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Seniority

Old 18th Oct 2019, 09:49
  #121 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by flyer4life View Post
...

I think to have more career choices later in life outside of dumb seniority is of great benefit if oneís luck doesnít hold out for decades on a seniority list. I thought we pilots liked to have options?
One could say that working within and entirely seniority-based industry would be like flying without diversion fuel -- when things go wrong you have almost no options.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 10:23
  #122 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: UK
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Good analogy.

This clip is about recent European airline bankruptcies. It shows how euro airlines have seasonality pressures on cash flow more than those in other world regions.

https://www.wimp.com/why-so-many-air...oing-bankrupt/

I can understand the arguments for seniority IF airline businesses were stable and you could count on them for a long term career. It was probably ideal when it started during the days of a few state run flag carriers.

But now in Europe weĎve had many airline failures, and there is little or no bankruptcy protection such as in Chapter 11 in USA. This is the reason I find it hard to agree that seniority is the best system for us. Itís not a case of whinging about ďnot fairĒ, itís about having options for yourself when things go wrong or life goals change.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 15:30
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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I think one of the issues is that we live in a part-seniority, part-not world. Those who want to move out of a seniority-based airline lose the advantage of the years theyíve put in and those who want to move in can only join at the bottom as an FO. With incremental pay scales this can be a real killer in both directions. At the same time, how do you reward loyalty?

It also very much depends on the gradient between top and bottom: if youíre all paid much the same and do roughly the same amount of work, then absolute seniority isnít such a downer. There are ways of giving most a bite of the cherry without having to spend their whole working life with one employer.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 16:57
  #124 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
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Originally Posted by NoelEvans View Post
An amusing attempt to "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat" on the seniority argument: a 'beneficiary' of seniority when it was exactly that seniority situation that stifled his opportunities
Doesnt make any sense. I assume you mean in BA, as thatís the only gig where LH commands sit around 19years? This FO could have had a SH command at virtually anytime of their choosing during the last 15 years. My guess is they preferred to sit in the RHS for ďlifestyleĒ reasons that have little to do with command opportunities being stifled. Also ask him (or her) about the pensions tax, and if that had anything to do with it, rather than ďseniorityĒ.
On the BALPA forum youíre a great advocate of abolishing the 65 age limit Noel; it seems all you want is whatever suits you, right now. Is that fair? What YOU want is to be able to move around companies seeking a better deal for yourself, keep your command and all the while not give two hoots about the copilots that are patiently waiting for their opportunity at the LHS.
Iíve worked in a non seniority airline and now spent 20 years in BA. Give me the seniority system any day over the nepotistic, good lads, ex squadron bullshit of my last outfit.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 18:54
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 3Greens View Post


Doesnt make any sense. I assume you mean in BA, as thatís the only gig where LH commands sit around 19years? This FO could have had a SH command at virtually anytime of their choosing during the last 15 years. My guess is they preferred to sit in the RHS for ďlifestyleĒ reasons that have little to do with command opportunities being stifled. Also ask him (or her) about the pensions tax, and if that had anything to do with it, rather than ďseniorityĒ.
...
He was. He was forced to retire at that stupid age of 55 as it was at the time. Then he started as a DEC in a non-seniority LCC.

I do not "not give two hoots" (double negative, making a positive) about FOs waiting for command. If you read carefully what I've said I have strongly supported what someone here has put forward as a "first come first served" system and have given details about how this would even give protection to 'long standing FOs" against DECs being recruited over them. I feel it is a better system, just as transparent and 'protects' everyone more fairly. Read what is actually said more carefully before making accusations.

As for the '65 thing', that is a separate topic and if you would like to open a Thread on that I am more than happy to debate that with you there.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 21:12
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NoelEvans View Post
He was. He was forced to retire at that stupid age of 55 as it was at the time. Then he started as a DEC in a non-seniority LCC.

I do not "not give two hoots" (double negative, making a positive) about FOs waiting for command. If you read carefully what I've said I have strongly supported what someone here has put forward as a "first come first served" system and have given details about how this would even give protection to 'long standing FOs" against DECs being recruited over them. I feel it is a better system, just as transparent and 'protects' everyone more fairly. Read what is actually said more carefully before making accusations.

As for the '65 thing', that is a separate topic and if you would like to open a Thread on that I am more than happy to debate that with you there.
something doesn’t add up here Noel. If he retired at that stupid age 55, then he retired pre 2006. At the time in BA long haul commands were sitting around the 15 years service mark, if he’d done 19 years then he’d have been reasonably ok lifestyle wise even in the LHS of a BA777. Not many people at all pre 2006 retired as an FO by choice at 55 in BA purely because it had an enormous impact on the NAPS final salary pension (best 2 of last 5 years service). Very very unusual for the time to retire as an FO by choice.
He must have been an exceptional pilot to get a direct entry command after retiring from BA too, seeing as he didn’t have any previous airline command time it seems. Not many people get that kind of opportunity.

