Well it won't be deleted because it is, for the most part true. I joined for the glamour & high pay. Asked at the Selection Board why I wanted to be an Airline Pilot , I answered."well, it is the only job where you get free transport from pub to pub". I loved being a cadet & even wore my Cadet Uniform while I drove around the local area in my MGBGT, on days off. Geees, I looked swell in my BA Second Officers Uniform. I used to sleep in it. I even wore it on days off, driving around the local area in my Triumph Stag..hood down but hat off so everyone could see my fabbo Cliff Richard Haircut.
C'mon guys. It is just another job. I get up at wake-up time, shower, shave, kiss my mirror goodbye & head off for another day of total glamour. LUV IT !!!
Sullenberger safely glided the Airbus A320 down and all 155 people aboard survived the Jan. 15 water landing.
Sullenberger, a 58-year-old who joined a US Airways predecessor in 1980, told the House aviation subcommittee that his pay has been cut 40 percent in recent years and his pension has been terminated and replaced with a promise "worth pennies on the dollar" from the federally created Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. These cuts followed a wave of airline bankruptcies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks compounded by the current recession, he said.
"The bankruptcies were used by some as a fishing expedition to get what they could not get in normal times," Sullenberger said of the airlines. He said the problems began with the deregulation of the industry in the 1970s.
The reduced compensation has placed "pilots and their families in an untenable financial situation," Sullenberger said. "I do not know a single professional airline pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps."
The subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard from the crew of Flight 1549, the air traffic controller who handled the flight and aviation experts to examine what safety lessons could be learned from the accident.
Sullenberger's copilot Jeffrey B. Skiles said unless federal laws are revised to improve labor-management relations "experienced crews in the cockpit will be a thing of the past." And Sullenberger added that without experienced pilots "we will see negative consequences to the flying public."
Sullenberger himself has started a consulting business to help make ends meet. Skiles added, "For the last six years, I have worked seven days a week between my two jobs just to maintain a middle class standard of living."
Glamour? You gents bemoan the demise of extraordinarily lavish terms and conditions, tears well in your eyes at the thought that the flying boat era may have ended?
Then you laugh at the dreams of youngsters today who also dream of flying a shiny jet, telling them that they must earn the right to fly airliners and do not deserve even the 'meagre' pay on offer once they get there.
Is is not hypocritical to place value on something and then mock others for seeking it?
We would all love to be paid more; Don't get me wrong. But surely it is a far less demanding job these days, albeit just as responsible, when compared with the heavily subsidised, glamorous days represented by Virgin Atlantic or BA tv advertisements?
In a time when a Circuit Judge is paid £128,000 I don't think pilots at major airlines are under-paid for the amount or complexity of work they do. The situation at the regionals is different, probably because realistically smaller operations simply aren't economically viable.
I work for a loco and paid for my type rating. It was that or defaulting on a mortgage and eating grass. As it happens, my net pay as a 2 yr FO is greater than what I would earn as a 10 yr Solicitor for far, far less work or stress, and a helluva lot more fun and much more time with the family.
In the real world, many professions are now facing the bleak truth that the key to remuneration is 'value added'. Footballers are over paid because of TV money. Accountants and lawyers in the City make/save millions for their clients and are paid accordingly. Those in the public sector are over paid because they provide the Government with assured votes.
Unprofitable airlines cannot afford to lavish high wages on their staff, hence the fall. FR make a lot of money but they are the exception that proves the rule - one of the few airlines with the clout to obtain old fashioned operating subsidies from public authorities.
Just my views but I suspect nobody on this thread wants to hear it!
