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View Full Version : American vs. Southwest


jacobp31
10-08-2018, 07:25 AM
Any folks have any insight or thoughts as to why American over Southwest or vice versa? Any and all data/comments/input are welcome.


e6bpilot
10-08-2018, 08:20 AM
I think there is another thread out there with this same topic but with UA also thrown in the mix.

Answer - go with where you live or want to eventually live. Other than that, itís like betting on a horse - you just never know.

jacobp31
10-08-2018, 09:28 AM
Yeah, I couldnít find the thread with American and Southwest in it. I found some comparisons with FEDEX but not with Southwest. That could largely be due to my lack of technological skills :)


Sliceback
10-08-2018, 09:45 AM
If youíre uncertain Iíd go with SW.

Kalamazoo
10-08-2018, 09:46 AM
That could largely be due to my lack of technological skills :)

Youíll fit right in at SWA.

sherpster
10-08-2018, 09:58 AM
Are you under 40? Go with swa.

Swa has a great balance sheet and has a minimal chance of going bust in the next 25yrs. AA has a lot of debt.

Fyi: I picked AA but I’m in my late 40’s

flydc
10-08-2018, 11:42 AM
AA has much faster seniority progression and widebody (higher paying) flying. Flying a 737 for 30+ years sounds miserable to me.

Cheddar
10-08-2018, 01:36 PM
A buddy in my squadron just had this dilemma, both offers within a couple of weeks from each other.

Heíd have to commute to both, and he said he thought the SWA culture was more of his thing, plus he was really worried about AA as a company.

Hopefully thatís the right choice for him. Both are great for VERY different reasons.

What the heck do I know, as a kid I wanted to work for Pan Am or Braniff...


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Cheddar
10-08-2018, 01:37 PM
AA has much faster seniority progression and widebody (higher paying) flying. Flying a 737 for 30+ years sounds miserable to me.



So. Much. This.


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e6bpilot
10-08-2018, 01:56 PM
The 737 is light on creature comforts. To me, though, the pros of having one single huge fleet outweigh the cons. SWA does a lot of different types of flying, and as a mid seniority FO I fly with guys who work 25 days a month and guys that fly 12 MBJ turns a month and never sleep in a hotel.
Anyone can fly any flight. That creates a huge opportunity pool and ways to skin the cat.
Iíve done the long haul over the ocean circadian f job. My body doesnít like it. I regret not having the opportunity to do it later if I want, but Iíll take the silver lining to that cloud.

flydc
10-08-2018, 02:34 PM
The 737 is light on creature comforts. To me, though, the pros of having one single huge fleet outweigh the cons. SWA does a lot of different types of flying, and as a mid seniority FO I fly with guys who work 25 days a month and guys that fly 12 MBJ turns a month and never sleep in a hotel.
Anyone can fly any flight. That creates a huge opportunity pool and ways to skin the cat.
Iíve done the long haul over the ocean circadian f job. My body doesnít like it. I regret not having the opportunity to do it later if I want, but Iíll take the silver lining to that cloud.

Ya, you can do all that at AA too.... with the added bonus of upgrading much faster.

RckyMtHigh
10-08-2018, 02:52 PM
1. Who has the domicile you want/do live in?
2. If you are commuting regardless - AA
3. If you are under 45 - AA

I can say after 3 years at swa I have yet to have a miserable trip because the guy sitting next to me (not that AA wouldnít be the same, I donít know).

e6bpilot
10-08-2018, 03:40 PM
Ya, you can do all that at AA too.... with the added bonus of upgrading much faster.



Not a crank measuring contest. Thanks for the info, though. My point is that there are a lot of benefits to having one aircraft in your fleet.

Sliceback
10-08-2018, 03:40 PM
Some guys think thereís a lot of miserable guys at AA. Enough new hires have beat that back saying itís the rare trip that has a miserable guy on it. Take you pick on what you think the real truth is. The majority of guys shake their heads at the guys that live in their personal misery zip code.

In 3-4 yrs of w/b flying since we started hiring Iíve flown with two miserable guys on the same crew once or perhaps twice. The funny, or strange part, was one of them thought he was the happy guy and others were miserable. In a year of n/b flying since we started hiring I recall flying with one miserable guy. He thought he should have merged to AA with his 1998(?) AE DOH. He didnít appreciate that he hadnít run into anyone who sided with him...

Sliceback
10-08-2018, 03:45 PM
Not a crank measuring contest. Thanks for the info, though. My point is that there are a lot of benefits to having one aircraft in your fleet.

There are also lots of benefits of having multiple types. And flying to S. America, Europe, Asia, Caribbean, and Hawaii has its benefits. Thereís a reason w/b long haul flying is light years more senior than
n/b and especially domestic n/b flying.

And the 737 is the worst aircraft at AA(ignoring the 190 and S80 which are small fleets and dying). The 737 is ok but every other airplane we have is better.

Rawhide16
10-08-2018, 03:52 PM
Iíll add my $.02 as a fairly new guy at AA with numerous friends at SWA. The majority of the crowd that hangs out here is very negative and I think it paints a bad picture of AA. Iíve been here a year and I love it! As Slice mentioned, the tide is turning. Weíve already elected several new union reps that we believe will lead us to a better contract. Many of the bitter old guys are being replaced with more level-headed younger folks.

The seniority advancement opportunity is ridiculous here. I have 750 people below me in 11 months and we didnít even have any new hire classes in most of last Nov and all of Dec. Iíll likely be able to upgrade to group 2 CA by roughly the 5-5.5 year point barring any unforeseen events.

Having said that, all of the guys I know at SWA absolutely LUV it and wouldnít leave for anything. They definitely have more schedule flexibility which can lead to more earning potential if done right especially considering their profit sharing eclipses ours.

To each their own. You wonít know if you made the right decision until the day you retire.

Sliceback
10-08-2018, 03:53 PM
1. Who has the domicile you want/do live in?
2. If you are commuting regardless - AA
3. If you are under 45 - AA

I can say after 3 years at swa I have yet to have a miserable trip because the guy sitting next to me (not that AA wouldnít be the same, I donít know).

If you are 45+ why would you recommend SW over AA?

