilot means to be one of the trusted.

They pray in the storm that you are skillful and strong and wise.

To be a pilot is to hold life in your hands, to be worthy of faith.

No, you have not been robbed. You aren't just a pilot. There is no such thing as ‘just a pilot’.

Your job is a trust. The years have been a trust.

You have been one of the trusted.

Who could be more?—Author Unknown


Today is Saturday, October 3, 2009 and there are 12 items for discussion.


Item 1: The Eyes of Newark (pilots) Are Upon You; A Tale of Two Managers

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Actually, current times at Continental are just “the worst of times”.

It has never been a secret what management thinks of us; they let us know every day in all the little ways they have what they think of us as individuals, what they think of our profession, what they think of us as employees. It is perverse in its way: anyone who would work for managers like them and keep coming back day after day—they must deserve whatever management can do to them.

This concept has now been applied to our customers. This is not a new revelation for those of us who watch our management team on a regular basis but it is startling for those who think current Continental management retains (or ever had) any idea of what makes good customer service.

Still, when we are slapped in the face with yet another dead, stinking mackerel, there is that momentary wink of surprise before the feeling of déjà vu overcomes us.

It is with that prelude that we bring you a tale of two managers: vp’s Mark Erwin and Jim Compton.

We will let one of those close enough to get a good sniff of the mackerel-of-the-week tell the story; anything we add would just be showing off:

“I just worked flight 51 from FRA to EWR today and how the flight started off is totally unbelievable. Actually, it is believable considering it involved our management. I believe that this is something that needs to get out to the masses in order to once again show the total arrogance of some people in our management team.

“At approximately 1100 hours we were informed by the gate supervisor that we might be taking a delay since two of our Vice-Presidents from Houston were trying to catch a non-stop flight to Houston so they didn't have to make a connection in EWR. They would then get word to the gate if they got on Lufthansa or not. We were also informed that since this will make the difference as to where all the non-revs will be seated (BusinessFirst or coach) they were being held in the gate until these two VPs make up their minds as to which flight they were going to take. The supervisor was notified by the captain that the plane would not leave until every non-rev was boarded.

“Finally at 11:21 am, which is now past our scheduled departure time of 11:20 am, we were informed that Mr. Mark Erwin and Mr. Jim Compton would be taking the Lufthansa non-stop to Houston, that the non-revs were being cleared, and that we would be ready to depart shortly.
Finally, the doors were closed. And then we sit. And we sit while we wait on the performance data uplink from load planning which is required prior to pushback. It seems the data uplink was delayed due to the late boarding of the non-revs. We finally get our load data and release brakes at 11:36 am and push at 11:37 am. This is a 17 minute delay because two VPs want to take a non-stop to Houston. This is a delay because they wanted the flight held in case they couldn't get on Lufthansa probably never giving one thought to the 223 people just sitting on a plane waiting for them to make up their minds. Mind you that of these 223 passengers onboard that approximately 215 of them were actually PAYING Continental to depart at 11:20 am. How arrogant can this management team be to just call up and have a flight held just in case they don't make it on their first choice of flights?

“My questions to the management of this airline are: Are you going to hold a plane for me next time I non-rev? Are you going to buy a ticket on another airline for the next commuting crew member who can't make it to work because the flights are full or running late? Are you going to stop hounding this pilot group about uncontrollable delays including GSI times since on-time performance is not that important anymore? Why harp at us to save fuel when we have to burn more to make an on time arrival for our fare paying passengers after the selfish and rude behavior of a couple of VPs from Houston? Why doesn't one of these gentlemen stand up with their heads held high and admit what they did instead having a station have to hide the fact by coding the delay "83...ramp congestion." Be the proud men that you are and say "We caused a flight delay because we can. We are Vice- Presidents!!!"

“I encourage every pilot to take note and remember this when a station tries to close the door and refuses to board non-revs because they don't have time to process them. Remember this when jumpseaters are not boarded for the same reason. And remember these actions when management comes looking for the next hand out.

