Our jobs and the entire airline industry is about to implode............

NavinRJohnson

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That was absofrickinlutely awesome! I want to print it out in a nice font and frame it on my wall, and give copies to everyone I know.

It just points out the true price of everything we pay for. I make a conscious effort not to be as 'cheap' of a pilot I used to be for that very same reason.

Capt Steve Rocks...
 

Abernathy

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Why can't anyone get it f**king right. We can work up to 16 hours a day, not "up to 12 or 13 hours."

Idiot wrote what could have been a great article, and then screwed up the actual important stuff, like figures and numbers.

Article sucked, sorry. Without the hard truth, it's just another shi**y read.
 

BEECH-SLAPPED

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Judging from the replies below the article, it is clear that people just don't care. That is, until it's THEIR aircraft that just had the catastrophic mechanical failure and they're wondering if the "cry baby" up front will save their worthless behind.
 

crj567

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Many good points.. I especially thought the ending was insightful.. I think he is right about the bigger picture, but probably not about the form it will take.

I see a future in which foreign airlines are allowed to operate regional carriers first, then some may try for control of the majors. I can totally see Mexican or Columbian pilots flying RJs in the U.S. soon. I won't be on one, but they will be flying the RJs within 10 years-bet on it. Just look at what NAFTA brought us with the trucking industry.

-Call me a racist if you wish, but I have seen AeroMexico, Taca, and Mexicana at work-many times. If these guys are any example of south-of-the border professionalism, my racist pink ass will never be on any of their planes!
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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The writing on the wall has been around for about 5 years... maybe more....

Either pilots want to read it and believe it or not....
 

RobCat

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I think that if Capt. Steve wanted to make us look like fools to the general public he accomplished just that.
 

JoeMerchant

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The writing on the wall has been around for about 5 years... maybe more....

Either pilots want to read it and believe it or not....
How has ALPA dealt with the lack of experience and low entry requirements? Either ALPA wanted to deal with or not......

Ironically....it now may be dealt with....after the fact.....and without ALPA....
 

Dumb Pilot

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I can totally see Mexican or Columbian pilots flying RJs in the U.S. soon. I won't be on one, but they will be flying the RJs within 10 years-bet on it. Just look at what NAFTA brought us with the trucking industry.
First of all, it is Colombian pilots. Have you done any research on how much they are making flying the RJ's in their own country vs. the cost of living? it is a pay cut for them, isn't that sad?
 

enuffalready

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Very well written for sure. Problem is, if he is a 'season international pilot' and a major captain then he was around when they negotiated away the jets to the regionals because he was too busy looking forward to that Rio 3 day.

If he really wanted to make a difference he would realize that the regionals have zero negotiating leverage. If the pilots of comairs, colgan and mesas all walked out today the airlines woudl just replace them with quick upgrades at republic and skywest.

I am intellectually honest enough to admit i got into flying with the hope of flying a 777 to rome, not a 70 seater to JAN. But at close to 40, and close to 10 years at a regional it just doesnt make sense to make a move ( not there are any moves to make now anyway). Given the system and situation I will continue to fight for everything I can to take care of my family. Now, I wonder if captain steve is intellectually honest to admit him and his peers created this mess.
 
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clickclickboom

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I think Steves article sucks to put it simply.. How can you author an article about the industry woes and then blame the consumer because they want to fly for $99

What about the billions that airlines lose every year because of faa delay programs?

What about the millions per day lost at airports like JFK that cannot or refuse to efficiently move aircraft for many fdifferent reasons including ATC labor disputes?

Why doesnt he refrence the pure arrogance and incompetence of our beloved FAA that continues to introduce next gen atc at a dead snails pace?

I think the consumer should be able to fly short haul for $99 lets face it this poorly run country has no other source of mass transit but i strongly feel that the airlines should be given every opportunity to operate efficiently.

I wont even get into airline management and these pilot puppy mills..

If i was starting my career now and knew that i would begin at 15k a year at an outfit like mesa and probably not see a major left seat for over 20 years i would never even go into the field.

Heck even my first 135 job paid $27k a year and I was home every night plus i couldnt even get an interview until i had 2000 hrs
 
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NavinRJohnson

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You can blame the consumer because it's like voting for someone or something, just with their wallet. If a consumer chooses to be ignorant of the underlying issues surrounding their choices, then they get what they deserve. That's why I liked the article. It really transcends just us pilots and represents a whole lot more.

This 'Wal Mart' culture of low cost at all costs only destroys us in the end. Cheap Products, Inferior Service (or unsafe aircraft and minimally trained and experienced crews in our case), will come back to haunt the consumer eventually.

It too bad most people don't understand that.

I'm a realist, so I don't think these things will change. There is no corporate responsibility, but I also believe there is no consumer responsibility.
 

pilotyip

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What is the fix? The Wal-Mart example, the unions all sign up for "Buy American", go to the Wal-Mart parking lot in Belleville, MI and check out all the UAW bumper stickers in the parking lot. Why becasue it is low cost and you have greater control over your dollars. How many ALPA family members without ravel benefits, go to priceline, Kayak, etc when shopping for airline travel?
 

NavinRJohnson

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Yip:

You're absolutely right. I don't believe it will be fixed because the consumer, union member or not, is unwilling or too stupid to educate themselves. It's a systemic outcome of market forces.

Yet, how willing are we to let gov't regulate everything? There's the rub...
 