This is a great thread. Lot of excellent, valid comments. What is really interesting in our society today, regardless of what country you live in, is whether you are a mechanic, lawyer, doctor, professional athlete, etc. , everyone else is always overpaid except for you. Been in aviation 38 years, 26 in commercial aviation. Industry has definitely changed, much of which has not been for the better. I was fortunate enough to have been here during some really good times. Glad I did it, wouldn't do it today. For those who still have the drive to go for it, I take my hat off to you. The best aspect of this job was not just the money, the time off, or for that matter the flying. It was some of the great people I met and worked with. Yes, there were some along the way. Everyone knew who they were, stayed away from them, made them the butt of jokes. They screwed their fellow pilots in order to get ahead. What they didn't know is they were "paying the cannibals to eat them last."
Time moves on and things evolve. Being a chauffeur used to be a fine and exclusive profession and nowadays taxi-licenses are handed out as a last resort for people unable to find work elsewhere. Same applies for the times when only people considered being a part of the elite could learn to fly. Nowadays anyone can get their licenses if lend their parents' house to the bank.
Does your dislike of public servant wages include the military, teachers, nurses, etc.?
Personally, i've been flying for 20 years in the military and earn less than most FO's in the major carriers and all captains I know of - and before we start on pensions, I think I'd have had a better one had I joined BA at most points in my flying career (as many of my colleagues did). It is my choice, so I'm not whinging about how much I get paid or my pension, but I do get slightly miffed when people say the public sector are over-paid...
Let's not forget the respect for airline pilots that is falling in the world's eyes. An overpaid, glorified sky bus driver is what an airline pilot is also known as to the people of today...
Glad I'm staying out of this crap. I have a decent job elsewhere. I'm perfectly content with a PPL, a spin in the 152 during the weekend and the PC flight simulator for the rest of the days (though it's horrible even with these things they call 'add-ons'). I have ocasssional access to a FBT as well. So at least once a month, I get a good hour and a half on it.
I was about to get on him too until I re-read it. When he said public sector, he was talking more along the lines of well paid politicians. As a Paramedic for the past 12 years working at a fire dept for almost 10, trust me, you would not have gotten a word in edgewise
To all of the " Rusty's and " Lucky's" :
Since opening the thread, I never expected to get this response. I am so gratefulfor those who read it and did reply. Thank you to the old, not sold old and new aviators and those alike for contributing to this thread. I respect all of your post and while I see the difference between what aviation used to be and the fact you have no idea how great it was, I am happy to read that despite the different views, the spirit of the aviator and pilot lives on! No matter the era. I love the fact that the men who did not get to experience real glamour (as we all knew it) still sees it as such and I really tip my hat off to you guys. Thank you for keeping it genuine, interesting and still a good read. No matter your experience in aviation, if you can highly recommend it to your children, then aviation is still alive and well.
While this post is not about my life or me, I can only contribute based from my own interpretation and experiences, conglomerated with what I read from ALL the post, and yes I read all of them. This post is not up for disection and certainly It is not up for argument. You can't argue with opinion. Especially mine. Just ask my husband.
It is just a post. Only a post that may take you back, may allow you to see from a different perspective or it might be boring as all hell. If so, delete it, print it and use it for the bottom of your bird cage if you so choose. This is what we wives do when our men are gone flying and the children are off to college. We write, post And some of us actually click send rather than delete.
1. Aviation is definitely NOT what it was 30 and 40 years ago. For those who see me posting on PPRuNe for the past few years as a pilot's wife, alot of you also know I am the daughter of a UAL retiree who started in 1960.
Growing up flying since before birth was a huge luxury. One that we often thought was a bigger benefit than what my father took home in salary. My schoolmates went camping at Yosemite and spent their birthdays at the skating rink. I grew up seeing the world and mine was spent taking friends to Hawaii. I was non rev'ing from city to city alone at the age of 10 because my parents divorced and frankly, it was safe then. Unaccompanied Minor ? WTH was that ? And we're talking LAX, SFO, JFK and MEM (when it was still a major airport lol). I know you older guys can relate. You probably had ex wives living 5 states away. Some coast to coast.
2. The salaries were fat and the flight attendants were models. Security and safety wasn't as important then. I am in no way saying FA's are not now, I have many many friends who are FA's who are beautiful. Even close to my age. Lauren from OC... a prime example and my friend.
