UAL on U302

spinup

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Could someone please explain why U302 has met with so much UAL ALPA resistance? The argument for no B scale can only go so far in my opinion. Clearly with the advent of Regional jets the industry has forever changed. Instead of complaining about how small jets are eroding mainline flying, lets do something about it. LET’S FLY THEM.

We can all see the trend. When a competitor gets a new contract with relief for a greater percentage of small jets, that puts us at a competitive disadvantage, then UAL needs to respond. How far does this have to go before we wake up? This trend is self-sustaining. The obvious downside is that for mainline to fly them and remain competitive; we need a B scale. A price I am willing to pay.

Additionally, all carriers have claimed that the high yield pax may not return any time soon, possibly ever in the same percentage. U302 would moderate our reliance on any one traveling personality. This is the best recovery idea I have heard to date, allowing for competition on the low fare front long term.

As pilots we are by nature conservative, but in this case we need to be proactive and aggressive. Let’s not just sit by and watch the industry toss us around, things have changed and we are already behind the eight ball. What the heck is the benefit of no B scale if we cannot protect mainline jobs?

I wasn't at UAL long enough to harbor the resentment toward management which appears to be evident, so I want to see both groups successful. It seems on the surface U302 would do just that. I don't have the inside track on management’s take on this, but I fear that our pilot group may be shortsighted on this one.

Help me out folks, what am I missing?

And yes, I feel that ALPA should also protect our regional brothers in any transition of equipment.
 

Sleepyhead

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I hear ya

You are right on track.
It is time the MEC wakes up and sees what is going on in the industry. Even before 9-11 the regionals were buying RJs as fast as they could be built. The fact is they are here to stay.
PAX love them and they make money.
Instead of sticking with the old policy of trying to limit their numbers, United has to change and start flying them themselves.
The regionals are already finding ways around the scope clause
and the number of RJs will only increase.
 

Slug

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Love them?

"PAX love them "

I am not attacking RJ Pilots, Regional airlines, or any facet of the scope issue. In fact in my current position I like the U302 plan. I do feel that the all encompassing "pax love them" statement is a little off. The only thing I've seen from passengers concerning the RJs is that they hate them. I commute out of BNA and when mainline UAL pulled out and was replaced by RJs the reaction of the passengers was not favorable. Many that I talked with despised the headroom, the lack of storage, and the unreliability to name a few issues. Many people I talked with said they'd swap airlines to AAL to avoid the ride up on the RJ. As a passenger, if given the choice between two airlines I'd fly the one with big airplanes.

That said, I feel that RJs are the better alternative (by far) to the 1900s and other prop job typical "commuter" planes.

That's my 2 cents. Again, I don't hate the RJs or any other airline pilot for what they fly. I just feel that although the RJs are around to stay they are not the "perfect" answer the ailing industry.

Slug
 

EAP

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True enough

The lack of glee from most pax used to mainline equipment is because most RJ's really aren't jetliners in the minds of well traveled folks. They are either stretched corporate aircraft or stretched and jet retrofitted commuter aircraft. Boeing/McD and Airbus are hard to beat in accepted standard creature comfort or large cabins with plenty of carry-on bag storage.

We will see a new generation of larger cabin RJ's coming though, with large airliner comfort and better than Boeing economy for their design use. These 90-100 seat variants are going to be the true RJ direction, not the initial CL-65's and EMB-145's we know today. Sure, the CL and EMB line fill a niche, and for that reason, they will be around for a long while, but there are more serious contenders on the way. These will truly blur the line between "regional jet" and "jetliner".

U30-02 addresses this swan song of the scope clause era by recognising this, taking economic advantage of it for the benefit of UAL employees and preparing for inevitable market forces. Personally I think we have an air carrier "Vietnam" coming, and the old guard MEC's at most majors are still fighting an outdated war using scope defense that will line the industry up for a war of attrition. Attrition meaning make the other side (management or union) hurt worse until somebody gives in. New methods and ideas will previal - I want to be on the front side of a win-win situation, not on the outside of a pissing match watching myself and everyone else getting wet.

