Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > Fragrant Harbour
Reload this Page >

KA Standard COS...My experience

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

KA Standard COS...My experience

Old 8th May 2017, 10:42
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: hong kong
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
KA Standard COS...My experience

Having been on the standard contract for a couple of years now, I have realised that I made a terrible mistake...and now i regret it....
I was lured at the prospect of working for a legacy airline, one that provided a full package that would enable myself and my family to live comfortably in a vibrant city like hong kong. I, like many others in my position, looked at the remuneration package KA had to offer and jumped at the opportunity. I was ignorant. I researched the price of living in HK and thought to myself, although it wasn't extravagant, we could manage in the hope that my salary would increase year upon year and the company would increase our salaries in line with the ever increasing living costs in HK.
Boy was I wrong. No pay increase in the past 2 years while the price of living here has gone up 25% in the time i have been here. Rents are ridiculous...and the price of education has gone through the roof. Forget trying to send your child to a decent school as the debentures to get into anything comparable to the standard we are used to in Europe will not be covered by the company. ESF school rates have also sky rocketed. Independent schools obviously charge more.

The company gives us a special allowance of HK$21,300 for FO's and HK$32,000 for skippers. They do not call it a housing allowance (although everyone uses it to pay rent) because they know that it does not cover rental costs in HK, unless of course you live in a 500 sq ft apartment in DB or Tung Chung. The special allowance does not cover rentals for a family sized apartment.

The medical insurance is also sub standard and we have been trying to push for improvement for many years now with meagre results.

The rosters, in my opinion, are about the most unstable I've ever seen of any company and you will switch from early shifts to late shifts within the same week. You cannot plan anything on a day that you have to work. They OWN you on that day, regardless if you are doing earlies or lates.

The seniority system is a farce. Bidding for flights or vacation is not transparent and is only based on your first attempt. A second attempt at a bid will leave you in the same bidding pool as everyone else so where is seniority considered if you fail to gain any leave or flight pattern on the 1st attempt?


Whilst my overall wages are higher than my previous job, I am saving much less because of the high living costs in Hong Kong. Sure, I came here with EYES WIDE OPEN...but no amount of research can prepare you until you actually come here and see how expenses mount.

If you are single and plan on staying that way, the standard COS will be adequate and you'll live a humble life renting a small apartment...maybe a girlfriend or two....but if she gets pregnant and you decide to raise a family...don't expect to live the lifestyle that you are used to back home.....my guess is you'll take the free rating and go back home...something I am considering at the moment.
Gaisha is offline  
Old 8th May 2017, 12:05
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: In the land of smog
Posts: 196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I joined a couple of years ago thinking the same thing but reality has corrected those thoughts!

My wife and I tried to do the economical thing by renting a modest apartment in Tung Chung but for the first 5 months there was one suicide per month, every month so we had to get out of there. Then we rented a village house elsewhere on Lantau but we soon found that the cost of maintaining a car and the lack of services in a remote area made life more difficult than we had anticipated so we began to have thoughts about getting out of the rental market and into our own place.

We subsequently had a go at buying a small flat in Mui Wo but as we were about to sign on the line we took a reality check... $3.7M for a s#%t hole that needed major renovation + 1$Million in stamp duty would have had us running at a loss for at least 10 years!

An option remains to have a boat which is pretty nice from what I've seen but the running costs are sky high. Excluding maintenance and an astronomical mortgage we are told we can expect to pay $17,000 per month just to park it; fair enough but we were really counting on salary keeping pace with inflation. It was just announced that fees are going up in one marina by 9.5% but KA offered us absolutely nothing this year... ZERO! When it comes to rent, rises of over 20% every 2 years are not unheard of.

If you are stuck flying a chieftain in the bush this may seem like a job that pays well but if you are flying anything decent with the hope of progression at any point, don't leave!

The pollution though better in summer can have you breathing air so thick you can barely see 3km!

Schools are horrendously expensive as they are run 'for profit' and the company will only give you 90% of the ESF rate which covers only about half the cost of sending kids to school in Discovery Bay.