Long gone are the days of Filet Mignon served on real china and cocktail glasses served full, not measured and served with some of the most fabulous side dishes. And we had REAL Salt and Pepper shakers. Just look in my parents china cabinet at home. You will see some LOL. Dinner today has been replaced with " beef or chicken" when asked by senior cabin crew when flying transatlantic. 8.00usd will get you a ruler sized box of crackers and cheese if flying coach domestically. 7.00 if you want an adult beverage along side it. However, if flying 1st, you do still get free alcohol and warm nuts if they are generous.
Flying ? Well Even before 911 some cockpit doors were closed. Captains discretion. But could you blame them? I do appreciate UAL crew now who let us listen in to Channel 9. Even as a pilots wife, I still love to listen in as if I were still that little girl. However years ago, the cockpit door was open so you could get a sense of just how glamorous the life of a pilot was. Captains were not afraid of losing their jobs ( or being taken over) when taxing the aisle in their socks 2 hours inflight greeting pax. They can't do that now! NOoo sir eeeee! the critics nowadays would have a story sent to Huffington Post before landing stating " THe Captain LEFT the COCKPIT! He quit in the middle of his shift". The Airplane was NOT SECURED! He must of been drinking in the galley. Yeah.. nowadays, for the crew, you're being accused of abusing your power when someone charges the flight deck and a pax has to be detained.
3. Back then, The " stewardesses" were happy. PAX could go home with a bottle of wine at the end of a flight as appreciation of " flying the friendly skies" Crews could meet up afterwards for cocktails. Of course at the age I was then, I had no idea it was because sex was safe and drinking the night before wasn't a threat because YOU HAD ENOUGH HOURS IN BETWEEN TRIPS TO DO SO! Yes, layovers were actually a benefit of the job. 2 or 3 days in a nice city where you could either fly your wife or girlfriend in ( both if you had the balls) for some nice R&R as a benefit of the job. Ok.. so some of you screwed it up for the rest. There is a rule of thumb for drinking and arriving for your next trip 50 ft from the a/c is it ?
I also see a difference in posters who come from different parts of the world and assignment. I still see those who are granted luxury life while flying VIP and cozy corporate jobs. Nice. You are spoiled, but how many hours do you REALLY put in and are away from home ? If you're happily married you will not want to answer that. If you're NOT happily married, then you will want to brag about it.
I am married to a freight dawg. There is no comparison, but he loves his job and I love him. We take his less than orthodox schedule and deal with it. We spend alot of days saying goodnight and goodmorning at the same time from different continents. It takes a special man to be a freight dawg and an even more special woman to be his owner . I guess that is how I can get away with being " me" sometimes. Or the fact that he flies into less than desireable locations without the opportunity where one can be easily replaced by a 20 year old who comes with a side of soy sauce who will clean the toe jam from his feet if his highness request it. Yes, I know its still out there so I have to stay on my A game. Apparently I'm doing something right. He leaves for work a happy boy and comes home hungry
I also see the difference in post between the good ole boys, the Rusty's and the " Lucky's" as I call them. Quick sidebar trivia for ya: the term " Rusty" was used recently by an older pilot who could probably land a plane in a storm, in the atlantic through a horrible stall who had alot to say about very experienced pilots and newer pilots who rely heavy on automation. Yes, the old guy, and he knows who he is and I have a very soft spot in my heart for a REAL man like that. OK so back to the difference! I see the posts difference between " RUSTY" and between the guys who are thankful to God they have a job. Those are called " LUCKY". He's the pilot with more Furloughs under his belt than inches in his boxers. He's the man who will appreciate having T's and C's, no matter what they are. He is just as submissive to dispatch and flight ops as the 20 y/o soy sauce toe jam sucking future wife. He is still proud of the job. One gentleman put it spot on.
