View Full Version : Greedy BA pilots want more dosh

LTN man
14th Jul 2001, 08:27
BA faces pay fight with militant pilots


BRITISH AIRWAYS could be held to ransom by militant pilots when it begins negotiations over pay this autumn, as a worldwide shortage of pilots begins to bite.
The airline could be forced to increase pilots’ pay by 10 per cent, three times the pay rises that its other employees can expect, when the current two-year pay deal runs out this September.

BA’s 3,300 pilots have seen their foreign colleagues receive pay rises of between 10 and 40 per cent in the past few days, as international airlines have moved to quell a wave of industrial action. Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong carrier, and Iberia, the Spanish flag carrier, have both been hit by industrial action this week as their pilots have tried to exploit their strong negotiating position to win huge pay increases.

During the last round of pay talks the pilots came close to striking, before finally agreeing a settlement that many thought was unsatisfactory.

Industry analysts yesterday suggested that BA would have to table an offer of at least 10per cent to prevent pilots from taking industrial action.

A spokesman for the British Air Line Pilots Association (Balpa) said that his members would have noted the high pay rises being achieved overseas. “It could be a very tough fight. Pilots are very much aware of their worth to the company,” the spokesman said.

Airlines have been hit by the global economic downturn, at a time when they have also had to cope with high fuel costs and demands for substantial pay rises by pilots and others with strong bargaining power. Industry analysts consider that recent pay deals struck by Lufthansa, United Airlines and Delta have been over-generous to the pilots.

Mike Powell, airlines analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, said: “Pilots have a lot of power. They can stop an airline overnight and they can wipe out a year’s profits in weeks, especially at the moment, when passenger numbers are down.”

A spokeswoman for BA confirmed that pay negotiations with pilots would start this autumn, but denied that there was any link between the talks and the worldwide recruitment crisis that is enabling experienced pilots to name their price. BA recruits about 200 staff each year, 120 of which come from their own training scheme.

Industry observers believe that experienced flyers could be tempted overseas by the attractive packages being offered by foreign carriers, such as Emirates, which offers starting salaries for pilots of about £56,000 tax-free. BA co-pilots, by comparison, can expect to earn just £24,000 in their first year, according to Balpa. From that salary they must pay back a quarter of the cost of their training, during their first five years with the company.

A BA captain with 20 years’ flying experience can expect to earn a salary of about £110,000. This is supplemented by a variety of accommodation allowances and travel benefits.

In comparison an experienced pilot with Emirates can probably hope to make £100,000 a year, tax-free. The airline also offers free accommodation and cheap or free loss of licence insurance, which is considered a perk.

Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong carrier, which imposed a 9 per cent pay settlement on its pilots this week, also pays housing allowances and private school fees for pilots’ children.

14th Jul 2001, 09:35
And why shouldn't they get a pay rise???? :confused: Their basic pay is lower than several others; United/Delta etc. :rolleyes: :cool: :D

14th Jul 2001, 09:42
Pay settlements made in other countries seems hardly a justifiable reason to claim a 3x UK inflation rate pay rise though. In any case, this is currently just media speculation, so references to 'greedy BA pilots' are somewhat harsh. Although just when BA is getting over the Ayling era, for its pilots to consider themselves eligible for a pay rise of such proportions would seem somewhat questionable.

Mark you, quite why Ayling Bob and his family should have been granted free First Class travel for life is also highly questionable. Understand he is considering calling his new yacht 'The Golden Handshake'.......

[ 14 July 2001: Message edited by: BEagle ]

14th Jul 2001, 10:47
Mark you, quite why Ayling Bob and his family should have been granted free First Class travel for life is also highly questionable. Understand he is considering calling his new yacht 'The Golden Handshake'.......

Never, ever, EVER, label a group of workers as "greedy" until you have a big, wide, and educated look at why they are taking the stand that they are.

M.A. Rats
14th Jul 2001, 10:54
........ "starting" salary for EK pilots at £ 56 000. Really?
Just looked at my records which show the real picture. First year scale for an FO is 16 360 Dirhams, or roughly £ 39 000. It falls slightly short of the journo's misguided rubbish.

Oh well, dream on......

14th Jul 2001, 11:07
AA76757 - I certainly wasn't referring to BA pilots as being greedy! The original contributor chose to use 'Greedy BA pilots want more dosh' as the heading for this thread, not me!

14th Jul 2001, 11:13
BEagle, sorry for the confusion. I was not using your quote to make a comment to you about greed. I was using your (very appropriate) quote to show the author of this thread that there are OTHERS in this equation who are REALLY the greedy ones.

14th Jul 2001, 11:20
BEagle, 3x uk inflation is still inadequate when you consider how pilots' salaries have been eroded over the last few years by 'greedy' management. We are finally calling time and demanding our true worth. You spend enough time on this forum to know exactly what the issues are but I'd quite happily pop over to Brize and explain it to you slowly!!

14th Jul 2001, 12:26
Thanks for the offer - but at least you now have collective bargaining power to negotiate reasonable settlements! Management 'greed' or mis-direction, I wonder? Wasting money on a 'global gimmick' deeply unpopular with shareholders and staff alike whilst treating the cabin crew with total disdain was not so much 'greed' by Ayling Bob as crassly incompetent leadership.

However, I'm sure that major airline pilots know that their future is inextricably linked to the company's profitability. Without sound business practices, the scope for large pay awards must ipso facto be more limited; however, success also merits reward!

Incidentally, whether it was you or another of my ex-colleagues with whom I spoke the other day who said "It was bad enough when I left - I don't know how it could possibly have got any worse", but the comment was wholly accurate!

The last thing the long-suffering BA image needs is ill-informed media speculation concerning pay negotiation tarnishing their aircrews' reputation.

14th Jul 2001, 13:45
BA pilots have accepted %RPI for the last 3 years.

The largest part of any company's expenditure is the wages bill. This can be up to 48% of total expenditure and BA is no exception (c.45%).

So exactly how much of this 45% goes to those 'greedy' pilots - just 8% !!!

Thats not 8% of the 45% - Thats 8% of total wages bill !

Why does BA struggle to make a profit? Certainly not because it has a high pilot / aircraft ratio - Quite the opposite.

It is because it has the largest number of ancilliary employees per airframe of any airline in Europe (except possibly Iberia).

Very little has changed since Ayling.

14th Jul 2001, 14:03
It's actually 13% but we won't argue of details you point is correct. BA has 250 employees per aircraft. where are they, not on the flightdeck, not in the cabin, not in the terminals and not in the hangers. you work it out. Airfrance incidently has 230. would anyone have believed that 15 years after privatisation ba would have more employees per aircraft than air france. it makes you weep. Everything we give up they spend at waterside. enough is enough. Lufthansa fly broadly simalar number of passengers with 40000 staff. we have 60000.

Sir Algernon Scruggs
14th Jul 2001, 14:46
Hmph! Just goes to show you what an ignorant reporter can do with statisitcs. The comparison between the 56k at Emirates and a starting CEP at BA is one prime example of disinformation. The whole article smacks of a BA management attempt to pre-empt the upcoming negotiations with their usual underhand tactics of undermining the pilots.

Regardless of what The Guvnor, 411a or the other 'experts' (not) on the industry say, the fact that there is a worldwide shortage of experienced pilots is largely due to the airlines own lack of investment in training over the last 20 years. Now it is coming back to haunt them.

Supply and demand is the reason that the pilots can now make their larger claims for increased pay. Over the years most pilots have had their status eroded and pay, by comparison, has also lagged behind. All during the years of a pilot surplus the managements got away with their beancounters short term views and eroded pilot pay and didn't bother with investment in training.

Typically of any airline where beancounters are in top management positions, their 'know the price of everything know the value of nothing' skills have left the worldwide marketplace short on the required skill to operate their expensive aircraft. It has come back to haunt them and they are now desperate because of the larger pay demands of the pilots.

