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HanSoolu 01-02-2018 03:40 PM

Read Before You Come To Envoy
 
We live in a day and age where information is readily available at our fingertips, yet we’re still able to recruit people to this company based on numerous falsehoods and sometimes even complete scams. I am writing this to try to paint a more accurate picture than our recruiters at Envoy seem to be giving our new hires.

After just under 2 years with Envoy, I have made the decision to retire from the Airline industry altogether after 5 abysmal years. My experience at three different regionals has proven that this sector of Aviation is not for me. People will continue to tell you that it gets better. Unfortunately, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

My Bachelor’s Degree is in Accounting. When I graduated, I had the option to continue with Accounting and work towards my CPA with one of the Big Four Accounting Firms. Not a day goes by that I do not regret my decision to leave that all behind and go the pilot route. If you’re thinking of making a career change, heed my advice: unless you have a deep and strong passion for aviation, stay away from the airline industry. Just remember that this passion won’t pay the bills.

To those of you that are thinking of joining the ranks of the “Elite” at Eagle, I strongly urge you to think again before selling your soul to the devil (read: Doug Parker).

Before I go to deep into this, I ask to those that respond to please refrain from emotions. My goal is one thing: Just the facts.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Come to Envoy:

1) Flow is Nonexistent. Metered. And Completely Unacceptable
It won’t take you long at this airline to discover that the “Just under 6 years to get to American” that the recruiters seem to be touting is a complete lie. The powers that be in management have violated our flow agreement before, and they continue to do so to this day. They are “metering” this number far below the projections from Recruitment.

If you don’t believe me, make a call to our ALPA MEC and ask to speak with someone in Contract Compliance. They will confirm that there is a grievance filed on the violation of our flow agreement. Don’t expect this grievance to be settled anytime soon, either (more on this later).

I cannot stress this enough: DO NOT COME TO ENVOY FOR THE FLOW.

2) You will commute to New York
This is mainly for those on the glorious 145.

Because New York has so many pilots transfer out, the company forces a decent group of its new hires to New York. The recruiters will tell you that you can transfer out in the next quarterly vacancy bid - but don’t think that you won’t be commuting there for at least six months.

Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid getting awarded NFE straight out of indoc, you will end up being sent there Involuntarily on TDY at least once throughout your career at Envoy.

If you’re going to be forced to New York, why not go to an airline that actually cares about its employees and compensates them adequately? *cough*Endeavor*cough*

2a) If you go to New York, You will be run by someone with little authority to be a Chief Pilot
The company has chosen the lowest bidder for the Job in NY, and that individual is our Chief Pilot, who just so happens to be a first officer on the CRJ (mind you, a plane that doesn’t even exist in New York).

Because he is the lowest bidder for the job, expect him to never be in the office when you need him. Also expect him to be completely unhelpful for anything you need.

I once asked for access to Res (for commuting purposes) and was told by this Chief Pilot that he does not have the proper permissions to give someone that access. Ask the CPO in ORD or DFW and you will most likely have access to Res within the next few hours.

3) Flight Benefits Are Worth Very Little
This mainly applies to all regionals, but I believe AAG to have flight benefits that are a steaming pile of *******.

So you want to go to San Diego for a weekend? Good luck getting on a plane to get out there. AAG sells Basic Economy Fares that are as low as $60 one way. Your plane is going to be FULL. There will be little to no room for Space Available travelers.

So you ended up in San Diego with your Registered Companion (or Spouse). You enjoy the weekend and are ready for your trip home. The flight home on Monday morning had 40 seats open when you checked JetNet on Sunday night. All of a sudden, you wake up and find that the flight has been oversold, probably due to Basic Economy Fares.

So you take the jumpsuit and your spouse isn’t getting home in time for their commitments. Now s/he is angry with you and refuses to non-rev with you anytime soon.

Let’s just fly on a Tuesday mid-day then! Nope. Still wrong. Unless it’s the first week of February, your travel guests are not going anywhere. The amount of people in front of your guests (which includes your Spouse and Dependent Children) far exceeds the amount of open seats. This is because everyone and their mother has these flight benefits. Even the good-for-nothing Analyst at PSA.

AAG has over 95,000 employees. Assume that every employee has only their spouse on their travel privileges. You do the math on your odds.

