United Airlines Plans 25 Percent Fewer Pilots, Flight Attendants....

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
Associated Press
United Plans Fewer Pilots, Report Says
Wednesday January 29, 2:33 pm ET

United Airlines Plans 25 Percent Fewer Pilots, Flight Attendants, Report
Says

CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines intends to reduce the number of its pilots
and flight attendants by up to 25 percent and implement a two-tier pay
structure under the new business plan it has devised in bankruptcy, a
published report said Wednesday.

The Chicago Tribune, citing unidentified sources, reported that pilots and
flight attendants working for a planned new discount carrier to be operated
by the airline would be paid significantly less than those on regular United
flights.

United declined comment on the report.

The world's second-largest airline, which has posted heavy losses since
mid-2000, filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection on Dec. 9. It
is required to compile a new business plan in the first 120 days of
bankruptcy to show its lenders how it intends to return to profitability.

A key to United's financial strategy is a planned $2.4 billion reduction in
annual labor costs, which the carrier outlined last month in bankruptcy
court. CEO Glenn Tilton also said last month that United plans to launch a
low-cost carrier to compete with Southwest Airlines as part of efforts to
regain its financial footing.

United spokesman Joe Hopkins said Tilton is presenting the plan to the board
of directors of United's parent, UAL Corp., on Thursday. He said specifics
were given Monday to financial advisers of United's creditors committee,
which is monitoring the bankruptcy reorganization and includes its three
major unions, but not detailed in full to employees yet.

"Our plan is to share the information with our employees before we share
them with wider audiences," Hopkins said.

Spokesmen for the pilots, flight attendants and machinists said Wednesday
they had not been briefed on specifics of the plan.

United has laid off 20,000 workers since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
attacks and currently has about 78,000 employees, including nearly 20,000
flight attendants and about 8,500 pilots.

According to the Tribune, it would need only about 6,000 pilots under the
reorganization plan, and they would be required to increase their flight
time to an average of 50 hours a month, up from the current 36 hours.

The report also said United's plan calls for contracting more of its
regional routes to its commuter partners -- Atlantic Coast Airlines, Air
Wisconsin and SkyWest Airlines -- which operate planes bearing the United
Express logo and would be permitted to fly larger, 70-seat jets. And the
report said United likely will close its Indianapolis maintenance center.

United is seeking concessions from its unions after a bankruptcy judge
approved temporary wage reductions of 29 percent for pilots, 9 percent for
flight attendants and 14 percent for machinists, who include mechanics, ramp
workers and customer contact workers.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
36 hours per month. Riiiight!

I'll be glad when a reporter gets that right!
 

av8sean

New Member
I think 35 hours includes pilots in training, vacation, and pilots on reserve. Under this rule of calculation, even Southwest flies just ~53 hours per pilot.

In any case, things like UAL are sad to see. Just further evidence that most of us will have careers with "low cost carriers", like Southwest, JetBlue, Airtran, Frontier, etc.

-Sean
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Nah, it surely wouldn't be that low even after those adjustments.

The media loves to portray us in that light. Asses.
 

mpenguin1

Well-Known Member
Do not be so quick to blast the reporter. You never know, the average number of flying hours could have averaged 35 hours.

1. Pilots on vacation are not flying
2. Pilots on reserve may have not flown or did not fly very much.
3. Cancelled flights and grounding of aircraft, too many pilots and not enough airplanes.
4. Pilots in training, whether upgrade, recurrents, or transition are not flying.
5. Chief pilots, assistant chief pilots and/or any other Management pilot do not fly very much

So if you took the total number of mile flown by United and divided it against the total number of United pilots, you come up with a number.

Did every United pilot fly 35 hours? Most certainly not. Remember with work rules, 35 flight hours could equate into 50 pay/credit hours.

Mike
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Believe me, I flew a tad over 800 hard-time hours last year. Including two weeks of vacation, a week of recurrent, that still averages out to 60-plus hours of hard block-in to block-out flying time.

Actually, we really don't have that many supervisory positions compared to regularly flying line pilots. Even some of the reserves are working 50 to 70 hours hard time monthly.

Keep in mind that the reporter probably got assigned the story and didn't research much, whereas I'm sitting here in the pilot lounge typing away at a keyboard.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
[ QUOTE ]
Keep in mind that the reporter probably got assigned the story and didn't research much, whereas I'm sitting here in the pilot lounge typing away at a keyboard.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yup, and that "35 hours" was fed to him or her by UAL - generally reporters don't just make things up. Generally.

