View Full Version : QF nepotism

18th Nov 2002, 23:10
We hear continuously about the sons and daughters that get into main stream QF on the back of there parents name or position.

I would like to know about the ones, if any, that didn't get in, the stage that they were dropped from contention and whether they ever found out why?

Would all cadets please refrain from venting their grief, anyone else, feel free.

Just interested thats all???

19th Nov 2002, 01:18
Shaablamm I know of eight that did not make it and there could be more. Some fell over at the psych/skills day and some at the interview.
Out of the seven two did not bother with aviation again, four are in GA, one in the RAAF and one in an airline overseas.
So as you can see it is not automatic that sons/daughters get in.

19th Nov 2002, 02:40
RaTa, I totally agree with you. I don't believe that being of QA breeding or sibling aids you in the initial stages.

Further to this I was wondering if anyone out there has ever been turned down without consideration of an apptitude test, even when they fulfill every requirement.

Metro Boy
20th Nov 2002, 03:37
I heard of a senior captains daughter going in to the Qantas office on a Saturday evening to practice the psych tests.

20th Nov 2002, 04:32
Metro Boy .......knowing the company fairly well, I would be surprised if what you say were true.

Arm out the window
20th Nov 2002, 05:37
Got any evidence there, shaablamm?
That's a mighty sweeping statement that you open your post with there.

Al E. Vator
20th Nov 2002, 09:36
Take this as you will folks.

I know this for a fact (first-hand) but am sure it will receive flak as it may be a little close to the bone.

Metro Boy is perhaps closer to the mark than he realises with his comments re the 'aptitude' test. Most applicants do OK with the flying (some better than others of course) and the so-called 'skills' test is very easy. Interviews are nervous affairs and do have their uses but the big Unknown is the aptitude test.

For the 'right' candidate, intra-company coaching as to how to get through the 'aptitude' test IS available. In fact even if the first result doesn't meet the criteria as determined by the company (ie: the person is unsuccessful on the first interview), should circumstaces permit (that person has sufficient contact in high places within Qantas), coaching can be received in order to be able to provide the 'correct' answers at subsequent attempts.

Again, all I will say is that I know this first hand. I won't elaborate as I could get somebody into trouble but believe it is patently unfair to literally thousands of genuine applicants who 'lack' the suitable criteria to join Qantas. Whether I took advantage of this knowlege is immaterial, the fact is that manipulation of the aptitude test DOES exist and is the arbiter of whether a candidate is successful or otherwise.

This situation can be looked at in two ways.

1) Qantas can employ who they want and this is their prerogative (just like the Melbourne Club won't take Jews). It may be morally repugnant but it's "their train-set" so too bad. Maybe there is merit in this argument.

2) Alternatively it could be viewed as a disgusting practice where Flight Operations can easily discriminate against 'non-desirables' by providing assistance to family members or other chosen-ones. This may or may not be with the tacit approval of upper-level management. I do for example know one current QF pilot rejected for political reasons initially (He was a non-returnee from '89 and his application was childishly torpedoed by an ex-TAA manager now within the QF managerial system [edit, to remove name. Don't name names please....]. Political contacts liased with the then CEO who overturned the Flight Ops decision and this pilot is now excelling within the airline). However I suggest upper-level involvement is not common and Recruitment is left generally to its own game.

So to think any recruiting system is totally fair is of course folly but the Qantas system is most unfair. Whilst of course, suitable applicants may strike the 'right' answers (whatever they may be at any given time) if they are lucky, candidates with the right contacts have a distinct and unfair advantage. All I will say is I categorically know this first-hand and fortunately I am very pleased with the outcome. I do not work for Qantas.

Most (not all but very many) young pilots when they set out on their carers dream of flying a jet for an airline. Qantas is usually the airline of choice for these young aviators (it used to be Ansett, TAA or Qantas, but given the events in Aviation recently and the candidates Virgin are fortunate enough to take, Qantas is basically the only game in town).

Of course there will be respondents who note they got into QF with no contact but those who got in WITH those contacts will naturally never admit that this was a factor.

In my humble opinion, the fact that the Qantas pilot recruitment system is so flawed is a travesty and if made known to a young guy/girl setting out on a career in aviation should make him think twice before forking-out all those bucks. Many Aussies now fly for overseas airlines of course which ultimately often proves intellectually and financially more beneficial but the fact remains that when applying for Qantas it is not a level playing-field.

One thing I have gleaned from many years in aviation is that high quality candidates will inevitably succeed at whatever they do, wherever that may be. Great aviators/nice people may for reasons outside their control not make it into a specific airline because of dud recruiting practices but they WILL succeed in life. So I personally would not let a corrupt recruitment system at Qantas distract me or my daughter/son from a career in aviation but they should be aware that the odds of employment with Qantas are far lessened if they have no influence within the company.

