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X-Centric 30th Aug 2005 22:37

An Honest & Uncensored Debate About Jet2
Allow me to get the ball rolling. I was an advocate of Jet2, believing in all of the BS that I was fed at the interview stage. I now have the misfortune to work for them. Their terms & conditions are as follows:

Terms: Theirs at all times
Conditions: Appalling

There is a dictatorship at the head of this airline that we should all be very wary of in more ways than one. I am astounded as to why they don't make more appearences on this site. Is it because their bullying CEO threatens legal action against everyone who doesn't see his point of view totally & unquestioningly & so any voice of opposition is promptly removed? And don't ever dare to think about handing in your notice & leaving this dubious outfit. For that is a sin that PM can only counter with threats, & denial of references to a new employer, as a very good friend of mine is finding out at the moment. (This, by the way, after he worked a four month notice period with us).

Jet2/Channex are going to be very short of crew soon. We are worth a look, possibly, if you are going through our TRSS to get jet time in your log book. You may have to put up with the likes of us for a short time to reach where you finally want to be. If you are type rated on the 737 or 757 then come & join us for the lowest pay in the industry, constant roster changes, cancellation of leave, working for an authoritarian management with a "style" straight out of a Dickens novel, aircraft with constant tech problems, certain F/Os promoted on the basis of "suck-up-ability" rather than flying skills (as ever, some upgraders are excellent), & contractors who fly to their own SOPs so are really a lined up hole in the Swiss cheese!

This outfit needs to realise that they are now flying human beings around not inanimate freight. The market has changed: there are now employment opportunities almost eveywhere & they are going to struggle like hell to keep going if they continue to treat us like ****. As for me? I can't leave soon enough. And by the way, messrs PM & ID, you would spend your energies far more wisely by improving your employee relations, for flight safety reasons if nothing else, than holding in-house witch hunts & threatening to sack anyone who mentions anything derogatory about Jet2 on Pprune. We do so because you are incapable of listening to us. :yuk:

pilothouse 31st Aug 2005 08:06


The Jet2 you describe is somewhat different to the one I work for! Yes, pay and conditions need to improve but 95% of my fellow pilots seem happy enough for the moment.

You are obviously very bitter and I wouldn't like to belittle whatever scenario you have encountered because it has obviously left you traumatised, but please don't wreck Jet2 for the rest of us.

...........and another thing, X-Centric!

You say, "aircraft with constant tech problems".

I don't know where you've worked before (maybe nowhere) but in several decades of flying I have never known so few ADDs and tech problems generally.

Have you any idea what it's like to fly aircraft that limp around with 5 or 6 pages of ADDs? It happens all over the world but certainly not at Jet2.

jet2jockey 31st Aug 2005 08:44

- CEO is a potentially dangerous bully who likes to shout and rant at anyone from Service Air to Check In staff to Pilots.. He reduced an Aircrew to tears in MJV recently prior to departure just because they used the APU on the ground.

- The use of APU for shutdown is now not permitted unless the cabin tempertature is +30 -10 - it's going to be a cold yorkshire winter for crews - this new 'money-saving' policy was just dumped on us without any consultation - PM shows no respect even for his own management pilots who are a very experienced bunch and deserve better. This policy often sees us running one engine for 5-7 minutes or so while the ground guys hook up the GPU - penny smart / pound stupid?

- The aircraft are not holding up too well IMHO. They are 20 years old and have around 45000 hrs (5 years continuous flying) on the airframe. That's fine as long as the maintenance is generously resourced. I take an aircraft with significant ADDs out about 50% of the time. In recent times I've operated with 1 pack only, no EHSI, no Fuel summation unit, faulty main tank fuel gauges to name a few. One CPT I know was asked to take an aircraft that could only acheive Flap 15 until the FTM stepped in and stopped it. This may be partly because PM has had shouting fits at some of the engineers and many of them have left or it may be that the fleet is too old for the flying schedule?

- Roster stability is non-existant. We check-in with Crewing after every rotation to see what changes there are for the crew. It's like being on permanent standby - you can't plan a social life with any certainty. I've heard that one of our FOs was recently hauled down to Bournemouth for tea (no biscuits) and publicly humliated in the company circlular for refusing to accept a change that would have gone into his day off with less than 24 hrs notice.

- It's been a hard summer for many. Frequently rostered for 7 days of duty. Sometimes only getting the legally required 1 day off. They are working towards 5 days max duty but it may be too little too late for some. Minimum rest between flying days is common. Finishing on a late(ish) and starting on an early has been frequent as well but seems to be improving a little lately.

