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"The best" fluctuates as contracts change. Also part of what is considered "the best" is where your seniority will be for the duration of your expected career, and in what base/equipment/seat. There i

Just got an interview with SWA with: 2,800 total 1000 hrs in T-6 1500 hrs in KC-135 Not sure how close that is to “min time” but probably pretty low comparatively.

I can't do a decent job explaining it but i'll try. First let me say I have an inclination toward cynicism. Be it innate or just bitterness over organizational failures I've seen in the AF. My bullshi

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Complaining Checklist

So I've been keeping up with my airline's pilot forum, doing what any newb should do, stay quiet and listen.  But I'm getting quite tired of the "us vs union vs them vs us," "pay me," and etc. attitudes.  And tired of the "gross mismanagement" talk like anyone would ever fathom that air traffic would fall 95% for months to come.  I've already concluded that there will be displacements and furloughs this fall, barring any further gov't assistance (but now they want to change this latest deal to 70% grant/30% loan).  I'd love to see a 3 Musketeer attitude, but way too much hate/distrust/anger/negativity.  I think I'll look into that truck driving school... oh wait, no schools open.  Day trading? Nope, I'll lose the rest of it trying that.  Instagram Influencer, screw that, I can't pout my face that much and not enough photoshop skillz.  Sport bitching?  Nah, season was cancelled.  Beer light has been on the last 2 weeks solid, which is nice.  Oh well.

Venting - Complete

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35 minutes ago, disgruntledemployee said:

Complaining Checklist

So I've been keeping up with my airline's pilot forum, doing what any newb should do, stay quiet and listen.  But I'm getting quite tired of the "us vs union vs them vs us," "pay me," and etc. attitudes.  And tired of the "gross mismanagement" talk like anyone would ever fathom that air traffic would fall 95% for months to come.  I've already concluded that there will be displacements and furloughs this fall, barring any further gov't assistance (but now they want to change this latest deal to 70% grant/30% loan).  I'd love to see a 3 Musketeer attitude, but way too much hate/distrust/anger/negativity.  I think I'll look into that truck driving school... oh wait, no schools open.  Day trading? Nope, I'll lose the rest of it trying that.  Instagram Influencer, screw that, I can't pout my face that much and not enough photoshop skillz.  Sport bitching?  Nah, season was cancelled.  Beer light has been on the last 2 weeks solid, which is nice.  Oh well.

Venting - Complete

If it makes you feel any better, all pilot union forums are more or less the same across airlines and time periods. Management sucks. Scheduling sucks. Hotels suck. Dispatchers suck. etc. They all said similar things prior to the current crisis, and always will in the future. Everyone talks a big game on the forum, but everyone still shows up to drive the bus for a company they think they could run better.

Pay your dues. Vote. Know the contract. When it comes time to picket, go show your face. Want me to wear a special union lanyard? Fine. Whatever happens in the industry is going to happen independent of what is said on the forums. I occasionally go months without checking the forum. When I do, I might glean a tiny fraction of usable information, but the rest is noise.

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17 hours ago, disgruntledemployee said:

Complaining Checklist

.....

Venting - Complete

 

It's a good vent and not completely unwarranted as I have found myself bored with many of the thread on the those forums.  Nobody knows WTF is going to happen until this virus starts to go away or we fund a cure.  I will say, we attempted to work with the company, then they pulled the rug out from under us in the 11th hour.  That killed a ton of trust and goodwill.  It seems to have taken a many of the "moderate" pilots and moved them squarely into the hardline column.  I can certainly see why guys are saying full pay to the last day.  Many of them took a small pay cut, then a massive pay cut to try to save the company (~45% total), and the company still declared bankruptcy and furloughed anyway.  They have the benefit of having seen management play this same ole song n' dance before.  My company is more worried about the flight attendants unionizing than they are of liquidation right now.  Once those priorities switch, I'll believe they are really taking this seriously.  

Until then, there hasn't been a reserve callout in my category in well over 2 weeks.  I'm growing a righteous beard and I'm plotting my next adventure in general aviation once this mess is over with.  Btw, anyone ever built their own grass runway?  

