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Old 08-08-2018, 09:08 PM   #9  
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Joined APC: Jan 2011
Posts: 698

Originally Posted by LIOG41 View Post
Expand on your floundering comment please...just curious.

We are way behind on the training power curve. Spent a month doing a transition course and talked with several instructors, Sim Ps and CKA about how far behind we are in light of retirements and the fact that we are woefully understaffed in CKA (and line pilots). The training department is shuffling instructors to meet demand on the 737 and 320, robbing from other fleets. Then they hire, and reshuffle the deck chairs. This example is just a microcosm of the bigger philosophical dilemma facing the company.

Our cancellations due to crew staffing are on the rise and we are behind every other legacy in our aircraft to crew ratio and it’s not because we do it better. We are about to lead the industry in retirements, and we are already behind with the schoolhouse. The adage is Every group 4 CA that retires cause 6-7 training events. That is for a zero growth scenario. That doesn’t take into account the training cycles that a displaced E190/S80/767 CA or FO make or the bid to bid decisions of the 14600 pilots on property. We are building more room for more sims, and our stall series upgrades are almost done, but the company needs relief wrt training. That’s going to cost them in sec 6, and it should be beneficial for us in their shortsightedness.

Delta and UAL have been hiring over 1000 a year in some years to prevent manning issues. We haven’t because of the huge undertaking of the merger, and management’s constant search for synergies to appear to take control of the costs. These cost advantages haven’t materialized because of our management’s zero tolerance for any part of the operation not to run on the thinnest of margins philosophy has failed, they just can’t believe it or admit it yet. The margin for error is unrealistic and too tight.

This management team has allowed incompetence and pettiness to rule the day wrt crew staffing and the short sighted crew scheduling tactics. We have pbs to reduce the reserve insurance needed to fill the daily schedule, but due to this teams inability to use a ‘premium’ carrot vice the ‘reassignment’ stick, their system is breaking. I have personally witnessed a 31xxx sequence develop real time and affect first hand 3 different FO re-assignments, two DH’s removing paying pax from oversold sequences when all they had to do was offer PM. I was called for the trip in MU and declined waiting for PM as there were no reserves. It went back to tracking and then went to another reserve in another base, causing DHs. Again, they somehow managed to burn 3 FO’s with cascading reserve callouts and reassignments that required DHs versus offering premium or OG. UFB. This happens everyday. All. The. Time. The last two weeks the system fell apart and there was premium if you were available. Our cancellations skyrocketed and crews were reassigned, timed out and everything went to crap NOT because of IROPS, but because there is no relief valve in the system.

They run the airline so thin wrt crewing that they are actually breaking their own schedules everyday in perfect conditions! IROPS are another catastrophe...

As someone much smarter than me said:

“Its really astounding. Who knew that management was so incompetent that PBS was going to be a tremendous jobs creator...”

Now you bring in ACD, and it’s surprise early (before Jan) implementation and all of the unknowns. While I take the view that the company is seeing it can attain more synergies with some creative and productive scheduling (tag trips on all-nighters, 5 day trips with 2/3 red eyes, multi hub trips to recover soft time, etc) your going to see the system get even tighter. And fall harder. I was always swung to the “yes for ACD” crowd not only because it fixes some really crappy sequences but because we get to experiment with it before section 6. The company will ask for relief in things that may actually benefit us just as much, and we will make them pay double for that - the same with training in many respects.

Anyway, sorry for the ramblings - my hope is that with the layoffs and early buyouts in the manager/director level, some of this will change, but probably not. This is a philosophy issue, and while it sucks we can greatly benefit from it in sec 6. They need relief, I guess we’ll find out what it’s worth.

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