View Full Version : Times "Pilot's pay = £60-120K"

Pax Vobiscum
22nd Nov 2002, 10:12
Times Online - Pay Survey (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7-488188,00.html)

In case you can't find it, the relevant extract is:


PAY: £60,000-£120,000
Benefits: Discount air fares and travel. Choice of pension. Profit share scheme. Subsidised staff restaurants.
Perks: You see the world.
Snags: Jet lag. Unsociable hours.
Did you realise: Open-door flight deck policies on flights have ceased worldwide since September 11, preventing any contact between pilot and crew. Even a cup of tea must be requested via the intercom

Don't shoot the messenger please!


Capt Homesick
22nd Nov 2002, 12:51
60k? After 4 years on jets I'm still on barely half of that..... well researched article innit?
You notice, if course, that pilot was one of the professions where they didn't bother to provide an example... :rolleyes:

22nd Nov 2002, 13:19
I've just written to the Times to complain about the obvious lack of research by Ms Henery and the subsequent perpetuation of the myth that most of us are overpaid and underworked.

Should they decide not to publish it I will post it here.:mad:

22nd Nov 2002, 13:51
May not be true for UK paid folks, but accounting for currency conversion, these salaries are certainly obtainable in the USA, DAL, FedEx more senior guys/gals for example.
Good friend of mine, recently retired from UAL (B747-400) told me his final annulized salary was $355,000, and considering the "toys" he has available, most likely on the mark. He and another retired UAL Captain have just purchased airport property in TUS for...you guessed it, UAL aircraft storage. That, and a LearJet for his air ambulance business, to compliment the three TurboCommanders already in the fleet.
Business is good, it seems.

Doors to Automatic
22nd Nov 2002, 14:06
I suspect this is the average (with sector pay, perks etc) for an average UK captain rather than pilot.

Poorly researched as usual.

El Grifo
22nd Nov 2002, 14:23
Now I understand.

No wonder the vast majority of pilot posting ppruners are against the Firemans £2. 60 an hour wage claim.

If you lot are on "barely £30k per year" then the last thing you want, is a simple fireman catching up.

The other way to look at it I suppose, is to support the firemans pay claim and then expect their support when you put in one of your own.

That is however, if you think you should be on parity wagewise with your US cousins.

Then again, maybe you are happy on £30k.

Personally I think it is a derisory remuneration for the work you do.


22nd Nov 2002, 14:40
Not getting confused with the cost of training and resulting bank overdraft that self sponsored pilots have in consequence is she?

Might be right about the unsociable hours during night stopovers though :D

22nd Nov 2002, 14:56
Please get her to read what I mentioned in terms of Endearment.
£34,700 for a Training Captain on the MD83 away from your home
and loved ones, in a country who knows where, but probably
with a foreign office warning on "do not travel to this country"
unless abslolutely necessary. Well feeding the family is necessary.

Its time this woman got into the real world and sees how pilots are miserably treated these days. Huh !!!!!!


22nd Nov 2002, 19:40
WOW........all that money and yet they still complain when the sandwiches (provided free) are a little curly around the edges...:eek:

22nd Nov 2002, 19:56
......or, to darn BIG to fit in the uniform pocket.:eek: :rolleyes: ;)

22nd Nov 2002, 20:17
I can see this turning into handbags at dawn ! :D

22nd Nov 2002, 20:18
The best catering always is out of Western Europe!:p

22nd Nov 2002, 20:20
Oh my ears and whiskers!

"Derisory" has reappeared in the prints after a long and much-needed rest.

Heads down for the resurrection of the unlovely and occasionally illiterate vocabulary of the industrial dispute 1970s style.

I never thought that I would see it, but in Gilchrist the firemen have found someone even less articulate than Prescott!

Let the games begin!

Stu Bigzorst
22nd Nov 2002, 21:57

£18K... (UK, F/O, scheduled airline, turboprop)

In a previous life I sat in an office playing solitaire and managed £80K!

How much does it cost to become a fireman? Do I have to buy my own rating? Do I have to not earn for a year and a half?

Stu - not that bitter, but positively twisted :)

Mister Geezer
22nd Nov 2002, 22:38
Where was the mention of the average PPL full time instructor who could earn anything from £8000 to £15000 ish...? For Joe Public who bothered to read the article, he/she will not doubt have a glazed view on what really happens in aviation. For someone who is about to embark on instructing I am not complaining about the money but it would be nice to see the press getting something right for a change!

Anthony Carn
23rd Nov 2002, 05:53
Solution to this "problem" -- don't buy a certain newspaper (or any, in fact).