It has nothing to do with pay rises and inflation. It is purely a value for money argument. If you want experienced pilots to stay, be productive and operate the very expensive aircraft in order to help the company generate a profit then they are going to have to pay for that service.

Irrespective of what other groups feel, the pilots have to fight to get back their status and the companies will have to pay the going rate for those skills. If that means an increase in prices for the consumers then so be it. Inflation will hurt but at the end of the day it is supply and demand that will dictate the pay that pilots can command.

To call the pilots 'greedy' as LTN Man has done just goes to show that there will always be people out there who envy the pilots at the better paid airlines. Ignore their petty jealousies. If they had put the effort into getting their licences and worked their way into 'the job' they would be in a better position to understand what it was all about. Cabin crew, engineers etc. may also feel jealous but they have their own unions and will be able to dictate their demands based on the supply and demand of their positions.

These companies expect us to operate their tens of millions of pounds of equipment efficiently and safely. It takes many years to train someone to the level of skill required and many more years of experience to achieve a command. Because the managers were too short sighted to foresee the pilot shortage that we now have they are panicing. Serves them right and we need to remain on our guard against their disinformation tactics.

The Guvnor
14th Jul 2001, 16:03
Can anyone confirm the following in the article:

BA co-pilots, by comparison, can expect to earn just £24,000 in their first year, according to Balpa. From that salary they must pay back a quarter of the cost of their training, during their first five years with the company.

If correct, it's an interesting twist on the bonding issue where certain people - like tilii have made much out of BA not bonding. However, those airlines that bond generally don't ask you to pay 25% of the costs!

As for 250 staff per aircraft... :eek: :confused: :eek: ! I spent much of yesterday going over our proposed staffing levels with several of my colleagues - and with 7 operational aircraft we come to 537 staff. That's around 77 people per aircraft - including admin, res, technical, station staff, ops, flight deck and cabin crew (34 crews total). OK, so we're contracting a lot of functions out - but 500?!?!?!

No one has yet explained why the flight deck people think that they are so much better than the rest of BA's employees - and why if they are so concerned about the pay scales of their most junior colleagues, why the senior chaps don't 'adopt an FO' and give him/her 10% of their own salary! :D ;) :D

Can't see that happening, somehow!

As for the alleged shortage of pilots - well, that's debatable. So let's debate it.

What's fact is that the previous primary source of highly trained pilots - the military - has all but dried up. The other source (especially in the States) - the 'captive' commuter airlines - is also drying up; due in no small part to the fact that that's where the real growth is in terms of aircraft numbers (and therefore crew requirements).

There are, as a quick glance over in the Wannabe's forum will show, many pilots who would like to get into the business but they are finding it hard to get onto the first rung of the ladder - due in large part to the requirement of insurers for 1,000 hours TT with multi turbine experience as a prior requisite. At the other end of the scale, you have guys being forced to retire at 55 when they have 10 years or so of useful working life left.

Still, the shortage is decreasing with the failure of a number of airlines over the last year or so - and that's a number that's going to increase as the recession deepens.

Personally, I agree with Sir Algernon Scruggs (on this issue at least) that the airlines should be investing more in their own futures and creating a pool of pilots from which they can recruit, which some are. However, the problem for them is not so much the new guys but rather the experienced people in the left hand seat that want to move on - that experience comes only with time. Bonding helps retain some - but if someone is determined to leave, you can't prevent them.

And as for pay - in my opinion, it's not so much an issue of actual pounds and pence - it's an issue of productivity. What's the cost per hour of productive (ie flying, not duty) time to the airline? For the charter carriers, those figures are invariably good - but that's not often the case at scheduled airlines and especially not those which are grossly over-staffed!

14th Jul 2001, 17:33
LTN man.... You are not a Pilot are you. But I bet you would like to be one.

14th Jul 2001, 17:47
Never read so much tosh in my life.

Market forces will prevail. Pilots are in short supply: no pilots = no airline.

Ergo, you pay for the guys who drive or you go down. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR.

If we withdraw our labour be you Delta. AA, United or The Guvs embryo mob you go out of business PDQ. Watch what happens at Cathay if the boys go on strike. I'll give 7 days before the beancounters cave in.null

14th Jul 2001, 17:56
Guvner, pray tell where this alleged recesion is. Yes there is a bit of a slow down, which is a natural knee jerk reaction from the American economy, but it ain't that bad and British consumer confidence is still high. Now dont go and tell me that pax numbers are down significantly. There's a little fall out from foot and mouth and business from across the pond but it's so small almost not worth mentioning. BAA (stats) if believable are still showing a very healthy increase, so unless they are just going to airports to do their shopping, then i presume they must be getting on the aircraft to leave b***s**t like this behind. Leave the economic scare mongering to the city boys who are pretty good at scaring prices up and down with out much thought to the economy.

The Guvnor
14th Jul 2001, 19:04
PauldeGearup - that's a rather short-sighted attitude! Let me put it this way - you can have all the pilots you need, but if the ground engineers aren't prepared to sign off your aircraft, you're as flightless as a kiwi.

Or if the cabin crew decide they aren't going to work - then you're grounded.

Equally, if the passenger service people decide not to process the pax then you're also going no where.

What exactly makes you think that you're (a) worth more than any of your colleagues; or (b) you're indispensible?

It's a team effort and for one group to demand astronomical pay increases at the expense of the rest of the team is deeply divisive. :mad:

FLAREDAMIT - where have you been hiding for the last year or so; Central Africa? :eek: :rolleyes: :D

If you don't believe that we're in an economic slowdown/recession (depending on your definition) just talk to your commercial department. Then read some of the threads - especially in the Freight Dogs forum. Really!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

The reality is that it's not pax numbers that count; it's the yields. With the increase of routes by people like FR, EZY and GO, more low fare pax are flying (Freddie Laker's 'Forgotten Man' effect). However, it's the high yield pointy end F and J class pax that pay the bills at the end of the day - and those people are evaporating about as fast as a spilt glass of water in the Sahara!

14th Jul 2001, 19:14
Re the Cadet Pilot pay - The cadets in the first 4 years will earn 21k less then their DEP equivalent, and in addition have to pay back 15k from their own pocket over the first 5 years.

What we are talking about here is brining BA up to the market rate for pilots.

Norman Stanley Fletcher
14th Jul 2001, 20:13
BA cadets are the luckiest guys/gals in the world. Anyone fortunate enough to be one should just get down on their knees and thank God for the greatest career opportunity in the entire industry that has been handed to them on a silver plate. I hope there is not a single one of them who would be foolish enough to mutter so much as a whimper about their terms and conditions.

As for the other BA pilots - different matter entirely. I hope they are successful in securing a very good deal for them and also for those who will follow. I am not a BA pilot and never will be, but I recognise how vital it is that BA lead the way with salaries. Ultimately what happens at BA filters back down to everyone else in the industry - be it good or bad! As the only real 'major' airline in the country, they carry the flag in every sense and I hope are hugely successful in obtaining a good deal for all.

Sir Algernon Scruggs
14th Jul 2001, 20:32
Guvnor, it is not a case of being indispensable or not. As you point out all the different trades and professions are needed. The difference in value depends on how easy it is to replace those different workers.

As we all know it takes many years to aquire the skills to manage (not just pilot) a large jet a/c and the hoops and hurdles we have to navigate through to get there make it a very demanding profession which not everyone can get into even if they want to. Comparing it to any of the other jobs that are involved in making the airline run is about as relevant as comparing chalk and cheese.

Apart from fully qualified engineers the rest of the jobs you mention are not highly skilled and can be replaced in a much shorter time. As you have stated you will be outsourcing many of the jobs if you ever get your airline off the ground and we all know that means relying on a company to provide unskilled or low skilled labour at even lower wages than you are prepared to pay. If those workers, usually temporary or seasonal, were to start demanding pay rises in line with what the pilots are asking for then yes they could cause some disruption but they are unlikely to achieve their demands are they?

