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People Thinking Of Going CX

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People Thinking Of Going CX

Old 13th Oct 2018, 09:55
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: hong kong
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People Thinking Of Going CX

Now before I talk about why not to join CX, let me tell you my situation. So I joined as a Second Officer 2.5 years ago on COS08. Now for many of you thinking of joining CX, that is no longer available, if you join CX you will be joining under COS18. - degraded contract.

After 2.5 years of being in the "legacy" airline I am yet to do my STI (second officer technical interview) so that means that I probably will only be upgrading to JFO (junior first officer) in about 1.5 or 2 years time. Meaning I will be in a position which gains me absolutely NO experience for over 4 years +. - Not good for career progression.

Now is CX a career airline? Honestly I would so NO. It use to be. Expats that gave up lifestyle/family life in their home country back in the day received a Housing Allowance. This was a "good" package as they will leave CX with a house or 2 paid off and can afford the lifestyle/family life in HK at the moment. Space is not as much of a issue as it is for us COS08 pilots trying to cram a family in a 2 bed apartment because - CX does not give us a housing allowance. They give us an HKPA (pilot allowance) which honestly does not cover 50% of your rental if you lucky.

Lets talk about joining CX on the new COS18 - firstly you will be working much much harder than your fellow SO's for less money. Be very careful when you get given a copy of the contract to read it and think about future earnings. As life is very very expensive in HK and if you thinking of having a wife and kid, you will be in trouble. Your kids schooling allowance might look like a lot but take it from me.....its not. you will have to pay in a lot, and I mean a lot of extra cash to get your kids into the same school as your fellow SO's that joined a few months before you.... not ideal. And thats just school fees.

Working harder to get your hours up for money? This is going to lead to fatigue issues and increase rate of sickness - which your sickness days per year are also less. ( or in a way you have to earn them) - Not ideal.

Now lets talk upgrade time for SO's. I can comfortably say that if you join after 1 December 2018 you will be a SO for 4 - 5 + years. And believe me after 1 year you will loose all interest in this job. Join as a DEFO is probably even worse off, because yes you get paid more cash but you are all the way at the bottom of the seniority list. So you have to wait for everyone to upgrade to CAPT before you. You will be very frustrated that you passed by pilots probably that have 1000's of hours less experience than you and know nothing about the aviation world - goodluck. I say come here get the rating and leave.

I think if you considering coming here speak to your friends that are here, ask them for honest advice and they will tell you what they think. Ask a few friends because not everyone is unhappy here but everyone's situation is different.

Now the flying is boring as I have told you because SO's do absolutely nothing and you get treated like that in a way. Making bunks and being awake through the night is not what I envisioned that my career would be. Do I want to leave CX? mmmmm yes I will it just is a matter of time. As I said SO's hours are useless but my home country does recognise them. Probably the only country that does. I will wait for CX to pay me my bonuses and then I am out of here. This ship has no rudder and the Captain of the ship is not very liked I take it - read other posts.

The relationship between the UNION and Company is ZERO and it seems nothing is being said or done to rectify this..... Its a toxic environment that cannot be sustained. The AOA are not taking any kind of stand to better ALL pilots situation in this company. The Chairman needs to grow a pair or step down.....

We have been in Contract Compliance since I have joined here and has done nothing but disrupt my life and families and for what? Training Ban is hurting the company, but its hurting us as well - Upgrades too, and don't forget SO's upgrading means extra money. FO's that are waiting to upgrade to CAPT's are all on housing - so no PROBLEM.

Take my message the way you want. Not meaning to offend you when I say I would reconsider my options.

I WISH I read PPRuNe and listened to the advice given here............
lessonlearnt is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2018, 15:36
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: No where
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As honest and as clear a warning against joining CX that you are likely to read, especially the last line. Thank you for taking the time to warn others. Wish you the very best in the future.
Air Profit is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2018, 15:42
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 149
Originally Posted by lessonlearnt View Post
Now before I talk about why not to join CX, let me tell you my situation. So I joined as a Second Officer 2.5 years ago on COS08. Now for many of you thinking of joining CX, that is no longer available, if you join CX you will be joining under COS18. - degraded contract.