20th Nov 2002, 10:23
Good post Al. E. Vator,
Perhaps that is the reason why the CP of Australian Airlines is keen to recruit independently of the QF system (according to the rumours). And I'm not saying that the QF recruitment system doesn't work. Just refreshing to see a different point of view when it comes to who will get a guernsey.


20th Nov 2002, 15:53
"1) Qantas can employ who they want and this is their prerogative (just like the Melbourne Club won't take Jews). It may be morally repugnant but it's "their train-set" so too bad. Maybe there is merit in this argument."

You don't have anti-discrimination laws in Australia? Unless it's a totally private club (and if it serves food or drink it's usually not) you can't discrminate in the US on the basis of religion etc. Of course it still happens, (see the Augusta golf club case), but not so blatantly as that.

20th Nov 2002, 21:12
So to get a job at Qantas it helps if you have contacts?

I thought the ONLY way to get in to Virgin was to have contacts. S.O. told recently by Virgin pilots that one needed at least three 'mates' on the inside batting for him and if he had more, all the better. Advice was to ring up and badger them to put in a good word on his behalf, and not to worry about being a pain in the backside, because everyone does it, and it's the only way to get a job.

20th Nov 2002, 22:19
Sure,nepotism exists to a certain extent in all industries but then again if one of my kids was interested I would have done everything in my power to get them a gernsey so to speak.

In the case of Qantas/Cathay I know if the candidate did not come up with the goods in the skills/psych/technical quiz or whatever then there is nothing that can be done until its been passed.
If the candidate is a dickhed then they will get wiped naturally enough.

What about good 'ol nepotism at Ansett then?
I was talking to someone about this some weeks back that rattled off a good number of names of guys that entered during either the dispute or the period where Ansett didnt do psych/motivation testing etc.

The fact that some of the names were sons of Senior Management at Ansett is purely coincidental!

20th Nov 2002, 23:21
Is it nepotism if they are the son/daughter of an employee even if they got in on their own merit? Or is it just because dad is a QF captain you think the worst?
As I said, I know of 8 sons/daughters that did not get in and most of them are still keen and sticking with aviation, what happened to their special treatment?
I've flown with some of the "lucky" ones and in general do not find them any different from those who don't have a QF captain as a father.

Al E. Vator
21st Nov 2002, 04:56
RaTa.........yes it's not to say that EVERY son or daughter automatically gets access to the "how to pass the 'aptitude' test course. No way.........imagine if SLAP had a kid, not even the unchecked nepotism would help there! Also it is of course not impossible for a cleanskin to get in, it's just that a significant group have coaching as to how to pass the aptitude test and that should be ruled-out.

Bubette....yes there are anti-discrimination laws in Oz which QF are painfully aware of. They don't discriminate as such, what they
do is give unfair advantage where deemed appropriate. I guess there is a difference somehow.

1013, yes you are so right about Ansett and to a degree you cant stop nepotism and perhaps neither you should. Not too sure about your point 'If the candidate is a ******** then they will get wiped naturally enough' though. I would argue that if you have the 'right stuff' for QF (school tie/family link etc) you could have 3 heads and be a complete social-misfit and still get in.

It's not the fact that a disproportionate number of QF offspring are successful - I actually reckon that to a degree should be encouraged (they know airline life, mum/dad has contributed to the success of the company etc). It is the fact that there is a culture within QF recruiting which permits the normal application process to be tampered with for the 'right' applicant. That applicant might be this years' CEO's favourite or the son of a mate of the Chief Pilot. Whoever they are, by being tutored on passing the decisive 'aptitude' test they are corruptly given a huge and unfair advantage over all the other poor bu99ers who don't have the luxury of knowing the right people.

For a publicly listed company and Australia's premier airline, this is a shameful and I believe unacceptable state of affairs.

21st Nov 2002, 05:58
Al E Vator, what timeframe are you talking about with all this stuff? I've heard of a similar story to which you alluded to in your first post, but the version I was told involves the parties concerned getting stamped on pretty hard for it.

Certainly in everything I've heard about recruiting in recent times, the system is painfully straight as an arrow (just ask any Ansett driver - there are a lot with senior Captain mates that can't get through!).

Is getting tutored by your Captain father or friend really nepotism? There's a difference between you assisting someone, and you 'assisting' the system...


21st Nov 2002, 23:03
Al E Vator, I know of many people like yourself who say they have first hand proof that this goes on, these people are in and out of QA.

My question to everyone is, if it is considered almost a sure thing that assistance and unfair advantage is available to the kids, siblings or friends of, how would you explain a son of a Qantas Capt not being considered for the aptitude test?

The candidate exceeds all the minimum requirements and theoretical results are average. Could this occur? Has anyone out there ever heard of any candidate being turned down immediately after applying, during such a high recruitment drive, that is to say that they were not even offered the skill or aptitude test?