It is not a case of the pilots believing they are worth more than the other workers, it is a fact. They have spent longer aquiring their licences, skills etc than all of the others and they are expected to keep those skills at a high level at least twice a year for their sim checks, never mind the medicals. Not one of the other workers you have mentioned have to pass a medical and maintain such a high level of competence which is evaluated twice a year.

It is no use stating the obvious. We know that if an engineer doesn’t sign off the Tech Log or the cabin crew don’t show up or the tug driver doesn’t come to work or the ticket agent doesn’t check the pax in or whatever the aircraft isn’t going anywhere. To say that we shouldn’t base our demands on what we believe we are worth and the industry can afford is just a desperate cry of realisation by managers like yourself that it is going to cost you more to operate your airline and therefore you have to charge more to your customers.

If the engineers are not happy with what they are getting and there is a shortage of them then you will see equally ‘outrageous’ (to you) demands from them in due course. The airlines where you now see industrial action have consistently failed to invest in their workers, whether it be pay or conditions and they are now reaping the rewards of industrial action because the short term view of the managers and beancounters who only saw bottom line ‘profit’, ie price and not value which involves a lot more for a lot longer.

The airlines where the management actually value their pilots and realise that they are not just a commodity but highly motivated individuals who appreciate recognition for their skills and the long road it took to get there and the equally complicated effort it takes to maintain those skills and proficiency will not have to worry about industrial action. Airlines such as CX where the dinosaurs from the ‘lorenzo school of mismanagement’ believe in the motto “beatings will continue until morale improves” have only their ‘beancounter’ shortsightedness leaders to blame for letting the situation develop into the action that is now being taken.

Those same ‘beancounter’ leader types have been mismanaging BA pilots for many years. They are not worried about the long term effects of their decisions because they know they will be far away in another company by the time the mess has to be cleared up, content with their golden handshakes. The BA pilots rightly feel aggrieved with their pay and conditions and that is due to the management not respecting them and their skills. If the new leadership in BA has any sense, and we will find out nearer the time, then they will negotiate and reach a settlement that both sides find acceptable. I doubt anyone will be happy but whatever BA manage to achieve for themselves will set the standard for the rest of the airlines in the UK.

Anyone who calls the pilots greedy is not a pilot themselves. If we are comparing chalk and cheese then lets compare baggage handlers to bond traders. Now there’s a difference in salary to compare. Oh, lets not forget consultants, lawyers, surgeons, IT specialists etc.

[ 14 July 2001: Message edited by: Sir Algernon Scruggs ]

14th Jul 2001, 22:48
Isn't it remarkable that when company directors vote themselves big salary increases, bonuses etc, it is necessary to attract the best talent. When the lower orders ask for above inflation increases they are greedy, irreponsible and much more.
Go for it BA pilots.

Hot Wings
14th Jul 2001, 23:55
Well said bigmac and Sir Scruggs. Roderick Eddington is right now grinning about the 165,000 share options (at £3.21 per share) that the rest of the board voted him last week!

I would like to say that Ms A Jameson deserves a B+ for her article. As far as journos writing about pilot's pay is concerned, she did a pretty good job.

The situation at BA is quite simple. Despite what the BA spokeswoman says, we are having a hard time recruiting experienced pilots and now, even retaining pilots.

Most of us who fly for BA have shares in the airline and we are very keen for the compay to do well. During the Gulf war we took a 5% pay cut to help out the company and we have done our best to restructure and implement the Business Efficiency Program. We have seen our productivity and hours flown increase yet our P60s and days off decrease. At our last pay deal we were sold out by Balpa (1.?% increase), who were still trying to work in partnership with BA, yet BA managed to find the money to give CSDs a 5.6% pay rise. We are now being subjected to more and more disciplinaries and our sickness is even being closely monitored to make sure that we work as close to 900 hours per year as possible.

Flight Ops can find the money to offer starting pay of £85,000 to IT managers and give them date of birth (rather than date of joining) seniority for Staff Travel, yet a 20 year BA Captain is on a salary of £76,854pa (not £110K) and is responsible for 100s of lives, $220,000,000 worth of company assets (a 747-400) and $1 billion of liability.

Rod Eddington is 100% correct when he complains that BA is suffering from a silo mentality. Each department is only concerned about its own costs and not the overall cost to the airline. As a result of paying managers bonuses for handling their own budget, the big picture has been lost.

Many of us feel that enough is enough. We no longer feel charitable for the greater good. Why should we work harder for less only to see the savings thrown away by other departments? At least the City sees our value and importance: "Pilots have a lot of power. They can stop an airline overnight and they can wipe out a year's profits in weeks...".

When you look at BA's turnover, it is amazing that our profits are so poor. Yet many of BA's pilots now earn less than pilots at Ryanair and Easy. Much of BA's core work has been contracted out, yet our employee numbers keep growing.

At Waterside (company HQ) people show up for work at 10.30am and then head home at 2.30pm. By 4pm the place is deserted. Go and see it for yourselves if you don't believe me! Sadly BA's modern management practices are such that if you only require 4-5 hours to do your work then fair enough. Well I say put in a full 8 hour day and lets reduce the number of time wasters and leeches who are bleeding this company dry.

Yes, sadly there is a storm on BA's horizon. And it is of their own doing. BA's pilots are a dedicated and hard working group but we have had enough of being taken advantage of. An extra 10% would only go about 1/3 of the way towards getting us back on side.

The Resistance
15th Jul 2001, 01:21
Gentlemen. We here at CX are undergoing our greatest trial ever. It is being made far more difficult thanks to the efforts of one Tony Tyler. He is apparantly joining BA at the end of August. This man makes Joseph Goebbels look like a rank amateur. He is a liar out of all proportion. He is guilty of demonising the pilots of CX in the local HK press. This man is ruthless, and will stop at nothing to discredit the aircrew in any dispute or negotiations. There is no lie too big, no tactic too dirty that he won't employ in the pursuit of victory. Make sure that you have the BEST public relations firm employed before your pay negotiations. You WILL need it! This man gives new meaning to the word 'loathsome', and you MUST be ready for the coming battle. Best wishes from CX. :mad:

Hot Wings
15th Jul 2001, 01:59
The Resistance - I had heard rumours regarding TTs arrival at BA. I'm certain that he will get along well with our new Chief Pilot. :eek: It looks as though the executioners have been put in place!

IT is losing 100 contract workers and BA is also after Cabin Services to cut £18,000,000 in costs (easily done but that's another topic ;) ). I suspect that BA will try to pre-empt our contract negotiations with threats of more cuts and increased productivity, etc. This will cancel out our demands for >10% and we will end up with the usual RPI deal. Or so they would like to think. How much would a strike cost BA?

If only we had management like at SAS who have awarded their pilots with 19% over 2 years, whilst avoiding a damaging war of words leading to possible industrial action.

[ 14 July 2001: Message edited by: Hot Wings ]

15th Jul 2001, 02:31
=Just thought I would play devils advocate.

Maybe BA needs to trim costs so they can pay pilots more. I hope so because I hope to join them one day... as a pilot..before anybody asks.

The Guvnor
15th Jul 2001, 07:18
Hot Wings - personally, I agree with you regarding the huge pay awards made to certain airline CEOs. As I said earlier, it's a team effort - and that applies from the top down. Given that the buck should stop with the CEO, I'd say that they should do what Herb Kelleher has done on occasions and have nil pay and profit share. Now that's putting your money where your mouth is!

I'm currently in Atlanta, and had a very interesting discussion this evening in a restaurant near the airport with several DL pilots about their recent pay award; their working conditions and their external business interests.