Guys hired right now are looking at just under 6 yrs to junior Captain (company wide) and 7 yrs in the senior bases. 777 FO is at 4 yrs and the 330/787 is at 5 yrs. Senior bases are about an additional year longer.

e6bpilot
10-08-2018, 04:04 PM
There are also lots of benefits of having multiple types. And flying to S. America, Europe, Asia, Caribbean, and Hawaii has its benefits. Thereís a reason w/b long haul flying is light years more senior than

n/b and especially domestic n/b flying.



And the 737 is the worst aircraft at AA(ignoring the 190 and S80 which are small fleets and dying). The 737 is ok but every other airplane we have is better.



Mostly agree with all your salient points. Both are great places to be for different reasons. They are two very different companies.
As for long haul flying, BTDT, have the t-shirt, glad I am not doing it any more, but wish I had the opportunity to do it later.

RckyMtHigh
10-08-2018, 04:24 PM
If you are 45+ why would you recommend SW over AA?

Guys hired right now are looking at just under 6 yrs to junior Captain (company wide) and 7 yrs in the senior bases. 777 FO is at 4 yrs and the 330/787 is at 5 yrs. Senior bases are about an additional year longer.

It wasnít a rec for SWA over AA for the older crowd, it was that AA should be a no-brainer for younger guys. Things start to even out more as your career gets shorter and other considerations may come into play for the older guys.

at6d
10-08-2018, 05:24 PM
Either place is a good career choice. Iím about to finish my third year and was a former Eagle guy for 7.

The cultures are vastly different, the scheduling is different, but itís a good gig.

No complaints.

aa73
10-08-2018, 05:35 PM
And the 737 is the worst aircraft at AA(ignoring the 190 and S80 which are small fleets and dying). The 737 is ok but every other airplane we have is better.

737 the “worst airplane at AA???” Really Slice... All a strict matter of opinion. To me It is an AWESOME bird...

For me, the MD80 was hands down the most fun aircraft I’ve flown as an airline pilot. Way more fun than even the 75/76. It’s the old school cockpit plus the crazy amount of hands on pilot stuff that I really enjoyed. Setting off car alarms every takeoff was an added plus!

The 737 is right up there with the old school stuff. Not as much fun as the 80 but not far behind. I get a kick out of the fact that I’m still connecting generators the way my fellow pilots did back in the 60s. Awesome stuff!

The 75/76 was pretty fun but the type of flying we did was boring.

777/787/Scarebus may be way more comfortable, and automated... meh, y’all can have that. Boring to me. Almost like being an automaton.

Long Live the Old School Classics!

Now if we could just park the Scarebuses and bring back a bunch of parked Md80s..... ohhh be still my beating heart

Al Czervik
10-08-2018, 05:52 PM
For me, the MD80 was hands down the most fun aircraft Iíve flown as an airline pilot. Way more fun than even the 75/76. Itís the old school cockpit plus the crazy amount of hands on pilot stuff that I really enjoyed.

Lost all credibility right here.

aa73
10-08-2018, 06:43 PM
Did you ever fly it?

Cheddar
10-08-2018, 06:53 PM
I have to agree in part with aa73 - the Superduper80 was a great introduction to AA, and was a blast to fly. But after years of old 1950-60ís narrow body Boeingís I needed something ergonomic, and thatís not the 737.

I bid the gentlemanís jet and settle into the career... hands down the bus is the most comfortable thing Iíve ever flown. Sure it feels like itís going to come apart rolling down the runway, and sure no one really knows what fifi is doing - but like a buddy once said: ďyouíll love it once you realize itís not an airplane!Ē

Now the 767 - thatís like an 80ís Cadillac. Best of both worlds - but I do miss the tray table.


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aa73
10-08-2018, 07:06 PM
yeah, for comfort you definitely canít beat the WBs or Airbus.

That said... I donít know how I survive the horrible 737 year after year, based on what everyone says about it here. Man, that sitting reserve in base and driving to work to go fly a 737 really sucks!

:rolleyes:

clandestine
10-08-2018, 07:23 PM
I left SWA after 6 months to come to AA. A friend told me that "at AA, you can be the airline pilot you want to be". Seniority progression and choice of flying...I've never done heavy jet ultra-long haul flying but I want to have the option to try it. Seat lock of 24 months so if I don't like it....I bid back to the Bus.

Remember its all the same s#@t when you get right down to it. When I was at SWA I would find myself staring out the windows of the 73 at the "other airlines" and wondering what life might be like there flying that XXX airplane...I don't do that anymore. I'm where I'm supposed to be now.

QuagmireGiggity
10-08-2018, 08:38 PM
Mostly agree with all your salient points. Both are great places to be for different reasons. They are two very different companies.
As for long haul flying, BTDT, have the t-shirt, glad I am not doing it any more, but wish I had the opportunity to do it later.

For the OP.. there is your answer.

QuagmireGiggity
10-08-2018, 09:00 PM
737 the ďworst airplane at AA???Ē Really Slice... All a strict matter of opinion. To me It is an AWESOME bird...

For me, the MD80 was hands down the most fun aircraft Iíve flown as an airline pilot. Way more fun than even the 75/76. Itís the old school cockpit plus the crazy amount of hands on pilot stuff that I really enjoyed. Setting off car alarms every takeoff was an added plus!

The 737 is right up there with the old school stuff. Not as much fun as the 80 but not far behind. I get a kick out of the fact that Iím still connecting generators the way my fellow pilots did back in the 60s. Awesome stuff!

The 75/76 was pretty fun but the type of flying we did was boring.

777/787/Scarebus may be way more comfortable, and automated... meh, yíall can have that. Boring to me. Almost like being an automaton.

Long Live the Old School Classics!

Now if we could just park the Scarebuses and bring back a bunch of parked Md80s..... ohhh be still my beating heart
Glad you like it. It was rare I flew with someone on the 73 that actually liked that POS... but they do exist.

