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Old 01-28-2020, 04:35 AM   #1  
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Default Was Alaska Ever a Truly Great Place to Work?

Given the pilot sentiments (maybe even shifting sentiments for some?) here at AS these days, I am curious to find out if there was ever a time when it was considered a really fun place to be at.
​​​​​​
If it was, share with us what made it so back in the day, and what was the turning point if you agree that things are not so great right now. Was it the Kasher award, or were there perceptible changes long before that?

Noting Mudhen200's mention about his proximity to "Geezerville" in another post, I'd especially love to hear from those old timers who've lived the history

Last edited by All Bizniz; 01-28-2020 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:01 AM   #2  
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Actually, it was. When I started, it paid 92% of what narrow body pilots at the Major airlines paid with one pay rate for all aircraft. So for the 727 guys, it was slightly less, the MD guys about on par and the 737-200 group got slightly more. To get that, however, the Union had to sign a no-strike clause that was never published in the contract (at National's direction).

The crew meals were first class meals which were some of the best in the industry.

There was only 750 pilots so you actually got to know each other. The F/As had the same pairings and lines so you flew an entire month with the same cabin crew. You could actually develop real crew bonding, especially in months when you had 4 day trips together.

It was all up and down the West Coast/Alaska so there was no circadian problems with time zone jumping. You may not know where you were when you woke up, but you sure knew what time it was.

The downhill slide began when Bruce Kennedy retired and Ray Vecci took over. Ray was brought in to put a meat ax to the cost structure and did so very adroitly. His replacements have pursued that policy religiously. That's pretty much why you are where you are today.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:30 AM   #3  
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I think all of the legacies were pretty good places to work back in the day... up until the time they weren't.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:10 AM   #4  
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I think all of the legacies were pretty good places to work back in the day... up until the time they weren't.
Yes, no doubt that's true. hahaha... It's much appreciated that Packrat was kind enough to articulate some of the reasons specific to AS.
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:25 AM   #5  
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Actually, it was. When I started, it paid 92% of what narrow body pilots at the Major airlines paid with one pay rate for all aircraft. So for the 727 guys, it was slightly less, the MD guys about on par and the 737-200 group got slightly more. To get that, however, the Union had to sign a no-strike clause that was never published in the contract (at National's direction).

The crew meals were first class meals which were some of the best in the industry.

There was only 750 pilots so you actually got to know each other. The F/As had the same pairings and lines so you flew an entire month with the same cabin crew. You could actually develop real crew bonding, especially in months when you had 4 day trips together.

It was all up and down the West Coast/Alaska so there was no circadian problems with time zone jumping. You may not know where you were when you woke up, but you sure knew what time it was.

The downhill slide began when Bruce Kennedy retired and Ray Vecci took over. Ray was brought in to put a meat ax to the cost structure and did so very adroitly. His replacements have pursued that policy religiously. That's pretty much why you are where you are today.
Also what passenger airline pilots still have their pension? Not everyone at Alaska has it, but some do.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:04 AM   #6  
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Also what passenger airline pilots still have their pension? Not everyone at Alaska has it, but some do.
Iím not sure what point youíre trying to make. It was also the only pension plan given up voluntarily by a pilot group.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:17 AM   #7  
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Iím not sure what point youíre trying to make. It was also the only pension plan given up voluntarily by a pilot group.
Read the title of the thread, That is the point I was trying to make. For some (Top 10%), it was and is still a great place to work.
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:24 AM   #8  
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Read the title of the thread, That is the point I was trying to make. For some (Top 10%), it was and is still a great place to work.
I guess irony is dead to you. I wasnít sure whether you were trying to imply that the future pilots were sold down the river thus contributing to the myriad reasons that Alaska is no longer a ďtruly great place to work.Ē
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:43 AM   #9  
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I think Ď05 took some of the luster off for me. Almost 20 years in and itís been a ride. Hard to complain, lots of ups and downs though. Home on the sound, views out of almost every room, bought at a good time, only bummer is the 28k a year in tax on it. Drive to work, last year about 15 days a month off. I worked too hard, I drop and try to pick up as much good stuff as I can, some frown on it, I think itís smart. Boat, small plane, more then I ever expected. Have one neighbor I think is in the same place as me, on the other side is a guy that probably throws away more money then I make. If I gaze too long out his direction, I feel like a looser, wonder why any one would become a pilot. I stayed all in that A plan, never voted anyone out of it, watched a lot of guys do it to themselves, wish everyone was in it. Have a good friend at SWA, commutes to OAK, lives in a track home, still probably 700k, he wishes he would have went to ALK. Every time he comes over he says, ďah so this is how a real pilot lives.Ē Seattle has gotten expensive though, worry about the new guys, I donít think I would stay if I were them. Like to think this next contract will change a lot for them, but it would be hard to wait for a maybe if someone else were to call. Little more then 20 years left, I still enjoy flying, most everyone I fly with is awesome, it rarely feels like work.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:40 PM   #10  
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I think ‘05 took some of the luster off for me. Almost 20 years in and it’s been a ride. Hard to complain, lots of ups and downs though. Home on the sound, views out of almost every room, bought at a good time, only bummer is the 28k a year in tax on it. Drive to work, last year about 15 days a month off. I worked too hard, I drop and try to pick up as much good stuff as I can, some frown on it, I think it’s smart. Boat, small plane, more then I ever expected. Have one neighbor I think is in the same place as me, on the other side is a guy that probably throws away more money then I make. If I gaze too long out his direction, I feel like a looser, wonder why any one would become a pilot. I stayed all in that A plan, never voted anyone out of it, watched a lot of guys do it to themselves, wish everyone was in it. Have a good friend at SWA, commutes to OAK, lives in a track home, still probably 700k, he wishes he would have went to ALK. Every time he comes over he says, “ah so this is how a real pilot lives.” Seattle has gotten expensive though, worry about the new guys, I don’t think I would stay if I were them. Like to think this next contract will change a lot for them, but it would be hard to wait for a maybe if someone else were to call. Little more then 20 years left, I still enjoy flying, most everyone I fly with is awesome, it rarely feels like work.
So this guy is part of ALK’s 1%, I’m thinking? So you’re 45, and You’ve been crushing it for all these years? Cool story, bro.
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