In my opinion, productivity should be the yardstick against which performance is judged. Look at the Southwest (and Ryanair) people - they manage many more rotations (and correspondingly hours in the air) than their equivalents in the likes of BA. FR crews are, apparently, amongst the best paid crews today. I have no problems with that at all - they work damn hard for it! However, there are other carriers where that isn't the case - especially on long haul flights. How much time, in each flight, is actually spent hands-on flying the aircraft? Not a lot. Pilots today are largely systems monitors - and to state otherwise is naive. The safety of the aircraft, frankly, rests with the cabin crew and the air traffic controllers - both of whom are remarkably poorly paid.

Like it or not, we are in an economic downturn/recession and that means that all costs need to be cut to the bone.

And for those of you out there that think that they can blackmail their employer into caving in to excessive pay demands, I have two words:

Aerolineas Argentinas.

There, the pilots thought that they could force the management into paying them more; so they struck. A couple of days later, the company was out of cash - so it folded. Those pilots went from having a job (albeit one that was not, in their opinion, paying enough) to having no job at all. Rather more seriously, none of their colleagues have jobs, either.

Do you really want that on your conscience?

15th Jul 2001, 09:53
The Guvnor,

You really have excelled yourself this time-

"Pilots today are largely systems monitors - and to state otherwise is naive. The safety of the aircraft, frankly, rests with the cabin crew and the air traffic controllers - both of whom are remarkably poorly paid. "

What about the cleaners, if they did'nt turn up on a turnaround we could possible depart overweight and end up as a smoldering wreck at the end of the runway.

But then again who would find themselves in court, not the cleaners.

I've always given you some slack for some of your previous idiotic posts but this really is crass stupidity.

15th Jul 2001, 14:48
The Guvnor crept from beneath his stone and scribbled in the sand:

<<In my opinion, productivity should be the yardstick against which performance is judged.>>

Quite right.

<<Look at the Southwest (and Ryanair) people - they manage many more rotations (and correspondingly hours in the air) than their equivalents in the likes of BA.>>

Not, however, correct. By law here in the U.K., Pilots and Flight Engineers are only allowed to fly a maximum 900 hours a year. This is so that we don't become too tired and fatigued and fly into mountains etc.

In B.A., some pilots have had to be taken off service because they've reached that 900 hour limit. I would suggest that this shows we *are* productive, and more so than the majority of other airlines.

<<Pilots today are largely systems monitors - and to state otherwise is naive. >>

Not naive. Tell me, are you actually in the flying business, or are you just someone with an axe to grind and an overwhelming compulsion to show the rest of the world that you have no knowledge of aviation?

<<The safety of the aircraft, frankly, rests with the cabin crew and the air traffic controllers - both of whom are remarkably poorly paid.>>

Ah, right. Delusional as well. Tell you what, next time you are on an aircraft and it has the misfortune to lose an engine, why don't you suggest to the crew that a stewardess pop up to the flight deck and take control of the situation?

The Guvnor
15th Jul 2001, 16:14
Oh, come on TwoTun - at least read my post properly. :rolleyes: I didn't say anything at all about hours, I said rotations which means that they are getting higher utilisation out of their aircraft and crews - which is what makes them profitable and other people not.

In what way, exactly, would you (or wooof) disagree with my statement that pilots are largely systems monitors?

And Wooof - how far do you think you'd legally be able to fly a loaded pax aircraft without cabin crew or ATC?

Cleaners are optional (though a dirty aircraft tends to put off the pax). ATC and cabin crew aren't.

Unless you disagree with this? :D :D :D

Human Factor
15th Jul 2001, 16:39

I think comparisons between BA and Aerolineas Argentinas are a bit off the mark. BA will not collapse after two days of striking but I think the company are probably sensible enough to realise that if they don't make a good offer (they are able to afford considerably better than RPI), then they can forget about making a profit for the rest of the year!

The Guvnor
15th Jul 2001, 17:02
Airforcenone - all points agreed with! However, my points were as follows:

1) We're in an economic down-turn/recession therefore companies need to cut, not add, costs (something that BA could do with its excessive management structure, for example) - and which it's already doing by cutting back on contract personnel; and

2) There's no justification for flight deck to think that they should be given a higher % increase than anyone else at BA - that's just divisive. When it comes down to the crunch as I've said before, it's a team effort and if any part of that team withdraws their involvement then the whole team suffers.

Make hay whilst the sun's shining - not whilst it's p!ss!ing with rain! :D :D :D

15th Jul 2001, 17:44
The Guvnor, let me try to be the first to react to your latest crazy remarks by imposing an immediate 100% increase in your council tax.

15th Jul 2001, 20:46

As 'hands-on groundstaff' I find your 'part of a team' comments laudable and agree to most of your points, however I realise that the only groups that can really cause major problems are both Flight, Cabin Crew and to a lesser extent the Engineers. This view is widely acknowledged throughout the Airline, but makes groundstaff feel vulnerable. It would be great to be treated as equals when it comes to pay awards or benefits etc etc, but I'm realistic and accept that it'll never be. The first casualty from any conflict is the truth, the next piece of collateral shrapnel normally takes out the helpless groundstaff.

Secret Squirrel
16th Jul 2001, 02:16

Please read Sir Algernon Scruggs last post about relative values and stop bleating on about it.

It is evident that you don't like pilots but I have a theory. You actually realise our full worth and you resent it. On the one hand we are probably (together with engineers) the single most decisive factor where safety is concerned; which is paramount to running a marketable airline. Secondly, the fact that experienced pilots are difficult to come by forces you to make your job offer attractive; and that costs you money. You enjoy the freedoms of capitalism but you would withold it from others.

I think that any respect you ever had in this website depletes with your every post, every time.


I think you'll find that the single largest expense in an airline is the fuel bill!

16th Jul 2001, 03:56
Some of your comments on this thread may come back to haunt you when you finally get your tinpot airline off the ground. You already seem to have defined yourself as a management dinosaur that nobody likes. Consequently there wont be too many naiive systems monitors knocking on your office door for a job.

Norman Stanley,
Couple of things about your referances to BA cadets. Firstly, luck isn't a factor, cadets are offered a place because they are selected to have the abilities that BA are looking for. The only people who disagree with that who I have come across are a few bitter individuals who were rejected. Secondly, if you are fortunate to have sponsorship, it doesn't automatically mean you have to become a corporate kiss a$$. I was a cadet pilot and I, nor any other cadet pilot I know are inefficient to the tune of 21 grand. I do my job well, and I think I am underpaid for what I do. Whimpering? No, I just understand my value, and I am worth more than what I am getting now.

The Guvnor
16th Jul 2001, 08:26
ear2ground - as a customer's first point of contact, I happen to think that ground staff are actually very important people. The way that the check in staff and CSAs treat the pax will be their initial - and save some radical problems or outstanding service on board - will form the pax's overall impression of the airline. The buck starts with you guys!

Secret Squirrel - wrong. I don't like anyone - whether they be pilots, engineers, ground staff or baggage handlers - thinking that they are more important than the rest of the team; and demanding to play by their own rules.

As I have said several times on this and the BA thread there's a world of difference between different pay scales (and yes, pilots will always be paid more than engineers or cabin crew) and what we're discussing here which is substantially higher pay demands than those for the rest of the team.

Understand where I'm coming from now? :rolleyes:

Whats_it_doing_now 300+ applications and counting, thank you for asking. :D :D :D

Perhaps you chaps should do what I did and get yourself a copy of Nuts!, the story of Herb Kelleher and Southwest Airlines. Another good one is Gordon Bethune's autobiography.

Now, that's how you run an airline!

Ignition Override
16th Jul 2001, 08:39
I just could not resist exposing some ignorance (denial) of pilot productivity to the bright light of a Tennessee (US) day. I'm sure BA flies some short legs as we do, and many flights must be in very busy airspace, not to mention accents to deal with. As for the handy phrase ('sound byte') "systems monitors"-very superficial, and as for long haul vs short haul-anyone who has flown the short legs in the older two-pilot planes, especially in a B-737, DC-9 or F-100 (just like in the smaller regional aircraft) etc understands which pilots are the most productive. In terms of how many legs are flown (yep, I know, pushing 250-400 seats thru bumpy skies is also quite productive), the workload is larger as aircraft size/leg-length decreases. This is often not well-known to those who work outside a two-person cockpit (or flew mostly as part of a three-person crew).