Sliceback
10-09-2018, 04:33 AM
ď737 the ďworst airplane at AA???Ē Really Slice... All a strict matter of opinion. To me It is an AWESOME bird... Ē

Of course itís an opinion. Guys have to have flown both to have an honest, and educated, opinion which is better. Iíve yet to hear anyone whoís flown both say they prefer the 737. Of course they exist but right now itís a couple of dozen saying ďAirbusĒ to no one saying ď737.Ē It came up recently. FB has flown both. I asked which they preferred? ďAirbus.Ē FO was surprised ďreally?!Ē FB - ďI will NEVER fly the 737 again.Ē

Al Czervik
10-09-2018, 05:10 AM
I have come to terms flying the 737 after the bus but would it kill Boeing to put a decently comfortable seat in the thing?

aa73
10-09-2018, 05:26 AM
ď737 the ďworst airplane at AA???Ē Really Slice... All a strict matter of opinion. To me It is an AWESOME bird... Ē

Of course itís an opinion. Guys have to have flown both to have an honest, and educated, opinion which is better. Iíve yet to hear anyone whoís flown both say they prefer the 737. Of course they exist but right now itís a couple of dozen saying ďAirbusĒ to no one saying ď737.Ē It came up recently. FB has flown both. I asked which they preferred? ďAirbus.Ē FO was surprised ďreally?!Ē FB - ďI will NEVER fly the 737 again.Ē

Well Iíll give ya that... but I think itís a stretch to say that the 737 is the worst airplane at AA. Worst comfort-wise? Maybe. But as far as handling qualities, fun to fly factor, and avionics, itís pretty dang decent. And, in my humble opinion, the 707-style trim wheel and overhead panel is downright Old School Cool.

aa73
10-09-2018, 05:26 AM
I have come to terms flying the 737 after the bus but would it kill Boeing to put a decently comfortable seat in the thing?

Right there with ya, I wish they would.

QuagmireGiggity
10-09-2018, 06:17 AM
ď737 the ďworst airplane at AA???Ē Really Slice... All a strict matter of opinion. To me It is an AWESOME bird... Ē

Of course itís an opinion. Guys have to have flown both to have an honest, and educated, opinion which is better. Iíve yet to hear anyone whoís flown both say they prefer the 737. Of course they exist but right now itís a couple of dozen saying ďAirbusĒ to no one saying ď737.Ē It came up recently. FB has flown both. I asked which they preferred? ďAirbus.Ē FO was surprised ďreally?!Ē FB - ďI will NEVER fly the 737 again.Ē
That's the way 90%+ of those conversations go. I saw my first bad landing in the airbus the other day and it was a check airman so that doesn't really count ;)

Name User
10-09-2018, 06:19 AM
SWA continues to expand and post increasing profits while AA stagnantes.

Doug had an opportunity to set us up for 20-30 years on solid financial ground but instead choose to buy back stock, which was bought for more on average than the current market price is.

Personally I would choose SWA but I care more about long term financial security than the type of airplane I operate.

iHateAMR
10-09-2018, 06:56 AM
SWA continues to expand and post increasing profits while AA stagnantes.

Doug had an opportunity to set us up for 20-30 years on solid financial ground but instead choose to buy back stock, which was bought for more on average than the current market price is.

Personally I would choose SWA but I care more about long term financial security than the type of airplane I operate.

AAL just reached a new 52 week low today.

chrisreedrules
10-09-2018, 10:20 AM
SWA continues to expand and post increasing profits while AA stagnantes.

Doug had an opportunity to set us up for 20-30 years on solid financial ground but instead choose to buy back stock, which was bought for more on average than the current market price is.

Personally I would choose SWA but I care more about long term financial security than the type of airplane I operate.

The stock buy-backs are really the alarming thing at the moment. I would be interested in knowing if Doug and Co are actively dumping their shares while approving ever-larger stock buy backs for the shareholders?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.barrons.com/amp/articles/companies-are-buying-back-stock-as-executives-sell-at-record-clip-1538787736

The debt doesnít scare me because a lot of it is due to the fleet. Having a relatively young fleet will pay dividends in years to come while UA and DA eventually have to ďbite the bulletĒ so to speak and pony up some coin to do the same. The rampant stock buy-backs scare me. Itís what corporate leadership does when theyíre out of ideas.

jacobp31
10-09-2018, 12:19 PM
Interesting points folks. Thank you for sharing and please continue to add/share other insights. Either way, both companies seem pretty great! I too am concerned with Americanís debt level and rougher history. However, that upgrade time is pretty compelling.

Name User
10-09-2018, 01:02 PM
Interesting points folks. Thank you for sharing and please continue to add/share other insights. Either way, both companies seem pretty great! I too am concerned with American’s debt level and rougher history. However, that upgrade time is pretty compelling.

Upgrade time is meaningless if you are on the street.

SWA by far has the best career potential.

If you were investing in a company, which one would you choose?

AA had incredible potential. They netted $20b dollars in profit after the merger. Instead of using that to secure the company's future, they used it to leverage the #### out of it and took on huge risk, while assuming oil prices would stay low for a decade or longer.

It would be like if you won $5m in a lottery. Instead of buying a $500k house, a used BMW, and investing the rest to live off of, you bought a $3m house along with a Ferrari, Mercedes, and a matching set of Lamborghinis and went broke five years later with nothing to show for it.

We have almost as many RJs in in our fleet than SWA has total. All told, we have twice as many airplanes as SWA but SWA earns almost as much profit as we do. AA is living on the bleeding edge.

I REALLY hate to be negative. But we just have no long term leadership skills here. Doug has never been able to think strategically. Our entire upper managment is reactive in thinking.

I had hoped the merger would change all of that. It didn't.

WhenPigsFLy
10-09-2018, 02:30 PM
So lets say AA or any other major goes chapter 11 and lets say pilots are forced to take a 25% paycut. What do you expect the other majors to do now they are at at a labor disadvatage.

EMBFlyer
10-09-2018, 02:51 PM
ď737 the ďworst airplane at AA???Ē Really Slice... All a strict matter of opinion. To me It is an AWESOME bird... Ē

Of course itís an opinion. Guys have to have flown both to have an honest, and educated, opinion which is better. Iíve yet to hear anyone whoís flown both say they prefer the 737. Of course they exist but right now itís a couple of dozen saying ďAirbusĒ to no one saying ď737.Ē It came up recently. FB has flown both. I asked which they preferred? ďAirbus.Ē FO was surprised ďreally?!Ē FB - ďI will NEVER fly the 737 again.Ē

I've flown both and I actually like the 737. Like aa73, I love the way it handles. I like the trips on it. I like that I'm way more senior on it than the Bus. Coming from the 757/767, the training was simple. I like the fact that I don't have to overthink the automation. I like the fact that I'm still actually flying something.

Also, I'm 6'2" and not a small guy by any stretch. I'm not terribly uncomfortable in it, either.

chrisreedrules
10-09-2018, 03:06 PM
So lets say AA or any other major goes chapter 11 and lets say pilots are forced to take a 25% paycut. What do you expect the other majors to do now they are at at a labor disadvatage.