The mole
23rd Nov 2002, 08:06
Mister Geezer:

Don't let anyone know what us flying instructors really earn - how else am I going to impress the ladies?
It won't be with the car that cost less than an hour in a C172 will it.....:p

23rd Nov 2002, 08:13
What the public think matters a great deal. Our perceived worth has a bearing on what we are paid and how we are treated. I can't imagine the Times would be hurt too severely by our boycotting their paper -but a sack of letters to the editor might just get them to research their next pilot story a bit more.

23rd Nov 2002, 16:17
Forget appealing to the public. You wonít find anyone tooting the pilotís picket line. The image of a pilot will remain the overpaid underworked smoothy in a Porsche. Such a misconception suits our respective managements, which they use as a tool to drive down T&Cís, and the newspaper editors are not the kind of individuals who are interested in anybody elseís perception but their own.

What the headline figure fails to mention is the lack of extras. The norm is for pilots pay to be taxed PAYE, most other earners in this group file full tax returns and make appropriate deductions for expenses on an individual basis. I file a full tax return and still get no deductions.

When you see an ad for an executive job, you will see £70k + package. This package includes car with all expenses paid, school fees, private health care for the whole family, generous mortgage assistance for the SE, health club concessions, Air Miles on all corporate card usage, the list goes on. And of course thereís the bonus. One chap at my daughterís school is an archetypal computer nerd, and he took £100k in a bonus this year. There are other similar examples. The £70k is pocket money.

People make all kinds of assumptions about pilots which are completely off the wall. Our own professionalism and modesty has allowed articles such as these go unchallenged. I hope to read Dannyís rebuttal in Ďthe Thundererí in the very near future.:mad:

Iíll take on the opposition anyday. Itís my management I canít beat!

23rd Nov 2002, 18:18
Last time I worked abroad on a large contract (it was in a SE Asian country) my colleagues wives made contact with the local expat communities. Most of these people were there on a similiar two year stay.

The difference in the 'package' was an eye opener.

Pilots got paid something marginally better than local rate...which was not brilliant.
Pilots paid for their own accomodation.
Pilots took care of their own transport costs.
They were given childrens allowances which just about covered the cost of the local national schools.

The other expats typically had large houses provided free of charge.
They usually had a maid and driver, free of charge.
They all had a car (driven by their driver) provided free of charge.
Their kids were placed in the best International schools, free of charge.
They were paid salaries at least double the top local captain rate.

We were like beggars in this community.

23rd Nov 2002, 18:42
Maxalt, looks like you and I worked for the same Company!!!!

GearUp CheerUp
23rd Nov 2002, 19:49
I read it too.

A bit further on there was a paragraph on flight attendants. Under the 'did you know' bit was the snippet that they were only allowed to fly 70 hrs per month.

As 90% of stuff in the papers, jounralistic c**p

23rd Nov 2002, 21:22
I think you missed the point entirely G-RICH, and I'm too disinterested in your opinions to bother explaining it to you. I've read some of your comments on the Firemen and I think you're a bit of an arse.

It sounds to me like you're the one who needs to find another occupation. I'm doing just fine now thanks.

23rd Nov 2002, 22:24

"I remember what Reagan did to the US ATC strikers in 1981 and just hope Blair does the same to these t***ts. "

Oh dear...

"I think you missed the point entirely G-RICH, and I'm too disinterested in your opinions to bother explaining it to you. I've read some of your comments on the Firemen and I think you're a bit of an arse."

Well said.

23rd Nov 2002, 22:47
I think the plot has been lost a little when it comes down to "expat Nigel had more servants than me in SE Asia". £30 K P.A. and a flying job would suit me just fine and dandy and I dare say the same is true for the other 5 or 10 wannabees who would be glad to take any RHS of someone who decided that society was just not valuing his skills sufficiently.

I think like a good wine, you need to mature for a few years then come back and tell us all about your enlighting experience.
We are talking about having a career as pilot here not about flying for fun at week ends (Which I'd love to do if I could afford it).

J-H, MaxAlt http://www.stopstart.freeserve.co.uk/smilie/thumbs.gif

24th Nov 2002, 00:07
The part of the article regarding we cabin crew only allowed to work 70 hours per month what another load of British cr*p journalism.For any general public reading this trash we are allowed to be rostered upto 168 hours per month in our company, thats without delays and overtime (if we ever get it again!!!),so it can go above the 200 hour mark easily.

I don't read the papers now I just store them in case I run out of
toilet paper.

To the press reading this do more research and to G-RICH it's
Teddybears to automatic and cross check!!!.


Jet II
24th Nov 2002, 07:06
OK guys - put the handbags away.

What G-RICH is saying is exactly what is being said by the vast majority of posters on the thread about the fire strike.

If you are not happy with the pay as compared to someone else then go and get another job - this is especially true about contracts. If maxalt could take a contract without researching the correct remuneration then thats tough - I have worked on many contracts in the past and if accomodation/transport etc. is not provided then the base salary has to reflect that.

