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Spirit Airlines Chaos

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Spirit Airlines Chaos

Old 10th May 2017, 18:43
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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RoyHudd:

"airlines should have pilots at the forefront. Simply because they understand what the business is all about"

Problem is that most pilots have no idea of airline economics beyond costs and 'bean counting'.

Ask any one of them how to reduce costs (ok) whilst at the same time maximising revenue and you'll be met with a blank stare.

It surely ain't cost per seat ? Revenue management, what's that ?

Last edited by oldchina; 10th May 2017 at 20:07.
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Old 10th May 2017, 19:41
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SLFandProud View Post
Nonsense. There's nothing special about airline pilots - you're no different to bus drivers. Your job is to get the vehicle from A to B safely.
While I agree that the job objection of bus drivers and airline pilots is the same, having been a bus driver and now airline pilot, I can assure you that the job description and the training and knowledge required for each job is quite different.
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Old 10th May 2017, 19:49
  #23 (permalink)  

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I know nothing about employment law in the US, but I gather negotiations are ongoing between the company and the union. In the UK, withholding your labour (striking) without a ballot causes you to be in breach of contract. Working to rule is another thing altogether, but I don't think that is what happened here. How much notice did the company get that the pilots were not going to operate? Sufficient to tell the passengers before they came to the terminal?.Before I'm flamed for not saying "good on the pilots", I was a BALPA member for many years, and still hold associate membership. The union is there to do your negotiating for you.
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Old 10th May 2017, 20:18
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SLFandProud View Post
Nonsense. There's nothing special about airline pilots - you're no different to bus drivers. Your job is to get the vehicle from A to B safely.

It's not a passenger's job to judge when they book the ticket whether or not the Sky Gods will be sufficiently rewarded. Dispute your deal with your employer, drive the ******* bus, and the SLF will pay the going rate that results.
And the Self Loading Cattle job is to get in, buckle up and behave or get their sorry a** kicked out.
Give no sympathy, get no sympathy. Next time I see a pax being dragged out of a plane for whatever reason, I'll assume it was his fault and he deserved it.
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Old 10th May 2017, 20:52
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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That's fine - you are entitled to do what you like within the law to make your point s long as you are willing to accept the consequences

BUT - how many people affected will ever fly Spirit again? They don't sympathise with the pilots - all they know is "the airline" screwed up their travel

Eventually Spirit will suffer and may well go bust - that actually doesn't affect the passengers (or customers) and you can bet the managers have already covered themelves - who will suffer? The employees who will be out of a job....
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Old 10th May 2017, 21:32
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SLFandProud View Post
Nonsense. There's nothing special about airline pilots - you're no different to bus drivers. Your job is to get the vehicle from A to B safely.

It's not a passenger's job to judge when they book the ticket whether or not the Sky Gods will be sufficiently rewarded. Dispute your deal with your employer, drive the ******* bus, and the SLF will pay the going rate that results.
Sure. And you personally will certainly love to hear such lines from your customers and happily and selflessly yield to any crap conditions your employers will throw at you, because you feel the obligation to fill their pockets, not your own.
Always easy talk if you aren't affected yourself, isn't it?

Lack of sympathy like this makes it easy for corporations to pull their on employees.
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Old 10th May 2017, 22:14
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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They aren't really on strike though are they? Reading between the lines in the statement of claim seems to indicate the airline is dependant on crews working Overtime to fulfil their schedule, and it is simply crews refusing this OT that is causing the majority of the issues.

Pilots - like any employee - have aright to feel safe both at and away from work, and if there is threatening behaviour towards any pilots accepting any OT lines, then no one can blame the rest of the pilot group from refusing said duties.

When your business model is dependant on employees working overtime to maintain the schedule, best you keep said employees happy, lest they decide their RDO's & family time is more important than a few hours at double-time!
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Old 10th May 2017, 22:35
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Without reading all the fine print, I assume that the injunction was granted because in the eyes of US labor law, when the union took a collective action to refuse duty that they as a group have routinely done, it is in fact a form of strike action. If accepting overtime and junior assignments is something they have traditionally accepted, they need a strike mandate (a.k.a. a vote) prior to changing that.
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Old 11th May 2017, 01:24
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Whats being missed here is that Spirit is short on pilots. 17% of their covered schedule is overtime picked up on days off. The last strike in the US was at Spirit in 2010, and their management has a reputation for playing hardball.

The pilots don't have to taxi slowly or call in sick, all they have to do is not pick up overtime and Spirit starts taking cancellations. The fact that they publically blamed the pilot group and filed a TRO may be a tactical victory, but I can guarantee its a strategic blunder.
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Old 11th May 2017, 01:53
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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The worst contract change in the last 25 years was removing the monthly cap on credit hours. Now, greedy pilots taking premium pay assignments becomes a baseline crewing plan. Correct, J.O., by posting in the internet and bullying Spirit pilots not to take overtime assignments the pilots have engaged in "self help" illegally. They can refuse them, but when it becomes obviously out of prior practices, easily tested by the record, its illegal.
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Old 11th May 2017, 02:10
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by J.O. View Post
Without reading all the fine print, I assume that the injunction was granted because in the eyes of US labor law, when the union took a collective action to refuse duty that they as a group have routinely done, it is in fact a form of strike action. If accepting overtime and junior assignments is something they have traditionally accepted, they need a strike mandate (a.k.a. a vote) prior to changing that.
Let me translate it for you since you apparently missed it.

