What's really up at Flexjet?

flex*wife

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Posts
152
Based on what I've been hearing from my husband lately, a lot of people have a lot to say about the current state of Flexjet affairs but very few want to say it publically -- even if anonymously. I wonder why that is. Any thoughts?

I like to stay on top of this stuff but no one seems to be talking. Can ya'll help me figure out some of the following?

From what I've heard flying is so minimal it's pitiful but chartering is still occuring. It seems the schedule is hurry up and wait with a lot of guys going out first flight on day one for no trips and direct to the hotel for sometimes a couple days. Then it's busy schedules and late arrivals for last day seem to be the norm. Anyone else feeling this?

The new rest rules seem to be more confusing than clarifying. Who else feels this way? Perhaps I am just a silly girl, but it seems to me that it is a simple as defined contact/no contact periods and the boot if you don't follow through. If flexibility is the issue why not just stagger 14 hour shifts (using hotel reserve instead of airport standby) for several crews in a given region. I think any time you have more than a few pilots not understanding what the actual rest / no phone call time slot means something needs to be changed.

Airport Standby. More than a few times lately my husband has done airport standby with several crews in overlapping equipment. He enjoys the comraderie time, but I'm sure he would rather be at the hotel. Besides, that many pilots sitting around the lounge complaining to one another doesn't seem to me like it helps the company very much and spreads more rumors than truths.

Overtime. Is it true that a lot of guys are getting as much OT as they want despite the duty reduction and furloughs? Are there going to be any recalls? Why didn't they try the duty reduction BEFORE layoffs? Wouldn't that have been smarter or would too many have balked? My husband loves OT, especially unscheduled OT, but had decided no more of that with furloughs still out. That doesn't appear to be the policy of most pilots or do I have the wrong impression when I look at the big schedule?

Just a few a several I have... Thanks for your time. Not looking to become a regular poster, just curious with all the crickets.

And please, no pro-union or anti-union discussion. If it hasn't occured to anyone yet that as unfortunate as it is a union is decidedly neccessary at Flexjet I don't want this chance to get answers bogged down by that menutia. Those that can be persuaded have already been (like my husband), those who are still anti-union after the past few months will always be.
 
Last edited:

warlord19

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Posts
218
Total Time
13,000
Dude, if you are going to post that fluff, at least have the stones to not hide behind a skirt. A drunk cowboy riding by on a gallopping pony would know your post ain't written with a feminine hand.
 

flex*wife

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Posts
152
I guess I'll take that as a compliment

Dude, if you are going to post that fluff, at least have the stones to not hide behind a skirt. A drunk cowboy riding by on a gallopping pony would know your post ain't written with a feminine hand.
No -- I'm decidely female. Perhaps you've had too many brokeback mountain moments to recognize the difference hence your cowboy reference. I might be a "skirt" but don't mistake me for one who can't dish it out if you bring it.

No doubt my husband will find this funny as he is always entertained by my dominatrix side. Successful aviation wives like to take charge, those that don't end up bitter with all that alone time. I also have half a brain, and don't mind using it. So very sorry if that offends your male constitution so much you have to assume anything with a coherent thought was written by a "dude".

I am honestly asking for opinions here, not trying to stir up controversy or trade barbs. I guess no one will have to mistake your post as having been written by a gentleman, so let's leave this little jab fest and get on to the real purpose of this post.
 

SonicBoom

New member
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Posts
2
Total Time
3800
If you're a "skirt" your husband has a whole lot more to worry about than his schedule at Flex.
 

unclepetey

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2007
Posts
92
Total Time
6000
85 pilots out of work and you're complaining that your husband has to sit some airport reserve. Get a life.
 

CE750Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 15, 2003
Posts
340
Total Time
9500
If you're a "skirt" your husband has a whole lot more to worry about than his schedule at Flex.
What is your problem with "skirts" ?

If your wife doesn't have the ego to refer to herself in this way in jest, then I'm guessing you are over 40.
 

flex*wife

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Posts
152
Give me a break...

85 pilots out of work and you're complaining that your husband has to sit some airport reserve. Get a life.
I'm guessing you didn't read the post all the way through. No one is complaining -- simply wondering why it is happening so much when it's several crews on the same aircraft seem to be overkill. Seems more like a punishment.

I think my husband is very concerned about the 85 missing pilots. It's why he refuses OT. But from what I'm hearing, not everyone is, and that directly threatens his job.

I am only trying to gather information so I can be more supportive. He happens to be VERY VERY close to the next round of cutoffs/downgrades. I would like to do anything I can to see that not happen, but he has been told by more than a few it's just as likely for it to happen as not since hours are so low and so many are willing to pick up extra days when needed.

His sentiment (and I agree with him) is that ALL cost cutting should have been done before any furloughs but it seems the opposite happened and in someways it appears "cost-cutting" measures were planned long before any economic downturn became a good excuse.

Furthermore, is it really prudent to spend so much extra money on first flight travel and a hotel room in the same city for a few days when the cost is double what the salary of some of the furloughed's daily rate was? Why spend ANY money on charter if the situations that create the charter can be easily fixed? One charter flight is a few months FO salary, right?