As far as a B scale goes, I don't see it. A "B" scale would be to keep someone making XXX per year in one category while hiring a new guy and never letting him make what the first guy made at similar longevity on similar equipmet. If you add positions below the first guy, and guaruntee seats making normal pay, you are just adding new equipment at a pay rate comensurate with the equpment. Also, B scale is by way of date of hire and assigning a new pay scale to it. Someone hired into UAL and placed into U30-02 would have the option to bid whatever they wanted at the standard scale too depending on seniority. Someone who wanted advancement or a certain schedule may like the choice U30-02 would give. If it got old, they could bid back to a 747 FO and still enjoy the fact that they have a company making money on RJ's instead of the mainline paying another company a "per departure fee" to make money on RJ's. All the while, they'd have another couple thousand guys below them on the list who are happy to have the chance to have a career with lots of choices and a more defined future.
 
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jed

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United feeders

Does anyone have an opinion on what would happen to Uniteds feeders if the U302 proposal went through. Would ACA and AWAC stop growing, and stop feeding UNited? Just wondering if any one can speculate as to how this might turn out?
jed
 

Lifestyle

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I have a speculation on what might happen to United feeders. If U302 went through, the scope clause would no longer be in violation. I believe UAL's scope clause allows for 65 RJ's under a code share agreement. With U302 coming through the growth at the feeders would stop growing while UAL shrinks. I think it is the best idea I have ever heard and I hope that it can see it's way through to the board or directors. I'm so tired of the feeders grow in violation of my unions letter of agreement, while my fellow furloughees and I sit idly by on the street. It's legalized B-scale folks. Management loves this stuff.
 

P3-Adub

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Anyone have an accurate number for how much a new RJ costs these days ? I am sure there are some aggressive finance packages for airlines buying up all of these planes however at some point they will need to start paying for them. I wonder what the cost is of the assumed "lower cost" RJ as compared to a 10 year old 737-300 ? Obviously the operating cost is less but by how much ? I have heard that a new RJ-700 is around 40M, seems pretty high, if the planes are that expensive then who is paying the lease payments, are they deferred for a certain amount of time ? I do know that many start up airlines get a healthy deferral allowing for aggressive marketing to get a foothold, great idea for the manufacturers. Not so good for all of the long term players. Is this US Air's strategy at this time ? I guess I am just trying to figure out how the capitol costs seem to not be a concern when comparing the direct operating cost between RJs, 737s, and MD-80s ???

I think that U302 is not a bad idea however if we were to use all of the 737s as they were originally planned for ( shuttle type operations nationwide ), then customers would have the larger cabin, entertainment, and baggage room they have come to love so dearly. There would be no additional capitol costs either. As I understand it, the 737s are being under-utilized anyway. Dutta has been quoted as suggesting the removal of first class seats in some of the aircraft to compete, is he talking about the Guppy ? Sure the RJs are great planes and I agree that props will be a thing of the past eventually so no argument there. What ever happened to the plans for some of the A320s and 757s possibly flying in the Shuttle concept ? If the people want the Greyhound fare flying coast to coast, maybe this is the answer ?
 

AlbieF15

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2 cents from an ex-military, freight hauling, might just be wrong kind of guy.

RJs fade a bit when one or both of these happen:

1- Regionals organize and force wages up to parity with mainline. Take a 777 Captains rate/per seat and slide it down to 55 seats....and when the cost advantage goes away the "right" plane for the market will show up. Right now the defacto "C" scales make the RJs a cheaper alternative, even if the 10 year 737 makes more sense in relation to other variable costs like fuel, etc.

2- Economy rebounds enough to get folks flying and again the "gridlock" of summer 99 shows back up. When feds start regulating (and better yet charging) for landing fees by SLOT time, then you will see larger planes again as Mgt tries to amortize those costs across more seats.

Don't think either will happen for a while. Be nice to the RJ pilots...they have better job security right now than most.

See Bluedevav8tor for insights into union issues at Regionals...he's barked up this tree before.
 

Splert

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Let say for one second that SkyWest pilots unionize and then strike in order to get 20% higher wages. Then for additional second management agrees to a 20% raise. United a split-second later would transfer all new flying to Air Whiskey, Mesa, and ACA. After SkyWest’s contract with United runs out all of SkyWest's contract flying would be taken over by Mesa.

If Air Whiskey wants higher wages, then oooops there goes the flying to XYZ Airlines. Then XYZ want higher wages then ABC gets the flying.

