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Seniority

Old 13th Oct 2019, 14:58
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by YGBSM View Post
This has been fun to read but I laugh at your useless opinions. Its not going to change.
Most useful post here so far!
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 15:45
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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At the end of the day you join an airline knowing its a seniority based company or not. As things stand the majority of the airlines worldwide with the best T’s and C’s have a seniority based system.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 16:23
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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I don’t think we’d be seeing the level of unhappiness currently at BA if we had portability of career.

Because we can’t port our experience easily, then one is therefore heavily invested in the company they work for (seniority based). The company knows that too. So having done your 10/15/20 years, you know that to leave, you’d be back down at square one. Therefore ever inferior terms are imposed on the workforce.

Were we able to move our job, relying on experience gained and performance demonstrated, we’d be free of the shackles of a seniority system. This can work for FOs too: performance assessed, 6 months and 2 sim checks, suitable for upgrade. T&Cs would rise across the industry as companies need to pay for the best or offer lifestyle for the best or <shudder> both.

This though, is a fantasy. Both pilots as individuals, and the airlines are hand in glove. It’s a vicious circle that I can never imagine being broken. Sure, you have the exceptions: China, the ME, LCCs. But this is based upon need, and need only.

IMHO, those arguing about biding ones time are either invested in a seniority based airline or those that know no different.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 17:46
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by VinRouge View Post

why would you want to move when
your T and C are much better with a legacy? Plus none of the stress and angst caused by a “performance” based system which provides smoke and mirrors to ensure only class brown noser gets the cream?
What if your once great airline gets taken over by new management and run into ground...look at BA and could happen to any legacy and has in the past to many.

I bet a lot of BA pilots would love to jump ship but can’t due to seniority and what they would lose. Now if you could join else where as a DEC on whatever you fly don’t you think that would be better.

BA management know they have the pilots by the balls unless they are maybe first or second year at the most so they cannot just walk out and force BA to improve their T&C’s.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 17:52
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Daddy Fantastic View Post
I bet a lot of BA pilots would love to jump ship but can’t due to seniority and what they would lose. Now if you could join else where as a DEC on whatever you fly don’t you think that would be better.
They could apply to all companies hiring DEC right now if they want to so I really don’t get your point.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 18:46
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SaulGoodman View Post

They could apply to all companies hiring DEC right now if they want to so I really don’t get your point.
Which companies are hiring DECs that might appeal to those at BA? EZY aren’t, FR isn’t an option for many, Jet2, Flybe might be at regional bases, but the appeal is limited. The UK airline industry has a. extensively consolidated and b. has players that don’t offer career portability. VS, TUI, DHL are the major players I would suggest, and you will only start at the bottom.

Should you wish to continue as a captain, the DEC options are generally restricted to some LCC European bases, or China. Even the ME3 are slow at the moment, particularly wrt DECs.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 20:52
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Which companies are hiring DECs that might appeal to those at BA? EZY aren’t, FR isn’t an option for many, Jet2, Flybe might be at regional bases, but the appeal is limited. The UK airline industry has a. extensively consolidated and b. has players that don’t offer career portability. VS, TUI, DHL are the major players I would suggest, and you will only start at the bottom.

Should you wish to continue as a captain, the DEC options are generally restricted to some LCC European bases, or China. Even the ME3 are slow at the moment, particularly wrt DECs.
That's the unfortunate truth, hence choose your career path wisely.

I really don't understand those posters who think seniority is unfair. You just cannot expect to jump the queue at any major after a couple of years in the low cost business (or elsewhere). Whadya think those FO's who've been in the company for 15+ years would think? Fair?
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 21:20
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SaulGoodman View Post


how is this unfair if you know these conditions when you apply?

There is a really simple solution: don’t apply for these companies. Do you really believe you can convince the complete pilot body, management and unions involved to overthrow a system that is used all along, that is transparent, and that have a majority approval within these companies just because you believe it to be “unfair”. How do you think to achieve this?
How can these kind of arguments still be surfacing? So a system which is unfair should stay unfair because it has always been unfair?

Please please please don't be such a Nigel.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 21:41
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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So a system which is unfair should stay unfair because it has always been unfair?
...you believe it to be "unfair" is what was written.

Give me something that's unfair with seniority?
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 03:31
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 172_driver View Post


...you believe it to be "unfair" is what was written.