A company pisses off it's employees.

The employees act differently today than they did in happier times previously. They decline non-mandatory overtime and find more rewarding endeavors for their free time. Work or play? They chose play.

Most companies outside the US airline business would realize that we screwed up and the employees must be rewarded enough to make the economic choice to come to work instead of play. Capitalism at it's finest.

Not so fast in the land of the free. The scumbag airlines have adopted the tactic that instead of a commitment of respect for the negotiating process in granting new compensation agreements to keep employees happy, they have decided to use the strong arm of the law to force participation levels equal to times when the employees felt more valued. This is Stalin .

My ancestors went to war with a superpower for a less overreach of power. The airlines are using the courts to manage their business shortcomings.
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Old 11th May 2017, 08:09
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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After a certain amount of time ( different for each individual) there comes a point where enough is enough. When the extra cash for doing overtime doesn't compensate for the extra workload that the wife picks up at home, for not seeing the kids as much as you think they need, for being tired and grumpy on your days off as you recover from the circadian disrhythmia. When that time comes for enough workers, and they are thinking of leaving anyway because it's not the lifestyle they want to maintain into their twilight years, this is what happens. The company can no longer rely on the nicer side of human nature to carry their product through and eventually will have to yield......one way or another.
Good work Spirit pilots. This is a global issue and you won't be alone for very long.
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Old 11th May 2017, 10:27
  #33 (permalink)  

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Well said, framer. You describe my circumstances well. I cannot and will not do overtime when the company wants it, any more than any other type of employee would. Overtime should be a choice, simply that.

(And the videos of wailing and aggressive passengers makes me wonder just who they think they are.....the same often happens when flights are delayed/cancelled for technical reasons, which usually implies safety. That sort of passenger behaviour is pathetic, sometimes beneath contempt)
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Old 11th May 2017, 10:32
  #34 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by oldchina View Post
RoyHudd:

"airlines should have pilots at the forefront. Simply because they understand what the business is all about"

Problem is that most pilots have no idea of airline economics beyond costs and 'bean counting'.

Ask any one of them how to reduce costs (ok) whilst at the same time maximising revenue and you'll be met with a blank stare.

It surely ain't cost per seat ? Revenue management, what's that ?
Old China, please don't underestimate pilots' knowledge and intelligence. Many of us understand much about yield management. After all, it was first so-termed by Robert Crandall, that rather tough CEO and Chairman of American Airlines.

We get this stuff drummed into us at corporate propaganda meetings, (workshops, pilot development courses, etc), and it is not beyond our wit to check and challenge the lame excuses for our ever-worsening T & C's. Sadly some unions are simply too weak to stand up to airline management for their members.. And as an individual, objecting to management practices can lead to unpleasant circumstances with respect to job security. I won't explain here, but those of us in the profession should know what I mean.
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Old 11th May 2017, 11:02
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Spirit Airlines is an example of where this industry is heading. Cheap seats for the feral masses provided by compliant, overworked, underpaid employees. Also, like every other pilot I know, I'll not recommended that children work in the industry. As for flying aftet I retire, well you can stick that where the sun doesn't shine. I'd now prefer to walk than fly. The genius aviation entrepreneurs have truly in the flying pond.
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Old 11th May 2017, 11:15
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Cheap seats for the feral masses provided by compliant, overworked, underpaid employees.
I don't know how long they'll remain compliant for PM.
There is a looming shortage of pilots with suitable experience to command passenger jets, and most pilots know this and many are nearing the end of their tether.
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Old 11th May 2017, 13:10
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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The feral masses is a bit unkind , most western countries today ahve created a feral mass problem though poor state education (Politicans kids go to private school and don't care) After school comes employment and for those it is zero hours contracts minimum wage taco bell stuff, certainly not any form of career. So they get treated like s--t every day and when their saved for trip to see Mom and Pop/Mickey Mouse/Bf or Gf they are pissed off. Don't blame them completely and equally don't blame the pilots completely.
The lawmakers and senior management-well they are a different story. on a different planet and it all looks ok to them
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Old 11th May 2017, 13:49
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by surely not View Post
I'm sure that the pilots are not leaving the ticket desk and check-in staff to front up for the disruption. Being such fine folks I'm sure they will be on the front line explaining to these angry and violent passengers the merits of their case.

Or perhaps not.
That's the job of management unless they are like a certain ex BA manager who ran and hid and left the front line staff to take the pain
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Old 11th May 2017, 14:37
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
Also, like every other pilot I know, I'll not recommended that children work in the industry. .
Curious. In high school I had to interview a person in my future field of choice. The one person who talked me out of my dream job of becoming a commercial airline pilot was....a Pan Am 707 captain who bluntly stated it was like driving a bus and the corporate environment stunk. And, this was in the 60's.

How bad is it? When I see a 4-striper for one of the big three in the US carrying the same Walmart lunch bag that I bring to work, must be pretty bad.
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Old 11th May 2017, 15:00
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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In 2000 I was working as Cabin Crew for USAirways. We'd just done an overnight PIT/FRA and it was a long crew bus ride to the layover hotel. There was this discussion where we went round every crew member and asked if we weren't doing the job we were currently doing, what would we do instead.

There were three pilots obviously - Captain, First Officer and IRO. I remember thinking it was going to get interesting when it got to them, because I had always regarded Airline Pilot as my dream job - let's see what they say! To a man, every one of them said they wouldn't change a thing - they'd be airline pilots. That was pre 9/11 of course.
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