View Full Version : easyjet pilots to strike??

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10th Feb 2003, 19:37
And the point is???????

10th Feb 2003, 19:40

Just a slight correction

The first I knew of this was after the deal had been agreed!

It hasn't. There's the small matter of the vote.

10th Feb 2003, 19:44
Can anyone explain why so much time was spent during the pay talks on :

1. Over 60's working conditions.

2. Part time working conditions.

I fully appreciate that they had to be sorted out along with all the other contracts but did we really need to be stalling the negotiations and going off on tangents that had no bearing on the terms and conditions of the vast majority of the pilot workforce.
These guys make up a very small percentage of the workforce and I personally feel a lot of time was waisted, hence the half cocked agreement that we are being asked to accept.

A cynic might say those negotiating (BALPA) fall into this category ??!!!

Stan Woolley
10th Feb 2003, 20:55

The deal has been agreed between the council and the company.

10th Feb 2003, 22:39
Lord Lucan, you'd be right, which is why I resigned from Balpa in last company. Nests and feathering.........

10th Feb 2003, 22:52

No it hasn't.

Neither the PC nor Balpa have the remit to agree anything.

They just recommend what they think is appropriate.

11th Feb 2003, 07:28

The Go side of BALPA is run by over 60s- so they probably did have their own ideas. But dont be quick to knock that. With very few people willing to stand up and be BALPA reps- these guy's are probably the best people to have. I.E. They dont have their careers to worry about!

Its not a bad deal- but there's still lots of work to be done.

11th Feb 2003, 07:50

Re your post of 10 Feb:

Well yes it is nice to see such boyish/girlish enthusiasm for the job and I’m sure that we all, on occasions, feel as you do. However, these feelings must not in any way impede a realistic and imperative view of what you are all dealing with here, which is, “who has the power and how should it be wielded?”

You may all recall that your “management” had previously recognised that your company’s industrial relations were in a particularly parlous state and that disaster would result from continued neglect in this area.

Subsequently, as I understand it, ongoing representation has been made to “management”, proposing “win-win” work patterns as illustrated by Few Cloudy above, which would make the company more efficient, more profitable and far more productive, with the significant assistance of “on-side”, happy aircrew.

Logic, needless to say, has followed the classic path and been summarily confounded by the obdurate refusal of your “management” to listen to anything said by you all, as exemplified by the “deal” recently offered, and which listening would have gone a long way towards easing relations and securing a very bright future for your company.

Why is this? Well my dear kriskross, it’s because the world is full of egomaniacs whose raison d’etre is to exercise total, top-down control over all their subordinates and who insist that it’s their train set and therefore everyone will follow their laid down modes of operation – which are the best there are anyway because they were made up by the individual concerned!

And when the individual has made enough money and leaves, or the Teflon wears off and he’s fired, with the inevitable pay off, the employees are left to work in a vale of tears while he rides into the sunset.

Message? It’s your company not his – he’s the arriviste not you. You’re educated, intelligent, forceful professionals. Don’t let him destroy the train set - your working environment and livelihood. You’ve all put far more into it than him. Why should you all be talking about resigning and moving to Ryanair? Should it not be your CEO who should be considering moving on?

The answer kriskross is that, yes it is – and you can all make it happen – if you drop your amateurish approach towards both your profession and the deadly serious politics involved here.

You all absolutely MUST stop bickering amongst yourselves (remember the principle of divide and rule?), unanimously vote NO to the opening “offer” and try to maximise your BALPA membership by a process of individual reason and persuasion (remember non-BALPA members of Easy, it’s your future you throw away if you don’t combine and it’s a shameful free ride you take if your BALPA colleagues win and immeasurably improve conditions for you while you sit back mute on the sidelines).

If you do the above you will be in a great position to credibly threaten an opening 12/24 hour stoppage and also pay (through BALPA) for some quality PR, to explain to the UK media that you are trying, through such action, against great odds, to secure the future of your company by improving its efficiency and profitability.

The employers of your CEO – the major city shareholders – will instantly take notice and place him firmly under the spotlight. If he remains obdurate and a short-notice 12/24 hour stoppage results, then the inevitable subsequent city nervousness will ensure that he comes under major pressure to accommodate your very reasonable aspirations.

An exercise in power? You bet!

11th Feb 2003, 08:25
What a load of c--p. BALPA PR department, don't make me laugh. The last time they tried a spot of PR the BA dirty tricks dept, took them to the cleaners. There is no inate sympathy out there for people who 'just push buttons' all day and earn a fortune, look around you folks.

11th Feb 2003, 09:07
"Shameful free ride" I think not . BALPA are not worth 1% of my salary. I will only join when the subscription reduces to something
approaching value for money.

Lord Fulmer
11th Feb 2003, 10:39
I for one,think that this deal is a complete sell out to the company, and if it goes through it is a licence to be walked over forever.

I was persuaded to rejoin BALPA on the condition that they would not settle for anything less than a Rotering Agreement, and not settle for anything less. What have we got on offer but , a hastily cobbled together package that doesn't settle anything.

I concede that the Negotiators have had a damn hard time in getting as far as they have, but this deal is scarecly any different from the prior offering which we were urged to reject. It is though RW's tactics of continually wearing the BALPA boys down has finally worked and they are ready to surrender and admit that this all they can achieve. BALPA seem to have given up on the deal and seem keen to put a lid on it, in order that they can move onto the next project, preferably less strenuous.

Me, I'll stick with them for the time being, until after the new ballot at least and see what happens. If it is a Yes vote, and we waive the white flag, it is a goodbye from me, and a goodbye from him by all accounts. Membership numbers will fall and that will be the end of a credible union in Easy.


The TGWU (UK's 2nd biggest Union!), (Transport get it!) is a very reasonable £9 odd a month apparently, and has already some pilot members and has some excellent reports from colleagues.

Maybe they would have had more success in negotiating , with full time professional negotiators , than our chaps, bless 'em, who aren't pro's after all.

Unfortunately the reasons for paying the BALPA subs are becoming fewer and fewer, unless they can now prove their worth.

11th Feb 2003, 13:08

Well make sure they don’t this time.


So you’ll be happy to spurn anything which BALPA may achieve further down the line and volunteer to operate along the lines of the pathetic deal you’ve been offered so far?

Lord Fulmer

Just vote No then and proceed from there.

12th Feb 2003, 08:30
I think the suggestion of a series of press briefings (if that is what I understand is being put forward) by the pilots’ representatives, at appropriate times, would be a good idea.

If easyJet pilots are really trying to improve company efficiency, as well as their own lifestyles and pay prospects, then I would have thought that this information would have hit a very favorable chord with both the shareholders and the traveling public.

12th Feb 2003, 10:20
continuing on...

Voting NO does not necessarily mean that industrial action is inevitable. There is another way - where pilots continue working and the aircraft keep on flying.

The pilots council and BALPA would need to take the initiative and check the applicable employment and trade union law, but what if...