4. There is a difference between those who have the choice to select where they go, what they fly and having the hours to pick and choose versus.. those who need to feed a family of 3 to 4, pay a mortgage and are 1 paycheck from being in the streets. Worse yet, they owe the inlaws for making those payments the last 2 months. It is very easy for those men to tell the others not to take a shit job. "Don't you dare belittle us and pay for a type rating! Take any job you can" . While they sit there in the fat leather recliner that looks out onto the 18th hole of his million dollar property advising to save face for the rest of the industry. Now are any of them willing to pay your bills for the next year if you man up and tell PARC or anyone else to bugger off? Of course you're going to read a huge difference in their post and what they have to say about aviation. How can you fault a man who does whatever it takes to be in the same skies that you lived a luxury lifestyle flying in? How do you tell a pilot who has to pay to get where he is going that he has no right to earn a salary that is the difference in being homeless and not. How do you tell another pilot, he is not entitled to the same job you did for 30 years because of the shoes he filled to get in it ?
But I must say this. Those who had it, enjoyed it. Those who don't have it anymore, probably wish they still did. Maybe not on today's terms for the majority, Maybe so. Especially those with the desire to increase the age from 65 to 70. And those who have it now, on today's terms, can only dream of yesterday. It will never go back to what it was and you have to respect what they can get out of it today.
Why ? 1 word. DEREGULATION.
For the guys in the middle, they are quiet. They are simply flying. And they just pray the age limit will change again from 65 to 70 now
Hats off to the women who are/ were Wife 1. Wife 2. and Wife 3. And a special salute if you're Wife 4. ( Good god, what was left of him ? Certainly no money! Thank God for the little blue pill I guess sister At least you hung in there to either change his depends, our outlive his dependents. You love a man who didn't mind your nipples being separated by your belly button or you are the one he winded up with who.. yep you guessed it. Toe jam Jane. To the old pilots who love you, well hopefully she will keep you after you turn 70 I know I will keep mine. Although I did recently post on FB that I might be famous someday, have you seen the show " Snapped" ?
Best of luck to you all. For me and mine, we're good for another 15 years. He won't trade me in. It's cheaper for him to keep me now
Last edited by SassyPilotsWife; 10th Jul 2012 at 21:13.
Sass, "Free alcohol & warm nuts"...............er, where do I sign up ? Damn, dragging this into the toilet ! Sorry. Can't help it. Always been like that. Seriously though, congratulations on a fabulous post. A little heavy handed & one sided in some areas but overall, I don't think I have read such a warm, humerous, well meaning post. You SHOULD write that book.
We don't HAVE to agree with everything you say & I daresay that is not what you would wish for anyway. One area gripes a bit & I need to comment; I lost my job at a time when I was at peak. B757 Commander, young, world at his feet.Overnight, I was walking the steets. House for sale, kids in the welfare section for school dinners, marriage well & truly over. I was told by a major Operator that if I were to get "the type rating", I would be employed. It cost me dearly, but I told him that I regarded the offer to be "unprofessional" & that when professional pilots start paying for type ratings, it ceases, by very definition , to be professional. I stood up, shook his bemused hand and carried on down to the Welfare Office. And no, I didn't ask any employed pilots who did not go down that route but remained employed, for a hand out.
Those who accept your advice & will " do anything" for that prized job have soured the industry standard.What will we degenerate into next, the "casting Couch" ? I came from a world of very heavy selection but once through the hoop & deemed worthy, everything was paid for. Standards were very high. I have total sympathy for those who paid to fly & were referred to as "self improvers" but regret to say that the "standard" did start to lower. There was, do you see, no "selection". Of course, generalisation is a poor yardstick & amongst the many self improvers I flew with, there were quite a few very exceptional cases, In the highly contested selection world, if available, these people would have made it anyway. Now, if you have the dosh (don't care how you get it) you will succeed.Not good career motivation & it is showing up on the flightdeck now.
I too am one who had the best. Had to fight damn hard for it. Faced three spells of unemployment but never paid for anything. Because, by definition, that would have been unprofessional.