Iím not sure that things are that dire at AA. But who knows what the future holds? No one really foresaw 9/11 or the recession. There have been recent echoes of economic turmoil that are a bit unsettling and I do think our markets are highly inflated. But Iím not sure that any correction would be able to put a damper on all the retirements at AA. Even if AAG decided to slash some of its fleet (early retirement of the 190s or deferral of 787 or 321Neo order) I donít think they can stop hiring for long because the retirements simply eclipse any potential future need to shrink.

TransWorld
10-09-2018, 04:30 PM
But Iím not sure that any correction would be able to put a damper on all the retirements at AA. ... I donít think they can stop hiring for long because the retirements simply eclipse any potential future need to shrink.

Bingo. . .cannot stop that freight train barreling down the tracks. We have not seen anything like this since the dawn of the jet age, in the late 1950s.

Skyward
10-09-2018, 05:52 PM
I had a CJO at UA and SW. I picked SW after much research. I love it here. There are several recent threads with several pros/cons.

I can’t speak for AA cause I don’t work there. I’m sure it’s great too, but here’s what I like about SW...

Lots of days off even as a brand new guy. I had 18 days off my first month and have only sat a handful of reserve. 17+ days off most months and fewer only by choice. Line bidding at SW is better than I ever thought it would be.

I never have to do a trip longer than 3 days. 3on/4off when the bid closes mostly, then I can adjust it from there.

Lots of flexibility. I have dropped to zero before and built it back up (even as a new guy). This would probably change if we were leaner staffed.

NICE PEOPLE. Seriously, I enjoy coming to work, and I can tell others do as well.

Good commuting policy if you commute... only need one on company

Lots of bases... soon to be 11, and you can trade trips across bases. SWA also has a vacancy bid EVERY MONTH. You can be based in PHX in winter and summer in DEN if you choose. You could change bases evey month if you want.

There’s more, but those are some of the things that drew me here.

There are cons and room for improvement as well, but nothing serious. I actually like flying the 73 and have no desire for WB flying.

ETA: My experince has been at a large junior base and time on reserve, flexibility, etc. will vary by base and bidding/trading style. We do have 4day, 2day and 1day trips. The majority are 3days. Trips are categorized as AM or PM (you bid for an AM or PM hard line).

Jet Jockey 00
10-09-2018, 05:57 PM
I don't think you can work 3 on and 4 off at AA, especially as a new hire, even after the ACD. Maybe three 4 days and 1 three day. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Slowmover
10-09-2018, 06:29 PM
I don't think you can work 3 on and 4 off at AA, especially as a new hire, even after the ACD. Maybe three 4 days and 1 three day. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

New hire at AA with 6 months on the property. Three months to get off IOE, 2 months of short call in NY, and now long call in DC. Reserve is 18 days a month, and I'm a commuter. I always go up the day before and so far I have always made it home on the last day of reserve (usually for dinner). So I'm gone 18 nights a month. If I lived in base, then I might be able to be gone 12 nights a month with my schedule.

AA vs. SW? I applied to both. AA called and SW didn't. I preferred AA anyway because of the seniority growth, commuter/basing opportunities for the place we want to live, and opportunity for wide body flying down the road. I have numerous friends at SW who love it. So, either will be good and none of us really know which will be better for you except you! Good luck!

I will say that every person I have worked with/flown with at AA has been good. Support and training were better than I expected and far better than where I came from. I'm sure there are some toxic folks around, but I haven't met one yet.

Cheddar
10-10-2018, 12:50 AM
I really do enjoy my job at AA - the variety is great and I havenít been bored yet. S80 for two years, bus for 18 months and 767 this year - all in base, 30 minutes from the house. Iíve had it better than a lot of my friends that are stuck commuting, and Iím thankful for that.

In my 4.5 years here, Iíve only flown with 3 people Iíd care not fly with again. One downright terrified me on the S80... But thereís dozens that I felt like were new best friends. Overall we have a great bunch. Iíve even had good interactions with the CPs, and found most to be very helpful.

The one thing that Iím disappointed with is our sr managementís complete and utter lack of vision. Our CS department is in shambles and we are woefully understaffed and way behind the power curve. The people in charge ran a great merger, and maybe M&A is their bread and butter - but long term airline growth isnít in their wheelhouse. I wish I was wrong but my G/d these people scare me.

I really hope Iím wrong on our direction.


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aa73
10-10-2018, 03:27 AM
Airlines are cyclical, as everyone knows. Today itís AAís turn in the dumps. For many years recently it was UAL...now they are bouncing back. Back in the early 00ís it was Delta. AA will hit a low and eventually self correct and bounce back... however it will probably take new management.

Day to day itís still a heck of a great job. Even though Iím on the torture chamber 737 :D ;)

Cheddar
10-10-2018, 06:21 AM
Airlines are cyclical, as everyone knows. Today itís AAís turn in the dumps. For many years recently it was UAL...now they are bouncing back. Back in the early 00ís it was Delta. AA will hit a low and eventually self correct and bounce back... however it will probably take new management.



Day to day itís still a heck of a great job. Even though Iím on the torture chamber 737 :D ;)



Totally agree


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Smooth at FL450
10-10-2018, 06:29 AM
Interesting points folks. Thank you for sharing and please continue to add/share other insights. Either way, both companies seem pretty great! I too am concerned with Americanís debt level and rougher history. However, that upgrade time is pretty compelling.


Making a career decision based on a quick upgrade is similar to making an investment decision based on past performance.


The music will eventually stop....Where do you want to be when the industry hits its next downturn?

AwkwardTurtle
10-10-2018, 06:45 AM
Making a career decision based on a quick upgrade is similar to making an investment decision based on past performance.


The music will eventually stop....Where do you want to be when the industry hits its next downturn?

Bingo! Purely from an investor standpoint, AAL is down 10% in two days, 20% for the week, and 38% for the year. A 2 year low, and trending lower. In contrast, DAL is down 11% for the year, LUV is 12%. Oil prices are rising, look past the wishful thinking and see the numbers.

You may not get furloughed, but may stagnate a lot longer than youíre wanting to. Would you rather stagnate at a place with a commute, less than optimal work rules and a management that has no clear direction and is reactionary at best?