... the pilots vote NO to the ballot and resist any change to their present terms and conditions of contract until a fair and workable pay deal and rostering agreement has been negotiated with management? The law needs to be checked, but this would mean that if the company attempted to impose their own revised pay deal then the pilots (BALPA members or not), en masse, would refuse these conditions. The company would have 2 options. Firstly, to agree to retain the status quo until the matter was resolved or, secondly, with an impasse it could revoke the contracts of ALL of its pilots. This would of course mean no pilots employed, no pilots insured to fly the aircraft, no operation - end of story, company dead in the water, finito!

Nah! Uncle Ray wouldn't want that.

So we all go happily along until the matter is resolved. But, I hear you say, what about the timescale. Well we have waited this long and I don't think another few months of waiting is going to make all that much difference if a workable pay deal can be defined.

One drawback of course for the pilots would be no pay rise until the matter had be resolved. Another would be no base changes until an agreement had been reached.

... oh! and I almost forgot, because the terms and conditions of employment would be 'frozen' there would be no type conversions onto the brand new, very expensive, future-of-the-company-depends-on-them shiny Airbus fleet. Now Ray Webster would find it extremely difficult to explain to the company's backers why, as the weeks went by, the airports in the South of England began looking more and more like aircraft graveyards with Airbus aircraft sitting on the ground gathering dust. The backers might think that he and the 40 thieves (sorry management team) were ineffective. You probably think that this is unlikely to happen. I agree. But the threat of having many hundreds of millions of pounds worth of investors money sitting idly on the ground is what Ray Webster is afraid of - his Achilles Heel. It would leave him isolated, vulnerable and open to accusations of mismanagement.

Positive action following a NO vote would define precisely want had to be achieved and set a clearly defined agenda in terms of both timescale and financial incentive for this matter to be resolved. This is not blackmail - it is negotiation between management and the workforce but with both parties being equal in the conciliation process - both have much to gain and both much to lose. The only way forward (as usual in these situations - yawn) is for management and employees to work together and not be at loggerheads with each other - to reach agreement for the MUTUAL benefit of the parties and principally for the continued success of the airline on which all of our prosperities depend.

... as for the media - well Mr Webster could hardly go back cap in hand to his pet paper The Guardian saying that all was not as it should be. It was he (allegedly) who leaked the story that the strike was off in the first place. Difficult now to retract that statement because any industrial action would be seen (or could be 'spun') as being pre-emptied by an unfair management imposing their terms and conditions on the workforce!!! (oh dear!)

... and if he tried to employ pilots from outside the airline, I can see the notice in "Flight International" and "The Log" already (as was the case in the Cathay Pacific dispute) - 'due to the continuing dispute between pilots and management prospective applicants are advised not to submit an application to this airline until they have sought advice ...'

... gets down off his orange box and thinks 'is this only a dream?' or is it time to thrust a radical iron fist in the air and look positively towards a bright orange dawn ... a wry smile crosses his face as he thinks there just might be a feasible alternative to a 'yes' vote ... ;)

12th Feb 2003, 14:05
Any anecdotal information on how the vote is going or how individual bases are shaping up?

Rocket Ron
13th Feb 2003, 21:03
Only had one pilot tell me that he's voting "yes" - but then he's a part-timer over sixty, so I guess he's happy!

14th Feb 2003, 01:01
I know of another 'yes' vote but that is from someone who has resigned and just wants his back pay settled quickly!

For the ditherers some comments from another forum discussing DBA takeover by easyjet which is relevant to the easyjet vote on T & C:

However, the "proposal" for the future T&C under easy management was unacceptable.

The term "proposal" is a bit misleading, because RW said, either accept it the way it is or easy will walk away. Nice way of negotiating with people who- under the orange culture- "make the difference".

(They've seen through the orange culture already!)

DBA had similar bad T&C until 2000, when the staff would not bear it any longer. Staff stood together despite threats and misinformation and managed by the way of industrial action to get a reasonable agreement.

The lesson learned: Either you do something to change bad T&C or you accept it. But then please stop complaining once and forever.

EasyJet - Vote yes at your peril - seems to be the message.:(

14th Feb 2003, 22:27
So what is happening with the Loyalty Bonus for SFO/FO. Will this only be payable on promotion to a command?
And what about grandfather rights for existing F/O's.
I started in november 2000 so when can I expect to book a holiday or will it be lovely England for another while.
It's all not very clear for me. Can somebody help me out?

14th Feb 2003, 22:59

If you are a Balpa member, the answer is on the EZboard Balpa Bulletin Board.

14th Feb 2003, 23:20
As I understand, you'll get your loyalty payment in April (as was previously the case) then, you'll get another in November on a pro-rata basis. Loyalty bonuses will stop after 2 years under grandfather rights but you'll still accrue 'years worked' for when you get a command.
This is all discussed on the Pilots Council ezboard available to all BALPA members. If you're unable to access this (not a member) then I'm afraid that's one of the reasons why loyalty bonuses for SFO/FO will disappear after 2 years - not enough membership (just over 50%) to stand up and fight this mediocre offer from management.
I don't want to give the impression of 'sour grapes' but if most had joined up for the fight (as I did - £15/month as an FO for the 1st year), then the present pitiful offer would not have been 'recommended' by the council for sure!
Remember, any non-members who moan about any deal that is accepted - have only themselves to blame - and the only vote they have is with their feet!

15th Feb 2003, 09:40
Well said Baloo, I just wish that a few more of the non-members realised this.
The proposed deal is not great and I am far from being happy about it but when the non-members come out and say to me well what have BALPA done, look at the deal were getting...I just tell them how little they actually would have got had it not been for the current PC...

15th Feb 2003, 13:33
Springbok, Balloo

Indeed I had planned to add that message to my post but, for once in my life, decided not to ruffle any feathers!!!!!!!!!!!

It is a very fair point though. Some folk are now crawling out of the woodwork challenging, criticising and generally moaning about the offer - but those very same people have been unwilling to invest money in their future.

I know Balpa is expensive, too expensive, but it is there for my peace of mind as well as pay negotiations.

This offer is not perfect - far from it - but it's so much better than we would have ended up with had it not been for the very hard work of the PC and, to a slightly lesser but necessary extent, Balpa.

Doubtless the next few weeks will be full of the usual rhetoric "cr@p offer, cr@p Balpa" etc etc but most of it will doubtless come the people who sat on the sidelines and did absolutely nothing to influence the deal.

Oh well, back to the rugby!

southern softy
15th Feb 2003, 19:29
Flaps your use of rhetoric is incorrect.

Rhetoric is persuasive speaking or writing to impress, especially seen as exaggerated or meaningless, which is of course what the BALPA propoganda machine are good at, you fulfill this definition to the extreme. I did not sit on the fence, but still ended up with a cr@p deal.

Rugby was good though.