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21 hours ago, disgruntledemployee said:

Complaining Checklist

So I've been keeping up with my airline's pilot forum, doing what any newb should do, stay quiet and listen.  But I'm getting quite tired of the "us vs union vs them vs us," "pay me," and etc. attitudes.  And tired of the "gross mismanagement" talk like anyone would ever fathom that air traffic would fall 95% for months to come.  I've already concluded that there will be displacements and furloughs this fall, barring any further gov't assistance (but now they want to change this latest deal to 70% grant/30% loan).  I'd love to see a 3 Musketeer attitude, but way too much hate/distrust/anger/negativity.  I think I'll look into that truck driving school... oh wait, no schools open.  Day trading? Nope, I'll lose the rest of it trying that.  Instagram Influencer, screw that, I can't pout my face that much and not enough photoshop skillz.  Sport bitching?  Nah, season was cancelled.  Beer light has been on the last 2 weeks solid, which is nice.  Oh well.

Venting - Complete

Strategically, the pilots are wanting to hold the line based on their past bankruptcy experiences. Any compromise on pay and benefits now, and a Federal bankruptcy judge will use that compromise as a starting point for new terms and conditions later. It's better to go into bankruptcy from a strong position than a weak one.

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Complaining Checklist
So I've been keeping up with my airline's pilot forum, doing what any newb should do, stay quiet and listen.  But I'm getting quite tired of the "us vs union vs them vs us," "pay me," and etc. attitudes. 
Venting - Complete



As a member of the Teamsters Union before my life in the USAF; this type of attitude is what “Union” organizations routinely sound like. Especially with old heads who’ve seen management screw the workers. Enjoy the bitching, and don’t side with Bobs..
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On 4/13/2020 at 10:08 AM, Orbit said:

 

Same!  Ya, that's one of the only documents of substance I've found on the matter.  I've chatted with a few guys who've built their own and they've been a great resource.  With the amount of grass strips in my area, it may be easier to just call up the owners and ask if I could have access to their runway and attempt to buy land adjacent.

 

So as to keep the train somewhat on the tracks.  Latest DAL Crew Resources newsletter is saying they're trying to get our 300 new hires into training in June.  We'll see if that comes to fruition or what that means for the future.  Talk is we'll publish a displacement bid this week...might just be for the planes we plan on permanently parking (MD88/90 and some of our 717s and 763s).

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On 4/13/2020 at 2:03 AM, Sua Sponte said:

Buddy of mine was laid off by Compass, got the call today from Atlas for the 747. 

Yup, good to get a job rolling during these times and nothing is “immune” as said before but we’re doing well. We’re being flooded right now so it doesn’t bode well for a significant contract upgrade, but I am happy to be employed so no complaints whatsoever (not that I think it’s really bad as I have family across oceans on both sides, continent hopping and food still interests me), 73 side seems to be cutting back but the rest of our iron is steadfast at this point. 777s put into place for our DHL contracts dumping some 74s, but these are being contracted out to others so the demand is still high. Your buddy will get better experience than most and be that much more marketable when hiring comes around. I don’t have a yacht, Maserati, and 2nd, 3rd mortgage, (We have our fair share of pilots with 2nd/3rd X wives), but it definitely pays the bills and the flying in the commercial sector least boring of all long haul. Heck he may like it as much as I do and if not he’ll be set up for that shiny penny operation with hats and expensive cigars!

I myself enjoy the 74, no bunks but 2 rooms dozing for a $ (unless converted Freighter/Pax Bird then bunks), mostly very nice hotels, catered food some good, some not so good but meals nevertheless, some phenomenal locations and others just OK, coming onto the flight deck taking your tie off and throwing on your pajamas with a baseball hat before departure - priceless. Cheap Cigars in Miami where we train so that’s something.

All the Union/Management throw down mentioned before is right on the money and we have our issues as well. We definitely need pay parity, but I truly believe our pilots are very upset because it would be hands down the place to work if pay, retirement, overall contract compensation were even just near Big 3 or the 2 dominant cargo outfits. Even 10% below would sway many as long as we kept our no jumpseat gateway open. Pilots will always find some issue. 17 Days is the kicker though let’s not fool anybody it is a long stretch. I am senior enough to snag 14-16 day trips and have more than 2 months off a year, but 10-14 days trips once a month would be more my style. Our schedules change often, no cookie cutter flying, nothing you can count on, but as long as I leave and come back on schedule it’s nothing but an adventure to me. I still really enjoy going to work 95% of the time so I am lucky no doubt.