Is it rare or how many times have you traveled to a plane when there wasn't even another crewmember available. I've heard it happens a lot. That's wasted money.

I don't work there, I'm only going on what he tells me, what his flex friends have said when I've seen them or their wives. I think a lot of what's happended regardless of reason has been in FR's handbook for a while has it not? If I am wrong, tell me so.

I sincerely believe my husband and most of the people he works with (including some management) want to make Flex the best it can be. Why are you so threatened by a little discussion? Hopefully it is this same discussion that will bring back the Flex 85, stop future furloughs and improve QOL for everyone.

I'll bet we are closer to the same page than you think.
 

ProFracPilot

What's it doing now?
Joined
May 1, 2003
Posts
701
Total Time
8000
Perhaps I am just a silly girl...
My BS detector is pegged.

Now we'll go through 10 pages of "flex*wife" trying to convince everyone he's someone he's not.
 

flex*wife

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Posts
152
You got me...

My BS detector is pegged.

Now we'll go through 10 pages of "flex*wife" trying to convince everyone he's someone he's not.
Sorry it was an attempt at self deprecating humor made in an attempt to seem more human. I am simply using the stereotypes that I figured most of you would try to immediatly use (and did) and diffuse their power. You got me.

Personally I could care less whether or not you believe I am a flex wife. I know what I am. But just to amuse you, maybe I am FR himself. Maybe I am a hired union organizer. Maybe I am your ex girlfriend. Maybe I'm the smelly dude at the business center at TEB you are waiting on to get off the PC so you can check your email. Or just maybe I am just some random gal who has quietly hung out on this board for several years after my husband was hired so I could feign interest in his job waiting until he's about to lose it before I spoke up. If you were in the same position, I would hope your wife would care enough to put up with the crud of sexest losers to figure out how to help you and support you.

Does it really matter who or what I am? If I pretend to be some dumb a$$ pilot will you listen any better? These topics are still worth discussing and figuring out regardless of who or what you think I am.

So please can we move on from the subject of chromosones and onto real discussion? Or is that too threatening for you?
 

DUATS

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Posts
279
Total Time
23
Ten posts and not one even half-hearted attempt at an answer. Would any active Flex pilots care to comment on the current state of affairs?
 

FastJP4

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Posts
1,371
Total Time
enough
Maybe they're to busy picking up overtime while 85 squirm. FR playbook 101. I think the 85 on the street realize there will be no call back unless there is some massive amount of new customers - which isn't likely.

FR is an anti-pilot operator - always has been. The upper half of the seniority list could give a rat's a$$ about their fellow pilots. It is a "me" operation from the top down. What used to be a good career company is now trying to out do Flops as the bottom feeder of the Fracs. FG will see to it that that happens. I am hardly surprised to see the upper half scrambling to pick up OT with their "brothers" on the street. When most of them were hired, Flex was a bottom dweller - and it was the only company these guys could get on.
 
Last edited:

doh

Jump seat shrink
Joined
Aug 26, 2003
Posts
4,017
Total Time
48 yrs
I could be wrong about the charter but I believe we have contracts with some 135 operators. That is why the charter cost is not zero. I haven't heard of actual use charters though. It does seem like I am getting more airport standby, but I haven't really counted the number of standbys this year vs. last year, so that is just perception. I have no idea about OT days. I haven't been offered one yet. I have gotten more than 14 days assigned on my line once though. I wish they had offered reduced schedules before they furloughed as well. Did I touch on all your questions? Sorry for the disjointed reply, but it is late.
 

Club ORD FO

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2003
Posts
608
Total Time
12000
According to the recent CP updates, charter is pretty low. I have not been doing a lot of excessive standby. I have seen people asking for OT days and I don't agree with it. I've tried to drop days and cant, so we are certainly not overstaffed at the moment. I think the new rest rules are complicated but better than they used to be

Lots of people grumbling on the road about lots of stuff, lots of union talk, but so far all talk.

And I'm also raising my BS flag. You write/sound like a pilot and not a pilot's wife
 

gret

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Posts
1,008
Total Time
n/a
You go girl!!!

Flexjet needs a lot of action, but they need to stay quiet because of the question about Part 135!

You brought up some good questions about the entire industry!
 

Nolife

Tired Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Posts
547
Total Time
4000+
When most of them were hired, Flex was a bottom dweller - and it was the only company these guys could get on.
While I was hired because I had a pulse and didn't drool on myself I could have gone to other places. I had four ground school dates with as many companies to choose from and I chose Flex since it seemed like the best of my options regarding future career positioning at the time (NJA didn't call). BTW... two of the other places have closed doors and the other furloughed deeply. So I would have been screwed either way.

Wife- my personal take with no official source is that there may by a small recall in the fall, Oct-Nov time frame, to cover the traditional busy season. I've run into several crews on the road and they all say Flex cut too deeply. I think your husband may be safe for the remainer of the year.