And if you’re commuting? Guess who’s getting that Jumpseat… the AA Pilot who listed as a Primary the night before. Expect to use the Commuting Clause once per year and to not get paid for a decent portion of a trip, even though you were available to work.

4) Pay (Especially our Absurd Bonus Structure)
We’ve all seen the compensation that some airlines have been advertising. Those that include Hotels and Per Diem in their “compensation” numbers are pulling wool over your eyes. It appears Envoy is doing this now as well.

Let’s forget about that for a moment. As of the end of 2017, Envoy paid a meager $37.90 per flight hour to a first year FO. You can reasonably expect a total earnings within your first year of about $37,900.

They try to offset this with the fact that you receive a New Hire-Bonus and that you are eligible for a Retention Bonus after the first year. These bonuses are $22,100 and $2500 a quarter respectively. After taxes, expect to receive about $17,000 on day 1, leading to your first year’s compensation at just around $60,000. Not bad right?

Well, the second year is where things get funky. Let say you started on January 22, 2017. Because you aren’t on property and active for at least 60 days of the quarter (Nov 1 - Jan 31) you won’t receive your first $2500 bonus payment until April 30, 2018 (Q1 close). Because of this, your second year earnings will be considerably less. At roughly $40 per flight hour, and bonus payouts totaling $7500 within the year*, you can expect your second year earnings to be $47,500, a sharp and dramatic increase from your earnings during the first year.

So, I’ll just upgrade to captain the second year! Well, sounds fine and dandy, but you then leave $20,000 on the table (2 years of retention payments). You’ll also be paid much less than your peers at Endeavor for the same responsibility. This may be offset by your upgrade bonus, but don’t expect that to help with much.

In order to attract qualified candidates, Envoy needs to implement a compensation structure that leads our industry. Especially give the fact that our once meaningful Flow-Through has been entirely crushed to nothing more than empty dreams and hopes (see #1 above).

*This number based on Bonus payouts on April 30, 2018; July 31, 2018; and October 31, 2018. The payout on January 31, 2019 happens on your third year with the company.

5) Expect To Be Underpaid
I kept track of myself, and five others’ Flight Schedules and determined that after a period of three months, in 14 out of 15 months, we were underpaid. One of these Pay Audits resulted in more than $1200 that was not paid to said pilot.

This isn’t a freak occurrence. Almost everyone at this airline has a story about how Pay Comp has stiffed them of their hard-earned money.

This happens all too often. And it must stop. Until then, I highly recommend you go elsewhere to a company that will pay you adequately for your flying.

6) Expect a Merger with Piedmont in the Near Future

Not much to say here other than that rumors on the street are that Piedmont and Envoy will merge by the end of 2018. Maybe it won’t happen that quickly, but think about this: After the last Dash leaves Piedmont, what reason can you think of for two separate airlines that operate the same airplane?

This one is strictly a rumor, but if you expect that Doug Parker is going to overlook this, then you are sadly mistaken.

If you need a reason for why this is bad for a pilot group, do a quick google search.

7) Constant Junior Manning
If you’re new to aviation, this is a basic rundown on what “Junior Manning” involves:

Originally intended to be a way for employers to extend pilots out of base due to weather or other unforeseen operational irregularities, “Junior Manning” essentially allows a company to extend a pilot past his original sign-out time, in exchange for compensation.

At Envoy, this means the greater of what was flown at 200%, or 4 hours at the pilot’s normal hourly rate.

Okay, so you have to fly a little extra. What’s the big deal? The big deal is that you will be extended into an additional overnight when you planned to be back home with your wife and kids. All in exchange for $151. That’s pretty awful.

This happened to me 10 times in 2017. This is not an anomaly throughout the system. This company is understaffed and you will become an indentured servant by signing with them.

8) The Company Will Violate the Contract
Management is so bad at this company that they have no regard for the labor contracts and the agreements they make with the union. Although related to number 1 (see above) this is a rampant problem throughout Envoy.

This will not get better over time. The corporate culture is in desperate need of a change. Envoy managers have a “fly it and grieve it” mentality, which always works to the company’s favor. The company knows they won’t be penalized for their wanton and willful violations of the contract. They would much rather take their chances with a System Board of Adjustment, mainly because it is much easier to screw over employees and pay off an Arbitrator than to upset a few customers.