*For those retiring now I have laid down a basic representation of what we’re about and we are hiring if you haven’t had a bite as of late. With your retirement it makes it very easy; therefore, I speak from a different survival perspective. Jump ship when your “dreamboat” floats by and get the most worldwide experience in the mean time. No one goes everywhere we go and I can substantiate that. It’s very USAFish but with some really good support in many cases and you’re already acclimated to change.

 

Edited by AirGuardianC141747
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I will say the company definitely focuses on their business as these planes have never been cleaner since their production. We also have some $ compensation regarding the hot zones if you will. With restaurants and other food venues out of play they were covering $50 on top of per diem during hotel layovers for room service or outside delivery, etc. They took that away and just bumped up our perdiem which is nice and easier for them and us when doing our finance reports, granted it still saved them a little cash if you were in hotels for long periods. Nearly $100 a day isn’t bad, but I had a good time with $129 a day back at Ramstein. Like I said before, we’ll always find something to complain about. Business is good for now and we’ve been pulling planes back out of storage to meet demands vs parking them. Everything is cyclic so we pray everyone gets back out there. It has been very quiet flying around, especially over CPDLC coverage areas. I routinely do radio check-ins just to remain vigilant and the controllers are bored, want to talk anyway and happy to be employed as I am. Overall, it seems we have pulled together somewhat and keeping those “Air Bridge” missions going is our focus as it should be.

Edited by AirGuardianC141747
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Additional note regarding “Gateway” privileges. Must be greater than 130 miles from your domicile to be eligible. Airport normally must provide a couple of flights by two different carriers daily to reach main hubs, etc to be moved to your domicile and also provides the company the ability to move you to any airport where the aircraft turns to start your “pattern.” Granted, so many airports are already on the list and most requests are granted very easily it seems. 

***”Gateway” is the reason most of us stay with this Company as jump seating/finding your own way is not a worry at all in any way. 95% or more commercial pilots jump back and forth, have crash pads or reside at their domicile to ease this burden. While “commuting” to work is not ideal, the kicker is we Live Where We Want. If you live in your dream location that just happens to be a domicile, no argument there - you have got it made as long as that domicile remains open. Have flown with many folks who have never left their home town which is amazing if that is your thing. We move quite a bit so it’s been a blessing while we find our way to the greenest pastures. Scheduling works with several guys roaming around in huge RVs half the year/all year and gateway out of places they travel to across the U.S. and if their wife drives somewhere else, he flies into the nearest airport she went too. Granted, it’s a good way to lose your stuff if she hates you!

Bottom Line: Getting to work is literally half the pressure of your career in the commercial world. It’s not just the ease of booked/paid for seats getting to work, if we do our part and at the airport ready to board the ticketed flight, no matter what happens we are not held accountable period. Flight cancellations, Weather delays, Maintenance delays, Flight Delays, etc. Not My Problem. Scheduling’s problem which takes a load off. No worries, rebook me, send me to a paid hotel, send me home. Challenging prior to the pandemic due to overbooking, others who get ahead of you, etc. vs pandemic now - advice is to book 3 flights minimum ahead as they cancel all the time due to no loads whatsoever.

If we were to lose Gateway due to contract negotiations (not very likely due to our ever changing contracts), then I would consider jumping ship and at least get paid to be a scheduler, jump-seat, crash-pad and a responsible grownup to show up and work no matter what circumstances/environment we may live in. 

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What is the latest you can apply for separation?  How long does it normally take to get approved?  For example , if you had no commitment starting August Of this year , you could apply up to a year prior to that correct ?  What if you don’t have a job lined up and find out in June or July an airline wants to hire you.  Could the process be done in a month or two ?  Or for some dudes like in the current situation who decide to stay in but then decide to get out , how long would it take ?