“I feel this needs to get out to the masses to remind everybody not who but WHAT we are dealing with: pure arrogance and greed. Personally I encourage this to be put into an edition of The Magenta Line. If you choose to publish this then I leave it up to you and your eloquent prose to refine this story. Please feel free to type me back.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.”

No, we, the leadership of the EWR pilots, and on behalf of the ever-shrinking ranks of the EWR pilots, thank you for documenting this embarrassingly egregious abuse of management power. Mr. Erwin and Mr. Compton should be forced to apologize to every crewmember, every passenger, every non-rev, and especially every employee of our Frankfurt station for having to clean up their messes by coding the departure delay as “ramp congestion”. And then they should be fired. No bonuses, no stock options, no airport parking spaces for their company cars, no lifetime first-class travel for their entire families, no offices on Smith Street—no, they should get what any of us would get if we caused a delay such as this and then put other employees in a position where they thought they needed to improperly code the delay: TERMINATION.
 

SFR

Pilot Guy
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
720
Total Time
6000
Magenta Line, Saturday 10-03-09
You are at cruising altitude. The westering sun is pink on the disc. Your eyes flick the gauges. The engines are contented. Another day, another dollar.

You look down at your hands on the wheel. They are veined and hard and brown. Tonight you notice they look a little old. And, by George, they are old. But how can this be? Only yesterday you were in flying school. Time is a thief! You have been robbed, and what have you got to show for it?

A pilot. Forty years a pilot. A senior pilot.

But what of it?

Just a pilot.

The voice of the flight attendant breaks in on your reverie. The flight is running full.
Can they begin serving dinner to the passengers?

The passengers. Oh, yes—the passengers. You noticed the line of them coming aboard: the businessmen, the young mothers with their children in tow, the old couples, the two priests, the four dogfaces. A thousand times you have watched them file aboard, and a thousand times disembark. They always seem a little happier after the landing than before the take-off. Beyond doubt, they are always somewhat apprehensive aloft.

But why do they keep coming up here in the dark sky despite their fears?

You have often wondered about that.

You look down at your hands again and suddenly it comes to you:

They come because they trust you—you, the pilot.

They turn over their lives and their loved ones and their hopes and their dreams to you for safekeeping.

To be a pilot means to be one of the trusted.

They pray in the storm that you are skillful and strong and wise.

To be a pilot is to hold life in your hands, to be worthy of faith.

No, you have not been robbed. You aren't just a pilot. There is no such thing as ‘just a pilot’.

Your job is a trust. The years have been a trust.

You have been one of the trusted.

Who could be more?—Author Unknown


Today is Saturday, October 3, 2009 and there are 12 items for discussion.


Item 1: The Eyes of Newark (pilots) Are Upon You; A Tale of Two Managers

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Actually, current times at Continental are just “the worst of times”.

It has never been a secret what management thinks of us; they let us know every day in all the little ways they have what they think of us as individuals, what they think of our profession, what they think of us as employees. It is perverse in its way: anyone who would work for managers like them and keep coming back day after day—they must deserve whatever management can do to them.

This concept has now been applied to our customers. This is not a new revelation for those of us who watch our management team on a regular basis but it is startling for those who think current Continental management retains (or ever had) any idea of what makes good customer service.

Still, when we are slapped in the face with yet another dead, stinking mackerel, there is that momentary wink of surprise before the feeling of déjà vu overcomes us.

It is with that prelude that we bring you a tale of two managers: vp’s Mark Erwin and Jim Compton.

We will let one of those close enough to get a good sniff of the mackerel-of-the-week tell the story; anything we add would just be showing off:

“I just worked flight 51 from FRA to EWR today and how the flight started off is totally unbelievable. Actually, it is believable considering it involved our management. I believe that this is something that needs to get out to the masses in order to once again show the total arrogance of some people in our management team.

