interesting chat with an ex-Midwest MD80 driver...

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Through an odd confluence of events, it turns out that I am related-by-marriages to a Midwest MD-80 driver who was recently furloughed with 13 years of seniority.

He's a low key, gray-haired genteel sort with more than 18,000 TT. The kind of guy you imagine calcapt or MD11 pilot to be (if you've not met them.) We chatted a bit about GA, he was agape at the prices I presently pay to rent airplanes (and I get some good deals, sadly enough) - when he was learning to fly, he was paying $28 per hobbs hour.

But we talked a bit about the whole RAH thing, and a bit about flying in general, and he had some interesting things to say...

  • By and large, the pilots of Midwest do not hold a grudge with RAH pilots. They know it's management politics, and it's, "a few idiots and **sholes" who are alienating RAH drivers. They know how badly most of the RAH guys feel about this, and most of these guys have been in the business long enough that they've been on both sides of this kind of whipsaw crap. They understand.
  • He's never been a "union guy" but believes that given the necessary evil, ALPA is the best option out there for pilots since they have the most experience with pilot issues, particularly with violations.
  • On violations..."you will violate at some point. it just happens if you fly long enough. I don't know a senior pilot who doesn't have at least one in their jacket."
He has secured a new position as a corporate CP. It's just about the best kind of dream shot that I personally could think of, but I'd like to wait a little bit until posting anything about that. It involves a relocation and I want to make sure he's safe and sound in his position and working.

Although he jokingly advised me to get my IR and then stop and never pursue it as a career, he did offer to help me out if I ever needed anything. Nice to know there's a family connection, so to speak. :)
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
That's very good insight.

Sadly, knowing Milwaukee and the niche that was YX's market, that entire brand is gone baby gone. I wouldn't get too comfortable in the new MKE base.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
That's very good insight.

Sadly, knowing Milwaukee and the niche that was YX's market, that entire brand is gone baby gone. I wouldn't get too comfortable in the new MKE base.
What do you mean? Are you referring to the new RAH base? Or are you referring to the new position I mentioned? His base at his new job will be outside the U.S.

I am unclear. :)
 

MusketeerMan

Well-Known Member
That's very good insight.

Sadly, knowing Milwaukee and the niche that was YX's market, that entire brand is gone baby gone. I wouldn't get too comfortable in the new MKE base.
I don't know of any RAH pilots that look forward to the YX flying...

It's also an MCI base, not a MKE base, doing a mix of YX and Airways flying.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
No no no, I mean knowing the way Milwaukee viewed Midwest Express, having RAH take over a large percentage of their "hometown airline" is most likely going to run the rest of the diehard MEH supporters off.

If I worked for Republic, I wouldn't suggest saying, "Honey! I just got transferred to Milwaukee! Let's go house shopping in Oak Creek and get the kids into a real good school in Brown Deer."

It's almost the equivalent of Delta gutting ATL, having ExpressJet fly all of the former Delta routes and expecting the city of Atlanta to support the brand. Or Coke outsourcing to Pepsi and saying "Same old can! It's still cola! But uhhh, it's uhh Pepsi!" and expecting the good people of Decatur to keep buying.

Best of luck to your family member in these crazy times for the MEH pilot group. The pendulum always swings and it's a good lesson for all of us. :(
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
No no no, I mean knowing the way Milwaukee viewed Midwest Express, having RAH take over a large percentage of their "hometown airline" is most likely going to run the rest of the diehard MEH supporters off.

If I worked for Republic, I wouldn't suggest saying, "Honey! I just got transferred to Milwaukee! Let's go house shopping in Oak Creek and get the kids into a real good school in Brown Deer."

It's almost the equivalent of Delta gutting ATL, having ExpressJet fly all of the former Delta routes and expecting the city of Atlanta to support the brand. Or Coke outsourcing to Pepsi and saying "Same old can! It's still cola! But uhhh, it's uhh Pepsi!" and expecting the good people of Decatur to keep buying.

Best of luck to your family member in these crazy times for the MEH pilot group. The pendulum always swings and it's a good lesson for all of us. :(
I agree completely.

Not even from a brand standpoint, the finances will not work at all.

If Midwest cannot make money with MD-80s then they are not going to make money with airplanes that are much higher per ASM. Even the cheaper labor costs will not offset it.

Unfortunately there is no way it will work. It is exactly the same as ExpressJet branded or Independence Air at this point, with the exception of a few remaining MD-80s.
 
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