The fault here lies in the fact he or she didn't go check that number out. But if you were making $13,000 a year, working 60 or 70 hours a week and had five stories due every day - would you check out every little detail?

And that is why reporting sucks now-a-days.


And why I left it.
 

aloft

New Member
Hey iwareboy, could you fix your photo, please? There's too much of you and not enough of her.
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]

In any case, things like UAL are sad to see. Just further evidence that most of us will have careers with "low cost carriers", like Southwest, JetBlue, Airtran, Frontier, etc.


[/ QUOTE ]


What's wrong with making a career at an LCC. You just named my wish list(and in correct numerical order too!)of airlines I would love to fly for. Sure,you're expected to help out a bit on turns,you don't have much time to wander around an airport,you will most likely fly more than 4 legs a day,and you won't make as much as the big boys....but if you look at the "LCCs".....we're kicking the big boys ass. Sure United is gonna run the west coast shuttle again.....but Southwest and Alaska will clean their clocks yet again. Yeah Delta got a "Song".......jetBlue has one too! I know we all grew up thinking "Hey I'm gonna fly 747s for PanAm,TWA,or United"...but times they are a changin. My thinking is now "Hey I'm gonna fly 737s for Southwest". Don't knock it unless you try it
 

JaceTheAce

Well-Known Member
Yeah, with the LIBERAL media it's all about emotions and creating drama ...they love to take advantage of any figure they can get their hands on ...so typical of them.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
The problem is that for all that the low cost carriers do well, they simply cannot provide us with the transportation that we need in this country.

Don't listen to the morons in the media. After all, the contract that UAL cut with their pilots, which is now being pointed to as the reason for all of their problems, was praised just a few years ago as creating labor peace for several years!

I mean, of course, the economy and the terrorist attacks have nothing to do with UAL's problems. Nah, it's all the union's fault.
 

mpenguin1

Well-Known Member
Problems with United started before the Terrorist attacks, and for their "September 11" trouble United received a nice $900 million check from George Bush for their troubles. And since I am typing, let me vent a little, this is a company problem, not just managment only problem or a pilot only problem. Need to look at everything, the complete story, here are view points, whether right or wrong....

1. United's "Summer of Hell" - While the pilots were waging all out war on the very airline they "owned" and screwing the flying public far more than they were screwing UAL mismanagement. However, lest we not place all of the blame on UAL management, what the hell were the pilots thinking? While their passengers were already griping about exorbitantly high fares, didn't anyone at UAL ALPA figure out that with "industry leading wages" comes "industry leading prices"?

When the recession first hit in 2000, business travelers started to balk at paying high prices. They flew far less frequently, and when they did travel, they looked for lower-priced options, using everything from the Internet to discount airlines to Amtrak's high-speed train in the Northeast

The major carriers' revenues plummeted, but they were still left with the higher costs associated with their network systems. While the carriers experimented with a few changes to their fare structure and restrictions - such as doing away with the Saturday night stay on some busy business routes - most have kept their fare structure essentially the same, hoping that when the economy recovers, business travelers, with their thick wallets, will be back.

United employees definitely are responsible for this mess. Remember the summer of 2000, when United had its customer-infuriating pilot slowdown? Think that endeared UAL to its customers? Do you think if the many frequent fliers who switched and never came back were still UA customers it would be losing $7M per day?

And the end result was that a board controlled by the employees caved in and gave employees unsustainable pay increases that drove UAL into bankruptcy.

If it's management that's at fault & incompetent, well, the employees selected the management. When Jim Goodwin spoke the truth that UAL was facing bankruptcy a year ago, his bosses (the union reps on the board) had him thrown out on his a** and ignored the warning. No CEO can be hired by UAL unless the union board members agree, which means the CEO is hopelessly compromised from day 1.

Rick Dubinsky, the former head of United's pilot's union, famously said pilots didn't want to kill the golden goose, "We just want to choke it by the neck until it gives us every last egg." Well, the employees choked it a little too hard, didn't they? I think the goose expired

Everyone believes in capitalism until it's their turn to compete, then it's why me? “a few men” didn’t sink UAL, it took 80,000 shortsighted employees to do it.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
[ QUOTE ]
Yeah, with the LIBERAL media it's all about emotions and creating drama ...they love to take advantage of any figure they can get their hands on ...so typical of them.