15th Feb 2003, 21:51

I won't argue the toss about the use of the word rhetoric (although it does mean verbose and pompous as well), but it's a fact that if the other 49% of the pilots in the company had joined up, this deal would have been rejected by an overwhelming majority.

We just can't fight a decent battle with only half the troops on the battlefield!

Why sink to personal insults?

16th Feb 2003, 05:23
When the troops turn against each other, it is a clear and sad sign of a battle lost.:(

16th Feb 2003, 06:50
Seems to me that you all might be under the impression that you “have” to accept the deal on offer, just because your CEO states that it is one time and so never to be repeated or improved.

Please be aware that this is a tried and tested (and slightly weary though still effective) management maneuver to railroad you all into acceptance. Don’t fall for it!

Vote No and send your representatives in again for further talks proposing your own deal (it’s called taking the initiative) and remember to make sure that it features any benefits being back dated to when your last agreement expired.

BALPA members – don’t lose heart – you have the moral ascendancy and you can win this fight.

Non-BALPA members – for chrissakes join and stop being such wimps!

southern softy
16th Feb 2003, 20:07

I am being ironic, and dont mean to personally offend. sorry.

16th Feb 2003, 21:45
100% Accepted.

Case closed.


17th Feb 2003, 01:38

12 Feb - “Voting NO has (sic) does not necessarily mean that industrial action is inevitable.”

Err, up to a point Lord Copper.

What will drastically reduce the inevitability of industrial action is as near to a unanimous BALPA membership as possible sending a clear message to management that if reasonable terms are not forthcoming, then such action will definitely become inevitable.

The effectiveness of this process has been clearly illustrated on a far larger platform – the credible US threat of war on Iraq has forced Saddam to allow UN inspectors back after a four year hiatus. For sure, without the threat, no return of the UN would ever have happened.

May I therefore suggest that now is not the time for arguments about value for money of BALPA subscriptions or the attractions of the TGWU or IAPA. Now is the time to climb aboard and project some force. After you all win against your management you can indulge in such peacetime luxuries.

NB. For all hair splitters and tangent seekers, I’m happy to discuss Iraq in “Jet Blast”, not here.

17th Feb 2003, 07:09
Without exception every eJ balpa member I have spoken to has voted NO. Agreeing with the previous posts, like it or not we need many more flight deck members to join the union. That is the only way we can get a reasonable outcome when dealing with 'Ali Webster and the forty thieves' Now to be known collectively as AW+40T. :yuk:

17th Feb 2003, 12:07
Although nothing to do with Easy, I, like many others have been reading this thread with interest since it started. Due to my current situation I have been obliged to return to teaching in the short term to earn some pennies. With plenty of such experience behind me before I became a full time pilot I would point out to non BALPA members reading this that teachers have historically had terms and conditions as well as pay that are c**p. This is due to the fact that there are more than three teaching unions who spend as much time squabbling amongst themselves ( to gain members) as addressing the important matters - about which they rarely agree. Our teachers would be probably be much better off and still be members of a respected profession if they had had only one union which represented the interests of them all.

Divide and rule.

Although I never have been a member of BALPA ( peferring the other lot) I would certainly most seriously think of applying for membership if I was an EJ pilot under your current circumstances.

Best of luck with your negociations.


18th Feb 2003, 00:59
Maybe Easy BALPA members should get together and organize a quick recruiting campaign at all the bases. After all, most non-members will be so because of sloth and apathy rather than because of any deep seated ideology. If the required forms are shoved under their noses with an answer required to the question “do you want to have a say in your own future here at easyJet?”, then most will sign on the dotted. If these forms are accompanied by a ballot paper, helpfully pre-marked with an X against NO, then you all might be on your way.

For all non-BALPA pilots, here are those easy steps in full:

1. Sign application form
2. Make out cheque for 15 quid or so (50p a day) for FO’s – bit more for Captains
3. Sign DD form for same amount monthly
4. Ensure helpfully provided ballot paper has X on NO
5. Err, that’s it…..

Hopefully, New Road would be able to quickly provide and process the paperwork without too many quibbles and also include the new ballot papers in the count without the traditional “shooting in the foot” ceremony of excluding them as they “arrived too late” or some other such nonsense.

There’s no “re-inventing of the wheel” here – it’s all been done before – just needs a modicum of effort and coordination.

Finally, if BALPA (ie yourselves) does not subsequently produce the goods, you all don’t have to be rocket scientists to figure out what to do with the DD mandates!

18th Feb 2003, 08:18
I see things havn't changed with the BALPA jackboot boys then, sign here, give us your money and vote as we say. At least 50% of pilots will always regard this bunch of latter day luddites with contempt.

18th Feb 2003, 08:43

You’re presumably happy with Webster’s offer then?

18th Feb 2003, 08:51
It is all very well saying reject the offer and send the BALPA/CC back in to renegotiate. Surely by rejecting a proposal which the CC/BALPA has recommended we accept, equates to a vote of no confidence in the BALPA/CC ? .

That must surely put us back to square one, infact probably worse off as I imagine most of the CC would step down.

BALPA will never get more than about 50% membership until they provide a lot more value for money and start representing all the pilots not just the concerns of those on the CC.


19th Feb 2003, 05:00

I’m afraid that as an easyJet pilot (?) in possession of an apparently deep seated ideology, you miss the point entirely. The style of my previous post was couched to emphasize the ease with which BALPA membership could be quickly attained by non-members, so as to add weight in a fighting campaign to improve the lot of all easyJet pilots. It is difficult to imagine in what circumstances BALPA members would be able to coerce non-members to their point of view – perhaps you are confusing such effort with reasoned argument?

In respect of latter day Luddites, I would put it to you that the easyJet BALPA membership, far from figuratively “breaking looms” and so by your implication holding up progress, is, amongst other worthy projects, attempting to pull you all from a grossly inefficient and antediluvian roster system, to one that reflects modern day working practices and satisfies the legitimate aspirations of the airline’s pilot body. Is this not something that you would find appealingly progressive?


I’m absolutely certain that the BALPA/CC pilots are just the kind of congenial and professional colleagues who we all enjoy working with and whose genuine friendship we consistently value. You are, however, in a battle with a very tricky and ruthless adversary, who would unhesitatingly and, may I say, professionally change his negotiating team, if it was not producing the goods. You may all have to consider adopting a similarly hard nosed professionalism in your dealings and, however reluctantly, collectively turn your backs, for the time being, on any considerations of friendship. I’m certain that your BALPA/CC colleagues would not take personally any instruction by the membership to return to the fray and seek a deal more in line with expectations entertained by the wider membership. If, however, individuals felt that such instruction impugned their sense of confidence in which they are held, then it would be for the individual to act accordingly. I do not, however, see that stepping down should be an automatic response to the very worthy aspiration of the membership to a better deal.

Perhaps you should all return to square one. But remember, you are seeking a deal back-dated to the expiry of your last agreement. Also remember that your NO to the present offer, contemptuously slung together on the back of a fag packet and dropped as crumbs to dogs round a table, would place your “management” in something of a quandary, as highlighted by SpannerInTheWerks on 12 February.