GHOST
10-10-2018, 06:46 AM
Both American Airlines and South West are great companies to work for, and you can’t go wrong with either. I made the move over to American from another legacy and am very fortunate to get on the seniority list at the time that I did. I personally know 4 pilots who left South West to come over to American due to better career prospects.

Regionalsuck
10-10-2018, 09:38 AM
SWA has way better QOL, more days off and much more scheduling flexibility. You can get that at AA after many many years or if you go to an undesirable domicile and stay narrowbody for several years.. at SWA ultra junior pilots can hold 18 days off and swap schedules around.

AA has better retirement movement and airplane variety. Catch 22 really.. sure you can get senior enough to move up to 767/330/777/787 but each time you get senior enough to move to a larger airplane or a desirable domicile you basically reset your seniority and start at the bottom again. Reserve, no weekends off, work every holiday, low days off, get absolutely nothing you bid for lasting years (fleet/domicile dependant). Larger the airplane the more senior it gets and the longer the suck lasts. So just because there is a lot of movement coming doesnít mean you will be holding 787 DFW with weekends and Christmas off before you miss half your kids life.

Personally I would have preferred the SWA QOL and management over this place but not military enough to get hired there. AA isnít bad, just depends what you value more.. time with family or bigger Airplanes (one day) and more hotels.

sherpster
10-10-2018, 09:56 AM
SWA has way better QOL, more days off and much more scheduling flexibility. You can get that at AA after many many years or if you go to an undesirable domicile and stay narrowbody for several years.. at SWA ultra junior pilots can hold 18 days off and swap schedules around.

AA has better retirement movement and airplane variety. Catch 22 really.. sure you can get senior enough to move up to 767/330/777/787 but each time you get senior enough to move to a larger airplane or a desirable domicile you basically reset your seniority and start at the bottom again. Reserve, no weekends off, work every holiday, low days off, get absolutely nothing you bid for lasting years (fleet/domicile dependant). Larger the airplane the more senior it gets and the longer the suck lasts. So just because there is a lot of movement coming doesnít mean you will be holding 787 DFW with weekends and Christmas off before you miss half your kids life.

Personally I would have preferred the SWA QOL and management over this place but not military enough to get hired there. AA isnít bad, just depends what you value more.. time with family or bigger Airplanes (one day) and more hotels.

Your post is wrong on so many levels.

Regionalsuck
10-10-2018, 10:35 AM
Your post is wrong on so many levels.

Pretty accurate actually. I work at AA, have many friends at SWA. See both sides.

How many junior people in desirable domiciles have great schedules at AA, if they can even hold the domicile they want? Pretty much zero.

How well does our redder than red trip trade system work that denies even same day trades to improve our schedule? How is those constant reassignments making everyone a reserve going for us?

We have great schedules for the top %, everyone else gets mostly garbage. Sure we have widebody dozing for dollars (takes many years to get that even at the bottom level). Top FOís on that bidding primo schedules are 25-30 years plus seniority. Junior pilots here get extreme garbage pbs lines with min days off or uncomutable junk they canít trade because itís redder than a baboons butt. How many of our junior pilots get 15 days off on reserve or 18 day off lines?

Not to mention many more 4-5 day trips now in the bids since ACD just happened. Which are horrendous QOL killers for non commuters who value their family.

Iím not saying there isnít positives to AA, there is, and there is a huge retirement wave. Hopefully our next contract is a huge improvement if we are lucky enough to sign it before another recession starts.

What I am really saying is you just get better QOL and more flexibility at SWA right off the bat and you wonít keep starting over at the (relative seniority) bottom every time you move up a fleet size, since there is only one there. You donít have to wait an eternity to get great QOL there. The flexibility is huge since everyone is qualified on the same thing and their systems to improve schedules donít blanket deny everything like ours does.

The thing that scares me at AA about these massive retirements is our management isnít staying ahead of it at all, training certainly canít handle it, so the pilots ultimately will pay the price for it in working like dogs to cover up their lack of planning ahead. I see withholdings lasting longer, crap schedules and contract violations galore when the wave really hits in a few years. They sure as hell wonít be able to handle massive cross bidding fleet to fleet and upgrades along with 1000 new hires/yr. Who is going to suffer for this lack of preparation? We are. Not management.

Kebert Xela
10-10-2018, 11:36 AM
Pretty accurate actually. I work at AA, have many friends at SWA. See both sides.

How many junior people in desirable domiciles have great schedules at AA, if they can even hold the domicile they want? Pretty much zero.

How well does our redder than red trip trade system work that denies even same day trades to improve our schedule? How is those constant reassignments making everyone a reserve going for us?

We have great schedules for the top %, everyone else gets mostly garbage. Sure we have widebody dozing for dollars (takes many years to get that even at the bottom level). Top FOís on that bidding primo schedules are 25-30 years plus seniority. Junior pilots here get extreme garbage pbs lines with min days off or uncomutable junk they canít trade because itís redder than a baboons butt. How many of our junior pilots get 15 days off on reserve or 18 day off lines?

Not to mention many more 4-5 day trips now in the bids since ACD just happened. Which are horrendous QOL killers for non commuters who value their family.

Iím not saying there isnít positives to AA, there is, and there is a huge retirement wave. Hopefully our next contract is a huge improvement if we are lucky enough to sign it before another recession starts.

What I am really saying is you just get better QOL and more flexibility at SWA right off the bat and you wonít keep starting over at the (relative seniority) bottom every time you move up a fleet size, since there is only one there. You donít have to wait an eternity to get great QOL there. The flexibility is huge since everyone is qualified on the same thing and their systems to improve schedules donít blanket deny everything like ours does.

The thing that scares me at AA about these massive retirements is our management isnít staying ahead of it at all, training certainly canít handle it, so the pilots ultimately will pay the price for it in working like dogs to cover up their lack of planning ahead. I see withholdings lasting longer, crap schedules and contract violations galore when the wave really hits in a few years. They sure as hell wonít be able to handle massive cross bidding fleet to fleet and upgrades along with 1000 new hires/yr. Who is going to suffer for this lack of preparation? We are. Not management.

Could be true, however Iíll gladly keep my relative seniority in a NB and get WB pay while being withheld due to lack of training slots. Of course thatís one persons view.

Do agree contract violations could become a norm and I hope APA is ready to hold feet to the fire over repeated violations.

aa73
10-10-2018, 12:17 PM
Pretty accurate actually. I work at AA, have many friends at SWA. See both sides.