We who do this often sweaty job flying the short legs with no rest periods truly understand who the busiest pilots are, when multiple checklists, airspeed, altitude and heading vectors... must be complied with, catching blocked/cut-out radio calls with new clearances and guesses (yes) as to how adequate the arrival fuel will be while often worsening weather are all intermixed in a rushed operation. Sometimes five or six of these short legs are equal to less than eight total block hours of flying-but result in a very long day. Many times more fatiguing than a typical daytime long-haul flight.

Even long-haul flying in itself is known to be fatiguing, not including circadian body clock problems...

Some ignorance of these topics among laymen is normal, but such implied ignorance from a former DC-8 (or other such long-haul aircraft) pilot etc. can only consist of denial in order to attempt to support an arguement which rests on the flimsiest foundation. The pilots who fly the line DO the job with their hands and can't be swayed by such 'Kuhscheisse'. Use it as fertilizer on your flowers.

Good luck BA pilots. To Lufthansa's Vereinigung Cockpit, sehr gut gemacht... weiter so!

[ 16 July 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

[ 16 July 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

16th Jul 2001, 10:49
People,like GVNR, picture pilots sitting in comfy seats eating ,drinking and checking out the best view in the house.
They never see the same pilot at the end of a long-haul flight awake when others are asleep, or trying to sleep when the rest are awake.

They have no idea what it is like to blat around Europe in Winter, with poor weather, air traffic (and delays) for multiple sectors.

They do not realise that in no other profession is one's career examined so exhaustively. 2 medicals, 2 base checks, and a line check each year which can be FAILED!

Yet,if one of these people happened to be onboard an aircraft which suffered an emergency and the crew brought the flight to a safe conclusion, I wonder if their attitude towards pilots would change?

I somehow doubt it! They would say "That is what they are paid to do". AND THAT IS EXACTLY THE POINT!

16th Jul 2001, 12:12
The Guvnor spouted forth:

<<Oh, come on TwoTun - at least read my post properly. I didn't say anything at all about hours, I said rotations which means that they are getting higher utilisation out of their aircraft and crews - which is what makes them profitable and other people not.>>

To remind about a previous post of yours, you said:

<<Look at the Southwest (and Ryanair) people - they manage many more rotations (and correspondingly hours in the air) than their equivalents in the likes of BA.>>

See - you did say something about hours. Don't berate me for having a go at you when you can't remember what you put in previous posts, old chap.

You also went on to say:
<<In what way, exactly, would you (or wooof) disagree with my statement that pilots are largely systems monitors? >>

How about the fact that I've been flying since 1973, and I don't consider pilots to be "Systems Monitors"?


Top Flight
16th Jul 2001, 12:12
Fellow Aviators

I am new to this site and have had the great pleasure reading what my fellow colleagues have to say. Quite enlightening at times. Until that is I happened upon the idiotic comments of the “Guv”. He/She seems to be well known, I on the other hand have no idea who this person is. Let me add that I have no desire to meet such an A%$.
Frere’s please do not humour his pathetic comments and arguments with justification of our worth. Pass on your comments to your unions and let these matters be discussed in the correct forums.

To Mr/Miss/Mrs Guv
If indeed you have 300 applicants may I be so humble as to suggest you occupy your time with reading into these alleged CV’s and not contaminate an otherwise fruitful thread with your divisive drivel.

Norman Stanley Fletcher
16th Jul 2001, 13:09
Thanks for your comments, whats_it_doing_now?

By way of clarification, I do not in any way wish to pour insult on BA cadets - without a doubt the vast majority are good guys/gals. I never applied because the scheme did not exist at the time I would have been competing for places. But yes, they are unbelievably lucky because there are huge numbers of other equally high quality wannabees out there for whom the road will be considerably harder. By the sound of things you are now a senior BA pilot, enjoying all the many wonderful priveleges that bestows. And best of luck to you! I am genuinely glad that there are people at the top of the tree doing very well - it is great for them personally and the industry as a whole.

I would be very disappointed to think that you or others who have benefitted from free flying training, the most secure job in the industry and virtually guaranteed promotion to the very top would be anything else other than exceedingly thankful. I am not one of those knocking BA - the standards are very high and there is a rigorous selection procedure (which I have never been through). Spare a thought for those other good guys/gals out there who are fantastic at their job but have had to fight every step of the way to get there, because for a variety of reasons were unable to take advantage of such a marvellous scheme as the BA cadet system.

By BA standards £21k is not a lot. I am sure you are aware, however, that there are many turboprop FOs out there getting paid less than that and they are also burdened with massive debt (£30-50k in many cases). They have no guaranteed future - the best they can hope for is to get a crack at one of the larger airlines after they have accumulated suitable hours. Even if they eventually get a look-in at BA, they will be years behind in the seniority list and still have big debts to pay off.

So there you have it. Please do not take this as any attack on BA cadets - they are undoubtedly good people. There are, however, lots of other equally good people who were just not that lucky. Spare a thought for them and the hard road they are travelling on. BA cadets are the most priveleged of all aviators in the country, and I hope they will never lose sight of just how fortunate they have been.

Lee Dingedge
16th Jul 2001, 13:47
eezypilot - What is the point behind your posting? LTN man was reorting a newspaper article.

16th Jul 2001, 15:02
The worlds airlines have been and are still
gambling on a recession resulting in a
pilot surplus again ....

It isn't happening - even in the US - is
it ..... ?

16th Jul 2001, 15:02
Ear2ground, you said in response to the Guvnor

"As 'hands-on groundstaff' I find your 'part of a team' comments laudable and agree to most of your points, however I realise that the only groups that can really cause major problems are both Flight, Cabin Crew and to a lesser extent the Engineers."

Firstly, can I say that the pilots deserve to earn a hell of a lot. I know what sort of training they go through (friends are pilots) and if I'm on a flight I want to make sure the best person possible is at the pointy end in the event of any problems.
Having said that, many people can cause major problems, not least the IT staff. BA had a lot of trouble in March/April and I believe a lot of highly skilled people got the system back running. Without pilots for a while, there are no flights. Without an IT system for the same period, there are not only no flights but no forward bookings, or almost anything else which generates revenue for an airline.

16th Jul 2001, 17:04

Please read my note again,I didn't say the Crew shouldn't get paid more than Groundstaff, my point was that in general Crew tend to higher awards and benefits throughout the airline industry compared to other groups. I have no axe to grind about that issue, its just the way it is.

As for IT systems and people causing disruption thru malice or just system crashes, I agree with you. I was overseas in March when the BA system crashed, my flight nightstopped and it took many days to get back to normal. The issue then was how could a major airline allow such work to go so badly wrong in the first place?

Yes, there are skilled people in all areas of the airline, from the Flight deck down but Mgmt are more wary of some groups than others.

16th Jul 2001, 17:15

Please read my note again, I wasn't saying Flight Crew shouldn't be paid more than Groundstaff, clearly they should. The point I was making was that in general, throughout the airline industry Flight Crew recieve better pay awards and benefits than groundstaff. A mate of mine flies and admits it himself and I have no axe to grind at all, I was just stating a widely held view.

As for IT staff/systems being able to cause chaos, I agree completely. The BA system crash last March proved that case easily. However, the question should be asked how can a major airline allow such a disaster to happen in the first place. I was overseas during the crash and the passengers and staff alike were aghast that BA could inflict such a public owngoal.

