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No one wants to be a Captain.

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No one wants to be a Captain.

Old 3rd Aug 2023, 19:38
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Originally Posted by FlyingStone
The title should really read Nobody wants to be a Captain [due to seniority-based schedule, where the old and the senior get whatever they want, and the young and the junior get screwed].
The old and the senior were once young and junior…
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Old 3rd Aug 2023, 23:56
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The old and the senior were once young and junior…
So that makes it OK then? Once we were able to own slaves.
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Old 4th Aug 2023, 04:34
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Originally Posted by FlyingStone
The title should really read Nobody wants to be a Captain [due to seniority-based schedule, where the old and the senior get whatever they want, and the young and the junior get screwed].

Originally Posted by FLCH
The old and the senior were once young and junior…
Originally Posted by megan
So that makes it OK then? Once we were able to own slaves.
No, that is not what FLCH said. But I will say, I believe seniority is better than having DECs come in while you have the experience and years with a company to upgrade. I have worked under both. Upgraded ahead of a few because merit. And everyone was junior at some point, and most will be senior too. Not exactly the same as owning slaves....
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Old 5th Aug 2023, 04:06
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hans, what some of us are saying is you're employed as a pilot, why does seniority give you the privilege to fly the cream trips and not the dirt, don't know if it's still the case, but I remember the stories of senior folk only pulling reserve and doing as little flying as possible. Because that's how it's been done in the past is not an argument of why it should continue. One of the reasons why the young don't want an upgrade and going back to shoveling dirt. Personally never worked under a seniority system, all our work and important days were shared equitably. Having DEC and such is a different argument.
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Old 6th Aug 2023, 22:12
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Originally Posted by krismiler
Emirates do this with three bid groups rotating on a monthly basis, everyone gets their share of the good and the bad.
The only problem with this is that system is difficult to implement in an already established system where senior pilots are unwilling to give up seniority or senior pilots dominate unions.

Easier to implement in an airline that is new or doesn’t have strong unions. I agree that type of rostering is much better for the pilot group as a whole.
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 13:59
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Originally Posted by megan
Personally never worked under a seniority system, all our work and important days were shared equitably.
Genuine question, but I f you’ve never worked under that type of system, why the strong opinion shouting it down?
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 15:45
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Originally Posted by hans brinker
No, that is not what FLCH said. But I will say, I believe seniority is better than having DECs come in while you have the experience and years with a company to upgrade. I have worked under both. Upgraded ahead of a few because merit. And everyone was junior at some point, and most will be senior too. Not exactly the same as owning slaves....
Then do the upgrade. My company only brings in DECs when the internal pool of upgrades has dried up. The advantage of DEC is that you don't start at the bottom of the pile again as an FO when you move company. This, to me, is the biggest fallacy with aviation. All that experience which one may have as a Capt, wasted back in the RHS for years to come, because of a Seniority based system instigated in the 60s to keep things good for the old boys.
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 19:40
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Originally Posted by Flying Wild
Then do the upgrade. My company only brings in DECs when the internal pool of upgrades has dried up. The advantage of DEC is that you don't start at the bottom of the pile again as an FO when you move company. This, to me, is the biggest fallacy with aviation. All that experience which one may have as a Capt, wasted back in the RHS for years to come, because of a Seniority based system instigated in the 60s to keep things good for the old boys.
I've taken first available my last 3 companies.... Started at the bottom 4 times without complaining. And I have seen DECs that were absolutely worse than the FOs that didn't get a chance to upgrade.... If you get a chance at DEC, you should absolutely be behind all the FOs who were hired before you. Nothing to do with protecting the good old boys. It benefits all pilots. If you allow people to bypass seniority you allow the company to take the lowest bidder. We need solidarity amongst us so we can keep work rules and pay rates. The way to enforce that is to have unions, contracts and seniority. Not a single legacy will entertain DECs and they all have seniority. I worked in the EU for years, in the US now, am with the lowest paid ULCC and make $350K/year working 15 days a month. SENIORITY.

And if you think your experience is wasted if you are in the right seat, you don't belong in the left seat.
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Old 7th Aug 2023, 22:22
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Originally Posted by hans brinker
If you get a chance at DEC, you should absolutely be behind all the FOs who were hired before you. Nothing to do with protecting the good old boys.
hans,

Your statement is spot on. As you know but our compatriots elsewhere might not know, a DEC in a US seniority system may be hired as a captain but still has the seniority number of a new-hire F/O. This means that all the F/Os senior to the DEC will push him down every time they decide to take the upgrade.

We see in the regional segment that DECs are in a perpetual juniority hell where they are on reserve forever and their lot in life gets worse every time a F/O senior to them upgrades and pushes them down even more.

DECs are a desperate compromise attempt to deal with the captain/F/O imbalance in the regionals.

And no, there won't be any DECs at the likes of DL, UAL, AA, et al. I'm a little surprised the regionals can get away with it.

I'm glad to hear your gig here has worked out well for you.
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Old 8th Aug 2023, 00:40
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Genuine question, but I f you’ve never worked under that type of system, why the strong opinion shouting it down
You don't have to have worked under a system to see its inherent unfairness, as I said, FO's are not taking the upgrades because of the inequities of the seniority system. Used to work for an organisation where physical floggings were part of the discipline system that could be imposed by the captain in the old days, for some unknown reason it's no longer permitted. I'm sure there are managers about who would love to see its reintroduction, for productivity reasons you understand.
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Old 8th Aug 2023, 06:50
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Originally Posted by megan
...as I said, FO's are not taking the upgrades because of the inequities of the seniority system. ...
Or, are they not taking an upgrade due to the qualities of life they have as a senior FO? It's not the same as unfairness, it's just weighing up two options.