Remember also that, as dontdoit astutely pointed out on 9 February, BALPA is the members. It is not some machine or group of strangers, imposing its will on you all. Any result it achieves – good or bad – is merely a reflection of the current collective feeling – in this case the feeling of the easyJet pilots. If most of you are happy with what’s on offer or can’t be bothered to get off your backsides to do something about it if you’re not happy, then what can BALPA do? The result it “obtains” in such circumstances will obviously be dismal.

Moving on, you say that:

“BALPA will never get more than about 50% membership until they provide a lot more value for money and start representing all the pilots not just the concerns of those on the CC.”

If I might draw your attention to highcirrus on 17 February:

“May I therefore suggest that now is not the time for arguments about value for money of BALPA subscriptions or the attractions of the TGWU or IAPA. Now is the time to climb aboard and project some force. After you all win against your management you can indulge in such peacetime luxuries.”

Perhaps he/she should also have mentioned that now is also not the time to cavil about BALPA’s past perceived/real shortcomings. Get this battle won – and you won’t do it unless you adopt the combining facility offered by the BALPA structure - before fighting a quite separate one, if you so wish, over the organisation and administration of the Association.

Finally, I would ask you not to resign your BALPA membership at the moment. Your obvious concern and energy, manifested in your consistent will to post on this thread, is much needed by your fellow pilots – as similar energy and concern is needed from easyJet non-BALPA pilots. Please climb onboard now – all are welcome, including those with a deep seated ideology!

20th Feb 2003, 04:58

“That must surely put us back to square one, infact probably worse off as I imagine most of the CC would step down.”

Well maybe you should vote a new one in then.

21st Feb 2003, 07:21
Any news about the poll already???

21st Feb 2003, 11:54
Yes, a disappointing Yes vote 59/41%

21st Feb 2003, 13:40

Your reasoning is full of holes. My wife is a teacher and she and I both know that teachers are, in fact, fairly well paid for what they do. The problem is the paperwork overload and the constantly changing demands being thrust on them by whoever happens to be in power at the time. The fact that there are three teaching unions has nothing whatsoever to do with teachers levels of pay. This is because the money available for teachers pay is determined by the exchequer who can only pay what he can spare out of the national tax take.

Pilots, on the other hand, can nowadays only demand what they feel is due to them in preference to all the other demands of the commercial business in which they are operating. But, again, I don't actually feel that unions help them a lot either. The real golden age for British pilots was when BA was owned by the UK Government, and was effectively a monopoly. The largese and extravagance of BA around that time was legendary and the pilots pay deals were fantastic.

I personally am self employed. So having absolutely no-one else to whine to I have to earn it for myself. And before you start on about me being a 'fat cat', I can tell you that I earn rather less than the average teacher.

21st Feb 2003, 15:58
The official release.

The result of the second consultative ballot that closed today was as follows:

YES 59%

NO 41%

The difficulty and challenges of bringing the two companies together have been self evident and the commitment and hard work demonstrated by all parties in this process is recognised.

Despite the overall acceptance there is clearly some work to be done and we remain committed to working with the pilots in carrying this out.

This is a significant step on the road to becoming fully harmonised and meeting and overcoming the challenges of further continued expansion.

Capt. J P

E cam
21st Feb 2003, 20:17
Thanks taff: what a load of bovineexcretia! Enjoy your share of the £10 mill.

22nd Feb 2003, 07:05
Strike, load of wishfull thinking eh Anotherpost. Same hopes / threats have been made many times i.e BMI amongst others, indicates how representative the majority of views are on these pages.
As to how much pilots are worth, only what employers have to pay them. There is no table of merit or any way of justifying more or less than other trades or professions, market forces will rule. Only if employed by the state or other monopoly employer can comparisons be made with other employees in terms of value or worth. Pilots have no claim to preferential status, they are simply employees who's rewards will be determined by supply and demand.

Rocket Ron
22nd Feb 2003, 09:01
Actually only 28% of the total easyJet pilots voted "yes".

Assuming 55% Balpa membership, turnout was 83% and 59% voted "yes" - so draw your own conclusions......

22nd Feb 2003, 10:37
The apathetic and spineless will unfortunately get their just reward. Sadly, as a consequence of their inaction, they will take the courageous with them. Those who did not join BALPA when given the chance now have no right to complain. You had your chance guys, and you've blown it. Blown it for everyone.

cargo boy
22nd Feb 2003, 10:40
Goes to show that if such a large number of the Del Monte drivers can't be bothered to join a union, then they only have themselves to blame for their apathy. I wonder how many are now regretting their pathetic stance.

Classic management tactic of divide and rule. easyJet pilots, bend over, the shafting won't hurt too much.

Few Cloudy
22nd Feb 2003, 10:47
Ron - my conclusion is that the non members were either not interested enough to join and vote or were happy for the members to vote on their behalf. Eitherway - no card, no vote, innit?

22nd Feb 2003, 10:57
Quite obviously the views expressed here are those of a vocal and militant minority and are not shared by the majority. Fix the statistics how you will Ron the fact is that more people voted yes. If the union really wanted to represent all the pilots they could start by allowing them all to express an opinion.

Agaricus bisporus
22nd Feb 2003, 11:29
"If the union really wanted to represent all the pilots they could start by allowing them all to express an opinion."

ajk, what a bizarre statement!!!

I, along with the other 59, 856 members of PPRuNe will be wondering how on earth BALPA is alledged to prevent those it represents from expressing an opinion.

Didn't they just hold a ballot? What is that if not allowing people to express an opinion? Am I missing something???

Do please tell...

22nd Feb 2003, 12:46
Having treated the front line operators with contempt, I wonder how easyjet management and shareholders expect to run a successful airline with no moral or goodwill from the very people who decide whether or when an aircraft will dispatch. Membership or not of Balpa, makes no odds, take away moral and costs go up. Management it would seem are smugly happy with that status quo.

22nd Feb 2003, 15:13
Well excellent result

Now we can all look forward to working 7 days on and two days off

Paying £1100 per year for food which isn't fit for dogs

Returning to man and boy airline (No loyalty Bonus For F/o's)

Getting a command and getting 10% less (Well I suppose someone has to pay for managements £10,000,000 bonus lets be fair)

Losing a days leave if your an X Go Pilot

We have sold ourselves right down tubes the only winners here
are senior managent who must be saying what a load of spineless morons, easier than taking candy from a baby.

So there it is....... longer days, less pay, less leave,


22nd Feb 2003, 16:29
Running an airline without morale...

Come on, don't so naive...An aircraft takes off or does not take off. Period. Now, whether happy or sad pilots fly the plane is not management's concern. So they really don't give a s..t about the fact you're happy will help the airline or not. What they see is money.

Therefore, the only thing you could do at that time was ground the planes. That's it.