The Guvnor
16th Jul 2001, 17:27
TwoTun, mate, for someone who has been flying since 1973 you seem to have a remarkably poor grasp of simple mathematics and English! :D

We're talking productivity (ie utilisation of assets) here. The likes of WN and FR manage to turn their aircraft around in between one third and half the time of majors using the same types. This means that the aircraft (and crews) spend less time on the ground where they cost money and more time in the air where they're earning money.

Of course, this only applies to short-haul - long haul is unaffected by this as CAP370 and its equivalents would apply (ie you couldn't do a round trip LHR-JFK with a subsonic aircraft no matter how fast you turned the aircraft round).

What do you spend the majority of your time on the flight deck doing, if it isn't monitoring systems? :eek: :rolleyes:

Hogwash - I think I've said it about three times already and I'll say it again for your benefit.

My arguments here are not about pay levels for pilots. I agree that pilots should be well paid. What I am saying, though, is that pilots should not assume that they should be given higher pay increases than the rest of their colleagues because of their job. It's a team effort and the slogan of the Three Musketeers should apply here - "All for one and one for all!"

Oh, and Hogwash? If you think that the restictions placed on flight crew where if you fail your medical, base or sim checks etc are onerous, then think about this: air traffic controllers are allowed three mistakes (aka 'deals') in their career. Furthermore, if you fail your medical, base or sim check then you're unfit to be at the controls of an aircraft carrying farepaying passengers - would you be comfortable with your family flying with someone that had failed their medical/sim/base check?

ITGuy - quite right ... especially when airlines are increasingly dependent on technology. I flew up to ATL from FLL on Saturday, and DL's DCS was down systemwide. It brought everything to a grinding halt - the ground staff had to use manual systems for the first time in whenever! BA's similar problem a few months back apparently cost the company over £60 million. That's the value of a used B777!!

Stan Woolley
16th Jul 2001, 18:19

What are you like? What is the point of posting that question in the CC forum?

As a bearer of doom and gloom for the economy why are you starting an airline at this time?

Its obvious why pilots are asking for more money- its because they are in demand, experienced ones anyway.So Easy paid 25K 'cause they didn't have to! You will find that out when and if you actually start recruiting.

Who else is recruiting...... er just BA, Britannia,Monarch,Air2000,JMC,Virgin,Easy,Ryanair,Go,DHL,Sin gapore,Emirates,Channex,most of the regionals and just about every other airline I can think of!

I don't profess to understand the money side but its clear you're not too hot on the operational aspects.By the way which accident was it that cited Cabin Crew Error as the main cause?

16th Jul 2001, 18:36

Nobody said anything about being happy with sub-standard people flying, what was said was that a pilots license was on the line on those checks.

I am very aware of the ATC 'deals' and I think that controlers should get LOTS of money. :)

I totally agree with the team concept. If others in the industry believe that they should be paid more, I suggest that, they should apply the matter to their relevant union.

Ignition Override
17th Jul 2001, 08:32
Hogwash: good points. Many out there simply can't stomach the fact that some airline jet jobs pay very well (only thanks to strong union solidarity, applied through collective bargaining), which in the US are often based on the competition's payscales/benefits, achieved through "pattern bargaining". This concept is followed by US airline mgmts on the other side of the bargaining table, no matter how vigorously they deny it while using the same old "one-trick pony" approach. All they do is trade notes with the competition. There are no real secrets in this business.

Regarding airline pay, just tell anyone who makes typically ignorant remarks about the potentially very good salaries "Sir, Brand X airlines is accepting applications, and is an equal opportunity employer". That usually works. The ball is now in their court.

Hang in there BA pilots!

17th Jul 2001, 11:32
Might be useful to put some flesh on the arguments. For my most recent days work I was paid £66 (average monthly salary including allowances divided by 30). I flew 465 people on 5 sectors into and out of one of Europes busiest 5 airports in an aircraft with 2 ADD's that affected our operation on each sector. We never stopped on the ground for longer than 35 minutes. Lunch was eaten on my lap during a descent brief, my evening meal eaten whilst I programmed the a/c for our final sector. The only time I left the flight deck was for 3 walk rounds. Total duty time 9 1/2 hours with not one break. This would be illegal if I worked in almost any other job. An average month for me consists of about 50-55 sectors, and around 70 hours flying time. Thats £36 per flight (or about £0.36 per passenger)

I would however be the first to tell you that I have the best job in the world. I love what I do and strive to be as good an operator as I can be. And yes I work for BA (mainline, not franchise).

Overpaid? My 2 closest friends work in middle to senior management positions and both earn more than 2 1/2 times my salary. You tell me.

(edited for spelling)

[ 17 July 2001: Message edited by: 52049er ]

Notso Fantastic
17th Jul 2001, 14:06
Why doesn't everybody stop responding to idiotic contributions from people like Guvnor and Bus -something or other-'the pilot's friend!' They are teasers, and responding to such rubbish from wind-up merchants just amuses them and drags out more. When I start seeing them complaining about the excessive amounts of all our savings and investments creamed off by City types (are we all aware of the £44,000 social occasion by 5 or so bankers?), the excessive share options for underperforming airline managers, then I will believe they really want to reduce costs! In the meantime.....IGNORE!

next in line
17th Jul 2001, 14:25
TWoTun was quite correct when he said:

<<In B.A., some pilots have had to be taken off service because they've reached that 900 hour limit. >>

but did not say what happened next which none of you are going to believe!

The individuals who were removed from their trips had their pay deducted, the reason given being that they had deliberately made themselves unavailable for work!

17th Jul 2001, 16:01

Here's a couple of thoughts for you:

First, we are not interested in what our pay rise is relative to other sections in BA. We don't give a damn whether we get a bigger percentage than cabin crew, loaders or IT staff. What we DO care about is getting paid the market rate for what we do, compared to similar 'flag carriers' ie comparing apples and apples as one of our managers continually says. We are lagging VERY badly and the causes and results of this have already been alluded to. If the cabin crew unions can negotiate a good deal for themselves then good luck to them, but meanwhile we are talking about the pilots' deal and all these extraneous arguments are irrelevant.

Second, the productivity in BA is very high and, fortunately, our union has some excellent data to coroborate this statement. What the company choses to do with the aircraft is up to them and any inneficencies in this regard can be addressed directly to the upper echelons of back-stabbers (sorry I meant BA mangement). We have, as you well know, the flight time limitations placed on us by the CAA and, so long as it is legal, we can basically fly to these limits...there are a few industrial agreements but none of these prevent aircraft being flown at night etc, instead of sitting on the ground. Utilisation of assets is a management task and is NOT an excuse for lack of profits on the part of pilots.

As for being JUST a systems operator, you have absolutely NO idea what being a BA pilot is about and I must reiterate; you don't have a friggin' clue. We are more aware of our part in customer service than any ideas you might have and our previous Director of Flight Ops held our achievments in this arena up to the Board and proved we are worth more than every penny we get. Next time the passengers are all on board and the aircraft goes tech and you personally go row by row through the cabin to address individual concerns, organise a new aircraft and lounge for the passengers because the ground staff had had be taken away on other duties, sort out new flight plans, get transport arranged for the pax, organise your team to prepare the new aircraft to reduce delaying them any further, escort the pax to the lounge and help the 'old dear' up the jetty as they can't get a wheelchair to her soon enough and then, having completed all the related paperwork, get the flight away safely, with minimal delay come and talk to me about systems operators and button pressing. You'd be liable to end up with a VERY sore nose.



PS: you've probably been asked this before, but do W and anchor meen anything to you?

17th Jul 2001, 19:09
Outstanding yet again Pontius - that'll be the nail being hit on the head then ;)

Trident Sim
17th Jul 2001, 19:40
Great post Pontius. I don't bother to reply to the resident PPRuNe Tristar Worshipping Airline Tycoon, but I'm glad you did it so well!