How many junior people in desirable domiciles have great schedules at AA, if they can even hold the domicile they want? Pretty much zero.

I am 4th from the bottom in my bid status and my QOL kicks a$$. Sitting SC reserve at home = semi retirement. I’ve only worked 3, maybe 4 trips per month for a few months now. End up with 80ish hours (sometimes more, depending on OG/PR) while being at home probably 20 days/month. And mind you this is Domestic NB, way better than what my Intl WB FO buds are doing. So yes, if you live in base and are very junior, you can absolutely have a great QOL here.

Jet Jockey 00
10-10-2018, 12:54 PM
I am 4th from the bottom in my bid status and my QOL kicks a$$. Sitting SC reserve at home = semi retirement. I’ve only worked 3, maybe 4 trips per month for a few months now. End up with 80ish hours (sometimes more, depending on OG/PR) while being at home probably 20 days/month. And mind you this is Domestic NB, way better than what my Intl WB FO buds are doing. So yes, if you live in base and are very junior, you can absolutely have a great QOL here.

Looks like scr NB is a good deal then, what about DFW 76 looks junior, are the schedules bad?

what is the timeline for phasing out the 76; Is the plan to replace with 321 neo or 787?

sherpster
10-10-2018, 01:05 PM
Your post is wrong for the following reasons:

SWA only has 737's. If we are comparing AA to SWA then compare a career in which you only fly the 737. No one is holding a gun to your head saying you HAVE TO upgrade and go back to the bottom of the list again.

Also, I am a new guy. Hired in Jan so I am pretty close to the bottom.
April: Training then 1 day of short call.
May: 12 days on the line. Two trips that had 30hr layovers at my house.
June: 11 days
July: 6 days (dropped some trips, even I was surprised at how much I was able to drop in July). I didnt make any money in July but I had a good summer.
Aug: 2x7 day stretches. Day 1 had evening shows, Day 7 was early morning releases. August was the worse because I did all red-eyes. Still not bad considering my seniority and that August is super busy.

My seniority is going up fast. Sept I bid LC reserve, awarded ZERO weekends. About 50% in LGA.

Your results may vary but I have seen a couple of my friends schedules at SWA and I am glad I am not there. TTOT isnt near as bad as people make it out to be, maybe there are better systems but even as a low seniority guy I can make it work.

If you want to bash AA because we are full of debt and our future as a company could be affected in the next recession then so be it but dont blame upgrading to larger jets as a reason to choose SWA over AA.

I do agree with the fact that I have no idea how the company is going to keep up with training and that could really screw up QOL.

nAAtive
10-10-2018, 02:21 PM
Your post is wrong for the following reasons:

SWA only has 737's. If we are comparing AA to SWA then compare a career in which you only fly the 737. No one is holding a gun to your head saying you HAVE TO upgrade and go back to the bottom of the list again.

Also, I am a new guy. Hired in Jan so I am pretty close to the bottom.
April: Training then 1 day of short call.
May: 12 days on the line. Two trips that had 30hr layovers at my house.
June: 11 days
July: 6 days (dropped some trips, even I was surprised at how much I was able to drop in July). I didnt make any money in July but I had a good summer.
Aug: 2x7 day stretches. Day 1 had evening shows, Day 7 was early morning releases. August was the worse because I did all red-eyes. Still not bad considering my seniority and that August is super busy.

My seniority is going up fast. Sept I bid LC reserve, awarded ZERO weekends. About 50% in LGA.

Your results may vary but I have seen a couple of my friends schedules at SWA and I am glad I am not there. TTOT isnt near as bad as people make it out to be, maybe there are better systems but even as a low seniority guy I can make it work.

If you want to bash AA because we are full of debt and our future as a company could be affected in the next recession then so be it but dont blame upgrading to larger jets as a reason to choose SWA over AA.

I do agree with the fact that I have no idea how the company is going to keep up with training and that could really screw up QOL.

Be thankful youíre at the most junior base. This isnít the norm. My buddies at swa hired around the same time as me are senior captains that make a lot more money with a lot more days off.

flydc
10-10-2018, 06:13 PM
I was hired Jan 2017 and Iím 15% on the E190, making group 2 pay. I credit 90hrs a month, had August vacation, and have all weekends off.

On the 737 (since weíre comparing SWA), my seniority is 40% in LGA and 60% in MIA & LAX. I can hold any base in the system, 767 in LGA & PHL, and E190 captain. All in less than 2yrs... and the retirement wave is just getting started!

Sliceback
10-10-2018, 06:46 PM
Making a career decision based on a quick upgrade is similar to making an investment decision based on past performance.


The music will eventually stop....Where do you want to be when the industry hits its next downturn?

Quick upgrades in the past were based on growth. The movement this time is based on retirements. You can do projections with 5, 10, 15, or 20% furloughs and shrinkage and project your career at various airlines. The retirements give some crazy results even with a furlough.

Dozing for dollars at 25-30 yr LOS is due to stagnation and the old pilot group. Early 2014 new hires looking at 777 CA after approx 15 yrs (havn’t checked the math recently). Dozing for dollars should come before they can upgrade??(I’ll check tomorrow). That’s for a 2014 new hire. I’ll check for a 2019 new hire.

chrisreedrules
10-11-2018, 12:24 AM
Quick upgrades in the past were based on growth. The movement this time is based on retirements. You can do projections with 5, 10, 15, or 20% furloughs and shrinkage and project your career at various airlines. The retirements give some crazy results even with a furlough.

Dozing for dollars at 25-30 yr LOS is due to stagnation and the old pilot group. Early 2014 new hires looking at 777 CA after approx 15 yrs (havnít checked the math recently). Dozing for dollars should come before they can upgrade??(Iíll check tomorrow). Thatís for a 2014 new hire. Iíll check for a 2019 new hire.

How about for a January 2021 hire? :D

Pilot X
10-11-2018, 04:21 AM
Making a career decision based on a quick upgrade is similar to making an investment decision based on past performance.


The music will eventually stop....Where do you want to be when the industry hits its next downturn?

Another thing to consider....being at the bottom of each of these lists when the next downturn hits. You could be furloughed from either airline. But due to the higher percentage of retirements at American you would probably would be called back much quicker. Or maybe not even furloughed at all because the retirements are just like furloughs, just off the top instead of the bottom.