“At approximately 1100 hours we were informed by the gate supervisor that we might be taking a delay since two of our Vice-Presidents from Houston were trying to catch a non-stop flight to Houston so they didn't have to make a connection in EWR. They would then get word to the gate if they got on Lufthansa or not. We were also informed that since this will make the difference as to where all the non-revs will be seated (BusinessFirst or coach) they were being held in the gate until these two VPs make up their minds as to which flight they were going to take. The supervisor was notified by the captain that the plane would not leave until every non-rev was boarded.

“Finally at 11:21 am, which is now past our scheduled departure time of 11:20 am, we were informed that Mr. Mark Erwin and Mr. Jim Compton would be taking the Lufthansa non-stop to Houston, that the non-revs were being cleared, and that we would be ready to depart shortly.
Finally, the doors were closed. And then we sit. And we sit while we wait on the performance data uplink from load planning which is required prior to pushback. It seems the data uplink was delayed due to the late boarding of the non-revs. We finally get our load data and release brakes at 11:36 am and push at 11:37 am. This is a 17 minute delay because two VPs want to take a non-stop to Houston. This is a delay because they wanted the flight held in case they couldn't get on Lufthansa probably never giving one thought to the 223 people just sitting on a plane waiting for them to make up their minds. Mind you that of these 223 passengers onboard that approximately 215 of them were actually PAYING Continental to depart at 11:20 am. How arrogant can this management team be to just call up and have a flight held just in case they don't make it on their first choice of flights?

“My questions to the management of this airline are: Are you going to hold a plane for me next time I non-rev? Are you going to buy a ticket on another airline for the next commuting crew member who can't make it to work because the flights are full or running late? Are you going to stop hounding this pilot group about uncontrollable delays including GSI times since on-time performance is not that important anymore? Why harp at us to save fuel when we have to burn more to make an on time arrival for our fare paying passengers after the selfish and rude behavior of a couple of VPs from Houston? Why doesn't one of these gentlemen stand up with their heads held high and admit what they did instead having a station have to hide the fact by coding the delay "83...ramp congestion." Be the proud men that you are and say "We caused a flight delay because we can. We are Vice- Presidents!!!"

“I encourage every pilot to take note and remember this when a station tries to close the door and refuses to board non-revs because they don't have time to process them. Remember this when jumpseaters are not boarded for the same reason. And remember these actions when management comes looking for the next hand out.

“I feel this needs to get out to the masses to remind everybody not who but WHAT we are dealing with: pure arrogance and greed. Personally I encourage this to be put into an edition of The Magenta Line. If you choose to publish this then I leave it up to you and your eloquent prose to refine this story. Please feel free to type me back.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.”

No, we, the leadership of the EWR pilots, and on behalf of the ever-shrinking ranks of the EWR pilots, thank you for documenting this embarrassingly egregious abuse of management power. Mr. Erwin and Mr. Compton should be forced to apologize to every crewmember, every passenger, every non-rev, and especially every employee of our Frankfurt station for having to clean up their messes by coding the departure delay as “ramp congestion”. And then they should be fired. No bonuses, no stock options, no airport parking spaces for their company cars, no lifetime first-class travel for their entire families, no offices on Smith Street—no, they should get what any of us would get if we caused a delay such as this and then put other employees in a position where they thought they needed to improperly code the delay: TERMINATION.



This is garbage
 

TNPILOT

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2002
Posts
342
Total Time
Lots
Nevermind...I'm not taking the gate. Another good Magenta Line. Keep it coming. Good luck CAL pilots.
 
Last edited:

MD11Drvr

Still Learning
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Posts
398
Total Time
Enough
My father retired from DAL after 32 years back in 1996ish after working most of those 32 years on the ticket counter. He came up in the day when Mr. C.E. Woolman was running the show and customer service ruled the day, a time when Flight Operations still ran the airline not the accounting/HR departments. Anyway I remember a story about a Senior Exec that had come to DAL by way of a merger and had not been long with Delta when he held a flight because he was running late to the airport. He delayed the departure by 15-20 minutes is all as he had done many times at the previous carrier. Well Mr. Woolman met him on the ramp in Atlanta and fired him. I'm sure Mr. Woolman is spinning in his grave at what his airline has become. Those were the days.
 
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