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31 minutes ago, Ryder1587 said:

What is the latest you can apply for separation?  How long does it normally take to get approved?  For example , if you had no commitment starting August Of this year , you could apply up to a year prior to that correct ?  What if you don’t have a job lined up and find out in June or July an airline wants to hire you.  Could the process be done in a month or two ?  Or for some dudes like in the current situation who decide to stay in but then decide to get out , how long would it take ?

There’s a big it depends, but some of the long turn time items you can knock out early without a sep date. I think the TAPS is good for a few years now, and it is sometimes booked months out, so you could just get it done if you think you’ll be exiting. 
 

I think three months is probably a push it up minimum if you have TAPS done based on all the moving pieces...but I’m not an expert. Hopefully someone who has done a short notice exit can chime in. 

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Look at the separation reg, forget the name of it since haven't looked at it since I punched.  But, if it hasn't changed in the last few years, "normal" separation timeline is between 180 and 365 days.  If that works, simple as filling out the form online.  Took me about 10 min if I recall correctly.  To leave in less than 180 days, took OG/CC level approval, so depends on the climate of your group/wing.  I think it'd be pretty tough to get less than 90 days, but if you keep a healthy leave balance, terminal leave could probably get you there. 

For reference, from when I got my airline offer until my class date was 5 weeks and that was crazy quick.  By the time they sent me my paperwork on what all I needed to do, I was already multiple weeks behind for turning stuff in.  I think more normal timeline is 60 or more days from offer to class date.  So, if you keep a leave balance of roughly 60 days (max use or lose is 120 now for covid), and your OG or equivalent isn't a tool, you should be able to separate fairly comfortably in 120 days.  That being said, don't be the guy that puts down an availability date that you're not sure you can make.  Probably worth having the conversation with your commander to make sure he'll back you with for a quick exit once the airlines start hiring again.  If you're not willing to show your cards, save up the leave and put your avail at six months notice.

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On 4/21/2020 at 1:33 PM, SurelySerious said:

There’s a big it depends, but some of the long turn time items you can knock out early without a sep date. I think the TAPS is good for a few years now, and it is sometimes booked months out, so you could just get it done if you think you’ll be exiting. 
 

I think three months is probably a push it up minimum if you have TAPS done based on all the moving pieces...but I’m not an expert. Hopefully someone who has done a short notice exit can chime in. 

You can do TAPS at home via CBT. I did it.

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On 4/12/2020 at 2:07 PM, disgruntledemployee said:

Complaining Checklist

So I've been keeping up with my airline's pilot forum, doing what any newb should do, stay quiet and listen.  But I'm getting quite tired of the "us vs union vs them vs us," "pay me," and etc. attitudes.  And tired of the "gross mismanagement" talk like anyone would ever fathom that air traffic would fall 95% for months to come.  I've already concluded that there will be displacements and furloughs this fall, barring any further gov't assistance (but now they want to change this latest deal to 70% grant/30% loan).  I'd love to see a 3 Musketeer attitude, but way too much hate/distrust/anger/negativity.  I think I'll look into that truck driving school...

Wait. Are you talking about airline pilot forums or Air Force pilot forums?

Baseops. APC Forums. Same same. Pilots sport bitching about pay, unfair treatment, and how leadership/management doesn’t know how to run an organization.

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On 4/21/2020 at 2:59 PM, Ryder1587 said:

What is the latest you can apply for separation?  How long does it normally take to get approved?  For example , if you had no commitment starting August Of this year , you could apply up to a year prior to that correct ?  What if you don’t have a job lined up and find out in June or July an airline wants to hire you.  Could the process be done in a month or two ?  Or for some dudes like in the current situation who decide to stay in but then decide to get out , how long would it take ?

 

On 4/21/2020 at 9:03 PM, Smokin said:

"normal" separation timeline is between 180 and 365 days.  If that works, simple as filling out the form online.  So, if you keep a leave balance of roughly 60 days (max use or lose is 120 now for covid), and your OG or equivalent isn't a tool, you should be able to separate fairly comfortably in 120 days.  That being said, don't be the guy that puts down an availability date that you're not sure you can make.  Probably worth having the conversation with your commander to make sure he'll back you with for a quick exit once the airlines start hiring again.  If you're not willing to show your cards, save up the leave and put your avail at six months notice.

