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Warning: Hainan Airlines & NetCompass

Got2Fly

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I just want to give you guys a warning about Hainan Airlines (China) and Net Compass crew leasing firm. Three of us from the USA interviewed at Hainan over 3 months ago for the B767 Captain position. None of us got the job. They promised to reimburse the cost of the airline tickets, but so far it has not happened. Vivian Chen of Net Compass (vivian.chen@netcompass-inc.com) told us we would get reimbursed by Hainan Air when we got to Beijing. That didn't happen. Every time we have talked to them since that time the Hainan HR representative Adam Liu (yc_liu@hnair.com) has come up with a new excuse or a new requirement for getting reimbursed. We have meticulously complied with every requirement, but they just keep making excuses and telling us it will be two more weeks, maybe another month. I have a couple friends who started the interview process for the B737 a month prior to us and were hired. They have been working for the company for 6 weeks (or in training or waiting for their work visa) and they also have still not been reimbursed for their flight tickets, and they tell me they are sure they will not be reimbursed until they are all checked out and flying the line. The implication is clear that no one gets reimbursed until actually flying the line (And I am wondering if then?). However, the promise to pay for flight tickets to the interview was definitely NOT contingent up taking the job at Hainan Airlines. We were clearly lied to. The three of us each spent from $1700 to $3,000 that has not been reimbursed as promised.

If you go ot the interview, you should not be expecting reimbursement for flight tickets, no matter what they tell you. And if they will tell you a bold face lie about that, I can't help but wonder what else they will lie about. Is the contract worth the paper it is written on? Time will tell, but I doubt it.

If you go to the interview, you can expect to do the physical, take the Chinese ATP written (they will give you study materials), and a check ride in the simulator with a company check airman and a CAAC inspector from the Chinese government. It is a busy check ride as any type rating check ride would be, just short of about 2 hours in length and multiple failures. It seems each check ride is different and there is no set profile, but they are big on crosswinds (90 degrees at 35 knots) and multiple system failures. The CAAC inspector and the Company Check Airman will speak almost no English, and everything will be done through your interpreter Adam Liu.

They will put you in a company owned "crew hotel" near the Beijing airport (not open to the public). It is about a one star hotel. We spent about 11 days in this place due to the inefficient scheduling of everything. It is not filthy, but not sparkling clean either, extremely simple with no amenities. It is well worn, and some rooms have holes in the plaster and water damage. I found it kind of depressing. The only towel provided is a small faded hand towel. Bring your own bath towel. There is a slow internet connection via Ethernet cord, fast enough for email and painfully slow web browsing but too slow for Skype phone calls. The ONLY person there whom you will be able to communicate with in English will be the HR representative Adam Liu who also stays in the hotel during flight crew screenings. No one else speaks English. We never saw the company headquarters or met any other management people from the company (Headquarters is on Hainan island). Hainan Air will provide your meals in the employee cafeteria, which is very simple Chinese food. The hotel is located in a very poor area where the local restaurants are extremely basic Chinese food and there are a few local shops but not much is available. It is not convenient to public transportation, but you can get a taxi into central Beijing from there for about 10 USD as I recall. Once in the central part of Beijing, it is an attractive and modern city. The only thing I really didn't like about Beijing was the obnoxious air pollution. And be careful; Beijing is known as a city of scams, and you will encounter at least one in your time there. You can read up on the common ones on one of the travel bulletin boards.

If you are going to pursue the job with Hainan, I would not recommend NetCompass Crew Leasing company. We found them to be less than ideal about responding to emails and giving us helpful information. I have been told that Hainan is working with 4 crew leasing companies, and the only other one that I know of for sure is GPS, or Global Pilot Service (www.GPScrew.com). I am not recommending them, but I do know that the other two guys I mentioned earlier (B737) used this company and seemed to get more personal attention than we did. For instance, we needed to get some documents translated into Chinese. NetCompass just told us to go hire a translator, but GPS went ahead and translated the documents for their guys.