But you all have been discussing whether or not it would be good, if they go I go, if not I won't, about how bad or good BALPA people are...

Too much talking. While you were wondering, management was going ahead with no fear nor threat. You've been stuffed.

And guess what...You will even further in the future. YES ! Why ? Simply because management now knows how soft you are and how far they can go. You've been tested and you've passed. Isn't that wonderful ?

In a previous post, I was mentionning you'll be feeling sorry for yourselves 10 years down the road, just because you've been thinking too much around about the impact of a strike. You'll be working like dogs while management will be drinking down those millions of pounds.

Now don't come and cry over spilt milk...But still, good luck to you, to your families and your health. They'll get hurt, that is clear !

23rd Feb 2003, 07:31

As usual, you miss the point entirely, so may I refer you to the words of highcirrus on 17 Feb?

“What will drastically reduce the inevitability of industrial action is as near to a unanimous BALPA membership as possible sending a clear message to management that if reasonable terms are not forthcoming, then such action will definitely become inevitable.”

If you hold a big stick, the likelihood is that you will not have to use it – get the idea?

Unfortunately, half of the pilots at easyJet have abrogated responsibility to themselves and their families by failing to combine in BALPA membership and so provide the required big stick. Is it apathy, selfishness, fear or just plain gutlessness? Who will ever know – they now only have to live with themselves and the pathetic working conditions they have foisted on themselves, as outlined by Getafix, above, due entirely to their own foolish inaction.

Perhaps even more reprehensible is the breathtaking fecklessness of those BALPA members who voted Yes! Your sheer stupidity and selfish motivation beggars believe!

I’m not sure whether you are with easyJet ajk or indeed whether you are even a professional pilot – your glee at the outcome of the ballot would seem to belie any implied or direct claim to be so, as does your ignorant claim that “market forces” are the sole determinants of employee working conditions.

Non-members and Yes voters – please no more of your pathetic and cowardly whines about your employer on pprune.

No voters – I’m truly sorry for you in a valiant effort, brought down by a flock of frightened sheep.

23rd Feb 2003, 07:53
Absolutely Anotherpost75. You are 100% right.

But wait for them to whining and strike them hard on the nose when they do, reminding them what they did NOT do. Don't tale complaints anymore.

I feel really sorry for you all. Your airline and the means to improve your lifestyle and money. Yoy guys did not even let it a chance to do so.

And in a way I feel sorry for the rest of the European pilots community. You've just participated in downgrading our profession. While some people fight indirectly for the good of the whole profession (i.e. people at Lufthansa, Air France, etc...) you're breaking everything away and will make this job an absolute nightmare : no private life, no health, not even good money in return for this sacrifice. GOOD JOB MATES ! And people will tell you you didn't have much choice. Of course you had! Nothing was easier.

You cowards/selfish individuals, I won't be crying over the miserable livings you'll soon have to endure...

Others who were ready to stand up, I feel even more sorry for you because you had the guts but you had to convince a bunch of chicken. That's tough. Good luck to you still.

23rd Feb 2003, 08:10
All this bickering and infighting is of no use and I believe that it also lowers the management perception of us as a workforce. The only fair way to solicit opinions on our T and Cs is by ballot and this process has been followed in accordance with recognised procedures. Those that voted have had their views heard. Non members have not represented their views to the management in any way. The wishes of the majority will now be implemented.

The only thing left is to thank the council for their hardwork. Well done guys.

23rd Feb 2003, 08:51
Agaricus bisporus: I think what was meant was that the negotiations took part without canvassing general pilots concerns and some might say the items of close interest to the committee received undue attention while new captains have to have a 10% pay cut and the general pilot populace is walking around in an exhausted haze.

The above post is exactly right, management couldn't give a fig whether happy pilots are flying the aircraft, as long as they fly and their share options keep piling up.

Personally I have little time for BALPA: how can a "professional negotiator" come up with an agreement including the words: endeavour, try to, in the best of all possible worlds, if the planets are alignment etc.... The thing is so woolly as to be meaningless if put to the test.. Plus the terms of the agreement were changed between the ballot being sent out and closing!

I guess they are too busy spending their 3,500 pounds a week on "entertainment". Anyway, I swallowed my principles and joined them so I would have a say in this. Any non-BALPA members don't get any griping rights. Whatever you think of BALPA they were the only show in town.

With so few airlines to chose from now where else can you go? I will be stuck for a very long time with the consequences of this agreement.

The only glimmer of hope are the changes in the management and board that have occurred in the last few weeks. Would like to be a fly on the wall to be watching the fur fly.

Lets see how it goes this year, and canvas for 95% BALPA membership for the round next year.

Few Cloudy
23rd Feb 2003, 12:08

Nice comments about spinelessness - from, er one of Mr Schroeder's subjects innit? Don't want to be politically incorrect here but it's easier to talk about action in a loud voice, than to get up and do something about it.

23rd Feb 2003, 12:26

The ONLY way ej pilots pay and conditions will get any better is if the general market pick's up, there is a pilot shortage and people start leaving for other jobs, historically this has always been the case at ej and it is then we will all have a position of strength to negotiate from !!!

As for BALPA ....... I've allways been impressed by their track record ...... They have all the characteristics of ezy's senior management - greedy, careless with lethargy and spinelessness thrown in!!:yuk:

23rd Feb 2003, 17:03
I've been trying to stay out of this but having read just soooo much cr*p, can't help but chip in.

Sure there are things wrong in easyjet but nothing like the impression you'd get by reading these pages.

If I've understood correctly inflation is rising up above 3% so that means Captains will be on

about at least £64K pa plus about £10K sector pay some of which is tax free plus 7% pension, loyalty bonus after 2 yrs of 5% rising to 15% after 10 years, loss of licence insurance, personal accident insurance, legal insurance, death in service insurance and crew food.

Any F/O with an ATPL (for foreign chappies in the UK thats 1500hrs total time and passing some exams) will be on about £40K pa plus about £8K worth of sector pay plus all the oter n=benefits except the loyalty bonus which only kicks in after changing seats. For a dedicated young man this can be achieved by mid to late twenties. (and one F/O wrote earlier asking if he'd be able to afford an overseas holiday - well the answer is that most people do on salaries much lower than this)

And this is a bad deal???????????????????????????????????????

Sorry - forgot to add that we're told that there 60 command places for internal moves this year.

Getafix says the crew food is not fit to eat - if he is from GO has he tried it? Think not - does he suppose that the pilots in easyjet are stupid in their wish to keep the food?

Anyone from Buzz care to comment??????

Our problem is rostering (not pay) and the Company does seem to be trying to fix that now so lets give them a chance

Wake up guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stan Woolley
23rd Feb 2003, 18:41

And this is a bad deal????????????????????????????

Well as I end up with around a six hundred pound increase after paying for my crew food this year I hardly think it compares to the QUARTER MILLION average bonus the top forty have awarded themselves.

