Airline Jobs lose luster

It seems to have a bit of a negative tone, but all in all it’s a pretty good article. I especially think the part about flying being more of a hassle these days is true, and for good reason following the terrorist acts. I guess it used to be part of the fun when going on a vacation, and even though it still is for me, I think John Q. Public views flying as a major hassle…
Very good article. There are a few things that I noticed after being a passenger so much in the past couple of years.

When buying the ticket people want the cheapest thing out there, if they can save $5 by holding onto the gear they will. However when they get to the airport, the same person who spent as little amount of money as possible expects first class. That just does not work!!

The luxury is still there in flying, it is upfront. I flew business class a few times accross the pond, and that is a pleasure. When I was at LHR the economy line went half way down the terminal, I had 3 people infront of me, getting the morning the news in the lounge, everyone being so curtious to you, not having to line up ever, and the food, and service on the airplane was extrordinary; it was just the best way to travel.

The problem really is, if you want a pleasant flight, you have to pay top dollar for it. You can not expect to go into the Honda dealership and drive out in a Bentley so why do people when flying. If you pay bus fares, your ride will be like a bus, if you pay limo fares well you will get that.

There is a way to travel economy and still have a great flight, I have mastered that, however a brother has to keep his secrets!
My past career was as a bus driver and I see pilots going the way of the bus driver. Back in the olden days, bus drivers were highly regarded and respected, as pilots were not too many years ago. Bus driver pay has not changed in the past 20 years, even though the cost of living has more than doubled. My supervisor was making in the 70s what I was making in 2000, and he was getting more per diem back then!

I had always looked up to pilots and dreamed of being that guy walking through the aiport with the shiny shoes and the crisp captain's hat. What happened to those days? I saw many NW pilots walking out of the DTW terminal looking scraggly and dragging their Jepp cases behind them, many of them back at their home base but looking too tired to be happy. But, the BA guys - after flying a 747 across the pond - looked prim and proper as I drove them 30 minutes to their 4-star hotel.

What happened to the pilot mystique?
Bus drivers in MSN can make over $140,000 annually.

And get this, the highest paid transportation-related profession that I know of is a Mississippi Boat Captain at $334,000 annually (without overtime).

And I'm on call 24/7/365 for a tenth of what a boat captain makes?? Screw flying - you have the number of the boat company?? And I'll take the one for the bus company - the woman would rather live in MN.

Jason, I think we make less than tugboat skippers too!

We're just more visible than other transportation professions because "Joe Six Pack" thinks the reason he's got to pay $200 to fly from Mobile, AL to Portland, OR is because those greedy pilots make six figures.

Like I always retort to people when they make comments about my pay, I say , "Well, if I worked for free, your ticket would be about $2 cheaper! What a deal for trusting your life to a pilot on welfare!"
Honestly, because of the "change in the industry", and my experiences in it, my goals have moved from airlines to corporate aviation. I would LOVE to fly for a large Fortune 500 (or even better 100) company in a Falcon 900 or Gulfstream 550.
Corporate does sound more appealing to me at this point as well. I would also venture to say that it’s more stable, and will probably get even better in the future. Furthermore, it seems like the schedule is more variable as far as destination diversity when compared to the airlines…

Not to mention the phenomenal equipment!
Speaking of this, this may be a shallow question
, but what do you all see as the perception of pilots say 10, 20, 30 years from now?? Personally I think it won't change a whole lot for a while and will eventually become more "bus driver" as the years go on. This is a stupid question, but I would just like to see all your opinions.

P.S. Doug, once again I would just like to say how much I love your site. It is awesome!
My best friend just got a job on a tug boat and he started out he is a deck hand making 30K a year, hes about to get a raise and is up for a promotion, oh and his company has never had one layoff in their entire history. If i werent so into this flyin stuff id give tug boatin a shot!
Personally, I think it'll be more of the same.

This is a lot of people's first downturn so they're liable to think the worst.

Aviation is a series of golden ages and dark ages. Now we're in the dark age, but eventually things will perk up and it'll be the golden age again. Then it'll return to the dark age.. and so on and so on.
I not sure that corporate flying is much more stable than an airline gig. When a company falls on hard times the FIRST thing to go is that sexy bizz jet.
Aviator is correct.

Usually when a company starts to sputter, the "bean counters" glare jealousy across the tarmac to the hangar with the spiffy Gulfstream and determine that they can save tens of thousands of dollars per month and fire that hotshot pilot guy who seems to do nothing but play classic rock loudly in the hangar and fool around with the administrative assistants.
I made that assumption based on the idea that for reasons of time and perceived safety, corporations would opt to fly their own jets. Also, they can conduct business meetings in route to wherever it is they’re flying.

I can definitely see the logic behind the statement of cutting costs by eliminating the company’s aviation department though...

Would you say a company like Netjets, and others like it will remain somewhat stable in the future?
that hotshot pilot guy who seems to do nothing but play classic rock loudly in the hangar and fool around with the administrative assistants.

[/ QUOTE ]

I want that job!
Thank God I live where I do. Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt in my backyard. Their flight departments aren't going anywhere.
I just see corporate aviation moving more towards being a stable business. With the security hassels at the nation's airports, it is taking much more time than in the past to travel. Time is money in many facets of a business. Most of the good corporations (Fortune 500) don't want to give up their bizjets since they are so reliant on them. Also, the fractionals are very pricey for companies who need to fly often. Who knows.

I'm just drawn to corporate flying by that lifestyle. It isn't about which is a more stable path.