 

This checks.

180 days is the standard timeline, but workable at 120.  I'm in the process right now.  I asked for, and got approved, a 90 slip in my separation just for COVID, but I would have been plenty comfortable for separation, and I started the process about 200 days out.

It should be as simple as applying online through vMPF and digitally submitting the form requesting a change in your separation date.  I had to stay on top of my local personnel flight, but my request was approved in 10 days.  Getting separation orders is a different story.  That requires AFPC to do things, and your MPF to do things, most of which the won't want to do until 90-60 days from the separation date...when you'll be on leave...so engage early and often when the MPF until they get the point that you're not to leave them alone until you get orders.  

Important side-notes:

- Yes, it's uncomfortable telling an airline you'll be available for training when you don't (and can't) have orders in writing yet.  It's hard to take it on faith that Big Blue won't hose you in the end, but we don't really have a choice.  Set your availability date no earlier than the date you calculate to start your terminal leave (which you can't submit for until 60 days prior to it starting).  If in doubt, go to finance and have them calculate it for you.  

- If you're separating for AFRC/ANG, engage with the in-service recruiter (ISR) ASAP.  Things like getting on the scroll for a AFRC commission can take three months.

- Have a plan A, B, C, D and Z, and don't rule any of them out until you're off IOE at your airline.

God Speed!

FF

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On 4/19/2020 at 4:23 PM, AirGuardianC141747 said:

...lots of excellently stated, non-whining words on Atlas...

Thanks for the good string of posts.  I'm interviewing on Tuesday, and I really needed some real talk about Atlas that wasn't drenched in negative bias. 

Hoping to fly that Queen of the Sky with you.

FF

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1 hour ago, FourFans130 said:

- If you're separating for AFRC/ANG, engage with the in-service recruiter (ISR) ASAP.  Things like getting on the scroll for a AFRC commission can take three months.

WTF is this scroll? I jumped to the Guard 8 years ago and all my AD commanders warned me about getting “scrolled.” Is it like the “9th hole at 9?” Nobody, FSS, recruiting, nobody on my base knows what “the scroll” is.

Please educate me.

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11 minutes ago, Pancake said:

WTF is this scroll? I jumped to the Guard 8 years ago and all my AD commanders warned me about getting “scrolled.” Is it like the “9th hole at 9?” Nobody, FSS, recruiting, nobody on my base knows what “the scroll” is.

Please educate me.

Scrolling only applies to AD and AFRC officers to the best of my knowledge so that's probably why no one on a Guard base has heard of it. (I've been AD, Reserve, and Guard in my career).  In the Guard, Federal Recognition is the name of the game because you can't promote without that.   Currently, I'm on AD in Air Force ROTC and scrolling is very important as we can't commission any cadets until they are scrolled.  Here was one notice to us from HQ:    On Friday, 27 Sep XX, SECDEF signed the AFROTC scroll submitted 6/20/XX for over 200 cadets.     Sounds like you had some AD "leaders" trying to scare you out of getting off AD back in the day without out any actual knowledge on their side.  Go Guard!  (I'm heading back there soon!). 

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2 hours ago, FourFans130 said:

Thanks for the good string of posts.  I'm interviewing on Tuesday, and I really needed some real talk about Atlas that wasn't drenched in negative bias. 

Hoping to fly that Queen of the Sky with you.

FF

now

I enjoy the variety and it’s very similar to AMC flying when engaged in change. Much better layovers for the most part, very nice hotels, decent support overall. Nothing like flying the Queen of the skies in the commercial world. I will admit I prefer the upper deck of the pure cargo birds vs the pax conversion freighters. True separated rooms vs the bunk garbage. Long trips but always interesting on the 74. Welcome aboard and it’s definitely what you make of it. Plenty of time to have fun or complain, it’s what you choose. Lady 747 will take you around the world faster than any other jetliner. She also will take you to most any airline of choice when hiring so there’s options. Not many if any other can provide a better steppingstone from the military to your 1st choice, it’s a smattering of everything. It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure. Well, it’s a job so there’s that again.

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