- Also, lots of nightflying this summer. Latest flight used to get back at around 9.30pm now there are several that get back between 1 and 3am. It's had a big impact on quality of life for many with families.

- Captains take home around 3500 - FOs around 2500. All airlines have to compete for quality pilots in the current market. Rather than paying the market rates, Jet2 is preferring to use contractors to make up the numbers - another case of penny smart / pound stupid?

- On the upside, most of the people in Ops / Crewing / Aircrew are nice to be with and there is a good 'small company' atmosphere where you get to know people quite well.

Pilothouse - no-one wants to wreck Jet2 for the many, many great people who work there but you can't change things by keeping quiet and bending over. The problem is there is no consultation and feedback is not encouraged through internal channels - meaning that PPrune is one of the few places people can have a rant and air their frustrations.

PM thinks people should be shouted at and they will do what they are told like naughty children. I find I can't work for someone like that anymore.

Doors to Automatic 31st Aug 2005 09:07

I have had nothing to do with this outfit in person but have met a couple of former managers who certainly corroborate what has been said here.

pilothouse 31st Aug 2005 12:02

"The use of APU for shutdown is now not permitted unless the cabin tempertature is +30 -10 - it's going to be a cold yorkshire winter for crews"

Yes, these are the guidelines but Captains do have discretion, it says so.

"In recent times I've operated with 1 pack only, no EHSI, no Fuel summation unit, faulty main tank fuel gauges to name a few."

Show me an airline that doesn't. Even some "reputable" airlines will cross an ocean on one pack.

"Roster stability is non-existent. We check-in with Crewing after every rotation to see what changes there are for the crew. It's like being on permanent standby - you can't plan a social life with any certainty."

I've never had such a stable roster as this summer. Where else have you worked? This is industry standard. Unless you happen to work for an outfit with negotiated stability windows, this is what life as a pilot is like.

"Frequently rostered for 7 days of duty."

Agreed, not pleasant, though it does suit those who want to commute home and need more than 2 days off to do it.

"Minimum rest between flying days is common. Finishing on a late(ish) and starting on an early has been frequent."

Undesirable, but normal industry standard.

"Also, lots of nightflying this summer. Latest flight used to get back at around 9.30pm now there are several that get back between 1 and 3am. It's had a big impact on quality of life for many with families."

You think that finishing at 3am is a night flight? Try an 1800 BFS-Larnaca-BFS, then you'll know what a night flight is. ALL pilots' families have a rough time.

"No-one wants to wreck Jet2 for the many, many great people who work there but you can't change things by keeping quiet and bending over."

Agreed, but attacking the man who is responsible for our livelihoods in public is potentially disastrous.

jet2jockey 31st Aug 2005 12:50

Pilothouse said - "Attacking the man who is responsible for our livelihoods is potentially disasterous"

You seem to think everything at Jet2 is industry norm. No problem with it being on here then eh? Everyone reading will think - "yep - normal that".

Attacking CEO disasterous? Ooh - maybe he'll jump up and down and shout at some people and we'll all be scared some more... Never mind, it'll be very motivating for us and we'll all work much harder.


pilothouse 31st Aug 2005 13:11

Yes, I repeat, most things at Jet2 are industry norm, except of course that most pilots work harder than we do and suffer more disruption.

And I've no problems with people reading this thread because those with any real exposure to the industry will know all this already.

They will be absolutely amazed at your suggestion that we shouldn't need to phone Crewing for changes before going home!

X-Centric 31st Aug 2005 14:01

Pilothouse, I am a captain with over 4,000 hours on type, both NG & Classic. I have worked for two previous 737 operators as well as spending several years flying turborpops around Europe. From the tone of your reply it sounds very much as though it is you who has very little experience of our industry. If you are experienced then I'd guess that it all comes from Channex, because there is no way on earth that you'd be so accepting of PMs lousy attitude if you had any other relevant flying experience.

So, you find it acceptable to operate with one pack only? Indeed if you check the MEL it is so with certain altitude restrictions. However, do you then find it acceptable to be operating on one pack, have the remaining pack trip off at FL230 & continue to operate from MAN to BUD when the initial trip off occured at LAMSO? Jet2 do. They operated this aircraft in just such a manner & then had to return from BUD to MAN at 8,000ft with an aircraft full of passengers!

How about ATC informing a crew shortly after rotation that they ..."have fuel spraying from the right wing..." & the passengers calling the cabin crew to inform them that they could see liquid coming from the wing. The Decision? Hell, lets carry on because the leak ceased at approximately FL120!