Give me something that's unfair with seniority?
Honestly, have you not read the past 4 pages? OK I'll bite, what's unfair is that it rewards mediocrity, does not acknowledge previous experience, and is only beneficial to a small minority whilst penalizing the majority, when viewed from the perspective of the industry as a whole. It is a very small carrot which effectively 'ties' an individual to a company. If viewed from a HR point of view it is, in reality, also ageist, rewarding the old and penalizing the young.

Examples from my former company:

Career FOs receiving higher pay than guys who were FAR better at the job they were paid to do, due to their ability to bid and then stay indefinitely on long haul, merely because they'd been at the company longer. They hit a glass ceiling and therefore blocked those who would have benefitted from gaining experience.

Command slots being witheld from very capable guys who weren't allowed to apply.... even though they were more than capable and would have been an asset to the company.

A huge variation in terms and conditions, dividing the pilot workforce.


You just cannot expect to jump the queue
the whole point of this thread, that sadly you and many others can't seem to understand is that the queuing system doesn't need to exist. The fact that you have stood in the queue or are at its front is the reason why you are defending it so vehemently. Your points all hinge and eminate from the system still existing, your view from 'within the queue'... when this thread calls, and makes several valid arguments, for a change to that system, which several are blind to as they are incapable of thinking outside of their own narrow self serving beliefs. To admit and acknowledge the flaws of the system they have subscribed to, would require them to admit that they have committed and contributed to it, a bitter pill to swallow. To use a CRM term, they are 'in a set'. I can appreciate why it is hard to admit that you saw the boat had holes but boarded anyway.

As a thought exercise take yourself and your personal interest and investment out of the equation just for a minute, and consider an industry where this arbitrary system didnt exist, imagine being able to apply somewhere based on what you had already achieved and being acknowledged accordingly as a result. Envisage, if you can, that nobody was 'jumping the queue' as the queue didnt exist. You wouldn't be leaving one, you wouldn't be joining one. You could occupy the same position you do now elsewhere as they wouldn't have a queue either, in fact they introduced a package that was equal or better than what you have in order to encourage you to apply.

Sadly the pilot community, in part due to this antiquated system, is inherently self serving and things are often fought for and held by the individuals because it benefits them, and the cost to the whole be damned. This debate is a perfect example of such thinking. "I have had to queue, so he should have to queue" instead of "this might actually benefit us all"

You guys enjoy the view from your queue whilst you wait patiently for your 'turn', keep sipping your company flavoured coolaid (now with extra added Ts and Cs for a SUPER shiny career) and remember if in doubt, at any point repeat this seniority prayer... feel free to chant it for an extra sense of satisfaction....

"Dear lord, I know I'm not the best pilot, but I'm not the worst, if I can't bid for it at the moment, maybe if you are kind you might let me bid for it in the future, and if you wont let me bid for it, I thank you for not letting joe bloggs beneath me bid for it either. Thank you for keeping me safe from those who seek to enter the kingdom above me, because although their noses are often long and brown, they know not how to queue. May those above me continue to look down upon me, and may I never be cast aside for I would have to start right back down at the bottom... or at Ryanair, which is even worse. Give me the knowledge to appreciate all of your wonderful Ts and Cs and even if I don't have them right at this very minute, give me the strength to appreciate that if I'm a very good boy and play my cards right and wait patiently and the management dont move the goalposts I might, one day, have what nigel did 20 years ago... he owns his own house and has a massive pension. Amen" 🤣😬🤣

Goodnight. 😉


Last edited by TACHO; 14th Oct 2019 at 04:20.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 07:18
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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TACHO, an excellent post!

However, in answer to
Give me something that's unfair with seniority?
... I will repeat my earlier example:

"Pilot B is a junior pilot but is really keen on a base move, so he bids for it. It takes a year for a vacancy to come up and just before it does so Pilot A, who is an old timer in the company, decides to bid for that base. On the first-come-first-served system, Pilot B gets the base move. However, on a seniority system, Pilot A (who had absolutely no interest in that other base for all of the last year) can play his last-minute trump card of seniority and get that base that Pilot B had been longing for for the past year. Which one is fair?"

That situation actually existed. Pilot B was at a base 6 hrs drive from his family and really, really wanted to get back to his family, but where his family lived was a 'stable' base without a lot of movement, hence the long wait for a vacancy. Pilot A had shown no interest in that base whatsoever for all that period, but at the very last minute when it appeared a vacancy was going to be coming up said "Ooh, I'll have that" and put in a bid and got the base move purely based on seniority, leaving Pilot B with another long wait for his eventual base move.