As for giving the company a chance when it comes to fixing the rostering - I'm slowly losing my f*****g medical waiting for their empty promises to show some results!!!

And you're telling us to wake up???????????:mad: :mad: :mad:

23rd Feb 2003, 20:01
I've seen all the hype. You Guys lost the plot a long time ago. I agree that to be together is the way. When I was on the North Sea as a Dauphin Jock, I thought the way was to fly planes to esacape that slavery. I tried, with others to cause a difference. Now I realise that it is not just the Ex-Military but It's ALL of us are whimps.that

23rd Feb 2003, 21:18
Flanker - read your post and think about it - I'm worried about your health.

You're a bit naugthy though about the food - you and I both know that we are not paying for it out of our salary- we (or the Pilots council on our behalf) were offered EXTRA money to take the food away but most of us wanted to keep the food therefore we can't expect the extra money as well can we.

I'm not suggesting that we should all be happy with whats happened about management bonuses etc because frankly it stinks - when I said 'is this a bad deal' it is in the context of what we get in relaton to others in similar jobs to us.

Save yourself - take a deep breath and accept the realities

23rd Feb 2003, 21:36
There will be a day. The management WILL listen. BTY I'm not Easy or Ryan. Just another PILOT.

Stan Woolley
23rd Feb 2003, 22:05

With regard to the food, let's see, naughty?

For 2003/4 we get an increase of RPI, lets say 3%, but then we get £1100 taken off for food, right?

So what you're saying is that the extra money is the £1100? So without that my payrise would be around £800 for 2003 or 1 % to put it another way.

Do you really think that is reasonable considering the company profit , the 10 million, the 90% of salary for upgrades and new joiners amongst other things? I don't but each to his own.

By the way I fully intend saving myself, in fact I saved myself 1% earlier today and I'm working on the bigger project.

Enjoy the summer.

24th Feb 2003, 06:27
Wakey wakey guys and gals of easyJet, smell the coffee. It’s a new day and from now on Webster can throw anything he likes at you because he knows that you are all too apathetic and frightened to do anything about it. Perhaps he may now even renege on the terms of your recent wonderful pay and conditions offer, using the “imminent war” card as a requirement to cut costs. What would you all do about that, other than whimper, chase your tails and snap at each others’ heels? And please don’t all say you’re going to the land of the golden harp when the next up-turn comes – he’ll just replace you with a further bunch of minimum qualified wimpy wannabees. Only way you’ll get improvements to your t&c’s is to fight for them.

So NoJoke and others of a similar persuasion, “there will NOT be a day. The management WILL NOT listen.” Can you give me one simple reason why they should? You have consigned yourselves to absolute irrelevance in the scheme of things.

Few Cloudy

Re your moronic dig of 23 Feb. You may be interested to know that Mr Schroeder's subjects (perhaps “fellow citizens” until he’s crowned King Gerhard) feature in a current Time Magazine article, page 34, dated 24 Feb:

“But the scarcely concealed American assumption that Europeans are wimps when it comes to military power does not stand up. Just because many European soldiers concentrate on peacekeeping doesn’t mean that they’re cowards. France lost 57 peacekeepers in the Balkan war and Britain 27. (So far 61 members of the US armed forces have died in the war on terrorism.) Germany contributes more soldiers to all peacekeeping missions than any country other than the US. The 7 German soldiers killed when their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan two months ago are just as dead as the 8 Americans who died in Operation Anaconda last March.”

Maybe you’re trying to cover up your own inaction in a recent, far smaller conflict?

Oh and before you ask, yes I do support the premiss of Iraq being disarmed by force and again yes, I’m currently ex-pat but a former BALPA member (the only available show in town) who did vote for strike action (on that occasion the Association won against the Company).

24th Feb 2003, 08:36
The result - disappointing but predictable.

I have said previously all that I am going say on this matter. Nothing has changed.

It was NO from me before the vote, it was NO from me when I voted and it is NO from me now.

A golden opportunity for progress on the issue of pay and conditions has been squandered. Remember my comments in a years' time, five years' time and rue the day that management were given a mandate to dictate our future.

As for me. Well I'm like management - I don't compromise. NO means NO. I am looking elsewhere - there are other lives for me out there.

It was never just a question of pay for me - it was lifestyle first and lifestyle last. No amount of pay and promises will buy back the time lost with my friends and family.

For the first time I am not looking forward to going to work - the prospect of another month of roster changes and disruption, tiredness and compromise no longer holds any interest for me - hope of any real change has been lost. Minimum effort from me and if anyone DARE rush me or tell me to hurry up and finish my meal because there is a schedule to keep I will tell them to ...............

Gets off his orange box, kicks it to one side. Orange is no longer a colour in my life.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

24th Feb 2003, 08:51
This is how the ballot result is being covered in the media - from ATI:

Pilots back new easyJet/Go deal
Graham Dunn, London (24Feb03, 09:32 GMT, 224 words)

Pilots at UK budget carrier easyJet have voted to accept a British Air Line Pilots’ Association (BALPA)-endorsed pay deal covering the integration of easyJet and Go pilots into the newly merged entity.

BALPA reached a deal with easyJet management at the end of last month, and balloted pilots have now voted 59% in favour of backing the deal.

The union says the deal sets out a harmonised package, maintains the roster pattern, retains crew food and secures a pay increase in line with inflation. The deal runs until next April.

BALPA’s principal negotiating officer for easyJet and Go suggests: “This agreement gives us a base from which we can work for further improvements.”

The union’s general secretary Jim McAuslan describes the deal as a “very significant” achievement. “To agree a set of harmonised terms and conditions for pilots of two airlines is not an easy task, and this agreement shows what can be done through negotiations, hard though they may sometimes be,” he argues.

It comes as BALPA, and other unions, are set to clash with Ryanair over cuts planned for soon-to-be-acquired Buzz. “This achievement should encourage Ryanair to take up my suggestion that we enter into talks to smooth the merger of Ryanair with Buzz,” suggests McAuslan.

While BALPA gained recognition at easyJet in late 2001, the union is not recognised by Ryanair.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

Few Cloudy
24th Feb 2003, 10:00
High Cirrus,

You can interpret it as you will. Fact is, as I wrote, it is easier to make an angry noise than to take action. Apart from mentioning the Chancellor's name, I made no mention of the present efforts towards or against a war in Iraq. You can interpret that as you will too.

As regards spine, or the lack of it, I don't think you can generalise about "Europeans". There are and have been historically, large differences.

As regards what the easy crews have got, I think it is fair to say that they have made a choice. Whether this collective choice was based individually on fairness, greed, pragmatism or fear, who can say? The moment has passed, the world loses interest and the shares now react to the market, rather than Pprune.

24th Feb 2003, 11:40

My coment was not meant to harm. I would suggest that ALL pilots take a change of tack. Could we not consider a Pan-European UNION (lets call it that). Even with the 'help' of BALPA - again the workforce has been had over a barrel.