It will never happen. Higher wages will never happen at the regionals. Even if all regional pilots were under one union and they had 100% solidarity higher wages would never happen. A start-up XYZ airline would get all new the flying and then slowly but surely more and more flying. And quess what: I would buy XYZ's stock and so would all of you.

Under the current system the RJ flying goes to the lowest bidder. The lowest bidders get the fixed fee for each departure and the Major partner get feed. Or, is that all they get? Today, in AA and United and Delta’s case the regional partner flies mainline routes. For instance, Eagle is going to start flying their ERJ from SNA to LAX then SFO. How does that route provide feed to AA?

I would rather have United, AA, Delta, NWA, Continental, USAir, Alaska get hundreds and even thousands of RJ's on their property. I think this better happen sooner rather than later. I am beginning to here some very interesting rumors that Washington, DC and congress are wondering if “scope” is good for America. “Scope” is good for major airline pilots, the ranks I want to join, but is it good for the American people who are bailing out the industry? Is scope good for the flying public?

Later…:eek:
 
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terryhfly

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Lifestyle,

"I'm so tired of the feeders grow in violation of my unions letter of agreement, while my fellow furloughees and I sit idly by on the street. It's legalized B-scale folks."

Mainliners are not the only ones on furlough. Here at Air Wisconsin we have people on the street (I know it's not as many as United) as do most of the large "feeders". Mainline management needs to get there act together. But, what do I know, I am just a RJ pilot.

Terry
 

EAP

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First off, nobody said an RJ pilot is by definition any less than anyone else. It sucks to be on furlough, it would be better to have a situation giving us all a more stable future.
 

Sleepyhead

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To clarify the "PAX love them " statement.
I was speaking in reference to the choice PAX had
a few years ago at the regionals. Back then it was
a turbo-prop or nothing. When RJs starting showing
up on their routes, the PAX loved them compared to
the turbo-props.
The problem today is management has turned it around.
They put RJ's on routes that use to have main line A/C
and now PAX are pissed. Just look at LAX-PHX.
No mainline A/C, only Skywest RJs, and they are always
full. Not my idea of how to win back PAX.
 

ASApuppy

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The price tag on CRJ's:

I've heard this from several sources and believe it's true for the most part.

List price of a 50 seat CRJ is $22M. If your name is DCI and you order 100+ and 400+ options you get them for a cool $15M a copy. Pretty smart huh? Well, it gets better. You then take your near new, slightly used jet and hock it to a leasing company and lease it back from them. Basically, nothing more than the airplane sitting on the ground for a week as the paperwork shuffles. Leasing company pays $20M for the jet, which is $2M less than what they would have paid. Their happy to get a great deal on the plane. So, to sum this up, DAL is making $5M for every CRJ they take delivery of. Now, if you just put that in the bank for the lease payments you now have to make, you get several years of free payments. Why not get them as fast as you can. This was going on pre-9/11 and is continuing today. The only snag from 9/11 was that the primary leasing company was located in the WTC.

As for the PAX love them. While some frequent flyers might enjoy the bigger cabin and meal service, most really like that no matter where they are sitting, it only takes a fraction of the time to offload.
 

OakRBust

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When things were good... $$200,000 plus wasn't enough money for all the big brother pilots.

Now regionals shouldn't have rj's cause it is taking away jobs from big brother????

In another year(s), when the economy gets back to normal and everybody gets called back, none of you big brothers will want to fly a little RJ for 110 K or whatever the scale will be.

RJ's are taking some mainline flying and that sucks for all of us who dreamed of making it to a major. I am at a regional with props and jets. I wish that Mainline had all the jets cause that would mean a lot more higher paying jobs for all pilots. The problem is everyone except SWA is losing billions of dollars. What choice have we as pilots left to management. It is really hard to take multi million dollar bonuses when your bottom line is negative 500 million for the first quarter.

Don't blame little brother pilots. Blame our greedy asss selves for needing $354.00/hour to do what you love. Get real guys.... We aren't Baseball players.:D


That's just my opinion... I could be wrong.....
 

EAP

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...stale rehash...

....and I think you are wrong, at least about all of us "getting real" about pay rates flying airplanes where the walkup fares to some international destinations are over 10 grand a pop. A 747 isn't an RJ, they have economy of scale working for them. Don't cut yourself off at the knees before you get to the front lines and see for yourself how long of a road it is to that elusive payscale, bro.