Just getting your kid vaccinated can cost a fortune, a 3 month old set of vaccines us back $3500, its either that or spend one of your few days off to register at a clinic to then go on a waiting list to spend another day at the clinic to only get very basic (not the full spectrum recommended in Australia) jabs.

A trip to the hospital can be a nightmare in itself, public hospitals while cheap are nasty and hopeless except for the most severe cases; your alternative is to go to a private hospital where an overnight stay can cost you upwards of $20,000 that may not be covered by the pitiful KA medical scheme. Which means you are forced to shell out for "top up medical cover" and income protection at the cost of thousands of USD per year.

Doing basic living activities here takes a lot more time than you'd imagine; going on an errand to HK Island takes a minimum of half a day if you do only one thing, a full day if you do three stops. Just try and find an english remote control or real bread in a shop!

Buying any kind of kids equipment in HK is astronomically expensive here; you will pay at least 30-400% more than in Australia only to have it stolen if you leave it outside your door.

Grocery shopping for anything but China grown produce is eye wateringly expensive, cheese can set you back USD $10 for a 200g pack of cheese that has probably been warmed well above 4* during shipping so it will only last a week in your fridge. Don't get me started on the milk...it should be called 'malk'.

Sure if you economise you can make ends meet but why leave your home, family, friends and conveniences to just get by? Nearly everyone I know on this contract is making plans to leave HK.

If you are not a white male you can expect to get pretty rough treatment from the locals here, where the darker you are the lower you are on the social ladder. If you are not married you can't bring your SO here as HK doesn't recognise de facto spouses. If you are married here and he/she doesn't work here, just see what happens when they want a bank account; no matter your profession or how highly educated your spouse is, if you aren't employed in HK at that moment your occupation shall only be 'house wife'.

Take heed of the warnings about cost of living here and do not go expecting generous pay rises of the past as the reality of zero increase despite proven inflation bites harder and harder into your hard earnt cash.

Last edited by TSIO540; 8th May 2017 at 20:11.
TSIO540 is offline  
Old 8th May 2017, 12:45
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Here ---> X
Posts: 438
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This will never be repeated enough...

And while we're at it, heads up to the prospective CX hires. Your lot will be the same, but even worse.
Yonosoy Marinero is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 00:31
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: In the land of smog
Posts: 196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I enjoy it as much as being bumped off a KA flight by CX staff... what a shame flight crew aren't afforded a higher priority across the board.
TSIO540 is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 00:45
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: DSOTM
Posts: 191
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dan Buster View Post
Look on the bright side. You get to bump some CX staff travellers off their own company flights!
Only less senior ones .
drfaust is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 02:29
  #6 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 2,116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cx is the only airline in the world where staff from a subsidiary get on before they do.
swh is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 03:12
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The only problem with that being we're not actually a subsidiary. The revenue all goes in to the one pot. IF as was suggested by the DPA back in 2006 we had been given ghost seniority numbers for staff travel the problem would not exist but of course the AOA were not interested back then and here today you have the result....
MPPCAG is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 03:48
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: In the land of smog
Posts: 196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by swh View Post
Cx is the only airline in the world where staff from a subsidiary get on before they do.
I don't know which subsidiary you are referring to as KA is not a subsidiary to CX... owned yes, but not subsidiary.

What do you suppose happens with Qantas, Jetstar, Qlink, VARA, VOZ, Virgin, Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels, Germanwings, Eurowings, Air Dolomiti, & Swiss to name a few. There are plenty of CX staff bumping KA staff off the popular staff travel destinations like HKT & TPE.
TSIO540 is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 04:01
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: HK
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Meanwhile you can buy a ticket LON-SYD on EK/QF for 750 pounds, all taxes/ fees included.
Freehills is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 05:06
  #10 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 2,116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by TSIO540 View Post
I don't know which subsidiary you are referring to as KA is not a subsidiary to CX... owned yes, but not subsidiary.