24th Feb 2003, 16:41
Few cloudy, I don't even want to get into politics. There would be so much to say in return to your very basic statement you know... And I feel really sad you're bringing the subject to such a low level...

Now regarding the fact that it's easier to be loud than acting, as opposed to you, I've had my share of action in my own time and I don't regret it today. I feel sorry you did not do so when you had a chance but I won't have to live your life after all. It's going to be tough to be you.

Let's talk within 3 to 5 years...

stalling attitude
24th Feb 2003, 18:38
sad isnt it how quickly this is turning into one giant slanging match with personal insults being thrown .:confused:

24th Feb 2003, 19:49
Come on guys lets put this to bed. the thread was about our chance to change things through our (threatened?) withdrawal of labour. The doves never gave the hawks a chance( or the other way around depending on which side of the fence you sit).The vote has been cast and it was a damp squib.There is no point continueing this thread. Only worry yourself about things you have control over. We now no longer have control over the outcome of the ballot.In fighting and bickering is churlish and not the domain of a professional aviator. We have been dealt our hand and now it is time to play the game.

Pilotofjet out.

25th Feb 2003, 10:33
Looks like BALPA have performed poorly from your info.
May be the t and g Could do better.

25th Feb 2003, 12:59
Gypsy is of course correct, look around you guys. Only about 10% of the country earn over 40K and they have to work for it. The problem is that these pages reflect militant and minority views, there is no mass support for them as the vote demonstrates. BALPA will of course claim victory, a more disreputable organisation is difficult to find, they dwell in the era of the dockers, miners, car and print unions and look what has happened to them. What other 'profession' goes into print with the anti capitalist neo marxist rubbish that regularily appears in these forums.

25th Feb 2003, 13:18
What a load of rubbish !
Pilots deserve every penny and more.
High risk occupation No management back up .
Unsociable hours etc.
Further rubbish from europe on the cards.

Wee Weasley Welshman
25th Feb 2003, 13:41
Just as an aside. Whilst reading the BALPA flight time limitations info pack today somewhere South of AGN I wondered the following:

How much does each passenger pay for my services per flight? (Low cost FO)

I had all the data to hand as it happens. For each passenger last year it cost my employer 84p to employ me and that is a charge they must pass on to the passengers.

It is of course slightly less due to no-shows who never get a refund but I dicounted that.

Thats not what I earnt from every passenger, but what every passenger had to stump up for me to fly them from A to B. Remember to include all your employment costs, recurrent training, expenses, Employers NI, pension and benefit contributions etc. etc.

I thought that for 25p more my annual hours could have been brought down well under 600hrs and I would barely every be fatigued.

Hows about a campaign seeking a 25p passenger surcharge for comprehensively rested pilots?

It'll never happen, but it should.


26th Feb 2003, 07:14
I hate to rain on your parade, WW, but I flew under 600hrs last year and felt well and truly fatigued thanks to s**t and inefficient rostering i.e 11 hour duty days, bit only one hour flight time.

Welcome to easyjet.:mad: :mad:

Rumbo de Pista
27th Feb 2003, 07:50
It seems to me that there's a cocktail of problems at easy.

First, very poor management causing operational troubles, allowing incompetent individuals to continue to screw things up, and ruining the company's value (47% drop in shares in last year versus 41% drop at BA and 7% rise at Ryanair).

Second, for whatever reason, the pilots are ranged against the management. Who's to blame?

Third, the management, instead of trying to get the pilots on-side, continue to try to drive down terms and conditions whilst they can get away with it.

Fourth, and crucially, the vote would not have been 'YES' without recommendation from the BALPA people. This is where these guys have been sold down the river, and it's yet another great reason not to waste your time and money on membership of this organisation.

Take an extra 1% on your pay guys, and stop wasting money backing up the colleagues and their advisers who've pushed through another deal which drives the industry down.

27th Feb 2003, 11:07
I'm one of the lily-livered, spineless europhile chickens who followed balpa's recommendation.

I figured that a company making £80m+ profit a year could quite easily afford to run on 60% of its pilot workforce (I think I'm being generous as to the 40% of pilots who would actually have gone on strike) plus whatever subleasing it would have to do to run its program for six months. Especially as striking pilots would not be paid.

I personally could not afford to do that. And I know that the members of our PC would not have given up lightly - they did their sums too, and probably came to the same conclusion.

The answer is we need HIGHER balpa membership in eJ to win this thing. With 80% plus we could make a cohesive threat to them - 55% just won't cut it. The last thing we want is the existing members to give it up now and make things even easier for management in 2004.

Like many have said - it may be s!!t but it's the only show in town. So I'm not being chicken this time - I'm staying in.

27th Feb 2003, 13:22
In the light of all that has been 'debated' over the past few weeks, I draw your attention to one thread. This is relevant to the union v non-union voices, and the yes/no debate.

There is a thread in Airlines & Routes titled "easyjet shares". Go to the post from Touch & Go. Click on the link to Telegraph and find the link to easyjet's intended purchase of DBA.

You will find that it is up in the air because the local union refused to accept the terms that would have been imposed by RW. They would not allow their lives to be so effected & controlled.

Now, some may say, Bravo; others Luddites. DBA are losing money and may close down without a rescue. However, there were enough of those to draw a line and stand by it; upto now. Better to take your chances in the open market than be subjected to conditons that you find unacceptable; so they thought.

Who knows what the outcome will be. Perhaps ej will write off the money already spent (substantial) and walk away, or will enter fair and equal negotiations. If not ej, then perhaps someone else will come along. If RW was prepared to spend so much money on keeping the option, he must believe there are other payers in the market. At least the guys seem to have a principle and stand by it, and take the risks.

Note, also, the tactics at boardroom level during the many reported takeovers. It is never the first offer that is accepted. The buyer has to sweat a little and pay the right price. There is respect for both sides. professional negotiations! I wonder if anyone at New Road was aware of the goings on during the ej Go takeover negotiations? Can it be true that ej just marched in and imposed their first offer. I suspect that B.C. squeezed the last drop out of ej.

Oh well, as J.B. said "you live to die another day"

Good luck..

28th Feb 2003, 08:44

Re your post of 27 Feb – “The answer is we need HIGHER balpa membership in eJ to win this thing”

I agree, but you also need to dump your present PC and vote one in that will more fully represent the aspirations of the membership. I gather that the present lot may have “negotiated” to satisfy the requirements of a rather narrower section of the membership than would normally be deemed healthy (ie their own).

As RAT 5 points out, “At least the guys (DBA pilots) seem to have a principle and stand by it, and take the risks”, unlike, I’m afraid, you guys and gals.

However, with a new PC and a well crafted set of principles, you’ll be ready for the next and inevitable battle with your CEO. And once you’ve achieved these, you’ll be in a good position to aggressively market them to non-members, increase the membership and achieve some real results.

