SWA downgraded due to "lucrative pilot contract and dwindling fuel hedges"

FL717

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Is everybody suddenly a Drama Queen??

SeaSlam said:
I'm sure this will become a familiar topic of discussion over the next 2 years...

http://www.aviationtoday.com/feature.htm

Your attention grabbing thread title complete with a big "stoplight" is an example of someone who needs to get a life. You are exactly the type of MTV soundbite lazy generation person that the media plays on. You know and repeat only what they feed you.

First... did you even read the article? Second... more importantly did you comprehend the information in the article?

The quote that you seem to put on Southwest was made by one woman way back in July. Hardly a current newsflash.

Finally, since you don't appear to have actually read the article.... the actual facts of the article speak very well about Southwest and their performance. It would appear that the actual intent of the article was not so much about the demise of Southwest.... but the demise of USAir and America West. What is a shame is the fact that USAir and America West haven't even merged yet, and this reporter wants to start the funeral procession already stating that Southwest could drive them into liquidity.

So which is it.... is Southwest going to die due to high costs, or USAir/America West going to die because of the efficiency of Southwest?

The reporter suggests both.... but certainly doesn't seem to answer any of their own cotradiction in that article. I really dislike the media. They have really hurt the economy and businesses more than people realise.

If you keep telling it long enough... people will start believing it. Thats why I like Southwest, because for over 30 years they haven't listened to it, and have done just fine.
 
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pilot141

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Jeez, FL717, relax. The OP didn't mention the "demise" of Southwest, he just took one (accurate, I might add) quote from the article, used it as a headline and linked to the article. SWA was, in fact, downgraded due to the reasons cited in the headline.

As to the "If you keep telling it long enough...people will believe it".....well, this seems to be one of the few media articles that recognizes that SWA pilots are among the highest paid in the industry. We all know it, but then again we are not the average public. Instead of the standard "SWA's low costs allow it wipe the floor with everyone" we hear that they might actually have some "cost headwinds". Not demise, but some "headwinds".

Yeah, the downgrade was made "way back" in July....a whole two months ago! Has the pilot contract changed since then? Oh, yeah, they got a pay raise in Sep. How about other costs, like unhedged fuel? Oh, yeah.....again they went up. If anything an analysis "way back" in July would prove to be overly optomistic.

As you critique the OP for predicting the "demise" of SWA, your apparent blind love for the airline comes through. That's fine: I've got nothing wrong with someone loving a particular airline for whatever reason. But don't go on an unjustified tirade when someone merely posts an article that has some not-completely-glowing info about your favorite airline.
 

Draginass

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It is impossible for an airline to die, no matter how badly it is led and managed. Witness 2 BKs by US Air and 3 YEARS in BK by Untied.
 

kelbill

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Pilot141,

I couldn't link to the article, but did it mention pay rates or compare pilot costs? If it is just rates, then the article is skewed big time, as we are amongst the top, if not the top, productive pilots in the industry. I will hit 5,000 hours in the venerable 737 after less than 5 1/2 years on the line. (I am a flying whore though). We have/need fewer pilots per plane. Also, excluding oil prices, which will continue to hose everybody including SWA (although less with hedges), our CASM has gone down about 3% or so I believe from last year. Things aren't getting worse, they are getting better. And speaking of the future, we get another raise next year, BUT, what about all the legacies whose pilots will be DEMANDING BIG raises in the coming years should their airlines make even a slight profit. That, I guarantee. I assume the article didn't mention that possibility but rather assumed the legacies new low cost models would remain intact. I could be wrong. I'm an ex-c141 puke too.

Arrogance can bite us, but some folks are just responding to the continuous attempts to find fault with us. SWA mgt continues to tell us that times are tough and not to underestimate the competition. They NEVER tell us a legacy will be liquidating and so times will improve. We plan for the worst scenario. Pilots elsewhere need to figure out how to work hard to keep their own companies profitable as opposed to try to make ours sound like it is in trouble. Wasted energy.
 

canyonblue

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kelbill said:
Arrogance can bite us, but some folks are just responding to the continuous attempts to find fault with us. SWA mgt continues to tell us that times are tough and not to underestimate the competition. They NEVER tell us a legacy will be liquidating and so times will improve. We plan for the worst scenario. Pilots elsewhere need to figure out how to work hard to keep their own companies profitable as opposed to try to make ours sound like it is in trouble. Wasted energy.