How about three of our very good FOs warning the company that one of the MAN based contract Captains was a dangerous operator & something needed to be done? (Full credit here must go to a training captain who took the problem seriously & tried to deal with the situation only to be basically humiliated & over ridden in his decision making by the management.) They moved this guy to LBA, as we all know a far more technical airfield, & what happened? On his first day the FO refused to fly with him ever again & on his second day he nearly went off the end of the runway. Only then did Channex dismiss him. He nearly had to crash the bloody thing before they would take any action! And which captain am I referring to? Look at the newspapers from two weeks ago.

The issue of the APU poses me with a problem. I frequently start up the APU even if ground power is available because I personally think that we are following a potentially lethal course with this ridiculous policy. Someone is going to be seriously injured or even killed to save this half assed airline a few dollars. My SOPs, however, state that the APU is not to be used. Now we are having problems with the APUs because they weren't meant to be used in this way (for such short periods: on & then off again five minutes later) & so any savings that we have made are about to possibly go out of the window. Again, smacks of a management team who don't have a clue, doesn't it?

Sorry Pilothouse but you talk absolute tripe when you attempt to claim that by working seven days in a row you somehow get more days off together so it's good for the commuters. If you get two days off together after a seven day duty then you are blessed. We frequently finish on a late & start on an early, so commuting, or having quality time at home with your family, is damn near impossible. No, this is not the industry norm, thank God.

757manipulator 31st Aug 2005 14:09

Pilot-house, your talking crap buddy...industry norm my arse, get your head out of the sand!:mad:

pilothouse 31st Aug 2005 14:15

I despair!

10000+ hours, 5+ employers, several types from 5 to 100+ tonnes.

X-Centric, I sincerely wish you happiness in your next job.

ATIS 31st Aug 2005 14:50

pilothouse, you're not part of da management are you?

It was only the management peeps who couldn't see past their office windows at my previous outfit. (Maybe they should have raised the blinds). They were constantly told by the frontliners that things were BAD. They didn't even batter an eye lid. Now they are in the worst state they have ever been. Cancelling flights, wet leasing flights, resignations at the highest rate they have ever been.

If you are management, listen to whats going on, cos its usually the pilots who want the best for their airline.

If you're not management excuse the waffling.

pilothouse 31st Aug 2005 15:16

ATIS, I'm definitely not Management! One or two of my fellow pilots know who pilothouse is and several others will easily guess.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that Management need to listen and learn from what's going on. There are indeed things that need changing.

Channex is hardly a new airline, but I think most would agree that Jet2 feels like one. I've been in on airline start-ups before and you have to expect some deficiencies until things settle down. Inevitably this takes time but in my experience it gets there in the end.

It's the extremism of just a few alienated pilots that can kill our Company stone dead, that's what concerns me.

The Potter 31st Aug 2005 17:18

Allow me to tell you just how good & "industry norm" Jet2 actually are.

:sad: Line training captains who use assumed temp & derate during windshear conditions!

:sad: Aircraft being flown with so many defects that it is downright dangerous but commercial pressure seems to scare the skippers fartless so they'll take it!

:sad: Senior captains who take the opportunity to have a bloody good sleep during the entire cruise phase whether PF or PNF!

:sad: The above senior captain who is prepared to ground an aircraft because his cup holder is u/s, or at least he says he will. Imagine him explaining that one to our ayatollah!

:sad: Slapping 5,000 bonds onto crew who were already 737 or 757 rated & then not reducing the bond on a pro rata basis!

:sad: Attempting to charge existing company 737 drivers 20,000 for a 757 course!

:sad: Want to leave them, as you invariably will, then that's a four month notice period. Dare to not work this full period & you will be charged approximately 310 per day minus your annual salary divided by 365 to cover the cost of a contractor to replace you!

:sad: Call into crewing at the end of every duty day to see how they're going to muck up the rest of your roster. A late where you had an early? Why not? It's just your life outside of work!

:sad: An excellent crewing department who are so overworked because management will not release any funds for extra staff that they must be totally p***ed off. They are genuinely good people who are one of the very few +ve's in this airline.

:sad: Positioning cabin crew by train between MAN & LBA & expecting them to pay for their own ticktes up front!

:sad: A CEO who thinks absolutely nothing about interfering with a turnround & issuing B0110ckings especailly if his blessed APU is fired up on stand, & upsetting the entire crew. A crew, by the way who then had to operate a flight back to the UK in an upset state! Flight safety? Fit to fly?

Just a random list & there are more. They have some really good people working for them but the best will leave if this rotten management doesn't start to treat it's staff with just a tad of human respect.

Right Way Up 31st Aug 2005 18:23

Reading this thread & others about Jet2 all I can say is there seems to be a little too much smoke for there not be fire. I think it is about time the CAA started to do their job. I would say that most airlines that are under their jurisdiction are pushing the boundaries. You only have to look at the fallout of the Helios crash to realise that "laissez-faire" control of airlines can only lead to tears.