Please, though, whatever you all do, don’t blame BALPA. Remember, the membership is BALPA – you just seem to have been shafted by a duff PC, which, also remember, you all voted for, in the first place.

Hang in there and good luck!

28th Feb 2003, 14:05

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about!

I gather that the present lot may have “negotiated” to satisfy the requirements of a rather narrower section of the membership than would normally be deemed healthy (ie their own).

Total garbage!

And NO, I am not a member of the PC!

Max Autobrake
28th Feb 2003, 17:03
Err....let me see now...

Day off payments for part timers

Post 60 working

Most of the pc are either part time or over 60, most of the pilots aren't!

28th Feb 2003, 22:54

Well what is Max Autobrake talking about then? Care to be specific in your defence of the PC or are you happy with your bald statement that I'm talking "Total Garbage!"

1st Mar 2003, 09:17
2 lines quoted from an 18 page document!

Wonderful, in-depth analyisis!!!!!!!!

How many members of the PC?

How many over or approaching 60?

How many part time?

Rumbo de Pista
1st Mar 2003, 12:42
Just an update on the share price movement above.

In the last year,

Ryanair drop 4%
BA drop 52%
easy drop 60% and nose-dive towards close of trading on Friday

2nd Mar 2003, 02:32

You're the one with the answers to the questions you pose. Why are you so shy about revealing them and also giving the in-depth analysis you imply is necessary?

2nd Mar 2003, 08:27

Most of the pc are either part time or over 60

No they are not!

Try that for starters.

Max Autobrake
2nd Mar 2003, 10:44
Okay FlapsOne, if it's statistics you want , try these:

80% of the pc are part time.

60% of the pc are, or are nearly 60.

Now, can the petty bickering please stop!

6th Mar 2003, 11:35
Just curious!:p

I don't have time to trawl through all 23 pages here, but 'is this all over' now the ballot is done, or is there a strong undercurrent??

6th Mar 2003, 14:40
Ex GO pilots falling over themselves to get out of the door including, I hear PLB and £1,100 per year for coco pops without milk for crew breakfasts out of STN........What do you think ?!

6th Mar 2003, 15:29
I hope this comment is taken the way it is intended. I am not from the airline, but I am acquainted with Mr Webster's past activities, and some of the comments, whilst not completely accurate, give a not entirely unjustified picture of Mr Webster's modus operandi.

This is a very simple transaction which has absolutely nothing to do with company loyalty, the "easy life-style" etc. The company needs pilots to fly the aeroplanes, ie. what many members of many management groups forget, the front-line of their business......in order to raise the revenue, to justify giving themselves a £10m bonus (regardless of how much each person will get). Pilots and engineers are the most important ingredients of a successful airline, followed very closely by cabin crew and ground staff (and this comment in no way diminishes their importance, but lets face it, you cannot operate aircraft without licenced pilots and licenced engineers).

Pilots and engineers are far more valuable than any airline seems to realise these days, particularly as they are becoming less and less fussy about people doing their own type-ratings to save them money and so on! (Incidentally, I think the engineers aren't asking for enough!)

Staff can screw up a booking, baggage handlers can send bags to the Outer Mongolia, (Hmmmm? I can feel a new route coming on!), cabin crew can be rude to the punters, management can screw up their manning requirements.......easyjet will struggle on. But crash just once.......!

May I offer this to management? Stop mucking about, pay your pilots and engineers properly, be fussier about employing people who do their own type-ratings, and stop trying to get people to pay for their own type-ratings through some silly scheme which is actually a way to get cheaper pilots! If they go on strike, you have only yourselves to blame! Get your noses out of the trough as well!

Incidentally, as a punter going into Aberdeen one evening, I was absolutely shocked to hear a really concerned foreign voice, in broken English over the 'easycom' telling me to fasten my seatbelts, followed by a similar request five minutes later followed by ....and I quote! "its going to be bloody windy". Musing on the cross-wind limits of a 737, I wondered if the pilot (the Captain I thought), was at any stage concerned about the outcome of the landing. He certainly sounded as if he was. If that was the case, why were we subjected to the most outrageously bumpy approach to 34 at Aberdeen, terminating in an amazingly soft touch-down, followed by two crew standing on the brakes to stop us before W5...... when we could all have landed safely at Edinburgh?......

Few Cloudy
6th Mar 2003, 15:58
Well Mary, that was a pretty encompassing first post. I will restrict myself to the contents of your last paragraph.

A foreign accent - is that a bad thing? There are pilots from all over flying for easy - and lots of other airlines too. I have flown for Japanese and Swiss ones, having pilots from Mexico to Greece as well as UK. Believe me, all those guys could fly. On the other hand the odd plum in the mouth guy has cocked up.

Bumpy approach to Aberdeen - in my experience this happens very often - the fact that they put it down nicely indicated that they had it under control, so don't knock it. Whether it would have been any less bumpy into EDI is by no means certain either. On a bumpy approach the pilots are earning their pay - for you Mary. You can't guarantee a bump free ride and any airline that diverted for rough but in-limits weather would soon be out of customers.

Two crew on the brakes - how do you know? Firstly this is completely contra to procedures and secondly you can get all the brakes you need just from one side. You didn't say what the runway conditions were like - It is a good idea to get the ship slowed down fast in rough conditions especially if wet.

6th Mar 2003, 19:35
In gusty or strong winds, the increments to the final approach speed, plus some pilots' mis-conception of them, and the difficulty of bleeding speed accurately close to the threshold whilst keeping the fan speed up, often make it very difficult to put the aircraft down for a variety of specific reasons, one of which is that the aircraft is flying in an awkward shallow part of the drag curve.

That's why bumpy approaches often precede very soft touchdowns, often quite deep into the runway. ABZ is relatively short for a 737, so your bumpy/soft/heavy braking experience is typical.

Soft landings precisely on target require a ruthless attitude to closing the thrust levers and a very high standard of handling and judgement to make one compressed flare at just the right time. Easy to do with ten knots down the runway at LHR, but not so simple with twenty across at ABZ. (If you want a 'top tip', it's to carry out this brief but very accurate flare, followed by a reduction of about a degree in pitch attitude just as the main wheels will touch).

Remember, though, that the important thing about landings should be to put the thing down positively in the right place at the right speed. Any other technique may put a smile on your face, but it's not strictly what you're paid for...

Regarding foreign pilots, I have no problem, so long as they can cope with the vagaries of the Boeing manuals and QRH at a time of stress. I enjoy a very good command of English, my mother tongue, and still find parts of the QRH awkward and indistinct...

7th Mar 2003, 16:16
For Mary: It is amazing how many baby-smooth landings result from a horribly jiggly approach; you fight the a/c for five minutes with the adrenoline out of the plot for five minutes then achieve a squeeky-smooth touchdown. Must be down to the concentration involved.

For the moderators: Has this thread not run its course? The strike is not going to happen, the vote is over and the thread can only serve to feed the share speculators with false information. Time for bed?