Well said.
 

filejw

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The Wall street guys are just adding the the numbers.Try SWA 's balance sheet with fuel at 2 1/2 times the price.But don't kid yourself SWA is the best run of all the airlines and they will find a way.
 

jetexas

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I think one key factor is the mutual respect that SWA has between labor/management. While that may have changed some over recent times, it is still solid from what I understand. They even worked for free at SWA once upon a time to keep the company going. The way other managements have treated employees is a different story. That's the one major thing that sets SWA apart.
 

pilot141

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kelbill said:
Pilot141,

I couldn't link to the article, but did it mention pay rates or compare pilot costs? If it is just rates, then the article is skewed big time, as we are amongst the top, if not the top, productive pilots in the industry. I will hit 5,000 hours in the venerable 737 after less than 5 1/2 years on the line. (I am a flying whore though). We have/need fewer pilots per plane. Also, excluding oil prices, which will continue to hose everybody including SWA (although less with hedges), our CASM has gone down about 3% or so I believe from last year. ext year, BUT, what about all the legacies whose pilots will be DEMANDING BIG rThings aren't getting worse, they are getting better. And speaking of the future, we get another raise naises in the coming years should their airlines make even a slight profit. That, I guarantee. I assume the article didn't mention that possibility but rather assumed the legacies new low cost models would remain intact. I could be wrong. I'm an ex-c141 puke too.

Arrogance can bite us, but some folks are just responding to the continuous attempts to find fault with us. SWA mgt continues to tell us that times are tough and not to underestimate the competition. They NEVER tell us a legacy will be liquidating and so times will improve. We plan for the worst scenario. Pilots elsewhere need to figure out how to work hard to keep their own companies profitable as opposed to try to make ours sound like it is in trouble. Wasted energy.

Outstanding! Someone who can argue the merits of their position rather than just the emotions!

FYI, the article did not go into pilot-pay specifics, other than saying that SWA guys are "at the top of the industry". That's quite a change for the flying public to accept, so I expect to see it very rarely.

I also refuse to answer your ridiculous allegations about pilots demanding huge salaries and getting them; welcome to the post-1970s world!

Do some research on teh Intarweb first, and then come to us for comments.

Rich Oliver
 

kelbill

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Pilot141,

I also refuse to answer your ridiculous allegations about pilots demanding huge salaries and getting them; welcome to the post-1970s world!

Do some research on teh Intarweb first, and then come to us for comments.



What are your trying to say my good man? Did or did not UAL and DAL get some nice raises in the late 90s and/or early 2000/2001? The summer of discontent as some call it. I think so. That would not make it an allegation, but a fact. Now that those raises are gone, and then some, don't you expect the unions to come back with a vengence as they have every time the market turned around in the past? And why get into a tissy seeing I have not slammed anyone, but simply defended my own firm?

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/transportation/july-dec00/skies_12-21.html

This link might need to be cut and pasted. I got it from my 5 minutes of research on the internet from a Dec 2000 article that showed UAL pilots getting a 30% raise, making them top dog. Sorry if the facts throw a wrench into your arguments. Gotta go fly now.
 

pilot141

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Nope, I was including the UAL/DAL contracts in my discussion: they were the watershed moments for the big-boys contracts.
In your first quote you bad-mouthed the legacies for "DEMANDING" raises even though the industry had turned down. The contracts were signed pre-9/11. Are you saying that a SWA contract signed on 9/12/01 would have had provisions for pay cuts?

Look, no one can re-write the past. We can only learn from it, and adjust. The legacies adjusted too slowly (with the possible exception of AA), and SWA simply reduced growth to meet demand. Good on the companies who responded well, but they are not saints or beacons of hope; they are just companies.

The quote from your long post that most people (including me) take exception with is this: "Pilots elsewhere need to figure out how to work hard to keep their own companies profitable as opposed to try to make ours sound like it is in trouble."

Have you ever heard of a contract? If I was a Delta guy in July of 2001, how exactly could I have "worked harder" over the past 4 years so that Delta avoided bankruptcy?