Getting back to the original topic - to be fair on the Times the figures quoted are about right for Big Airways captains.

24th Nov 2002, 09:05
Times didnt say Big Airlines Captains!
It just said pilots!

Amazing the number of friends who think I am paid huge amounts as a pilot . I am one of the lucky ones with a job and its not 60K a year!

Should have said "10,000-120,000 if your lucky enough to have a job"

24th Nov 2002, 11:05

Are you the IFS that offered me pictures of Dan Air aircraft? It was around 3 years ago when I was positioning on a BA flight. If so please contact me.

Capt Homesick
24th Nov 2002, 17:11
El Grifo, as I was the person who owned up to earning around 30k, I presume that comment about objecting to firemen earning the same was aimed at me.
Don't put words in my mouth. You don't know what I think about what firemen earn, or what they should earn. My post was purely a reference to poor journalistic standards, writing without proper research. Incidentally you have demonstrated my point quite well.
G-RICH, the day you get a professional licence, your opinion as to appropriate salary levels becomes worth listening to. Until then you're just a waste of bandwidth.

24th Nov 2002, 20:28
If maxalt could take a contract without researching the correct remuneration then thats tough - I have worked on many contracts in the past and if accomodation/transport etc. is not provided then the base salary has to reflect that.

Jet 11, what a ridiculous statement. No doubt maxalt (like most pilots) makes a decision to take a job based on a lot of factors, and money isn't always the sole decider.

I think you missed his point too!

Anybody else manage to figure it out yet?

HINT: What was the original point of this thread?


Jet II
25th Nov 2002, 07:09

I am sorry, but I do not agree with you - if anyone (and this applies to ALL professions) takes a contract and is not happy with the package then they have only themselves to blame. The sitution is not quite the same with permanent employment as you tend to become locked in due to seniority lists, pensions etc.

If your are getting back onto the old chestnut that pilots are not paid enough, then that is another matter. maxalt was comparing himself to 'other expats' - what do these 'other expats' do? they may be in professions where it is harder to recruit qualified staff than pilots so then the renumeration package will be that much better.

This thread started by complaining that the pay scales as quoted in the Times were not correct - pilot pay scales vary massively from company to company (surprisingly that is the same in the rest of the economy!) The rates quoted in the Times are accurate for SOME pilots - I am sure that in all the other professions quoted there are practitioners who do not earn anywhere near the amounts stated. Remember this is a newspaper and needs to fill column inches every day - it is not a law about pay rates.

One other thought - one of the main arguments on this site against giving the firefighters a pay rise is that there are about 40 people applying for each job - I think that you will find that quite a few apply for each pilot job, so by the same criteria perhaps maxalt was paid what he was worth?

25th Nov 2002, 10:24
Maxalt, I hear you 5X5.

I worked for an expat contract a few years ago. The contract in itself was not bad, and I still think it was not bad, but when viewed alongside other expats in the same country it did not stack up, not even nearly. And they were mostly working for charitable organisations such as ICRC, UNHCR etc.

I can't see why you are all laying in to G-RICH. He has a point. As a pilot I earn about the same as a fireman, but if I asked for a 40% payrise, or even a 4% payrise I would have my medical swapped for a P45.

But I think it would be true to say that if we earned what our friends thought we earned, hadthe time off that our neighbours thought we had, and all the down-route sex that our partners accuse us of having we would feel we had a decent contract!:D

25th Nov 2002, 11:45
Can we please confine this discussion to pilots pay here in the UK. We all know there are massive variations around the world and the extremes can be extrapolated off both ends of the published scale in the Times article.

I would suggest that everyone write to the Times and complain about the absurdity of the piece and the myth it continues to prepetuate through irresponsible and innaccurate reporting. The address is: [email protected]

Here is my two cents worth:Date: Fri Nov 22, 2002 02:05:09 Europe/London
To: [email protected]
Subject: Poor research by the Times


The November 22, 2002 article in the Times 2 - features titled: £38,000 a year for the men we love to hate by Michelle Henery shows precisely why poorly researched features such as this do nothing but alienate what is otherwise considered to be a respectable newspaper.

In the section on Pilots, Ms Henery manages in eleven short lines to perpetuate a myth and and to alienate well over 50% of the professional pilot workforce in the UK alone. The pay levels referred to are ridiculous and even if she were only referring to pilots of jet powered aircraft she is way off the mark.

The pay range should show that typically jet pilots start off at about £18,000 and not the £60,000 which from what I can see has been plucked out of thin air with absolutely no research whatsoever. Typically on a larger jet a pilot may reach £60,000 after becoming a Captain although it can typically take anything from 5 to 15 years, if at all, to achieve a command.