Name User
10-11-2018, 04:30 AM
Another thing to consider....being at the bottom of each of these lists when the next downturn hits. You could be furloughed from either airline. But due to the higher percentage of retirements at American you would probably would be called back much quicker. Or maybe not even furloughed at all because the retirements are just like furloughs, just off the top instead of the bottom.

SWA didn't furlough after 9/11 or during the big recession, did they? They are a much more stable company. I'm not saying they won't ever but they are conservative in that regard. They staff pretty lean and keep their balance sheet in order.

chrisreedrules
10-11-2018, 04:59 AM
SWA didn't furlough after 9/11 or during the big recession, did they? They are a much more stable company. I'm not saying they won't ever but they are conservative in that regard. They staff pretty lean and keep their balance sheet in order.

Southwest also has a completely different corporate culture now. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Smooth at FL450
10-11-2018, 06:20 AM
Quick upgrades in the past were based on growth. The movement this time is based on retirements. You can do projections with 5, 10, 15, or 20% furloughs and shrinkage and project your career at various airlines. The retirements give some crazy results even with a furlough.




True, but that can all change with the stroke of a pen.

Sliceback
10-11-2018, 07:52 AM
True, but that can all change with the stroke of a pen.

But the pen stroke hits every airline. Age 68? Three year delay or less. Age 70? Less than five years. Unlimited?

And the airlines with more retirements will be impacted less. Five year upgrade becomes 8-10. Ten year upgrade? Becomes 13-15. And the five year upgrade has half as long to worry about any possible delay that might be brought about by a change to the retirement year.

Sliceback
10-11-2018, 07:55 AM
SWA didn't furlough after 9/11 or during the big recession, did they? They are a much more stable company. I'm not saying they won't ever but they are conservative in that regard. They staff pretty lean and keep their balance sheet in order.

SW today is about 90% as efficient as they were years ago (monthly hours flown per pilot).

Legacy pilots used to fly about 70% as much as SW pilots. Post 9/11 we're at 80%.

So there's a possibility that the difference in any future downturn might be significantly different. And the retirement bubble will be an influence on furloughs, the number of furloughs, and length of furloughs.

Sliceback
10-11-2018, 08:27 AM
How about for a January 2021 hire? :D

2043-2046. With some early retirements and limited growth it might be up to 5(??) years sooner.

Here's the recent advancement potential (junior base company wide) for 2014 - Oct 2018 new hires.

G4 FO n/b CA G4 CA

2014 5 yrs 6 yrs 15 yrs
2015 6 yrs 6 yrs 15 yrs
2016 5 yrs 6 yrs 14 yrs
2017 5 yrs 5 yrs 14 yrs
2018 5 yrs 5 yrs 14 yrs
10/18 5 yrs 5 yrs 14 yrs

Web site estimates. I'm coming up with perhaps an additional year for G4 CA upgrades in the later years. That's for the junior base. Senior bases are 1-2 years longer.

Junior CA is about 4,100 from the bottom guy. That means a 2021 new hire will be looking at G4 FO in 3-4 years and upgrade in 5 years. G4 CA will be slower, approx. 17-19 yrs.

A 2025 new hire will have an estimated 14 yrs to upgrade. That's assuming no one hired between today and 2025 is older than 45 yrs old, 2019 new hire isn't older than 46, 2020 older than 18, etc.

Mind boggling numbers if they're correct. The retirement bubble is creating scenarios we havn't seen before. Seven years after the hiring spree and upgrades are still at five years. Eleven years after the hiring started and upgrades are at 14 yrs? Still not a stagnated career. The problem is the drop off in current retirements. Anyone hired knows the value of being hired early in the hiring cycle but in the past the hiring was mostly for growth. It used to be 15-20% retirements and 80-85% retirements. Now we're looking at 15-20% growth and 80-85% retirements.

Sliceback
10-11-2018, 08:33 AM
Updated retirement numbers - accurate through 2038, after 2038 it's +/- since it's actually based on October as the end of the year.

2019 620
2020 746
2021 825
2022 842
2023 944
2024 933
2025 951
2026 907
2027 773
2028 683
2029 642
2030 563
2031 574
2032 512
2033 488
2034 423
2035 365
2036 285
2037 236
2038 236

2039 211
2040 199
2041 157
2042 143
2043 141
2044 167
2045 174
2046 165
2047 148
2048 135
2049 124
2050 90
2051 37
2052 27
2053 20
2054 11
2055 7
2056 3
2057 2
2058 -
2059 1

chrisreedrules
10-11-2018, 03:29 PM
Thank you!

Sliceback
10-11-2018, 03:34 PM
Seven years after the hiring spree and upgrades are projected tostill [be] at five years.

QuagmireGiggity
10-11-2018, 07:13 PM
SWA has way better QOL, more days off and much more scheduling flexibility. You can get that at AA after many many years or if you go to an undesirable domicile and stay narrowbody for several years.. at SWA ultra junior pilots can hold 18 days off and swap schedules around.

AA has better retirement movement and airplane variety. Catch 22 really.. sure you can get senior enough to move up to 767/330/777/787 but each time you get senior enough to move to a larger airplane or a desirable domicile you basically reset your seniority and start at the bottom again. Reserve, no weekends off, work every holiday, low days off, get absolutely nothing you bid for lasting years (fleet/domicile dependant). Larger the airplane the more senior it gets and the longer the suck lasts. So just because there is a lot of movement coming doesnít mean you will be holding 787 DFW with weekends and Christmas off before you miss half your kids life.

Personally I would have preferred the SWA QOL and management over this place but not military enough to get hired there. AA isnít bad, just depends what you value more.. time with family or bigger Airplanes (one day) and more hotels.
I know tons of X Eagle people hired there. Many with no college degree.

QuagmireGiggity
10-11-2018, 07:29 PM
A persons age and where they live/want to live means everything for this decision.

chrisreedrules
10-12-2018, 12:32 AM
I know tons of X Eagle people hired there. Many with no college degree.

Just recently I know of someone SWA hired sans degree. Just your average regional CA who worked hard to get where he wanted to be.

at6d
10-14-2018, 06:08 AM
I know tons of X Eagle people hired there. Many with no college degree.

Iím one, but with a degree. The lost decade while at Eagle burned me on the AA way. When I was hired in 2000 at Eagle, upgrade was 18 months. Fast forward 84 months, still no upgrade and less money than a regional newhire today. The flow through was a pipe dream (the reality looking back I would have flowed at around 12.5 years), and I was flying with former TWA captains furloughed from AA and now flowbacks at Eagle.