[/ QUOTE ]

Man, I'm not even gonna start on that one cause I'll just go off.

And this I don't want to even touchthis one (as we've gone round and round on it already)

[ QUOTE ]
this is a company problem, not just managment only problem or a pilot only problem.

[/ QUOTE ]

But then you say:

[ QUOTE ]
United employees definitely are responsible for this mess.

[/ QUOTE ]

Just FYI - that "industry leading wage" that the unions "strangled" out of management - well go back and look into that a little further. That was, essentially, a pay-off by management to appease the union so they would OK the UsAir deal. So don't go 'round blaming the union for taking money offered to them by the management for the sole purpose of allowing management to get what they wanted.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Here's a quote about pilot costs, right from the horses mouth:

Delta hopes to keep Song's costs low by turning airplanes around in less than an hour, employing fewer flight attendants and using its planes for 13 hours each day, which could lower costs by nearly a third compared with Delta Express.

Selvaggio said Song's lower costs will let it succeed in the same business in which U.S. airlines failed. But analysts have said Song's costs will still be higher than those at low-fare rivals, because its pilots fall under Delta's current labor contracts and will be more expensive.

Delta has no plans to ask Song pilots for wage reductions, Selvaggio said, because similar efforts at other airlines had failed in the past to produce long-term cost savings.

"We could have pursued an avenue that would have had a lower cost structure for pilots, but it would not have been sustainable," he said. He said Song's management was searching for more ways to save costs through productivity instead.
 

Mahesh

New Member
I don't understand why everyone complains about pilot salaries. If a damn Electrical Engineer (I am one of them) or software engineer can get paid between $50K and $150K, then why not someone who is responsible for the lives of so many people on a daily basis. I don't know if UAL contracts out its IT needs but if they can pay a DBA or a network admin so much, why not the pilots. Desk job people can screw up, pilots cannot. Just that is a good enough reason to warrant higher pay.
I am getting tired of that complaint.

Mahesh
 

A320_DUDE

Well-Known Member
Nobody is really complaining about pilot wages (at least I'm not). What people are complaning about is that these guys are flying one or two legs a day THEN they whine and cry about their pay. UA needs to change their work rules so these guys fly closer to 900-1000 hrs hard time a year. That right there will reduce the amount of pilots and F/As needed and in turn reduce some of the labor costs. The UA pilots and F/As need to relize it's a brand new day....flying 1 ORD-LAX flight for the day just isn't gonna cut it anymore. Aircraft usage has to go up.....I've seen UA terminate brand new Airbuses at 3pm....that's sad. Taging on routes (e.g. ORD-CLE-IAD) would help free up aircraft to do more lucrative runs....and still keep mainline service to smaller and meduim sized markets. The fleet needs to be simpliflyed....they need to make a decision on the short haul fleet...either get rid of the 737s or the 319/320s...operating both is a strain. If they are gonna be abandoning Australia and NZ then the 747s need to go....the 777 can pretty much do every thing else. If they could get down to one short haul type,757/767,and the 777 the cost savings would be dramatic. But the most important thing UA mangement needs to do:Win the hearts and minds of each and every employees. It's a proven fact:If employees think the company is screwing them over,they will not give their best to the operation. I haven't seen "Friendly Skies" over at UA at quite some time.....That needs to be mangement's first priority,because if the employees aren't siked about the company....UA won't make it past years end!

Your mind comes up with freaky stuff at 0230!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
One to two legs a day?

Hell, I flew PHX-DFW-LGA-CVG-LEX before half of you guys got out of 4th period math!
 
G

Guest

Guest
[ QUOTE ]
Hell, I flew PHX-DFW-LGA-CVG-LEX before half of you guys got out of 4th period math!

[/ QUOTE ]

uh Doug, 4th period is recess. 4 square champ!!!!
 

Mahesh

New Member
There are 2 United pilots on my indoor soccer team. I have never heard them complain. They both got booted from the 777 and are back on their previous aircraft (A320 and 767). They have taken serious pay cuts. They are both happy just to have their jobs. They miss many soccer games which sucks for us. They don't at all seem like they are spoiled brats.
According to them, the United 747-400s are surely going away. Apparenly United doesn't know how to use the 400s properly like the Australians, Singaporeans and Koreans.

Mahesh
 
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