Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

No one wants to be a Captain.

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

No one wants to be a Captain.

Old 25th Aug 2023, 14:47
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: NC
Posts: 62
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Flyg1rl
You can't blame him for that.
Nope you can't

Last edited by 1southernman; 26th Aug 2023 at 02:06.
1southernman is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2023, 04:10
  #82 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Down south, USA.
Posts: 1,596
Received 9 Likes on 1 Post
Why take a Huge loss of seniority with such a much reduced chance of having holidays off, plus other unique personal events you want to attend?

Most guys I knew who flew/ still fly in a widebody right seat had no set plans on whether or When they would put in the bid for the left seat -- especially on the smaller narrowbodies.

They -- also -- really didn't want the extra legs to fly in high-workload narrowbody, with so many more weather problems and the rush (often no time to eat) involved with hurrying from one jet to a Different jet at a busy hub - jammed with passengers / Punters.

Ignition Override is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2023, 09:29
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: uk
Age: 74
Posts: 119
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If airlines can't incentivise folks to go for a Captaincy because the a copilot job is so cushy, you would think it would be in their power to adjust Terms and Conditions so that an incentive to go for promotion is provided. Not something that can be done overnight, but a RHS pay freeze to widen the differential pay would, over time, provide an incentive.
36050100 is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2023, 11:35
  #84 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: england
Posts: 877
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Blimey, that’s one way of doing it. Increasing the salary of Captains would be another.
hunterboy is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2023, 13:55
  #85 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: uk
Age: 74
Posts: 119
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by hunterboy
Increasing the salary of Captains would be another.
It sounds though that going for promotion isn't about the cash, especially when a copilot can make in excess of $240k per year. The airlines can't do much about altering copilot lifestyle with the embedded seniority system, so they have to do it with cash in the long run. I'm not so cold hearted to say that copilot pay should be cut, hence a freeze to copilot pay to widen differentials over time to incentivise promotion.

36050100 is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2023, 14:03
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 2,540
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
That type of pay deal would never be agreed to. If they find it necessary, the company would simply displace some of the first officers to captain positions.
Check Airman is offline  
Old 26th Aug 2023, 19:24
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Nowhere
Posts: 676
Received 7 Likes on 5 Posts
Seniority may have worked previously, but I feel especially since covid everyone (not just in aviation) has realised how much more important home/family/social life is and have readjusted their aims in life accordingly. I certainly have and i'm not the only one I know who's done similar. Why would I want to sacrifice the part of my life I really care about, just to sit in the LHS and earn similar (or less) but with absolutely zero control over my roster? For a company I know will drop me in a heartbeat and to whom I truly don't matter at all. No thanks.
Busdriver01 is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2023, 02:32
  #88 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 3,103
Received 188 Likes on 77 Posts
Seniority comes from a world where people retired in their mid 50's (and died in their 60-70s) so there was always turnover. Given the continual upward push of retirement age of airline pilots seniority becomes a problem in that Captains hold rank for a long time, blocking any promotion. Getting into major airlines has always been difficult and FO's previously were not promoted young and by the time command comes around they have already organised their lives. This whole issue is a big one for airlines generally and I don't think just throwing money at it will make it work. Many things happen in life that are only happen once and pilots have probably woken up to this more so than in the past. Given the labour shortage of new recruits how airlines fix this will be interesting.
neville_nobody is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2023, 14:01
  #89 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: NC
Posts: 62
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Flying the Line" Vol 1,2 is a good reference for Seniority history as is PPRuNe Forums " 26 Dec 2012 Seniority..."
1southernman is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2023, 15:39
  #90 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Within AM radio broadcast range of downtown Chicago
Age: 72
Posts: 907
Received 39 Likes on 15 Posts
An SLF/Atty interrupts

There is something about FOs electing not to act upon opportunities to move to Captain that this SLF/attorney has been wondering about really since this thread opened up. Not about defending or attacking the seniority system and its impacts, and not about the necessity for individuals to elect career paths and choices which fit into their lives, rather than forcing their lives to fit into some pre-determined career path (which often isn't much of a path - more of a holding pattern).

(In the law firms where I spent much of my career, concern about the cadre of most successful partners "pulling the ladder up" thereby stranding those on the verge of partnership was an often voiced complaint. On the other hand, in the unionized labor force in the steel mills of youth, the guys - and the few ladies there were - wanted their name to be the answer to the question, "who is the older man?" Of course it was a more narrowly defined kind of work. Still, I recall (with sparks inside the flameproofs) the two-week stint when I had successfully bid into an open slot on the big Caster machine . . . many heats of molten steel ago. So I haven't had a definitively "for" or "against" experience with the seniority system.)