X-Centric 31st Aug 2005 23:00

Extremism of a few alienated pilots, Pilothouse?
So you don't think that any of us who know damn well how appalling conditions are at Jet2 should be allowed to speak up then? No one is trying to cost anybody an airline: as you have said there are some very good & talented people who have the misfortune to be employed by PM. The point here is that the management team simply will not listen to the pilots even when it concerns issues of flight safety. That is more important than any of our jobs as far as I'm concerned. A dictating, jumped up bully who treats his staff like serfs affects our terms & conditions of employment but it sure as hell also has an effect on flight safety. When captains are genuinely so bloody scared of the man that they will not even start up an APU in 25C for fear of wasting his money then we have a right to free speech.

If ever they had listened to us then it wouldn't have reached this forum in the first place. If we didn't have a castrated 'Aircrew Manager' who was actually allowed to make a decsion (bet he's forgotten how) things might have been bearable. Just think, Pilothouse, they may sit up & take note of this thread. They might not intimidate Pprune to have the thread removed. Instead they might realise that they have got things very wrong & then conditions will improve for those who have to stay & I'm not just talking about their low salary or lack of sector pay. That's my hope & the aim of this thread.

There certainly are plenty of other jobs out there at the moment for jet drivers & that's why Channex have lost approximately 17 crew in the last month alone, of which, I am pleased to announce, I am one. To all of my colleagues who have to stay then I look forward to flying with you during my notice period & I look forward even more so to flying with some of you in a far more positive & people orientated airline.

Thunor 31st Aug 2005 23:35

Er ... Wow!!!?

I'm an EX-Turboprop Captain and after 4 years "unemployment" (wrong place/wrong time Sept. 11th/911) I have just "relocated to LBA with the sole intention of trying to become a Jet2 F.O. (simply got to fly a Boeing {or Airbus} before I finally retire!); however this thread fills me with dread!!!

Is it time for me to come up with another (better!) plan?

Norman Stanley Fletcher 1st Sep 2005 00:22

I am an ex-Channex employee and I sadly have to concur with most of the negative comments here. PM can be an extremely difficult boss and definitely goes by the 'Joseph Stalin' school of subordinate handling. He can in an instant turn from the most charming man into the world to being threatening and abusive and then back to being charming in almost the same breath. You just need to think of a number of such people you have heard of - Donald Trump, Robert Maxwell, Alan Sugar, Michael O'Leary, Rupert Murdoch etc - they all have similar qualities. PM has sacked a number of his employees on the spot in the past. The sad truth is that these are the qualities which bring people to the top of our society but they are also the ones that bring them down. There is no dealing with these guys - you either take them as they are or you leave.

My abiding memory of him will be 'early morning prayers' where all employees at the Bournemouth office had to turn up for the morning briefing given by the Ops Officers and supervised by PM himelf. Often after a night of freight operations in the middle of a UK winter they would have a number of difficult situations to handle like aircraft diverting all round the country due fog etc. After the briefing by the Ops guys, they would then be subjected to public abuse by PM in front of all the secrataries, suppliers, engineers etc and told how terrible their decisions were etc. It was a truly dreadful and demeaning sight and absolutely repulsed me (and virtually everyone else watching).

Incidentally, Channex has the worst safety record of any airline in Britain by a long way. In my time there they had 3 accidents including one fatal one that killed both pilots in an F27 crash. I was much earlier on in my commercial flying career then, but I came closer there to my demise than at any time during my previous RAF career and my subsequent commercial career. It would be hard to blame PM directly for all that - fundamentally it was a cultural problem created indirectly by him and which was extremely difficult to tackle. I do not criticise anyone for working there - circumstances in our lives are such that it is sometimes necessary to work places we would rather not be. I wish all the guys at Jet2 the best - it is without doubt the rock bottom end of the jet market and the second they get a chance to leave they should do so.

Thunor 1st Sep 2005 00:26

Thank You Norman Stanley Fletcher !

Time for Plan B (for me personally) and for those who are stuck with Plan A all the very best (sounds like you need it!)

Spartacan 1st Sep 2005 07:09

>>fundamentally it was a cultural problem created indirectly by him and which was extremely difficult to tackle.<<

And here is the nub of the problem. The suits at the CAA will do nothing about a situation like this.

Robo's law 1st Sep 2005 07:29

Mostly agree! Been here a year fed up wanna leave.

Crew room rumours are that i'm not the only one, but hey maybe a load of us leaving will make them sit up and take note. Yeah right.

What a change i've seen in 12 months!!

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