In reality, nothing that an individual pilot does matters, and we are all subject to the whims of the industry. Yes, the SWA guys look like geniuses now, but so did the Pan AM guys in 1980, the UAL guys in 2000, and many other groups before them.

Don't gloat; it's unbecoming on anyone. Be happy for your success, and never, EVER shove it in another pilot's face; you never know if you could be asking that same pilot for a job in five or ten years.

Fly safe!
 

Icelandair

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Wow i looked at that link. Looks like the guy who picked "JetGreen" as his name didn't fare as well as a different colour.
 

canyonblue

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pilot141 said:
The quote from your long post that most people (including me) take exception with is this: "Pilots elsewhere need to figure out how to work hard to keep their own companies profitable as opposed to try to make ours sound like it is in trouble."

I did not read it that way, I read it as a current response to the other airline pilots out there, and not about the past. I also read it as a response to many who always find a way to shove a little rain on an SWA parade. It happens here a lot, you don't have to go to far to find it, just read any thread about SWA and you will find it.

Don't gloat; it's unbecoming on anyone. Be happy for your success, and never, EVER shove it in another pilot's face; you never know if you could be asking that same pilot for a job in five or ten years.

Try reading some of the Cargo pilots posts on this board. Talk about being humble.:rolleyes:
 

pilot141

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canyonblue said:
Try reading some of the Cargo pilots posts on this board. Talk about being humble.:rolleyes:

I completely agree with you.

I once had an old captain tell me "everyone has their turn in the barrel". At one time it was NWA, or DAL, or AA (can you say B-scale?), and even SWA, FDX and others. Stick around long enough and the airline you thought "had it all" is the one "in the barrel".

Humility is a hard thing to come by in this business, and most pilots are reluctant to admit that their career success has nothing at all to do with their flying skills and everything to do with the timing and luck that brought them to the right carrier at the right time.

Fly safe out there!
 

satpak77

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just remember Pan Am, in bed with the CAA, was a bulletproof airline. Both Pan Am and TWA introduced jet service with the 707 in the late 60's/early 70's

For discussion say you are 15 year old kid, who wants to work for the bulletproof, intercontinental, Pan Am.

It is 1970, and the bulletproof Pan Am just flew into Heathrow with a new 747. They obviously are doing something right.

You pay your dues via military or civilian, finally getting hired by Pan Am at age 32, Kit Darby's official airline new-hire age. It is now 1987. You pass new-hire probation and in 1988 you and your wife have your first child.

Flash forward to 1991, if you weren't already furloughed, you are now. Pan Am liquidates completely and shuts down.

Who we work for (like said before) is sometimes left to who is hiring and the luck of the draw.

The above scenario can be replayed at ANY airline.....
 

SeaSlam

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FL717 said:
Your attention grabbing thread title complete with a big "stoplight" is an example of someone who needs to get a life.

I don't think it's a stoplight. If you look closely and don't jump to conclusions (as you so fatherly pointed out) it appears the "big stoplight" is actually quite small and that the yellow light is lit which is more indicative of "caution".

As someone more knowledgeable than I once said..."those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it". Just an interesting article FL717...nothing more, nothing less....jacka$$.
 

FL717

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SeaSlam said:
I don't think it's a stoplight. If you look closely and don't jump to conclusions (as you so fatherly pointed out) it appears the "big stoplight" is actually quite small and that the yellow light is lit which is more indicative of "caution".

As someone more knowledgeable than I once said..."those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it". Just an interesting article FL717...nothing more, nothing less....jacka$$.

LOL! Jacka$$ huh?! LOL!!

First off... I'm not sure where you are from.... but in America its IS called a stoplight regardless of which light happens to be illuminated at the time

Second.... there is no real lesson in the ridiculous article you posted. In fact the article actually is quite contradictory in its illustration, but the reporter and obviously you can't figure that out.

Regardless, Southwest is in fact profitable.... and all you are doing by linking the article, is allowing some pinhead reporter to use YOU to further their agenda.

The article really tells us NOTHING, and perpetuates that labor costs ruin airlines... which simply isn't true. But you can't see that therefore YOU become the tool for the problem.

Finally, while I may not like what you posted, and you may not like what I posted, I never once resorted to name calling as you so quickly chose to do after objecting to my point, but hey thats the internet... so cower away behind the keyboard name calling...LOL!
 
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