What do you suppose happens with Qantas, Jetstar, Qlink, VARA, VOZ, Virgin, Lufthansa, Austrian, Brussels, Germanwings, Eurowings, Air Dolomiti, & Swiss to name a few. There are plenty of CX staff bumping KA staff off the popular staff travel destinations like HKT & TPE.

From the annual report "Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited (“Dragonair”), a regional airline registered and based in Hong Kong, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cathay Pacific"

There was no merger between CX and KA. KA continues to operate as an independent carrier under its own AOC, and its staff are not eligible for the same interline travel as CX because they work for a different airline.

Sorry your other analogy is plain wrong, subsidiaries of the other airlines you mentioned like QF and LH do not have the same priority for subsidiary airlines on the main carrier.

Dragonair don't even treat their own ground staff with the same travel priority, they get 31.

Last edited by swh; 9th May 2017 at 05:21.
swh is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 05:37
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: HK
Posts: 42
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Dan Buster View Post
I didn't intend to hijack this thread. Was just poking fun.
Back to the thread topic:

it's near impossible to live in HKG on CX/KA ever diminishing COS's
Raises an interesting question. Many other industries have left HK due to high costs. Maybe best if airlines here downsize/ disappear. Passengers and cargo still get to fly, pilots & engineers still have jobs in lower cost of living places, just management who have to go and find something else to do (and as no seniority system, not much hardship) No one tries to have a network airline based in Manhattan.
Freehills is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 05:50
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eagles Nest
Posts: 485
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Worked at qantaslink and got date of joining priority on Qantas mainline . Maybe it's changed ?
National jet Cobden may not as not owned by Qantas .
Eastern and sunstate do as %100 owned by Qantas .
All called qantaslink
Happy to be corrected ?
Toruk Macto is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 06:31
  #13 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 2,116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cathay, Qantas and Qantaslink are all oneworld member airlines.

Qantas took over Network in 2011, their employees did not get DOJ with QF. Network like Dragon are not oneworld members, they are affiliates to the member airline.
swh is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 06:47
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: with the other ex-CX pond scum (a zoologist was once head of Flight Ops)
Posts: 1,800
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's 'Cobham'. Cobden is a town in Victoria.
Captain Dart is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 06:51
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eagles Nest
Posts: 485
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd suggest network will get date of joining on mainline when Qantas need something from them .
Toruk Macto is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 07:35
  #16 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 2,116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Don't see how you would get that past Fair Work, there are so many workplace agreements that would be impacted.
swh is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 07:45
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eagles Nest
Posts: 485
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We got advised staff travel was on date of joining one morning . Never asked for it , was never discussed with mainline . Moral was low in regionals at the time is only thing I can think of .
Toruk Macto is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 08:15
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: illabo
Age: 54
Posts: 196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Now wouldn't you have thought that sometime in the recent past someone would have been kind enough to put a warning on PPRuNe that the C Scale on offer would make life in HK very difficult. Fancy these poor fellas getting to HK and now finding out just how poor the package really is...............


You just can't tell some people.
rodney rude is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 08:36
  #19 (permalink)  
swh

Eidolon
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Some hole
Posts: 2,116
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Toruk Macto View Post
We got advised staff travel was on date of joining one morning . Never asked for it , was never discussed with mainline . .
Maybe you personally never asked for it, can guarantee you there are KA captains that complained they were being beaten to a seat by a SO that had only been in the company 9 months.

Can guarantee you it was discussed by the DPA and it was one of the points that KA was going to go into CC over.
swh is offline  
Old 9th May 2017, 08:53
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: CLK
Posts: 373
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That's the way boys, keep fighting over the crumbs!
Management have just finished their second helping and are coming back for more. They really must be laughing at how easy it is to distract us. I would suggest both pilot groups start fighting for pie rather than crumbs.

HK is financially unsustainable with family and children at school, regardless of the package you are on. If you were not living here when hired, then the only reason you came was to make money quicker than you could elsewhere. That is now not possible, so what is the point of being in HK?
Farman Biplane is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.