I just do not understand the thinking of anyone who thinks that that was 'fair'.

And as for the "you knew the conditions when you joined" argument, does that mean that everything when you join is set in stone and should never change? Nothing should ever improve? Anyone here, go back and look at your original contract and apply that exactly to now, including pay etc. "You knew the conditions when you joined"! For most pilots they take the job because it is the one on offer and fine detail like "does it use seniority lists" is not an overriding factor. All T's&C's have evolved with time and that is simply one aspect that can do so too.

And as for those who want to accuse non-seniority systems of having a 'military' element of "who's known who", well isn't the entire seniority system something that had it's origins in the military? I think that many, many years ago on something very similar here I quoted the only time that I can think of where seniority really did work out well and that was when Lt Chard took command at Rourke's Drift as his commission date was earlier than Lt Bromhead's. Aeroplanes weren't flying yet then.

It's an antiquated system and needs to be radically re-thought.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 07:21
  #72 (permalink)  
Snr
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
OK I'll bite, what's unfair is that it rewards mediocrity, does not acknowledge previous experience...

Just asking again as no-one has given an answer yet. How do you quantify how "good" a pilot is? You seem to be stating that there are plenty of mediocre pilots who are keeping their seats because of their starting date and not ability, and in the next breath say that previous experience should be rewarded. Which is it? Should a more experienced pilot from another airline be given the command because they have more hours, or should the pilot with the best ability be given it regardless of experience?

In which case, again, how do you judge ability in a workforce globally of over 100,000? Even comparing Sim scores in the same airline is a dodgy way to do it - each TRE is a human and judges things differently, two identical pilots could get different scores depending on how generous the trainer is, or how much sleep he/she got last night. Comparing between different companies, never mind different countries, would be a minefield. Of course each airline will have a few outliers - those CP & FO's who everyone thinks are fantastic pilots, and those who probably scrape by - but the vast majority are probably all the same.

On another note, by rewarding purely experience (i.e. hours), we are pushing everyone to work harder. Back when I was a fresh faced FO I would have wanted to work my 900 hours right to the limit if it meant I could apply to be a Captain at any airline in the world in a few years. There would be zero advantage to having an easy roster and better lifestyle because it would hold you back in your career. Airlines that offer that lifestyle wouldn't be able to attract First Officers if someone could work a few years at RYR and jump them for a command. Pilot's would be wary of taking sick days, calling in fatigued, taking compassionate days etc, because they would be pushed further away from getting their command.

Seniority is absolutely not perfect, as I said in my previous post, but i've yet to see anyone offer a realistic alternative. Simply saying that pilots should be judged on ability and not seniority number doesn't provide a solution of how we fairly judge them. Those comparing us to other professional jobs such as doctors and lawyers are missing one important point - a defining point of a good pilot is that he or she gets the passengers to their destination safely, and if possible, on time. We all do that every day. We can't compare how many high profile cases we have won as lawyers, or the success rate of a particularly difficult surgery.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 07:40
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Trossie View Post
TACHO, an excellent post!

However, in answer to ... I will repeat my earlier example:

"Pilot B is a junior pilot but is really keen on a base move, so he bids for it. It takes a year for a vacancy to come up and just before it does so Pilot A, who is an old timer in the company, decides to bid for that base. On the first-come-first-served system, Pilot B gets the base move. However, on a seniority system, Pilot A (who had absolutely no interest in that other base for all of the last year) can play his last-minute trump card of seniority and get that base that Pilot B had been longing for for the past year. Which one is fair?"
But equally I have seen a situation in a ‘non seniority’ based airline where a more ‘senior’ based pilot with a family was moved from a base in order to aid recruitment when the base involved was more attractive to new joiners. How is that fare?
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 09:43
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Just asking again as no-one has given an answer yet. How do you quantify how "good" a pilot is?

Surely you can't be serious? (Deliberate airplane reference there :-) We work in one of the most tested, scrutinised and graded industries there is. So OK I will give you an answer, which no doubt will be picked apart, flipped upside down, twisted and the semantically analysed until it's overall meaning is the made to be the most ludicrous suggestion since Adam was a lad.