After 2.5 years of being in the "legacy" airline I am yet to do my STI (second officer technical interview) so that means that I probably will only be upgrading to JFO (junior first officer) in about 1.5 or 2 years time. Meaning I will be in a position which gains me absolutely NO experience for over 4 years +. - Not good for career progression.

Now is CX a career airline? Honestly I would so NO. It use to be. Expats that gave up lifestyle/family life in their home country back in the day received a Housing Allowance. This was a "good" package as they will leave CX with a house or 2 paid off and can afford the lifestyle/family life in HK at the moment. Space is not as much of a issue as it is for us COS08 pilots trying to cram a family in a 2 bed apartment because - CX does not give us a housing allowance. They give us an HKPA (pilot allowance) which honestly does not cover 50% of your rental if you lucky.

Lets talk about joining CX on the new COS18 - firstly you will be working much much harder than your fellow SO's for less money. Be very careful when you get given a copy of the contract to read it and think about future earnings. As life is very very expensive in HK and if you thinking of having a wife and kid, you will be in trouble. Your kids schooling allowance might look like a lot but take it from me.....its not. you will have to pay in a lot, and I mean a lot of extra cash to get your kids into the same school as your fellow SO's that joined a few months before you.... not ideal. And thats just school fees.

Working harder to get your hours up for money? This is going to lead to fatigue issues and increase rate of sickness - which your sickness days per year are also less. ( or in a way you have to earn them) - Not ideal.

Now lets talk upgrade time for SO's. I can comfortably say that if you join after 1 December 2018 you will be a SO for 4 - 5 + years. And believe me after 1 year you will loose all interest in this job. Join as a DEFO is probably even worse off, because yes you get paid more cash but you are all the way at the bottom of the seniority list. So you have to wait for everyone to upgrade to CAPT before you. You will be very frustrated that you passed by pilots probably that have 1000's of hours less experience than you and know nothing about the aviation world - goodluck. I say come here get the rating and leave.

I think if you considering coming here speak to your friends that are here, ask them for honest advice and they will tell you what they think. Ask a few friends because not everyone is unhappy here but everyone's situation is different.

Now the flying is boring as I have told you because SO's do absolutely nothing and you get treated like that in a way. Making bunks and being awake through the night is not what I envisioned that my career would be. Do I want to leave CX? mmmmm yes I will it just is a matter of time. As I said SO's hours are useless but my home country does recognise them. Probably the only country that does. I will wait for CX to pay me my bonuses and then I am out of here. This ship has no rudder and the Captain of the ship is not very liked I take it - read other posts.

The relationship between the UNION and Company is ZERO and it seems nothing is being said or done to rectify this..... Its a toxic environment that cannot be sustained. The AOA are not taking any kind of stand to better ALL pilots situation in this company. The Chairman needs to grow a pair or step down.....

We have been in Contract Compliance since I have joined here and has done nothing but disrupt my life and families and for what? Training Ban is hurting the company, but its hurting us as well - Upgrades too, and don't forget SO's upgrading means extra money. FO's that are waiting to upgrade to CAPT's are all on housing - so no PROBLEM.

Take my message the way you want. Not meaning to offend you when I say I would reconsider my options.

I WISH I read PPRuNe and listened to the advice given here............
So go where exactly instead? Youíre on a P2X rating.
morningcoffee is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2018, 15:50
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 183
In the last quarter 2 SOs upgraded to FO ........ so how long is it that you expect to be an SO again?
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 17:33
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Hong kong
Posts: 101
Lesson learnt , an excellent post which accurately sums up the current situation at Cathay for anyone thinking of joining . It’s better to be forewarned and aware of all the facts before even thinking of taking a job
As for morning coffee’s jab ,obviously management , it was uncalled for and just toxic , not dissimilar to the current working environment at Cathay, Never forget for one second that the cost of living in HK is very expensive , about the only thing that is cheap is public transport which is truly amazing everything else is wickedly expensive . Don’t get me wrong I love HK but you need money lots of it to live well here