Up until a few days ago I had never heard of such a thing until I spoke to a mate. This has occurred to him recently and he was informed never to reapply. This to me stinks of internal politics and I for one cannot understand how a company, not just an airline, could be so petty. If it is the individual/s within the recruitment system that have the ability to exceed there authority in this manner then I could not think of a worse company to work with.

22nd Nov 2002, 02:29
How does the chief pilots son sound? He is a qualified pilot flying right hand seat on a jet and isn't in Qantas. Doesn't sound like there is too much of a case for nepotism to me.
I know of pilots with less than 1000 hours getting into virgin (recently). They will be an f/o and will be flying with some Captains who have 1 years experience on jets. That's 1 year experience between them. Now that's the scary results of true nepotism when there are so many qualified Ansett pilots out there.
Too many people put in their two cents worth without knowing the full facts. Sour grapes I guess, perhaps they work for virgin.

22nd Nov 2002, 07:19
This has nothing to do with sour grapes qfpaypacket. Your reference to the CP's son is irrelevant simply because we don't know whether he has applied or not. Unless of course you're willing to enlighten us. If so perhaps then we could establish the stage that he unfortunately fell down at. I bet, if he has tried, he was certainly given a shot at the aptitude without question.

Bottom line is that it goes on, for and against. I'm just very suprised to hear that ANY pilot with well over the minimum requirements to get into the airline would be turned down without any consideration for stage 1. This is irrespective of whether that person was related to a senior employee or not. The fact that he is just makes it even more interesting. Maybe then it is the internal politics as I mentioned previous, if so this is in my opinion childish and shameful.

24th Nov 2002, 13:02
"he" just so happened to get into the QF cadetship. However stayed where he was to his credit.
You were saying......

2nd Dec 2002, 23:45
I've been away for a while. I'm very suprised that this thread hasn't really had comment from certain people.

I wonder if everybody knows who everyone is these days to the point where it restricts comment.

3rd Dec 2002, 08:04
I think you'll the find the CP son is in Qantas!!! Flyswat may want to check his intel!

3rd Dec 2002, 08:40
Scud, CP has more than one son. One of them is in QF, the other isn't. What was that about sources.

Apology accepted. :D :p

3rd Dec 2002, 11:13
Oh how i remember chasing the hours in G.A. longing for an airline career and Ansett temporarily did that , unfortunately i now have too much experience and cant get a job, oh and i havnt got HSC that would make me a better pilot im sure , the aviation scene in Australia is a discrace and i will be proud to back my bags and head off shore for a bit of respect , so any jobs out there....:D

4th Dec 2002, 00:07
The other joined Impulse in flt ops well before the take over scud.......
Oh dear you made a fool of yourself!:D

4th Dec 2002, 03:21
I'm not really comfortable with the nepotism bit especially when it gets down to identifying individuals.

It is not good enough to hide behind the CP of X airlines son as blind freddy will know who that is.

It is neither fair to them nor yourselves to suggest that "mates or family " will get you to somewhere you don't, won't or can't make on your own merits. Most "mates or family" are more aware of your actual abilities than are you and will temper their "promotion" of you accordingly, as otherwise they will have to live with consequences for longer than you may be around. Lets also start by assuming that they are the sort of professionals you would wish to work for in the first instance.

At least in large organisations and I am here to tell you especially in large organisations. Large = more than 10-15.
The negative effect on the rest of the organisations morale and ambitions through a career path are simply not worth it.

I have found in life that your attitude towards the world is mirrored in others attitude towards you. If I was not getting where I wanted to in life at any particular point in time, that was usually the problem.

Have a long hard look in the mirror before you go for that interview or write that CV practice on someone you respect, align your gyros accordingly and do your best.
You will either fit what they are looking for or you will not. It won't be a based on any one thing nor is it a "failure".

There is much deep truth in that famous remark by the wonderful Groucho Marx;
"I wouldn't want to join a club that would have me either":D

as there is in "If you want to make your God laugh, tell him your plans.":cool:

4th Dec 2002, 11:20
I was actually being a bit cagy there with what I know however without revealing to much, no I didn't know that the eldest had a jet job and if so, good on him as it couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow! :o

8th Dec 2002, 05:33
There are alot of insightful comments on this thred and I think that everyone can agree with Woomera, however I still am in request of ONE, person that knows someone WITHOUT MENTIONING NAMES, that was turned down by QF, who is a relative of a QF employee and didn't even make it to a psyc test??

Is this unheard of............?

8th Dec 2002, 10:35
Shablaam. I know one. Is flogging around in a Citation in PNG I think now. On second thoughts though he may have done the psych. Not sure.

luna landing
8th Dec 2002, 23:01
Ramboflyer, there are jobs overseas. Plenty of airlines and airline managers who recognise experience.

