Reg. pay mathcing Maj. pay. More harm!?

PilotOnTheRise

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I recently read a post on one of the forums on FlightInfo.com where someone was arguing that regional airline pay should match major airline pay. My question raised is whether that would cause more harm than good. As I began to think, as I often do, I came up with a scenario that, in my opinion is what would most likely happen if that were to happen ... and it doesn't sound very good. .... hear me out ....

Lets say 10 years from now, after many strikes, the regionals, all RJ's now, up pay to match that of the major airlines. The first thing that will happen is no-one will want to leave that brand new nice RJ to go fly a old MD80 or B737, when they make the same $100K salary. Thus, regional airline minimums will sky rocket because there is no-one leaving. The majors will soon find no use for the older planes, like the MD80s and older B737s, so they will, after a couple years get rid of them. Now the majors have a fleet full of B738s, B757s, B767s and B777s. Thus, the only routes the majors will fly now will be long haul routes. Now, the regionals have taken over all of the destinations that were once served by the majors with their MD80s and B737s. In a scense, the regionals have become the majors, offering more flights. The major will now be left only flying long haul flights, JFK-LAX and overseas flights. The minimums with the majors will of course, as a result, sky rocket as well, since they are now flying longer routes, with larger aircraft. Thus a huge hiring freeze will result. The 1200TT guy now has no chance at a regional job, because they require about 5000TT. But what about those 135 jobs? Of course they will be filled too. All of these people wishing to build the time to get on with a regional will take those jobs and will not leave within a year as most do now, but will stick around for many years building that time. That leaves the only option for the 1200-2000TT guy is instructing, making hardly nothing. 135 operations will not be able to take on the pay raises, so this is what you have. It is extremely hard to get onto a regional and about five times that to get onto a major. The 135 carrier in a scense has now become the regionals, the regionals the majors and the majors, lets call them the admirals now:) . In a way we are left in the same boat. The 135 (now the regionals) have low pay, and it is what low time guys who currently get on with regionals will have to do. The regionals (now the majors) pay is alot higher, but it doesnt meet the majors (admirals) anymore because they have had to up pay due to the longer routes and fleet full of larger aircraft. So, in a way, we are in the same boat, but even worse. Now the low time guys are stuck making low pay flying freight in a cessna (which there is nothing wrong with flying freight in a cessna), when instead, they could be in a RJ. But they wished for regional pay to be way higher, when that happened ... well, it doesnt concern them, because they cant get on one anyway.

I know regional pay is low, mainly the first year FO pay. However, it is not that bad, as it does up a good bit your second year and with an upgrade to captain. For the sake of young pilots, wanting a job flying in the near future, lets not wish to hard for something that may as a result, make things worse.
 

bigD

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I dunno - I'm certainly no expert in this stuff, but as they say about the internet: now the villiage idiot no longer stays in his villiage! :D

It seems to me that regardless of how the pay structure is set, the same number of passengers are going to require the same number of seats. These seats are going to need planes being flown by pilots, one way or another. If RJ's take over everything but the long haul routes - more pilots will ultimately be needed. I can see a situation where the top end at the regionals is adjusted to more closely match the majors while the low end stays close to the same. I'm not sure that the minimums would change - everyone would still keep moving up the ladder. Perhaps not in equipment - but in salary.

And maybe I'm just weird, but the money is just one factor - I want to fly different kinds of equipment. No way do I want to spend my whole career flying an RJ - new or not. Gimme 100K flying an RJ, and you can bet that after a year or so I'll be looking at that "old" MD-80 or 737. It's a different plane. I don't fly to get an opportunity to punch buttons on a newer FMS - I fly for the variety of challenges, and each plane offers its own set of challenges. I've spent a few years flying an A36 with all the goodies - why would I go and get checked out in a VFR Citabria? Because it's fun flying something different!

I'd be very disappointed if I had to sit in an RJ until I'm 60. Nothing against the RJ - if I started by flying 737's, I'd be wondering what it'd be like to fly one. I just don't want to fly the same piece of equipment forever and ever.

Ick - I hope what you say doesn't come true!
 

Tim47SIP

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re regional pay?

Has it ever come to your attention that maybe the unions at the majors have produced a comodity that no one can afford?. This might not be the one way street that you are describing. Think about it. ;)
 

PilotOnTheRise

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I realize that the chances of this coming true are rare. Chances are it will not. I was just thinking about it and came up with that scenario .. not saying I think for sure it would happen, but it is something around what might happen if regionals were to raise salaries to meet the majors. As far as the low pay being the same, but top being the same as majors .. in my scenario, I assumed all pay, including first year pay went to match the majors... after all, it is first year pay people complain about anyway. ... I guess also what I should have added is that people will want to stay in Rj and make $100K if that is what they care about, the money. I realize there are people like me who would like to move to fly larger aircraft and am not worried about the money. That is why I hope my scenario doesnt come true.

Realize however, I said it is a "scenario". That is one of many things that could happen if pay were to go that way. I am with yall however, I would rather fly the "old" MD80 or B737 over a RJ after a couple years. But for some, its the money, not the plane. Only reason why some want to go to larger planes is for more money

-Chris
 

Ty Webb

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Thanks for the mental masturbation, Chris, but your logic has some serious flaws.

What people are proposing is that RJ pilots be paid on a major scale. What that means is that they be paid a rate that reflects the number of revenue seats that they are flying. In other words, no one is saying that an RJ and a B737-800 should pay the same thing . . . one has twice as many seats as the other. The financial incentive to leave for a major will still be there.

Also, the majors have more than just $ over the regionals. For starters, how about work rules, schedules, etc. Most guys don;t want to do 5 legs a day and CDO lines with four legs for the rest of their life, thank you. The regionals will always provide incentives to move on to a major, for most pilots.

In other words, don;t worry too much about the regionals becoming such a swell place that no one wants to leave. If that happens, the market forces will dictate a change.
 

PilotOnTheRise

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As I said, it was just a thought I had ... I never said it will come true ... and I realize there are flaws in it ... there are flaws in every scenario. Just one that popped in my head one day and I thought it might be interesting to post.
 

chawbein

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Call me ignorant, but what is the approximate median salary in the regionals for captains and FO's? What benefits are offered?
 

wil

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RJ pay

I think you are right about mainline doing the long haul/international stuff and us picking up a lot of the middle with a mix of 50/70 seaters. I don't expect mainline equip. pay but I want the same work rules and duty rigs- 12 hour res call out, 2.50 per diem instead of 1.50 ect. I am afraid the days of 1200tt and a job are long over. There will be exceptions but anyone getting into the industry at this point had really evaluate their choice. And, have training in some other field as a back up plan! Fly safe-
 

MetroSheriff

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JetPilotChris said:

Lets say 10 years from now, after many strikes, the regionals, all RJ's now, up pay to match that of the major airlines. The first thing that will happen is no-one will want to leave that brand new nice RJ to go fly a old MD80 or B737, when they make the same $100K salary.
I would.

Even if you are assuming that work rules, days off, vacation, retirement and insurance are the same (which of course they are NOT), I'd rather fly an "old" B737 or MD80 series than an RJ. In fact you could add the 727, DC-10, "stretch" -8, 707, and the TriStar to the list too.

One is an airliner and one isn't it's that simple. I am sure some will call it ego. Call it what you like. When I was 4 years old I wanted to fly "an airliner". 30 years later I still do.

Generic Omniscient Deity willing and the creek don't rise (and a turn around in the economy), and I may still get that chance.

In my humble opinion anyone who says, assuming all compensation factors are the same, they'd rather fly an RJ than a 737-800, is a liar...period.
 
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