If that doesn't happen I'm not optimistic about getting recalled until late 2010 if ever. We've entered a new economic paradigm where money will not be so easy to come by and only the truely wealthy will be able to afford airplanes. Perhaps that was the problem in the first place. Some Flex customers had no business being involved with fractional ownership as they had no real wealth. Good luck to all involved.
 

netjetwife

1 of many w/an opinion
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Posts
2,741
Total Time
none
Welcome to the board, Flexwife!

FW, please don't be put off by the somewhat rocky reception. If it's any consolation, I faced the same doubt when I started posting here, too. When there's distrust of management it can easily make the pilots wary of sharing their complaints publicly. Some are slow to trust an outsider because union-busters (and even some managers) routinely use under-handed tactics to undermine labor groups...:mad: So that's bound to make some in your group doubly cautious. Be patient and when the issues are discussed --prudently--you will be able to show your support for the Flex pilots. I'm sure many posting here are interested in learning more about the circumstances facing the Flex pilots and their families. Those who have gone through similar events are usually quite willing to lend their moral support and share observations on what one can expect to see from management (punitive scheduling, intimidation, FUD, etc) when they are trying to squash organizing efforts. Hang in there and welcome to the board, FW! :)

Food for thought for those of you being excessively doubtful: Reading this thread took me back to my early days of posting here. It took a lot of posts just to convince some of the pilots that I truly was only an informed wife who wanted to discuss the issues affecting my family. There's obviously a Netjetwife, so it makes sense that there's also a Flexwife. I know you guys have heard that saying ...behind every good man there's a good woman. FW's on your side so her husband is too.

When pilots share their concerns at home, no one should be surprised that their wives take the situation as seriously as they do and want to compare notes with others in their group. Think about it.. when criticizing management openly by posting here, a family member doesn't face the same risk of negative consequences that the pilots do so we wives are in a good position to bring up the issues. And we certainly have lots of experience trying to raise a family on sub-par aviation wages! I can still remember my agitated posts from 2004. I was trying to rally the troops and then get the POSTA defeated because the NJA FO pay at that time was so low that some of our families qualified for govt assistance and punitive scheduling was disruptive to family-life. For too many frac families out there things are still very bad and I doubt very much that their management is sharing the pain of this recession equally. At the very least, pilots and their families deserve to know that if furloughs are required they will be done fairly-- by contract rules.

If the Flex pilotgroup is going to stand up for themselves, they will need the full support of their families and it will take a lot of discussions to get the entire group on board. An informed spouse is a great ally. A big reason that the grass roots movement at NJA grew into StrongUnion was because the leaders actively encouraged family support, knowing that it would be critical for success. Best wishes to the Flex pilots and their families! NJW
 

netjetwife

1 of many w/an opinion
Joined
Sep 18, 2004
Posts
2,741
Total Time
none
My BS detector is pegged. Nope. It's broken...:p

Now we'll go through 10 pages of "flex*wife" trying to convince everyone he's someone he's not.

Hopefully not. Having made that mistake myself when I began posting here, I will advise Flexwife to ignore the naysayers...:p and stay focused on the issues, instead. Club, I don't think FW writes like a pilot. In fact, she spells much better than many of the pilots posting here. ;)

Joking aside, it is not at all surprising that a concerned wife wants to talk about issues that her husband has been discussing at home. Actually, the topic of how a company handles finances at a time they also furlough pilots is a subject that merits industry-wide attention. It has already, or could in the near future, affect all of the frac pilotgroups. It costs (read wastes) a lot of money to send pilots out on the road, only to have multiple crews sitting around the FBO. In FW's position (next in line to lose her family's income) I'd have started asking questions, too. The fact that NJA is leaving a lot of pilots at home to save money makes the Flex practice look even worse. I don't see the concern and effort to prevent furloughs that we're seeing (so far) at NJA/I. :confused: That's too bad. I'm sure the Flex pilots have also worked very hard (it goes w/the job) and deserve better treatment. Unfortunately, too many times managers will just take the easy way out and get rid of pilots rather than working harder to save money and jobs. If that is happening, I would hope that more Flex pilots/spouses would speak up. Discussions like this can also remind those at other fracs to pay close attention to operations these days and to compare notes with each other ---like FW is trying to do.
 

flex*wife

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2005
Posts
152
Thanks!

And I'm also raising my BS flag. You write/sound like a pilot and not a pilot's wife
I think I should be insulted, but instead I'll just assume you are self absorbed enough that in your world I should consider it a compliment.
 

gunfyter

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2002
Posts
3,781
Total Time
11000+
I think I should be insulted, but instead I'll just assume you are self absorbed enough that in your world I should consider it a compliment.
I think the mistakes you have made are subtle.... You slip by using pilot "lingo" here and there in your posts. For example using TEB instead of Teterboro. Its sort of like someone from NYC trying to hide that fact by faking a Mississippi accent. My wife was an Air Force flight nurse on C-130s and C-141 ... she wouldn't use TEB in a post.

Of course, if you happen to be a private pilot or have some other aviation background ... that would explain why you could sound like a pilot trying to cover up that fact.

On the other hand ... you write and spell too well to actually be a pilot. :laugh:
 
Top