As some ex Ansett guys are finding out.

QF wanted experienced pilots with 15,000 plus hours to go off and do a refresher course for English, Maths and Physics because it was so long ago that they did it ??? and then they might get an interview or a chance at the skills test etc.

Guys who are trying to keep their family and life together with casual and part-time jobs being asked to give these up - forgo the income for a couple of months - travel to another city and pay for accommodation and do courses in subjects they are already competent in, and yes, it won't make them a better pilot than their 10 or 11 years incident free experience on a Boeing or Airbus has made them already.
Funnily enough, haven't heard that QF is asking it's current crew with the same experience who did the HSC so long ago to go and get "refreshed" ;) ;)

Of course it's not a level playing field. Try overseas - the pay is much better anyway and experience is recognised.

8th Dec 2002, 23:40
Luna landing I agree with you on the money that can be earned overseas.
However your thoughts on the education requirements are wrong. QF requires applicants to have HSC or equivalent in english, maths and physics (or a suitable science). If you don't have them, then QF will not look at you.
The refresher courses were for those without the subjects required so as to gain an accreditation and then apply. Nothing to do with how long ago you may have done the exams.
It may seem unfair but as far as I know QF has always had this requirement for new hires. There are quite a few ex AN guys without the HSC subjects that wanted a job and who are now flying for QF, they got off their back sides and did the courses....... good on them!
If you are in the USA, large airlines will not even look at you without a University degree, no matter what your past experience has been.

luna landing
9th Dec 2002, 02:44
RaTa - this person had SA year 12 equivalent HSC English, Maths and Physics. He had to have it to get into Ansett. It was a minimum requirement there too.

Also not a matter of 'getting off their backside and doing it'. This guy had lost his job and was working 2 casual jobs trying to keep his family together and feed, house and educate his 4 kids. Obviously you've never faced this sort of financial hardship... He was off his backside - 15 hr days @ $16/hour

9th Dec 2002, 04:24
Ra Ta,

Actually, QF never had HSC as a requirement until they merged with AA. It was AA's requirement to have HSC or equiv. QF only had "suitable education" as its requirement. (When I rang all those years ago, they said that they wanted Year 10 English, maths physics, etc.)

:) :)

9th Dec 2002, 04:52
Luna landing

I hope your mate's luck changes, however I'm surprised he did not get a look in as there are quite a few in QF who are ex SA (myself included). There are ex AN pilots who have told me they did not have the HSC, they went on a course to get the accreditation.


You are wrong, I just checked "Criteria For Employement" from my initial application from the mid 80s and that says "NSW HSC or equivalent" is required. Can't comment about TN.

luna landing
9th Dec 2002, 19:28
Sounds like QF get too many applications - so play this silly game of moving the goal posts (or does someone get a commission from people doing all these QF approved courses??):rolleyes:

Anyway, his luck has changed - working overseas now earning more money than he would ever get in QF - paid in US$ into an account anywhere in the world - daily expenses and accommodation plus fares paid back home every six weeks for two weeks.

Luckily there are airlines that recognise experience rather than 'how long ago you did the HSC'....:) :)

Captain Sand Dune
9th Dec 2002, 23:48
Sorry guys, but wake up and smell the coffee! The saying "it's not what you know, it's who you know" holds true for QF as it does for any other airline, the military, and any other profession for that matter.
It's not fair, but let's face it - if you've got an opportunity why not use it? I'm just p*&&%d off that MY father wasn't CP for QF!! Oh well................

Pitch and Break
13th Dec 2002, 22:31
I would say it is a fair cop that SHAABLAMM'S little boy didn't get an interview with QA? Perhaps you could absorb him in your 'other' flying venture on the south coast!:cool:
Why stir up trouble here and cast dispersions on other QA staff just because your own flesh and blood didn't kick a goal?:mad:

14th Dec 2002, 09:03
Um, WTF is QA?
(I've been under the impression it was an abbreviation for Quality Assurance)

...and WTF is Dispersions?

Thanks in advance

14th Dec 2002, 20:54

I think he means aspersions.

The "Australianism" of dispersions was used in the eighteen hundreds and referenced the polite genocide of Aboriginals or their forced removal from lands-common in Gippsland.

I don't think he meant that!

Pitch and Break
15th Dec 2002, 06:12
QA is Qantas Airlines and 'dispersions' is a correct word for use here......means to spread light on something.:mad:
Not meaning to cast dispersions on you two dillberry's, but it is quite obvious that either of you wouldn't pass the entry reqirements for QA!;) unless of course you 'were in the know' and could short-circuit the recruiting process by having a dad/mum/uncle in the game; which just happens to be one of the subjects covered in this thread.:D

15th Dec 2002, 06:44
Pitch and Break

Nice try for recovery, but no cigar, it was time this thread was closed in any event.