Last edited by Tea time; 14th Oct 2018 at 08:49.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 18:02
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Originally Posted by morningcoffee View Post

So go where exactly instead? Youíre on a P2X rating.
MC, you sir are a cretin. You don't even have the respect to appreciate the heartfelt comments he has offered. What a soulless individual you must be.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 18:08
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by morningcoffee View Post

So go where exactly instead? Youíre on a P2X rating.
That's right MorningCoffee, wind up all the SO's in the company, many of which are already barely sitting on the edge of the fence when it comes to leaving CX. Your management brilliance is shining bright for all to see. As TeaTime said, you and your management cohorts are nothing but "toxic", in every way. Keep believing you are in control, right up to the point when your cubicle comes crashing down around you. Pathetic.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 18:09
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by morningcoffee View Post

So go where exactly instead? Youíre on a P2X rating.
That's right MorningCoffee, wind up all the SO's in the company, many of whom are already barely sitting on the edge of the fence when it comes to leaving CX. Your management brilliance is shining bright for all to see. As TeaTime said, you and your management cohorts are nothing but "toxic", in every way. Keep believing you are in control, right up to the point when your cubicle comes crashing down around you. Pathetic.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 18:12
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: se england
Posts: 1,189
As long as its only the cubicle that comes crashing down,,, when I read the title of this thread I thought it was about Pax flying on CX-I have a trip to HK planned for feb 19 and reading this and looking back on the other threads makes me think I should avoid CX and stick with boring BA-is it really that bad?
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 18:40
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Hong kong
Posts: 101
Pax B . No ! don’t cancel the passenger experience is still quite good , not anywhere as good as it used to be , but still better than some .The crews are very good despite the shocking relations between management and the aircrew .
i dare you to ask for salt and pepper with your meal
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 22:38
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by Tea time View Post
Pax B . No ! donít cancel the passenger experience is still quite good , not anywhere as good as it used to be , but still better than some .The crews are very good despite the shocking relations between management and the aircrew .
i dare you to ask for salt and pepper with your meal

I still prefer to take CX from YYZ to HKG because AC is just sh!t. CX cabin crew service is still good, food could be better but their PE is top notch in my opinion. Just a shame that they don't know how to treat the employees that count the most with respect.
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Old 13th Oct 2018, 22:54
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Posts: 218
Thank you lesson for what I believe to be a completely accurate and informative post.

There are many options toward using your talent and experience and wasting life's most precious resource (time) --especially considering where we've gone in a few short years--isn't worth it. I'd suggest folks go somewhere and be happy. It takes so long to build something good and is so easy to tear it down very quickly; I personally don't see any way to recover what has become of us (especially given how our 'solution' has been to propagate POS 18 -- should speak volumes). Just mitigate the bleeding and pain. I kinda look at it as a form of hospice for a company once great.

One thing I might disagree with though is I hope that your fellow crew members do treat you with dignity and respect. All the crew members are important, and any one of the operators might have to handle a difficult situation in a contingency. It's a team. That has generally been the case as I've seen it and I hope folks are still doing this. It's also been my experience that junior crew members often pick up on things missed -- especially when things get rushed. This is a very important role.

All the best and I'm sure you will enjoy your new career. I wouldn't wait too long; you never get the time back.
Slasher1 is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2018, 23:53
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Join Date: Apr 2009
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Another great post. Also ending with a poignant line: "you never get the time back". That is so true, and it's not worth wasting any of your life dealing with this horrible management. They ARE toxic, and will simply strip away any love for flying you may have. HK has turned into a complete disappointment for most, and that explains why people can't wait to find themselves working somewhere else.
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 01:33
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by lessonlearnt View Post
Join as a DEFO is probably even worse off, because yes you get paid more cash but you are all the way at the bottom of the seniority list. So you have to wait for everyone to upgrade to CAPT before you. You will be very frustrated that you passed by pilots probably that have 1000's of hours less experience than you and know nothing about the aviation world - goodluck. I say come here get the rating and leave.
Is that so?! That sounds kind of backwards, but then again, I guess seniority is the rule of the land and so I suppose it's fair. On the bright side, I'm sure it would be a little easier to be stuck on FO wages for 10 years, than on SO pay which has become a bit of a joke with only 70% guaranteed.