In the past, the traveling public, and along with it probably most people in the legislative and regulatory world who dealt with commercial aviation, viewed service and seniority as a First Officer as a kind of "extra training and experience" stint which it was at least highly desirable, if not actually necessary, to complete in order to become a Captain. At least as I recall hearing about this perspective back in those years, the LHS (if an SLF can use this terminology, which I sometimes doubt) is Captain and Pilot In Command. Which - again as I recall hearing about this idea - is an aspirational attainment, something to be strived for, not intuitive, not only the ability, or KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) to operate the aircraft safely and properly.

One time a Captain compared the role of Captain-and-PIC to something the aviator thought I might comprehend. We had been talking about favorite types of cars, motor vehicles. He asked me if I had ever heard of pilots referred to as . . . , "Drivers?", I asked. In fact I had first read that term in letters to AW&ST in or around Summer of 1976. Anyway, that was the term the aviator had in mind. He asked me, when I drive, do I have a sense of the dimension of my car, to each side, really around 360 degrees, so that when I can't actually see the clearance between the fenders and (for example) those pesky yellow-painted poles that can have a habit of jumping into the narrow parking spaces in the underground garage, I still manage to avoid scraping them? I said something about, yeah, most of the time.

Well, this very patient aviator who was taking the time to try to get something through my dense skull then said, can you imagine the transformation in your dimensional perception, your awareness of the dimension of the vehicle you're driving, required when it is not a sedan or some other everyday motor vehicle, but a commercial airliner? He told me, you in the traveling public think we're doing the pre-flight walk-around to make sure everything looks right. That is part of it, but it's also to refresh the dimensional perception. It's a big thing, in its actual physcial dimensions, and it's kind of a balancing act between an art and a science to keep the right perception active at all times - at all times.

But he went on. He told me that when an individual is driving their car, let's say they have their kids or whole family, or friends .... that's a level of "dimensional perception" too. Your responsibility behind the wheel is held on behalf of the entire group of individuals, be they family, or friends or .... (and without elaboration) passengers in your taxicab. Now, scale that up to hundreds of peoeple, in the biggest jets even hundreds of families.

Don't accuse me of disregarding the professional burdens of the RHS. And I'll withdraw this post and apologize if the role of PIC shifts depending on which pilot is PF and which is PM, if I have misunderstood. What I'm wondering about, is there not a higher calling in the LHS? - work-life balance writ much larger, for the many families traveling whether all on the manifest or some "traveling" at home waiting for word of arrival safely; for the aviation safety ecosystem? Yes, go to the soccer games and practices and all the recitals, all the everythings. But don't lose sight of the importance of taking that hard-sweated, hard-tolerated, sometimes verging on unbearable, struggle to cope with the RHS pressures and even unjustified Mickey Mouse games by managament, and then leveraging into the wisdom needed for the combined role of Captain and PIC. And I don't mean Captain is God. I mean, absolute impeccable flying instincts proven over a long time.

I would not interrupt talk amongst pilots without some connection to looming issues. If there is nothing so important in RHS experience that the industry (writ in its largest sense) needs to have transitioned over to the LHS (again, premised on the understanding that Captain and PIC together define the role) in order to thrive in future years, what does that say about controversies about single-pilot cockpits? And about more autonomous flight operations altogether? Is the fact that FOs who decline the "down-shift" associated with Captain have both clarity and certainty that they're making the best choices for themselves just not relevant to thse looming issues? . . . and what if those issues in some sense won't wait for the kids to grow up and for life perspectives to change?. But hey, I should be retired, so.
WillowRun 6-3 is online now  
Old 27th Aug 2023, 15:55
  #91 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Miami
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Senior FO at most all the major US carriers is a better QOL than junior CA, with very little change to earnings.

Senior wide body FO is probably the best job of any, for US airlines.

It is all about time with loved ones, time off, etc stuff. Money is not everything. Your teenage daughter probably would like you to attend her birthday, she probably does not care how many stripes are on your shoulder.

my opinions....
321XLR is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2023, 21:34
  #92 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2022
Location: California
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by slast
There are arguments that career advancement should be based on “merit”, as is (allegedly) the case in many other professions when deciding on a business employee's progress. The problem with that is, who determines relative merit or suitability?
You fly an ILS the sim (flight director and autothrottles off, and starting from clean configuration), and it scores you on airspeed/altitude/localizer/glideslope deviation. This number determines bid order. Who's in?
InnerLoop is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2023, 10:42
  #93 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Marlow (mostly)
Posts: 375
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts

you didn't mention autopilot though! Or maybe a monthly knockout arm-wrestling contest before the bids go in ?
slast is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2023, 20:26
  #94 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Canada
Posts: 604
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cage Match
Longtimer is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2023, 20:44
  #95 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Runcorn,Cheshire,England
Posts: 200
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Longtimer
Cage Match
sticky biscuit contest? I’ll get my coat
3Greens is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.