Last edited by 3Greens; 18th Oct 2019 at 21:35.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 22:23
  #127 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by flyer4life View Post
Exactly NoelEvans, I was one who took “a dodgy upgrade” at Monarch, thinking I was comfortably at a career airline with the cushion of seniority.

And then I joined EZY as DEC where we have unions across Europe without seniority, although there is an element of pay based on length of service. Great to stay LHS of course, shame to lose the career option of long haul at my old airline.

For those outside of UK, Monarch was a seniority airline that lasted for almost 50 years, until a combination of events and a take-over by venture capitalists brought about its demise. Not long ago, when many of us made our career choices, it was considered a very secure, career airline. It had a superb safety record and a reputation for high standards, nothing dodgy about it at all.

I think a lot of guys just don’t understand the unfortunate situations that can occur outside of their own seniority bubble. My point is that seniority punishes decisions you made years ago when you simply cannot predict the future. It’s mostly down to luck and it could happen to any of us. It’s naÔve to think otherwise.

I think to have more career choices later in life outside of dumb seniority is of great benefit if one’s luck doesn’t hold out for decades on a seniority list. I thought we pilots liked to have options?
I will apologise for calling Monarch dodgy. I am currently at my 4th company. All those moves were because the company went under. At 2 & 3 got upgraded on merit ahead of a lot of others (no seniority). Joined my current company with 8K TT, 4K PIC, often flying with captains with less experience than I. Still a firm believer seniority is more fair, so agree to disagree.

Last edited by hans brinker; 20th Oct 2019 at 03:58.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 23:40
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 3Greens View Post


something doesnít add up here Noel. If he retired at that stupid age 55, then he retired pre 2006. At the time in BA long haul commands were sitting around the 15 years service mark, if heíd done 19 years then heíd have been reasonably ok lifestyle wise even in the LHS of a BA777. Not many people at all pre 2006 retired as an FO by choice at 55 in BA purely because it had an enormous impact on the NAPS final salary pension (best 2 of last 5 years service). Very very unusual for the time to retire as an FO by choice.
He must have been an exceptional pilot to get a direct entry command after retiring from BA too, seeing as he didnít have any previous airline command time it seems. Not many people get that kind of opportunity.
being forced to retire at 55 wouldnt he/she (probably he) have been on APS. Not NAPS.

And those of us who had the delight of seeing a dummy spit out of the pram have had the joy of Noelís spat on the other forum on Wayneís crusade. (Me me me me me)

and Iíll pin my colours to the mast. Iíve worked for both. A seniority based airline and a non seniority based one. In the seniority based airline Iíve had the best tís and Cís Iíve ever had or will have and in the non seniority based airlines Iíve seen the idiots skulk from one job to another with zero consequences. ďIíve screwed up Iíll bail out with my 4 stripes to another airline and no questions askedĒ. Seniority based system has better tís and Cís and you canít hide the idiots.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 01:03
  #129 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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The argument against seniority seems heavily based on the European market where Airlines rise and fall like poorly run cafes.

South of the equator, it’s a little different. If Air NZ and QANTAS ditched seniority the flood gates would open from Asia and the ME to the point that Pilots such as myself would have to weigh up being a career FO in our own Country or pack the family up and live the expat life to get enough experience for a command back home.

In a market flooded with Airlines, I understand the argument against seniority and how it restricts your ability to move but I personally don’t want to bounce between Airlines for “experience” as those Airlines wouldn’t be in my home country.

I did previously fly for an Airline with a very loose seniority system and wouldn’t want to see its return. Command assessments were carried out by HR and the most senior applicant deemed suitable was given the job. Many competent Pilots were passed over on the basis of the HR assessment alone.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 14:13
  #130 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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I see that the elitist 'we are right and our way is the right way' BA lot are here.

One thing that is certain in all aspects of human life is that there is no "one size fits all" situation that is ever best for every situation. Seniority is one of those exact situations. It may suit the likes of BA but it most certainly does not suit everyone. The likes of flyer4life and the many, many, many others are not well served by mindless seniority systems and I am glad that there are airlines that will not throw them out on the trash-heap but will find a place for their vast experience. I am glad to work somewhere that found jobs for captains from a previous airline failure faster than any other airline and did not leave them 'on their own on the streets' as so many of those who feel that the seniority system is 'holy scripture' that cannot be bent or altered would have been quite happy to see happen.