Good fortune to you & yours. Sound like wonderful people to me with, a fierce sense of humour; a highly required qualification these days.
A lot of these posts depend primarily on two things Are you a glass half full or half empty person... generally it is in pilots DNA to moan. Who you work for.... with Oman Air I was treated as well as anyone could expect to be... my current empolyer is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Generally ther has been a decline in how we are treated / rewarded... those who treat there people worst are now finding the race to the exit is causing them major problems. For the moment they have some respite as unfortunately MAlev / Spannair etc pilots (coupled with Emirates recruitment delay) has saved them this Summer. The Middle East alone require 2,000 experienced pilots a year ...and this is dwarfed by the far east's requirement. The trend will reverse somewhat...watch this space.
I'm a Glass half full guy ... but know whats coming!
Yep, I wasn't referring to those on the coal face doing essential jobs. They are taken for a ride far too often. It's the explosion of non-essential admin and middle management council and quango jobs.
Not sure I would agree with your assertion that paying for your training marks a pilot as 'unprofessional' or 'doing anything' for a job. Doctors and lawyers pay for their training etc etc.
My father refused to go on the dole in the 90s recession. A matter of principle, he said. So we kids ate rice and his marriage failed. Clever.
Mikehotel, not wishing to drift off thread but have a quick read again & you will see (I trust) that my basic point was that Airlines should pay for the AIRLINE training. Come up with a basic CPL/IR & Perf A (or whatever is the entry level now) anyway you like. That used to be labled" (wrongly in my opinion) the "self improver route. It meant that a wanabee had certainly paid for his PPL (some scolarships were around) but then had to build up some 700 hours in order to sit the CPL writtens. Most obtained Assistant Instructor Ratings & then sat it out to Full Instructor & sat that out until 700 hours ( blimey) & then self financed the writtens. Gosh, & then next comes the twin rating & full I/R. If you could come up with the cash, you could "self sponsor" through the UK CAA Approved CPL/IR courses whereafter, only 200 hours was required for the writtens.
I sat on the Selection Board for an Airline that offered partial sponsorship. We took on people after the CPL stage & PAID for EVERYTHING thereafter.Those who came up with a CPL were amongst the finest group of dedicated people I have ever been privilaged to meet. I wanted to sponsor them all . We were, of course, held back by time constraint & limited budgets. It became very highly selective.
I do feel uncomfortable, though, with those who have self financed for the NEXT stage; everything from sending a CV, interview Board, lunch for the selection panel,type rating, Line Training. Not their fault but airlines' fault for preying on vulnerable. This is where it becomes unprofessional, surely, dear reader, by very definition ? It now becomes a free for all (pardon the pun) available only to those who can stump up the cash. Dreadful.
Back on thread, glamour definitely eroded & I find very little in the current Industry climate to recommend this career to the young and aspiring. I feel hugely disappointed by the way we, professional pilots have allowed this. I am ashamed that having seen it developing , I did very little. I was, in the jungle, trying to stay in the seat & trying to stay current. But I never paid for anything. However, I was tempted by the casting couch, just once, because the interviewer was one Sassy Chick !!
Sassy Pilot's wife, hope I managed to steer back on thread but you MUST write that book. Call it, " Sassy Pilot's Wife" ! Most wives will buy, all pilots should be forced to self fund & buy ! I am self funding acting lessons so that when the film comes out, you can offer me a part.
Fair enough and I would wholeheartedly agree with your underlying point. I too would rather this thread didn't degenerate into the usual tedious and predictable slanging match.
Suffice it to say that many who have paid for their own training, using their own money, have shown just as much application, dedication and aptitude for flying as those who joined the industry when sponsorship was available.
It appears there is no room for glamour and high profits....
I'm only 17, and i know the glamour is degrading and pay is falling. But WOW! This industry sounds like something spectacular. Regardless of the negatives, i think i'm not only glad to be falling head first into this career, but also excited!