17th Jul 2001, 20:58
I'd like to make a couple of points if I may in a relax controlled manner.
Firstly, very well put Pontius - you just be careful or there will be no nail left to hit!
Secondly, since people keep drawing parallels between IT and pilots how about this one. When there was a shortage of IT people what did BA do to attract them? Offered them great T & C's The old supply and demand thing. :confused:
Thirdly, regarding the Cadet Pilot thing - the quoted start salary is pretty close, if you then deduct the training repayment every month for 5 years and the lower salary compared to a DEP, the 'free' training becomes anything but free, infact you come pretty close to paying the whole cost - about £60,000. :eek:

17th Jul 2001, 21:03
Thats true largejet, and a little dicky bird told me that BA got the training contract for substantially less than that. Oxford certainly don't seem to be making financial leaps and bounds because of it anyway.

Secret Squirrel
18th Jul 2001, 01:03
Sorry Guvnor but no, I don't see where you're coming from at all. You come out with the same rubbish every time and you are fundementally wrong. If I'd wanted to become cabin crew/tug driver or dispatcher I could have saved myself a lot of trouble (and money!).

I suppose that you think a nurse or hospital porter should be entitled to the same remuneration and/or increases as interns (FO equivalent to our industry), consultants (Captains) or surgeons (Sim trainers), just because you can't run a hospital without either or!!!!

It may be that our profession cannot be said to enjoy the same noble standing as those of the medical profession BUT on the other hand their industry is far more forgiving when it comes to making mistakes that cost people lives.

Face it Guv, however much you bleet the inescapable fact of the matter is, that we are a rarer commodity than most other airline staff, and therefore can screw belligerent wannabe managers like you for as much as we like. And God it feels good to see you squirm with helplessness!!!

18th Jul 2001, 01:48
It is amazing the way these ignorant people still come out and get so angry when pilots ask for more pay. But I think the main problem is simply that the vast majority of laypeople have no idea what it entails to become a professional air transport pilot.

A huge proportion of pilots end up spending a small fortune over many years to get that valuable license. They have to spend hour after hour up in the air building up their flight time, take exam after exam, then spend a fortune buying a type rating and then finally taking your CV and sending to airline after airline. If you're lucky to be chosen, then it's medicals, nerve wracking sim checks and finally your line check, all in the presence of people who will have no qualms in failing you if you make any kind of mistake.

And if you've had the good fortune to be chosen as a cadet, it's not all that easy either. Written tests, psyche tests, interviews with grumpy line pilots, idiotic group sessions where people have to sit around and build the eiffel tower out of coke cans and then more interviews. Then, when finally sitting in the right seat, they work for low wages while having to pay back some of the training cost. Right through a pilots career it's a constant examination to check whether he/she is still up to the job.

You see it's just not correct to compare flight crew with cabin crew or groundstaff or office clerks etc. All are valuable of course and are vital to the smooth running of the airline, but these other workers did not have to go through the same rigours and training that the plots have. And at the end of the day, when you properly analyse it, the pilots responsibility is huge, taking into your care 10-400 pax is a big deal. Being prepared to deal with inumerable outside factors that can happen on a flight requires thorough training, which takes time and money.

I've always believed that the main problem that the pilot community has encountered when disputes arise, is they just don't put their case forward well enough to the media. And for that the blame must lie with the pilot unions. They have to start getting better PR people to address the media and give their side of the story. If the public could read 52049er's post in the press or hear about in the media they would be alot more sympathetic. For the amount of work he did, £66 is a very low reward considering the amount of money he would have made for his airline that day.

Finally, noone can tell me that BA pilots don't earn their money. I was travelling FCO-LHR last month and the flight was delayed due to ATC. The captain came out and went to his passengers (in the departure lounge!) and explained to them the reasons for the delay. He spoke to all of them, adressing them politely and apologising all the time, even though it wasn't his fault. He left a lasting impression on the passengers that day, how can you value the goodwill he generated? Those passengers would have told their families/friends about the excellent service.

These fliers not only deserve what they're paid but deserve a lot more as well. And that goes for all pilots. I would place no more worth on a BA flier then one with FR or Eazy etc.

18th Jul 2001, 03:21
"SYSTEMS MONITOR" is becoming the buzz word for pilots. Flight Engineers are one endangered species slowly following the path of Navigators and Radio Operators. Technology will soon overtake the role of airline pilots. And the higher the crew cost, the higher the Tech pressure to replace us!

In order to comprehend this trend one has to adjust the conventional thought processes, including the premises that: Large jets cannot safely be flown without highly skilled pilots and that passengers would never board a jet without two pilots at the controls.

CAT-IIIC Autoland and any other autoflight profile requires more systems programing knowhow than aerodynamics/aviator knowledge.

Twenty years from now computer and nano technologies will have more than doubled in sophistication. Our traditional "hands-on" role as pilots will be diminished if not altogether eliminated and replaced by Systems Monitors. Believe it.

If you have any doubts about the future decline of our profession, catch up on the pilotless aircraft the military has been perfecting over the past few years: Start with the "Global Hawk." It's a UAV about the size of a small bizjet with a single turbofan that can fly across the pond, linger over Europe six hours and return without refueling. And guess what? In one branch of the U.S. military the ground based remote "system operators" are all non pilots.

I'm an airline pilot, but I'm a realist too.

Cheers. :cool:

Wee Weasley Welshman
18th Jul 2001, 04:11
Pontius - I am standing applauding in my own living room. Spot on.

As for the BA Cadet costs - its a non-too-commercial secret in the industry that the inital OATS deal was for £42,000 per person. Most schools have lowered charges in the last 5 years as well... But remember there is a JOC course and line training plus extra training sectors for Cadets on that figure.

Everyone I have spoken to is rooting for the BA guys big time. What you set today filters down to the rest of us tomorrow. I was suprised to find that I am significantly better off as a EGSS low cost FO than I would be as a EGKK BA 3 year FO in terms of monthly net take home pay when we compared payslips a week or so back...

Take no prisoners guys,


18th Jul 2001, 05:34
Your point is very well made Glueball. People will no doubt scoff at your comments and say that this scenario will never happen, but of course it more than likely will. As to when the first fully loaded unmanned airplane will take off, who knows, but as you have pointed out, the tecnology is not just in the near future, it's here and now.

For the present though, the pilots are here and they must fight what they believe they are worth.

Ignition Override
18th Jul 2001, 09:30
N. Fantastic, Pontius and others. You described the profession so well: but it is one in which we are often married to our airline. Due to pension/health insurance (US) requirements, after a few years (without being independently wealthy) most of us can't go through revolving doors at different companies like many in upper/middle mgmt: we are committed (bound, as in tied to a tree) to our companies, with no golden parachutes.

Our unions have often done a lousy job of explaining the realities of our jobs to the ignorant laymen. Others (even former DC-8 line pilots, no nicknames mentioned) insisting on appearing to be ignorant.

If my company decides to experiment with the more productive linear route system as Southwest does, in contrast to the inefficient hub and spoke system, they certainly won't ask for my advice on this. Most US airlines chose to stick with this very inefficient concept.

[ 18 July 2001: Message edited by: Ignition Override ]

next in line
18th Jul 2001, 13:38
Personally, the more that BA pilots get the better and for this one reason:

the more money they get the more tax they pay!

The more tax they pay the more money our government has available to provide more doctors, nurses, teachers classrooms etc, etc. And who provides the funds in the fist place? Here's the best bit!

Not the British taxpayer, not the general public but the flying public!

All those people who clog up the roads driving to the airport; the same ones who sit in aeroplanes which create noise and increase pollution, etc, etc.....

I'm all for as much money as possible being extracted from the air travelling public being given to the pilots who can then give it to HMG!

Go for it chaps!

18th Jul 2001, 14:07
To hot wings(on page 2),

I also think that we have decent management at SAS, however, make no mistake, we made them give us the payraise. They wouldn't have done it if they didn't have to!!! On the other hand, now that the negotiations are over, I am, as always, prepared to work hard and help the company since it seemed that they negotiated in good faith(at least towards the end).