There is no 'one size fits all' and our industry would be poorer if there was not variety. By all means stick to your seniority system for yourselves, but also realise that many who have ended up jobless for no fault of their own whatsoever could very justifiably see you as being just "me, me, me".
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 14:18
  #131 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
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One thing that is certain in all aspects of human life is that there is no "one size fits all" situation that is ever best for every situation. Seniority is one of those exact situations. It may suit the likes of BA but it most certainly does not suit everyone.
So then it is perfect as it is right now isnít it?
Some airlines use seniority and some donít. So everyone can choose what suits him or her best.. Problem solved!
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 09:06
  #132 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Originally Posted by NoelEvans View Post
I do not "not give two hoots" (double negative, making a positive) about FOs waiting for command. If you read carefully what I've said I have strongly supported what someone here has put forward as a "first come first served" system and have given details about how this would even give protection to 'long standing FOs" against DECs being recruited over them. I feel it is a better system, just as transparent and 'protects' everyone more fairly. Read what is actually said more carefully before making accusations.
Regardless of your view, first come first served is NOT the solution.

Picture the scene, your airline opens up vacancies for a base transfer to a really popular base, one youíve been hoping for for years. 25 slots. It opens at 8am on Wednesday. This is fine except youíre flying from 6am down to Athens that morning. You land in Athens, log on at 11am ish to find the slots have already been filled. 5 years later it finally opens again... Same for commands, same for training. Itís just like Glastonbury tickets; youíre rewarding those with the fastest internet connection and a day off on the opening day. If I was waiting for my command Iím not sure Iíd be too happy with that...
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 15:40
  #133 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Age: 53
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The most important thing seniority does is protect T&C, without it it is much easier to find people willing to fly for less because of a DEC position. One of the reasons T&C are so much better in the US right now is the fact that everyone is union and seniority.

If a company requires captains and can't upgrade FOs the DECs that are hired should be last on the seniority list. Yes, it is hard to start over after your company fails, I have done it two times myself. It is even harder to see qualified FOs being by-passed for upgrade, while DECs were getting hired above them. Just my opinion.
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 16:40
  #134 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by Time Traveller View Post
If it were to be restricted to people from one particular company, then it wouldn't appear legal. When my wife's company wants to recruit, even if they have a perfect candidate internally or from another company, they HAVE to advertise the vacancy publicly so that anyone is aware and eligible.

My wife is the same, and so Iím going to assume your wife also works in the public sector, as they must advertise nationally even if they have a preferred internal applicant.

the private sector can hire who they like (except for the obvious, race, religion at al.
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 18:52
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TACHO View Post
None of the stress and angst of a performance based system? Heaven forbid one would have to actually achieve a high level and prove he was worthy of the position. Don't know where this 'brown nose' nonsense is coming from... frustrated ex military guys I expect, where I believe it is prevalent. Your argument makes no sense, without seniority you would still have to perform, except theres one less hurdle, namely having to wait behind people who may be less able and are eligible for the opportunity only by virtue of that they exist in a company prior to you.

If you work out how much you lose by waiting in the lower rungs of a seniority based system, even though you might have a great deal of experience, then I wouldn't say the ts and cs are all that great...

As several have pointed out seniority is for the good of the company, not for pilots. I'll take my chances in a performance based system any day of the week thanks, I've seen seniority be abused as well and it was FAR from fair, make no mistake it's an old boys club, and if you think it guarantees you anything, you are in for a shock... lots of institutionalised people here, with a severe case of stockholm syndrome, or having invested a lot of time and faith in it, couldn't possibly admit that for the pilots as a collective it is harmful....
I think the majority on here hailing the benefits of the seniority system are Americans? The funny thing is this is a complete 180 to the American way of life, where they all say itís the land of opportunity and if you work hard to can make it to the top.

the only problem is with the seniority system it makes not a jot of difference whether you sit on your thumb all day or bust your balls working hard. So why work that little bit extra?

I really do think the majority who are in favour of the seniority system are also either straight out of school pilots or ex military and have never worked in another industry. This type of system just doesnít exist anywhere else in the world.

Almost every career you move up a couple of position and then leave that company to a promotion at a different company. And it then continues. Outside of the public sector it is very unusual for an individual to spend their whole career at one company.
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 19:01
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by UberPilot View Post


How does anyone ever get promoted then if you say experience on type bypasses any seniority or waiting list system?
The same way they do in every other job in the world. When you have the requirements if your company isnít hiring or has other better candidates then you apply somewhere else for that DEC.
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 19:04
  #137 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by highflyer40 View Post


I think the majority on here hailing the benefits of the seniority system are Americans? The funny thing is this is a complete 180 to the American way of life, where they all say itís the land of opportunity and if you work hard to can make it to the top.

the only problem is with the seniority system it makes not a jot of difference whether you sit on your thumb all day or bust your balls working hard. So why work that little bit extra?