As far as RJ's go, I have been a major airline pilot (for 2 outfits) since 98. I've felt, before that date certainly, that when my past life regional airline got RJ's while I was a regional pilot, it should have been the mainline getting them . My reasoning was because I wanted more career opportunities at what I judged to be true career operators.

I certainly don't begrudge regionals from having jets though, now that they have plenty of them. It makes for decent career possibilities for some that prefer their situation at specific regionals, and that wasn't as nice an option before.

One of the best captains I've flown with on the 737 (junior captain) considered himself a career RJ captain at a Regional before he got an out of the blue interview and job offer at United. His reasoning was that he was older, had kids, and didn't know if he'd ever really better his standings at a major. Obviously he took the job and it worked out for him in spades. He then upgraded at the first opportunity (3 years) to 737 captain at the Yo and is one of the best I've flown with. So don't accuse me of thinking regional commuter pilots are "underneath" us snobs at mainline companies, plenty of us have come from the ranks, and many have been called "lifers" at the regionals before making the move. I've been there, done that, even sold the tee shirts to others so they can say the same thing. I feel commuter guys are certainly worthy of professional treatment as BE-1900 pilots to RJ pilots.

What this thread is talking about is the U30-2 proposal. It doesn't demean any pilot group. It is a business model that will create growth and opportunity for career jobs. It doesn't force mainline pilots into cockpits of regional airlines flying former mainline routes with RJ's. The real resistance is that it alters the growth at a foundation level, where some of the big union players obviously don't feel comfortable with the concept because it isn't the typical growth mode that buys Boeings, Airbuses and widebodies.
 
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Lifestyle

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TerryHfly,
Before you label me, let me tell you a little about me. I was at a COEX for over 3 years. Talk about no scope clause. Even then while I sat in my Brasiia I would cringe everytime we took a new RJ delivery. Why, because every RJ that came on to COEX property kept me at that regional longer getting paid crap to do the same job everybody else does. Also, if you don't think I have any compassion for regional guys now that I have gone to "Big Brother". I walked the informational picket line in my United Uniform during Air Wisconsins Contract negotiations. I haven't forgotten where I come from, I just think now more than ever that scope clauses need to be honored and regionals need to be stepping stones for something better. I want to see you in an airbus or a 737, not an RJ for the rest of your life. I'm not just looking out for United Pilots flying I'm looking out for the better of everyones career. Once again Legalized B-Scale brother.

OakRBust,
No one is blameing "Little Brother Pilots" as you call them. They can't help how managment runs a business. All we ask for is to show some support in honoring these scope clauses.
 

spinup

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I hear where y'all are comming from. As Johnny Knoxville once said, "hate the game, not the player." I think it is time to change the game to reflect all pilots best interests.

Here's another one. We have a number of 747-400 (4 I think) parked in the desert. How 'bout a little ANC freight action?
 

spinup

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Press Release
SOURCE: Continental Express
Continental Express Adds Its 150th Regional Jet to Operating Fleet
HOUSTON, May 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ExpressJet Holdings (NYSE: XJT - News) today announced the addition of the 150th Embraer regional jet to the Continental Express operating fleet, marking another milestone in its aggressive transition to an all-jet fleet by the first quarter of 2003.

With the latest delivery of a 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145, the Continental Express operating fleet now totals 171, including 21 remaining turboprop aircraft. The regional carrier to Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL - News) has firm orders for 124 Embraer regional jets and is scheduled to take delivery of about four aircraft every month for the next three years
 

publisher

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few points

ASApuppy

What you heard regarding the financing may or may not be true. It was certainly true in the old days for large aircraft although not as interesting with turbo-props due to the lessors not having the level of interest.

This changed when ILFC started buying aircraft from Boeing and Airbus and not the airline themselves. They figured out the game and decided to play it themselves.

That pretty well killed the practice for big aircraft. It may still be done but leasing companies are really leary of values anymore.

There are going to be a number of issues far beyond pilot cost that are going to impact regional under 100 seat flying. Insurance and security costs could seal off some communities from any service.

Two things are likely. Independant regionals and the continued proliferation of SWA, AirTran, Alaska type carriers.
 

terryhfly

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Lifestlye,

Thanks for walking our picket line at Air Wisconsin. I feel the same way each new RJ we get the longer I have to stay here. But, with more RJ's the more of a life I can have out side the company. Either way you screw yourself.

Terry
 
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