This whole thread and the others are so discouraging to read. I long considered moving to Hong Kong and working at Cathay to be my ultimate career goal. I was thinking of heading over to Sunwing to get some time on a jet and for those lucrative summer European bases, and then apply to Cathay as a DFO (I don't think I could handle multiple years of sitting in the jumpseat). But holy reading this forum has made me reconsider my 'plan.' It's really frustrating to watch my dream being torn apart.

Honestly, it's frustrating just being a Canadian in general right now. They say there's a pilot shortage here, but all the majors here pay poverty wages for the first couple of years, have shitty fatigue rules, etc etc.. and I wouldn't feel that proud working for any of them. Going overseas seemed like a much better alternative, especially Cathay and to a lesser extent, Emirates. But I guess that's not the case anymore. It appears that the only place one can go and make some decent money with decent working conditions is mainland china, which I'm not sure if I could handle for long. I thought about doing the Qantaslink thing on the Dash 8, but I get the impression that foreign pilots are really not appreciated there, and I can sort of see why. Have some family and friends there so that's too bad. Guess I'm going to just have to suck it up and live in the parents basement for the next little while..
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 01:39
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 30
I think it's very nice of MC to make sure everyone understands management's position:
"You come to CX, be warned we have rigged the system so that the first 5+ years of your career will be of little or no future value to you anywhere else. By the time you have accumulated any experience of worth, 10+ years will have gone by. Then see how you feel about restarting that 10+ years behind your contemporaries who went to another carrier.
DO NOT TRY AND TELL US WE DID NOT WARN YOU!"
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 01:43
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Originally Posted by Porterboy View Post
Is that so?! That sounds kind of backwards, but then again, I guess seniority is the rule of the land and so I suppose it's fair. On the bright side, I'm sure it would be a little easier to be stuck on FO wages for 10 years, than on SO pay which has become a bit of a joke with only 70% guaranteed.

This whole thread and the others are so discouraging to read. I long considered moving to Hong Kong and working at Cathay to be my ultimate career goal. I was thinking of heading over to Sunwing to get some time on a jet and for those lucrative summer European bases, and then apply to Cathay as a DFO (I don't think I could handle multiple years of sitting in the jumpseat). But holy reading this forum has made me reconsider my 'plan.' It's really frustrating to watch my dream being torn apart.

Honestly, it's frustrating just being a Canadian in general right now. They say there's a pilot shortage here, but all the majors here pay poverty wages for the first couple of years, have shitty fatigue rules, etc etc.. and I wouldn't feel that proud working for any of them. Going overseas seemed like a much better alternative, especially Cathay and to a lesser extent, Emirates. But I guess that's not the case anymore. It appears that the only place one can go and make some decent money with decent working conditions is mainland china, which I'm not sure if I could handle for long. I thought about doing the Qantaslink thing on the Dash 8, but I get the impression that foreign pilots are really not appreciated there, and I can sort of see why. Have some family and friends there so that's too bad. Guess I'm going to just have to suck it up and live in the parents basement for the next little while..
I can completely understand your frustration, but like a lot of things in like, looking at something with "rose coloured glasses" usually means disappointment. Once upon a time, your idea about CX would have been valid. Now however, it is the graveyard of pilot careers. Combine a substandard salary (relative to cost of living in HK, which is horrendous), inadequate housing options, inadequate medical, inadequate work rules, inadequate fatigue concern, inadequate management, and you have a toxic environment that will sap the life from you.