Bad-Andy

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-Call me a racist if you wish, but I have seen AeroMexico, Taca, and Mexicana at work-many times. If these guys are any example of south-of-the border professionalism, my racist pink ass will never be on any of their planes!
Hmmmmm...... Where did you see these guys at work? I've been fortunate enough to see AeroMexico and Mexicana crews coming through training in Miami on the 'Bus. They were top notch. They had it together (they came in to training prepared, they had great attitudes -- and skills--, and they were ready to learn). I have also seen waaaaaay too many RJ crews that I wouldn't let walk my dog, let alone drive a plane I was riding in the back of. I would hands down get on a Latin American mainline carrier (limited to Avianca -- the best guys I've ever seen go through training..., Aero Mexico, Mexicana, or LAN) before I felt comfortable on an RJ tooling around the mountains.

(And yes, I know the majority of Regional pilots are safe, mature, etc. In fact, I would even say the VAST majority of Regional guys are fine. The problem is, we all know the few guys that slipped through the cracks at a Regional. The nice thing about the Southern carriers you mentioned is that they don't slip through the cracks there... they're shown the door and they go fly for a second tier carrier.).

Anyways, you're entitled to your opinions (no matter how wrong they are), but as for me, until the regionals find a way to get rid of the pilots that have no business being in a cockpit (at all), I'll stick with the mainline carriers...
 

NEDude

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I think the article was poorly written, the points made were weak at best, and he made airline pilots look even more like whiners.

The simple fact is the American consumer will not, in most instances, pay more for better quality. They will pay for the cheapest thing out there, and it has been proven time and time again, in industry after industry. We are not unique in that matter.

I think the problem is threefold:

Since 2001 the industry has been in utter turmoil. Tens of thousands of pilots, and hundreds of thousands of airline employees have lost jobs or had significant reductions in pay, benefits and retirement income. Personally I have been furloughed three times since 2001 and missed a fourth by one seniority number. On the flip side, how many airline managers have been adversely affected? Even those who have lost their jobs walked away with millions of dollars in bonuses. The rest are rewarded with ever increasing bonuses for failing performance: File for bankruptcy - here is a 20 million dollar bonus, cut employee salaries by $100 million - here is a 100 million dollar bonus, default on loan payments of $50 million - here is a 50 million dollar bonus. You get the picture. The executives are not held accountable for their performance. Somehow the executives need to be held accountable for poor performance. This is true in our industry as well as others. I do not know how to hold them accountable other than through strict government oversight, and who knows how effective it will be. But somehow, someway, poor executive performance needs to be punished - through loss of pay - not rewarded as the current system does.

The second issue is flight/duty time/experience regulations. This has been discussed ad nauseum and I do not wish to rehash it all here. I think we are all on agreement here. I do however with to point out that his has been the one execption to the old adage that FARs are written in blood. This has been the one area that even though many people have died due to this problem, the FAA has refused to even consider addressing. Thanks to the ATA - (sarcsam warning - one has to wonder why they are so opposed to changing the regulations, if it negatively affects their bottom line the executives will just be able to cash in even larger bonuses).

Lastly the problem is with the unions. Our unions, when it comes to addressing the issues facing us, throw out a few cursory words on the issue and go back to collecting dues. Why the #@^& hasn't ALPA, APA, SWAPA and the Teamsters joined forces and screamed bloody murder about CrewPass? Why haven't they jumped all over the fatigue issues? I know at times the unions have conflicting issues, but these are a few things every single one of us are united on. Get out and do informational picketing at airports about rest and duty time regulations, do it as a joint venture of all the unions. Get pilots out there every day at all major airports. Pool the resources and take out regular ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Make the ads shocking. Have the number of dead people attributed to pilot fatigue written in big bold red letters. Show a picture of a crash site. Cite how the NTSB has been after the FAA for decades to address the issue. Cite the opposition to it by the airline managers who make millions of dollars a year. We could make a huge difference on this if the unions really cared. Same thing with CrewPass. These two issues would have a huge impact on our quality of life and increase the demand for qualified pilots.

But to complain to the consumers that they do not pay enough is a weak and futile argument. How would you like to hear from your car saleman next time your there to purchase, that you need to pay more so he can pay his bills?
 

pilotyip

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Yip:

You're absolutely right. I don't believe it will be fixed because the consumer, union member or not, is unwilling or too stupid to educate themselves. It's a systemic outcome of market forces.

Yet, how willing are we to let gov't regulate everything? There's the rub...
And of course re-reg would have an upside for some senior guys and a downside for many junior guys. Is that the answer?
 

taters

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I cant belive the awful scumbags replying to that article...
"
The skills involved in flying an airplane are overrated. (My pilot friends would agree) It is only the consequences of the mistakes that make us think of this as an elite profession. There should be regulations about rest requirements just as there should for bus and truck drivers. The pay for an occupation is determined by supply and demand. If you have a bunch of young pilots willing to fly for low wages, oh well. You aren’t going to raise their experience or skill level but having a pilot minimum wage. Flyers don’t think they are “entitled” to fly anywhere for $99. Airlines in intense competition for butts to put in the seats are cutting costs to lower prices. That’s how competition works.
— Bob Wortman"
 

pilotyip

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Nice does of reality

I cant belive the awful scumbags replying to that article...
"
The skills involved in flying an airplane are overrated. (My pilot friends would agree) It is only the consequences of the mistakes that make us think of this as an elite profession. There should be regulations about rest requirements just as there should for bus and truck drivers. The pay for an occupation is determined by supply and demand. If you have a bunch of young pilots willing to fly for low wages, oh well. You aren’t going to raise their experience or skill level but having a pilot minimum wage. Flyers don’t think they are “entitled” to fly anywhere for $99. Airlines in intense competition for butts to put in the seats are cutting costs to lower prices. That’s how competition works.
— Bob Wortman"
The ugly truth that many appear to want to ignore. BTW there are rest regulations just like the truckers, just different.
 

inline

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Until the mid '80s, civilian pilots took a back seat to getting hired at the airlines. It was a closed shop for military pilots. Just like FedEx now.
 
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