Times have changed now, but a lot of the AA management whipsaw ideology remains.

Iím sure itís a good gig but every ex-Eagle guy I know thatís here is very happy with their decision, including me.

Sliceback
10-14-2018, 10:14 AM
Every AE f/t Iíve flown with acts like theyíve died and gone to heaven here. Except for the one guy bitter that he didnít get his original AE DOH when he came over. Heíll never get over that and canít understand why no one supports him.

And enough of them have gotten irritated when guys talk about Ďregional contractí at AA - ďthereís no comparison. Saying that diminishes how bad it was at AE.Ē

Sliceback
10-14-2018, 10:16 AM
FTR I enjoyed flying the 737. But for the vast majority of guys whoíve flown both say the AB is a much better job. But 25-30K hrs in the 737? Ugh.

at6d
10-15-2018, 09:45 AM
Every AE f/t Iíve flown with acts like theyíve died and gone to heaven here. Except for the one guy bitter that he didnít get his original AE DOH when he came over. Heíll never get over that and canít understand why no one supports him.

And enough of them have gotten irritated when guys talk about Ďregional contractí at AA - ďthereís no comparison. Saying that diminishes how bad it was at AE.Ē

I bet itís worlds better than Eagle was. I had a flowback (no prior regional time) tell me ďI had no idea it was this bad, nor any idea how hard you guys worked.Ē

bababouey
10-15-2018, 10:18 AM
This shouldnít even be a question. You want to live in Dallas and fly a 73? You can do that a whole lot more at AA.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

pilot2804
10-16-2018, 06:08 PM
What about being 30, single, and thinking long term aviation career? AA or SWA?

Every airline is going to have their ups and downs- just like the market.

dera
10-16-2018, 06:37 PM
2059 1

This guy will have a) one heck of a career, and b) must have one heck of a resume!

Name User
10-16-2018, 07:33 PM
This guy will have a) one heck of a career, and b) must have one heck of a resume!

You never really know. In 2035 Boeing and Airbus might release an airplane guided from the ground only. We very well could have the last of the two pilot crew on property now.

Just think back 30 years ago and how many things have already changed. Talking to someone via video on a handheld device was litterally star trek level thinking back then.

"Never say never"

Name User
10-16-2018, 07:39 PM
What about being 30, single, and thinking long term aviation career? AA or SWA?

Every airline is going to have their ups and downs- just like the market.

Not really totally accurate. SWA and Delta have consistently been good. SWA in particular. They have good management bones. I would actually include Spirit in that list as well. But, I know they don't get a lot of street cred. They continue to knock it out of the park in terms of financial performance. Their CASM-ex is actually decreasing even after the new pilot contract. Unless they are cooking the numbers they are operating cheaper YOY. I just don't see how, long term, the other carriers will be able to compete. Think what Walmart, or Amazon, did to the consumer retailing business.

Sliceback
10-17-2018, 06:21 AM
This guy will have a) one heck of a career, and b) must have one heck of a resume!

I think he was 24 when he got hired. Maybe 23(?) when he interviewed. 4000 TT, started flying professionally at a young age (18 or 19?) lots of turbine time, King Air PIC since he was 21(?), E-175 FO when he got hired. Guys whoíd flown with him spoke very highly of him. And he got a degree while flying for a living. Thatís what I recommend to self motivated young people.

Sliceback
10-17-2018, 06:23 AM
Delta has been consistently good? Whyíd they go into BK then? Why did so many guys retire early which skewed the career advancements of the guys behind them forward?

dera
10-17-2018, 07:57 AM
I think he was 24 when he got hired. Maybe 23(?) when he interviewed. 4000 TT, started flying professionally at a young age (18 or 19?) lots of turbine time, King Air PIC since he was 21(?), E-175 FO when he got hired. Guys whoíd flown with him spoke very highly of him. And he got a degree while flying for a living. Thatís what I recommend to self motivated young people.

That's impressive. Puts some of the whiners here to shame.

dera
10-17-2018, 08:01 AM
You never really know. In 2035 Boeing and Airbus might release an airplane guided from the ground only. We very well could have the last of the two pilot crew on property now.

Just think back 30 years ago and how many things have already changed. Talking to someone via video on a handheld device was litterally star trek level thinking back then.

"Never say never"

Never say never, but that's highly unlikely. It takes around 10 years to develop a "traditional" airliner, and nothing of that caliber is even in serious development right now.
2035 might be realistic for some single pilot planes, and this guy will be a top dog captain by then.

Sliceback
10-17-2018, 08:02 AM
Part of being competitive is being more competitive than your peers. I tell young guys not to compete against older guys, compete against their peers. This guy did it.

full of luv
10-17-2018, 05:22 PM
Delta has been consistently good? Whyíd they go into BK then? Why did so many guys retire early which skewed the career advancements of the guys behind them forward?

Yes, the late 90's was a case where Delta mgmt tried to out cheap all the domestic startup's and other legacies. There was much MORE competition then so in the early 2000's when oil spiked, really only SWA was positioned well with cash to crush the competition with their oil hedges while everyone else paid full freight for oil with much declined revenues.
SWA NEVER had pensions, so in the end, it was probably inevitable that those would become history in the pax pilot profession. (Funny too because most other airline non-pilot employees still have pensions).

After the BK, Delta mgmt mostly decided that it would be better to offer a better product (on time, never canx, nice clubs, etc) to the highest paying pax and try for a revenue premium instead of just trying to offer the lowest fare in every market. So far that strategy has worked well since the last near decade, but really hasn't been tested in a major recession, but there is much less overall competition in most markets now, so maybe that will keep working.

The oldest pilots left because you could retire at 50yrs and take 1/2 your lifetime annuity as a lumpsum payout prior to cancelling the pension plan. Many 50 something pilots had a very difficult conversation with their accountants right before the Delta BK where they were advised to take the lump sum and leave. Many did, a few didn't and they have had a rocket ship of seniority since (especially after they raised the retirement age not long after).

There are books written about how well AA was managed during the 70's-80's. Heck didn't AA mngmt invent revenue management, the B scale, Sabre, etc? Also, many AA mgmt have left multi-millionaires, so good mgmt is always subject to perspective.



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