It's a two way street.

:cool: :cool:

[ 18 July 2001: Message edited by: Ramrise ]

gas path
18th Jul 2001, 14:43
I did like your post, but you obviously have never been on my a/c when it's gone tech.
It always seems to be the tech crew that leg it first. ;)
Now I appreciate that the pilot group will deck the whole operation but what will happen when the engineering group start a fight; will they get support from you or will, as happened in the past, will the pilot's bend over backwards to keep the operation going??
Interestingly the engineers were the only group to have negotiated an agreement in the proposed equity stake, tied in to the last pay deal, something that the pilot's I understand now want a bigger slice of.
Interesting times :D :D

Invalid Delete
19th Jul 2001, 15:03
Pontius, well said mate.

This is not a gripe, but it isn't just BA that do all that 'outstanding' Customer Service stuff. Try working for a charter airline, where you have to do all that every day ! Incidently I was positioning back home with BA the other day and found the poor old F/O wandering through the cabin explaining to am American lady passenger that because of the hour slot delay she was going to miss her onward connection to the states :rolleyes: (Bloody obvious I know, the F/O knew it, all the pax knew it). Personally, I and all the passengers close by found this extreemely excrutiating and highly embarassing for him. We were all wonering why ? :confused:

In contrast, in my arline the captain would have explained to all the pax at the same time over the PA, whilst I would be on the mobile to our operations or Brussels flow control direct, in order to re-file a different route. The cabin crew would address other passenger concearns directly.

I just sat back and thought, well at least I am getting paid 17,000 more than this poor sod and I will get my command 10 years earlier. :D

Anyway sorry to dribble on. Good luck in the pay negotiations, you lot deserve it.

19th Jul 2001, 16:23
I would just like to wish the BA guys all the best in their forthcoming pay negotiations and ask them to bear in mind one thing.

Eddington started the rot at Cathay in the mid 90's and the guy screwing the pilots in HKG at the moment is Tony Tyler. TT is believed to be on his way to BA in the none too distant future so you had better make these negotiations count.

Another thought, the share options that Rod was given the other day, could they be an incentive to screw the pilot body for whatever he can?

Food for thought.

19th Jul 2001, 17:38
just a reply to largejet on P4 who said
"Secondly, since people keep drawing parallels between IT and pilots how about this one. When there was a shortage of IT people what did BA do to attract them? Offered them great T & C's The old supply and demand thing. "

As far as I'm aware, BA IT people have never been offered "great T & C's" - certainly no better than any other BA employee. When exactly was this offer? Also, BA IT people would like to compare apples and apples (as Pontius says), but know that IT people can earn a hell of a lot more outside of an airline if they chose to leave.
Many chose to stay because they enjoy the work and the benefits, not the pay!
As I've said before, I think the pilots deserve to earn a hell of a lot of money, and good luck for any negotiations. Having said that, they need to bear in mind that many sections of the airline feel the same way about their own departments and aren't always successful. Everyone is on the same team at the end of the day. :)

20th Jul 2001, 16:16

20th Jul 2001, 21:21
Hello Peeps, sorry for the lack of replies but it's that old wolf, door and keeping the former from the latter syndrome.

Well, I feel quite embarrassed by this 'praise' for my post....maybe I should go into management. Okay, only kidding.

But to address a couple of points:

Gas Path,

I assume form your message you're an engineer (a much appreciated 'race'in my mind). I would never deliberately try and foil another group's attempts to improve their pay and conditions and I hope I made it clear when I said, that whatever you guys can get, then good luck to you all. What I also said, though, is that this is a fight for the pilots and all else smacks of herring rouge. I recognise that our terms and conditions can and do affect other departments within the airline, but we are trying to get away from this whole, stupid, corporate rate thing. BA would much rather we didn't because that would mean paying us according to our worth outside the airline and that would mean a pay rise...shock, horror. This is ALL we are going for; our Market Rate.

You comment that it is the tech crew that are first to leg it off a u/s aircraft. That may be the case sometimes, but it may be that they've been given another flight to crew or have to go and prep the next aircraft etc. I'm not, for one moment, saying we are all perfect all the time, but we do try and our customer service far exceeds the levels put about by 'button pushing' accusers such as the Guvnor. We all recognise the hugely important role we have to play in the arena of making dosh for the company and most of us try very hard to do so. I hate people talking about the 'Big Picture' stuff, but maybe when those pilots do rush off there is a very good reason...and, believe me, it's not normally related to going home.

Invalid Delete,

Been there and done that, so I do know what you're talking about. Some of us do have experiences from outside BA, but I know that spoils the 'Nigel' image, so I won't dwell on it.

I think the Old Lady story is quite a good example of customer service. Yeah, all the pax knew there was a delay and most of them could figure out the implications of that delay, but could the ol' dear? I think treating a passenger as an individual and going to explain to her what will happen when she arrives at LHR/LGW and who to speak to in Flight Connections an excellent response to a delay and far from embarassing (I've been in the cabin too many times and survived the near lynchings to get too upset by some smiling people).

I have to admit (and this is without knowing whether the Captain was otherwise disposed) I would have done it myself rather than sending my RHS colleague. I'm sure there are good reasons for the Captain not doing so.

And finally (as they say). It's good to see that you would have been proactive in trying to improve your slot, but do you not think the guys were trying to do likewise? We don't have the aircraft mobile phones (a Godsend when we got them in my charter outfit) but we do have the luxury of a 'proper' operations base at most of our destinations. We do the same things as you do with Flow Control, but via the company freq..and you know how much better those people in ops can deal with those situations (still doesn't beat the bottle of whisky to ATC in Rhodes though. ;) ).

Alright, I've rambled on for long enough, again. At the end of the day, we are not being greedy, we just want similar renumeration to the equivalent airlines in Europe, who are doing exactly the same job. It truly is a shame that we are shackled with seniority numbers et al, because deregulated movement around Europe could certainly force BA to sit up and take note. I, for one, though am not going to allow the arrogant managers in BA to think they have me trapped. I'll do everything I can to help BALPA negotiate a decent deal and if they don't, then I'm off to warmer climes...with better Em..rates.

Toodle oo,


Magnus Picus
21st Jul 2001, 13:36

When the alarm clock goes off, perhaps you can go back to being a postman.

Your fish hooks still catch the occasional new poster but I will still lurk at the back of this pond and know what you really are...

A Hypocrite and a Fool.

I said it before and I'll say it again. The only man I know who referred to himself as 'The Guvnor' was Paul Ince. His IQ was comparable to yours.


22nd Jul 2001, 04:10
It is quite extraordinary how many folks on this thread are saying "..good luck, go for it, it filters down...", but on other threads the CX guys are getting lambasted with criticism and pilots saying they want to take their jobs. ( I'm for both sets of pilots IN BOTH AIRLINES, btw ).

The 2 disputes are very much related; I guarantee that Red Oddington is rooting for and communicating with his former colleagues in CX management, both carriers are in OneWorld. The CX UK payscales are supposed to be related to the BA ones. If the CX guys win their dispute, the results will also benefit the other UK drivers. (Pull factors would rise, tempting ship-jumping to CX, after the dust settles ).

I agree with the above commentators who say that the UK pilots are falling behind in pay. Too true. So support your CX colleagues, 'cos they're fighting in no small part for a lot of you as well. If they win, many carriers would have to reconsider their packages, especially those employing expats, and those with multi-tiered payscales.

My three cents worth...(inflation...)

Hot Wings
22nd Jul 2001, 13:52
Well observed Rraamjet. Sadly any mention of the CX dispute brings responses from either pilots suffering from envy or management pretending to be pilots. I am certain that the same thing will happen once the pay negotiations at BA turn nasty. As with CX, BA pilots will quietly retire to their own private forum and leave the imposters and the ignorant to comment in public.