I'm now working for another overseas airline (that reimbursed my ticket in cash the day after I arrived) and I'm not unhappy I didn't get the job with Hainan. I just think you guys have a right to know in advance what to expect.

Got2Fly
 

avbug

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As a general rule, when you're told you'll be reimbursed, don't count on it. A proper company should pay for the tickets, rather than getting you to do it. Reimbursement is always a gamble.

I've been in the same boat and waited three months for the repayment (not with Hainan), and learned the hard way, too. It's good and well for someone who lives four thousand miles away to tell you they'll pay you back. Enforcing it is another matter entirely.

Those looking for foreign work should always bear in mind that once you're a "guest" of the prospective employer, you're no longer in Kansas, any more.
 

BLing

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Im sorry to hear about your problem, but its kind of expected... In the contract world, NEVER do anything unless its in writing. Also ask yourself why you have to front the cost for things. Basic things such as airfare should come at the cost of the company as they need you more than you need them... Over time you may be able to establish a trustworthy buddy buddy relationship with your employer and play the I'll scratch your back if you scratch my back game. But until then, no fronting costs for anything and doing things out of writing.
 

Got2Fly

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Im sorry to hear about your problem, but its kind of expected... In the contract world, NEVER do anything unless its in writing. Also ask yourself why you have to front the cost for things. Basic things such as airfare should come at the cost of the company as they need you more than you need them... Over time you may be able to establish a trustworthy buddy buddy relationship with your employer and play the I'll scratch your back if you scratch my back game. But until then, no fronting costs for anything and doing things out of writing.
It was in writing. Both in the general information sheet and in numerous emails sent back and forth. What difference does it make if it is in writing or not? Do you think that would force the Chinese to keep their word?

Got2Fly
 

BLing

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I was reiterating the fact things must be in writing. My main point was dont be so naive to think that funding your own way around the world on company business is acceptable. Because its NOT!
 

Amish RakeFight

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Thanks for the heads up, although I'll never head to China for a job. Sounds like a nightmare even if you were hired.

With the lead, melamine, eggs, counterfeit pharms, and other issues plaguing their products, I'd be very scared to eat food there.
 

CaptSeth

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Let's not forget the pollution and general filth in some of the major cities.
 

fareview

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Thanks for the heads up, although I'll never head to China for a job. Sounds like a nightmare even if you were hired.

With the lead, melamine, eggs, counterfeit pharms, and other issues plaguing their products, I'd be very scared to eat food there.

When and where have you been in China?

fv
 

Amish RakeFight

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When and where have you been in China?

fv

Never been to China, although I've been to Taiwan a few times.

Fom what I've read over the last couple of years, there's been a LOT of tainted food products and counterfeit pharmaceuticals over in China. A lot of what's been exported to our Country has been found to be suspect as well. Makes you wonder how effective their government supervision is when it comes to protecting its citizens food supply.
 

Dumb Pilot

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I am not going to defend any particular company but it is important to understand the role of the contract agencies and what is it that they do and how they operate, they are nothing but middle man that have no interest except getting the most amount of prospected interviewees as possible for the lower cost possible, although the airline typically pays them for the costs of bringing an applicant to the interview, they try the bait and switch tactic of not reimbursing the ticket too often I'm afraid. When I interviewed here at ANA, the contract company tried the same "we will reimburse you later tactic" and I asked them why? they said that it was because they had to forward the petition to ANA and then they will get the reimbursement to me, my answer was "go ahead and forward the petition now and when you get the money for the ticket, then schedule me for the interview" the next day they sent me my reservation details. There is something that pilots don't know how to do very well and it is to say "NO" any reputable company that wants to hire an individual to fly a piece of equipment that is worth hundreds of million and spend hundreds of thousands in salary, hotel and training costs are not going to stop because of a couple of thousands worth of airfare
 
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