How many of these senior FOs, who have control of their rosters, who can get weekends off and get their choice of lucrative trips would be willing to cede control so that a new entrant FO can have them instead? Does the problem only rear its head when it affects them?

The problem, as I see it, is that either system is fine as long as it doesn't change. If you go from a permanent seniority system to a rotating seniority system (or vice versa), then someone will have to miss out in order to share the spoils.
Obviously, in this example, those who have to give something up are those that have spent their time being junior and are now senior. They've 'served their time', and just when they should be getting more control they lose it in the interests of fairness. How, if at all, should they be compensated?
More money? More leave?
Should they just be ignored and it accepted that there are always some losers...? Is that any more, or less, fair than permanent seniority?

A lot of people seem to join this industry now having done little reading of T&Cs of the company they join. Not quite working at the 'Thinking Ahead' level.



Also, Hans is bang on when he says:
"and if you think your experience is wasted in the right seat, you don't belong in the left seat"
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Old 9th Aug 2023, 01:25
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Or, are they not taking an upgrade due to the qualities of life they have as a senior FO
Spot on Bogner, it illustrates the problem of the seniority system, the senior FO is writing his own roster, more or less, while the folk at the bottom virtually get no choice, why would he go for an upgrade and return to the bottom. Perhaps we'll see a future where there are no captains as no one wants an upgrade. It'll all be fixed when fully autonomous aircraft are the go.
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Old 10th Aug 2023, 10:00
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You might be a little too optimistic there, I have flown with FOs who seemed to be quite happy to do the fuel checks and nothing beyond that; for ⅔ of a captain's salary this is actually pretty sweet deal.
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 02:29
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Originally Posted by bafanguy
Those "...at the top of the list..." didn't have the power to create the seniority system; they merely operate within that system. It was created by broader forces at work beyond the reach and influence of any demographic.

How else would you propose to distribute the flying ? A system where no one has any choice or control over his monthly fate ? Pawns every minute of every month at the whim of management ? Depend on the management drones to be "fair" to all concerned ?

The seniority system puts order in the game.

Regardless of the profession or job, someone has to follow the circus elephants with a bucket and shovel. Given a bit of time, they will pass that bucket and shovel to someone else. It all evens out in the end.
That's how my legacy airline operated. I didn't see myself having a good lifestyle in 20 years time (I was LHS on a twin widebody at the time), a senior captain would be getting similar rosters as a fresh junior captain on the same fleet. I looked around, at the deteriorating work conditions as a tech crew around the region - more work, less leave, losing our first class travel, etc, etc. As some one said, the golden years were over.
I had an opportunity to set up my own business, be my own boss, not have my life dictated by schedulers and having to go "beg" them for annual leave or specific off days. I got to go to all my kids events, was home on weekends, holidays, got regular sleep, decided when I would and could go on holiday. Cons - no more "glamorous lifestyle", I heat up my own meals at work, get my own drinks, less income - but no regrets.
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Old 15th Aug 2023, 23:16
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Originally Posted by WannabeBus
That's how my legacy airline operated. I didn't see myself having a good lifestyle in 20 years time (I was LHS on a twin widebody at the time), a senior captain would be getting similar rosters as a fresh junior captain on the same fleet. I looked around, at the deteriorating work conditions as a tech crew around the region - more work, less leave, losing our first class travel, etc, etc. As some one said, the golden years were over.
I had an opportunity to set up my own business, be my own boss, not have my life dictated by schedulers and having to go "beg" them for annual leave or specific off days. I got to go to all my kids events, was home on weekends, holidays, got regular sleep, decided when I would and could go on holiday. Cons - no more "glamorous lifestyle", I heat up my own meals at work, get my own drinks, less income - but no regrets.
so good you spend your days off posting on a pilots forum. 😉
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Old 24th Aug 2023, 03:39
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Heard of a very senior UA FO on the 787. He basically writes his own schedule and makes 240k a year. (More after the new contract?) He can't be bothered to upgrade to LHS 737 to make maybe 300k and loose control over his life
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Old 24th Aug 2023, 08:20
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My guess is with the imbalance of Captain vs F/Os the Captains have a less desirable roster/lifestyle so the canny F/Os are waiting for the situation to stabilise before committing themselves. I guess the airline has to take the blame for not opening up LHS slots earlier. The sad thing is there will be pressure to pass the marginal ones which wouldn't be the case if the number of applicants is high.

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Old 24th Aug 2023, 15:06
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Originally Posted by wondering
Heard of a very senior UA FO on the 787. He basically writes his own schedule and makes 240k a year. (More after the new contract?) He can't be bothered to upgrade to LHS 737 to make maybe 300k and loose control over his life
If he’s making 240k a year, he’s either not that senior, or he has a VERY comfortable schedule.
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Old 25th Aug 2023, 03:07
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Originally Posted by Check Airman
If he’s making 240k a year, he’s either not that senior, or he has a VERY comfortable schedule.
Exactly. That is is just line guarantee.
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Old 25th Aug 2023, 10:02
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You can't blame him for that.
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