The top end of the scale quoted is pure fantasy. There may be a few senior Captains who have achieved that figure in British Airways but it is certainly not a figure that 99.9% of airline pilots working for UK companies will ever achieve. A figure of £85,000 would be more realistic and even then only a few would reach this figure after 20 or more years working for the same company.

As for the benefits quoted, another myth which shows that no research was made into the subject matter. Whilst there may be some discounted airfares, more often than not they are on a standby or subload basis and many of us cannot take the chance that we may be stranded downroute when we should be back at work after a vacation. Most of us end up purchasing discounted 'full fare' tickets which are often more expensive than fares that can be obtained by anyone from the high street bucket shops.

Choice of pension again shows what poor homework went into this article by Ms Henery. Most pilots today are stuck on money purchase schemes and they have no choice except to perhaps top up their own contributions. Profit share is also a rarity in this industry. Subsidised staff restaurants show that Ms Henery visited British Airways HQ and was treated by someone in their management who invited her to the staff restaurant. For pilots, we are reduced to eating in-flight catering, which, whilst there may be a choice, leaves little for the imagination and even less for the gastric system.

Perks? You may see the world if you are one of the few percent of pilots that fly long haul. The vast majority of us get to see beautiful views out of our office windows but once on the ground you will realise that all airports have a very similar appearance for the hour you are there before flying back.

The snags and the comment about the locked door policy are about the only accurate part of the piece. Ms Henery forgot to mention the unhealthy working environment where we are subjected to 2% relative humidity at an equivalent altitude of 7,000 to 8,000 feet , air and associated smells leaked from the lavatories which are immediately behind the flight deck, cosmic irradiation and the ever present threat of outside forces of creating havock to an aluminium tube full of fragile humans moving at around 500 miles an hour.

Add to the above that the majority of pilots today have to pay for their own training with no help whatsoever from the government and in fact being extorted by them because there is no tax relief on our training which today typically costs around £50,000 to just achieve the license, never mind the on going qualifications and aircraft type ratings which are required to actually be able to get a job in the first place.

Unfortunately, government here in the UK has spectacularly failed repeatedly to look further than its potential single term in office when it comes to the aviation industry and especially the training of pilots. It is poorly researched articles such as this one by Ms Henery that perpetuates the myth that pilots have glamorous jobs with fat paychecks and huge disposable incomes spent on the cheap perks alluded to. A little more accurate research by your writers will stop us pilots from believing that all journalists are charicatures of of their Spitting Image counterparts who can't help themselves sensationalising anything to do with aviation. We are aware that journalists never let the truth get in the way of a good story as this piece by Ms Henery proves.

Yours sincerely,

Danny Fyne

The Professional Pilots RUmour NEtwork

You will have to provide a name and address for it to be considered for publication.

25th Nov 2002, 14:37
I have already sent a letter to Madame Henery. I noticed she also featured an architect (unresearched). My ister is an architect, so I can say that too was fairly general. I will let my sister deal with that bit of inaccuracy: she will be far more caustic than I was. My e-mail to the Times was much the same as Danny's albeit a slightly more personal account.

I would agree with Danny, that all of us can send a letter to help her understand the situation properly. She obviously needs some help here.;)

25th Nov 2002, 15:39
Well written and well researched.

If only the paper would publish our grievances.

It seems that the one important fact everyone seems to have overlooked is that if you are offered a job you are told about the perks, salary etc. then. Therefore, if you accept these at the start why then should you have the right to suddenly demand more. While I love flying I think it is an extremely hard profession to break into, and takes tremendous skill, determination, and funding! However, I didn't chose this career for the money, I chose it because I love to fly. I feel for the fire-fighters but my mum's a nurse and she certainly doesn't get a pension close to what they receive, and she's still working at 54. No 40% for her.
Sorry bit side tracked there. Anyway I've also written to the times to air my views and was equally incensed at the garbage they printed, I dread to think what a lesser paper would have come up with if this is what a so called broad-sheet produces. I'd be interested to know what the journalist who wrote the article earns though!

Yours impoverished by training!

25th Nov 2002, 15:58
They also said that Independent Financial Advisers earn 'around £100,000 a year'. (I happen to be an IFA). In reality only around 10% of IFAs earn over £100K. Actual IFA earnings range from less than £0, (lots of IFAs are in the process of going bust and leaving the industry), to just above £100K.

The usual C*** article backed up with rotten research.

I really don't know why I continue to get the ST.

26th Nov 2002, 02:34
It seems that the one important fact everyone seems to have overlooked is that if you are offered a job you are told about the perks, salary etc. then. Therefore, if you accept these at the start why then should you have the right to suddenly demand more.

Mellissab....ever heard of inflation honey?