Is person x a good pilot? Well why not use Sim marks and results of Line checks.... which are still the benchmark used within the seniority system by the way, The only difference being that those who get 3/4 'yes' ticks in their checks under the box titled 'suitable for command' (as it existed in my previous company) are allowed to then apply for a command course. Seniority or otherwise doesn't prevent a company from saying 'you need 3 ticks in a row' to apply, then you take your place or wait for your place, and before the nay sayers start up again, this is NOT seniority. An experienced FO would still need to prove his ability at the company, competing against those already there, whom judging by the general outcry on this thread would of course have no problem passing. A Captain joining, if this system was applied universally would already have had to achieved this standard.


Should a more experienced pilot from another airline be given the command because they have more hours, or should the pilot with the best ability be given it regardless of experience?
Well the pilot with the better ability obviously, a 10,000 hour pilot and a 12,000 hour pilot probably have very little difference in skills. That places the onus of excelling directly on the individual in question, not on his ability to have been in the right place at the right time 5 years ago. Obviously there is a minimum hours requirement for command upgrades.




In answer to your point about trainers, firstly the gauntlet of flying with 'chopper bloggs' or 'nice guy tim' has existed since Pontius was a pilot, seniority or not. It would be the same for everyone. And everyone would take that risk, or have you never had a bad sim in a seniority based system? Secondly and slightly more seriously, my former airline transitioned from a system of grading which was subjective to one of 'global marking', namely, did the candidates fly according to a series of laid down objectives which were graded from 1-5? 5 being they covered all points, 3 being they did what is 'average' and 1 being that they didn't achieve the objective... there was no differentiation between Captain and FO, an FO could score 5 against a set standard of objectives, and was not given allowances because he was FO. a Captain had to score a minimum of 3 across the board, based on the objective and criteria, if not it was remedial training and if that failed, it was back to being an FO, until his scores increased.


On another note, by rewarding purely experience (i.e. hours), we are pushing everyone to work harder. Back when I was a fresh faced FO I would have wanted to work my 900 hours right to the limit if it meant I could apply to be a Captain at any airline in the world in a few years. There would be zero advantage to having an easy roster and better lifestyle because it would hold you back in your career. Airlines that offer that lifestyle wouldn't be able to attract First Officers if someone could work a few years at RYR and jump them for a command

Is this your most reasoned argument? So you are now telling me that its not fair that people would have to work hard to get somewhere? and no, before the people stood in line with their elbows out all pipe up... waiting on a seniority list on an 'easy' roster is not the same as working. A command course is a LOT of work... if you think a seniority list changes that then I'm afraid you are in for a rude awakening. There of course would be an advantage to having an 'easy' roster, you'd have more days off to go down the pub with your mates, watch the football and take up a course in underwater basket weaving if you so desire. Meanwhile the guy who was willing to graft and put in a bit of work would then overtake you, which to me is the definition of 'absolutely fair'. Depends how badly you want it I suppose? The odd sick day is not going to make a difference. Doing something for more hours generally means you will be better at it, its not a difficult concept.


Airlines that offer that lifestyle wouldn't be able to attract First Officers if someone could work a few years at RYR and jump them for a command
So who's got it worse then and who deserves it more? The guy who is beat from pillar to post for 4 years while he keeps his eye on the prize, or the guy who expects and thinks its reasonable to be given an upgrade based only on the fact that he took his place in the line while cruising along because he could have an easy lifestyle. I think you've made the best case against seniority yet!


Airlines recruiting often have a similar dilemma, so they do a selection, they take the people whom they think, based on reasonable evidence, will do the best job. The more experienced guy is more likely to make this grade, but there is nothing preventing a less experienced guy from being the same standard. I see no reason whatsoever why this can't be applied within an airline also.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 09:56
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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TACHO just keeps beating down the seniority arguments with rational counterpoints, great stuff!

I wonder how many of the pro-seniority pilots here have worked another career outside of aviation. The security from knowing one can walk to another company in the same grade or higher is liberating.

Company culture changed for the worse in the last ten years? Leave, and try another one. A brown-noser takes your promotion? Leave, and be promoted as part of the new deal. Bored of the routes you’ve been flying for ten years? Leave, for a welcome change to the daily routine. If you make a wrong move, you could go back to your old company, maintaining your salary.

But here’s the thing. Airlines would have to compete to retain experienced pilots, so potential issues such as the above examples might not happen as often. Maybe companies would have to prioritise employee satisfaction as much as cost-cutting. If only!