I really do think the majority who are in favour of the seniority system are also either straight out of school pilots or ex military and have never worked in another industry. This type of system just doesnít exist anywhere else in the world.

Almost every career you move up a couple of position and then leave that company to a promotion at a different company. And it then continues. Outside of the public sector it is very unusual for an individual to spend their whole career at one company.
I am in favor, not american originally (see screen-name), not mil, started flying age 30 after working in other fields, have worked at multiple companies, including 4 as a pilot.
There are several reasons:
Improves T&C, because less undercutting by DECs.
Less pressure to accept things like MX, WX fatigue issues because of fear of not advancing.
Not getting stuck as an FO with DECs getting hired above you.
Again, just MHO
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 21:08
  #138 (permalink)  
 
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the only problem is with the seniority system it makes not a jot of difference whether you sit on your thumb all day or bust your balls working hard. So why work that little bit extra?

I really do think the majority who are in favour of the seniority system are also either straight out of school pilots or ex military and have never worked in another industry. This type of system just doesnít exist anywhere else in the world.

Almost every career you move up a couple of position and then leave that company to a promotion at a different company. And it then continues. Outside of the public sector it is very unusual for an individual to spend their whole career at one company.
1. So what extra are you actually planning to do? Volunteer on days off? Fetch a coffee for the Chief Pilot? I believe I speak for the majority when I say this job is a lifestyle. I enjoy the flying, but more important is that I can live where I want to live and meet the people I want to meet. I do the job to best of my ability when I work, other times I am off.

2. Two companies, former non-seniority and I had to put up with whatever the company threw at me. Latter, seniority. I know what I can expect and I plan my life around it.

3. Options are geographically limited I am not not taking a promotion in a different country, let alone continent. As an engineer, teacher or doctor I can move across the street. Not happening as a pilot. Not where I am.
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 23:43
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
I am in favor, not american originally (see screen-name), not mil, started flying age 30 after working in other fields, have worked at multiple companies, including 4 as a pilot.
There are several reasons:
Improves T&C, because less undercutting by DECs.
Less pressure to accept things like MX, WX fatigue issues because of fear of not advancing.
Not getting stuck as an FO with DECs getting hired above you.
Again, just MHO
Very similar to myself.

Not American - From New Zealand where we have the National Carrier and a couple of Australian LCC Subsidiaries.
Worked outside of Aviation until I was mid 20's, never been in the Military.
Have flown for Airlines with no (or very loose) Seniority systems and am quite happy now at a Seniority based Legacy Carrier.

I have no desire to work in an industry, as I did previously, where promotion was usually the result of resigning and joining another company. I have enough friends/family in the "corporate world" who do just that and they aren't exactly selling it to me. Actually my Sister is sick to death of it because she needs to consider the location of a new company and how that would affect her commute with the Kids in before & after School care. Not to mention having staff travel seniority reset with every move, but I gather there's isn't much of that in Europe anyway.

I appreciate redundancy is an argument against Seniority (and the only Valid one in my opinion), but New Zealand isn't Europe so I'm happy to take the risk... if I were to be made redundant, well I've got enough Type Ratings to find a job somewhere. Reality is, there's enough non-seniority based Airlines out there, that experienced crew should always be able to find a job "somewhere" in the same Rank they were made redundant.. just not at a Legacy Carrier.
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Old 21st Oct 2019, 07:35
  #140 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Posts: 150
Saying that "I want a seniority system" but then saying that "In case of redundancy I'll be fine because there are lots of non-seniority airlines out there" does appear to be a whole lot less of a 'fair play' attitude than I am used to from Kiwis!

Some appear fixated on the matter of Direct Entry Captains. Every airline that I have worked for has employed Direct Entry Captains and most operated seniority lists. They have done so when there has been a need for captains and there were no possible promotions from within and once existing first officers had gained the experience and were suitable for commands the recruiting of DECs ceased. And all those captains were always employed on the same terms as any other new captains, so no 'undercutting terms and conditions' there. The general attitude amongst those airlines was that promoting internally was preferable as they knew a lot about those people before them becoming captains while captains recruited from outside were more unknown.

Crooked management and training systems can exist equally in seniority based or no-seniority airlines and promotions can be held back in either system, so the risk of 'brown nosing' is just as likely in both That is very much down to the management and their attitudes more than down to what 'queuing' system you have.

About the "new base announced while you're en-route to Athens" situation, I have heard of a non-seniority system that covers anything totally new, such as a new base or fleet, etc., by announcing it with an opening date for bids over a confined period of several weeks, then selecting people from within that group of bids based on date of joining, then after that closing date it's all back to "first in the queue" from then on.

Saul has a good point: variety is the spice of life and every airline being seniority only would be a bad thing. Especially for those from seniority-list airlines that go bust and their pilots need new jobs ...
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