The bottom line is this old aviation adage: "better to be on the ground wishing you were up there, than be up there wishing you were on the ground". Translate into what most of the CX pilots feel, the majority of whom are actively making plans to leave. Good luck, but don't head down the cul de sac of wasting any of your life at CX.
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 02:13
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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Posts: 46
Originally Posted by mngmt mole View Post
I can completely understand your frustration, but like a lot of things in like, looking at something with "rose coloured glasses" usually means disappointment. Once upon a time, your idea about CX would have been valid. Now however, it is the graveyard of pilot careers. Combine a substandard salary (relative to cost of living in HK, which is horrendous), inadequate housing options, inadequate medical, inadequate work rules, inadequate fatigue concern, inadequate management, and you have a toxic environment that will sap the life from you.

The bottom line is this old aviation adage: "better to be on the ground wishing you were up there, than be up there wishing you were on the ground". Translate into what most of the CX pilots feel, the majority of whom are actively making plans to leave. Good luck, but don't head down the cul de sac of wasting any of your life at CX.
What's sad is that even with this new COS18, I'd be better off, at least financially at Cathay compared to AC, Westjet, Transat, etc. Everything is rock bottom here. It's extremely frustrating since our neighbours to the south are making six figures within two years of being an FO!! I wish we could get green cards as pilots

I realize that if I don't apply to Cathay, Emirates, etc. I'm contributing to possibly increasing wages for you guys, but the same goes for here at home. If all the Canadian pilots bugger off to other countries, maybe wages might go up here in this freezing country. I'm quite conflicted!

Guess it all comes down to the lifestyle at the end of the day. Just wish I knew who could offer that in today's job market. Working 14 hour days for 56k a year in the most expensive cities in Canada and giving half of it to Mr. Trudeau sounds terrible, but so does making decent money but having to deal with awful/incompetent managers and breathing in polluted air while living in a shoe-box until an upgrade to Captain a decade later..
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 02:48
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 16
Porterboy,

You wonít be making descent money with COS 18. You really need to look at the cost of everything in Hong Kong and compare the package as a whole. Add that to the fact your now stuck in a place with a much lower standard of living and it can result in a pretty miserable existence.

Hard to appreciate until you live here.

Seen plenty of guys even on COS 08 go through the process once the shiny jet syndrome wears off after the first 12 months or so.

Please take this seriously.

Clear_sky is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2018, 02:57
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: I go, therefore I am there!
Posts: 189
FOR THOSE CONSIDERING JOINING AS A SO AT CX:

Posted by NC back in Mar 18. Still pretty accurate today:

I have started this thread simply to give what is likely to be a more accurate guide to upgrading to First Officer and then Captain at CX.

The first thing to watch out for – being told what the “current” time to upgrade/command is. That only applies to those that joined 4 or 11 years ago.
Currently, those being upgraded to First Officer joined 3- 4 years ago. Those on Command course joined around 11 years ago.

We have recruited just under 2,000 pilots in the last 11 years and we have only exceeded 100 command courses/year on one occasion so far. We have recruited 700 in the last three years.


We have over 500 Second Officers now and by years end we expect to have almost 800 with only 10 SOs to be upgraded to FO this year. (Due to new Rostering policies they now need a lot more SOs and a lot fewer FOs)

I’ve used actual figures from 2011-2017 inclusive and used CX projections for 2018.


Based on that, a new joiner with DOJ 31/12/18 would upgrade to FO 6.6 years and to Captain in around 30.3 years. Now that is using an average rate for a, presumably, growing airline. I say presumably as we have actually remained the same size for the last three years.

If I ‘assume’ we will grow again at the same rate we did for the previous two decades then time to FO reduces to just over five years and time to command reduces to 17 years. My assumption of growth rate is OPTIMISTIC given the management plan for 2018-20 and the current industrial impasse in regards to the training ban. In other words – it will probably be longer than 5/17 years.



So you may be told upgrade to FO is 3 years and command time is 10.5 years – which it WAS for those that joined in 2007 and 2014. If you are planning on a career here – plan on 5-6 years as
an SO. Plan on 17+ years till command(regardless of whether you join as an FO or SO)

(By the way – top increment on SO scale is reached after three years service. For a First
Officer it is after about 13 years. )
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Old 14th Oct 2018, 02:57
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 46
Fair enough Clear Sky!
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