An immobile workforce is management’s wet dream. It’s a real shame that so many of us fail to see this.

A previous airline of mine once had a new recruitment manager from the real world outside of aviation. In his first few weeks, he told me how amazed he was to see such loyalty to the company. He couldn’t believe some pilots had been there for more than 20 years. I asked, had he heard of seniority. “What’s that?” he said. I explained.

“You mean, if you went to BA, you wouldn’t be a captain there? You’d have to start all over again?” he asked.

”Yep, and I’d take a 40% pay cut.” I replied.

He grinned. ”That is genius! So we have a hold over you and you can’t easily leave? We don’t need to compete so much on salaries.”

He understood straight away that the system benefits the company alone, holding down conditions.

I spent over ten years years in the seniority queue at that airline, just starting to reach decent T&Cs before it went belly up. The seniority terms to which I signed up failed to mention the company would be going bust.

To continue a similar career path with the option of a future long haul command in the UK, I was looking at a 40% pay cut to start again and perform exactly the same RHS widebody role I had been doing nearly ten years earlier.

This kind of hit to income and progression mid-career is simply unheard of in other professions. Why are so many pilots “happy” to accept this nonsense?

Seniority won’t disappear anytime soon, but it’s nice to read here that at least some of us embrace a free employment market.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 10:34
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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How would you explain why companies that apply seniority in general offer better terms and conditions than the ones without?
by your logic that can’t be the case..

i see that in the general aviation world as well: there is always someone willing to do it for less...
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 10:43
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Having worked for two airlines that hired DEC, this is also a minefield. Unfortunately training isn't the same across the board, and whilst I am sure that a DEC from TCX would have been trained to a decent level, that isn't the case everywhere. I have flown with DEC's where it really wouldn't surprise me if they had never held a prior command. (And yes, that is the new airline's fault for hiring after a 20 min sim ride, and minimal background checks.)

I also agree that seniority is archaic and stifles a free market. I truly believe the current situation at BA wouldn't happen if the senior pilots could easily move on to similar or better terms,

I like the idea, that once you have the qualifications for the position, you can then apply and join the appropriate list. No DEC, but rapid cmd so that the individual can be properly assessed. A captain moving would have to speculate to accumulate. The airlines would have to ensure that the process is fair and transparent to attract such experience.

Base moves, fleet moves etc, free to join a list, but then frozen after a move for a period of time so that the individual has a serious think about what they actually want.

My 2c anyway. But I know it will never change. Pilots are still very much stuck in the old apprenticeship mode... "I had to put up with S**t, so I will now make you put up with the same..."
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 10:53
  #78 (permalink)  
Snr
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
So who's got it worse then and who deserves it more? The guy who is beat from pillar to post for 4 years while he keeps his eye on the prize, or the guy who expects and thinks its reasonable to be given an upgrade based only on the fact that he took his place in the line while cruising along because he could have an easy lifestyle. I think you've made the best case against seniority yet!

This is a very dangerous argument. One that the bean counters in head office will be ecstatic to see mentioned on here, particularly by an individual who is claiming the biggest advantage of a non-seniority based system is that T&C's will improve across the board. If your definition of T&C's improving is that we all work harder because we should be "willing to graft and put in a bit of work" then i'll stick with my antiquated seniority thanks. That mentality is exactly what the pro-seniority people on here are worried about - managers offering commands to people who are willing to work the days off, be extended for an extra couple of sectors, and not kick up a fuss about being worked 900 hours a year. Meanwhile those that are looking for a proper work/life balance (i.e. a less fatiguing roster that actually has some time for proper rest, not enough time to do some "underwater basket weaving"), who place the safety of the aircraft and their health over gaining an extra few hours and brownie points with management, will be left at the bottom of the pile. No matter how good a pilot they are.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 11:16
  #79 (permalink)  
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Tricia Takanawa, a very reasoned argument. There are definite pros and cons to both sides of the coin. Personally I would have a system that is loosely based on seniority, as my airline is fairly close to being. Everything is transparent, and seniority is a perk, but by no means is it the be all and end all.

Last edited by Snr; 14th Oct 2019 at 11:17. Reason: Formatting
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 11:29
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Originally Posted by SaulGoodman View Post

They could apply to all companies hiring DEC right now if they want to so I really don’t get your point.
Im talking about joining ANY company including all Legacies worldwide providing you have the right to work in that country.
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