Violations of the contract take no skin out of Envoy’s back because the grievance system is rigged in their favor. Envoy does not have to appear in a Court of Law for Breach of Contract. Pedro and Ric will always defer to “Fly It and Grieve It.” This type of abuse of process was never the intent Railway Labor Act.

9) Fatigue Calls Will Count Against You
Despite being told during training that you should call out fatigued if you are tired, the company has an approach to “Fatiguing Out” that is unparalleled within this industry. Call out tired and you will be disciplined for it.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask every single pilot at Envoy how this works. The families of Colgan Air 3407 would be appalled to hear how Envoy treats its pilots when they invoke FAR 117.

You WILL fly tired at Envoy.

10) Forced Upgrades
What you’ve heard around the industry is true. Envoy is using a little known clause within its labor contract to force pilots to upgrade, even if they don’t feel ready to do so.

And when you are forced to upgrade, guess where you're going: LGA.

Expect backlash if you come to Envoy with legal upgrade minimums and decline to do so due to personal reasons or safety.

If you’re wondering if you will be put in this position, I recommend that you review FAR 121.436.

11) Training Is Subpar at Best
The training at Envoy is among the worst in the industry. They are so backed-up that you can expect to be in the school house for 3-6 months. There are few instructors who are actually good at their jobs. Most of them are there to earn a paycheck and have done the bare minimum to become qualified on the fleet that they teach.

If you have a question, expect an instructor to respond that they don’t know. I have personally been told that an instructor will ask around and have an answer for me within the next day or so. I still don’t know the answer to that question.

Envoy is also hiring PSIs (Non-Line Qualified Simulator Instructors) that are some of the worst teachers in the industry. Some of them have never flown an EFIS aircraft. This leads to immense frustration on the student’s part.

As long as Allen Hill is the Director of Flight Training at Envoy, you can expect the training to be among the worst in the industry.

12) Deadhead Pay is 75%
For those of you new to the industry, deadheading will be a part of life. A deadhead happens when a flight crew member is repositioned as part of their trip sequence. E.g.: A pilot ends a flight in CMH and needs to be flow as a passenger to ORD to fly the rest of their trip.

Imagine that you are required to be at work, but you aren’t paid for being there. This is the life of an Envoy Pilot. You will be used inefficiently (see 15 below).

13) CRJ is Hell
If you have the misfortune of being assigned to the CRJ straight out of Indoc, you can expect your Quality of Life to be horrible for the foreseeable future.

This is a dying fleet. And because of that, pilots will sit reserve for 3-6 months. There are pilots at Envoy on the CRJ that have flown a little under 200 hours after 1 year with the company. These are pilots who want to fly. As long as this fleet continues to die, you can expect the reserve list to grow more and more, and you can expect to sit reserve in Chicago for many more months.

14) Fired for Being Sick
Call in sick during your probationary period and expect to be fired. Even if you have a Doctor’s Note. This is nothing new. Every year there is a purge of pilots for sick calls. The most notable of these terminations being a Union Representative named Neal.

“In what can only be described as a violation of privacy, the company hired a private investigator to follow and take photos of Neal outside of work, during a period he was ill and unable to perform his duties in accordance with common sense and FAA medical regulations for pilots.”

You can read more here: https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/a...p/t-98504.html

Expect this to continue for as long as Pedro and Ric are in charge.

15) Long Sits
Envoy is so inefficient that it schedules long sits - upwards of 3 hours - for its pilots when trip sequences are made. If there truly was a pilot shortage, they would not be scheduling pilots to sit at the airport to do nothing for hours on end.

This wouldn’t be that much of an issue if the company was willing to pay a minimum daily guarantee for pilots, but they refuse to do so.

Do you like making $80 for working a 6 hour day? Come to Envoy, where you’re bound to have this happen monthly!

16) AA gives the Table Scraps of Flying
The long sits that I mentioned above will continue because big brother AAG continues to give the table scraps of its regional flying to Envoy. The company cannot figure out how to patch these flights together to make a logical sequence, so you’re stuck with the long sits as mentioned above.

17) Benefits Cost More for Pilots than Any Other Workforce
Although it isn’t too much more of a difference, it just goes to show how valued you are as a pilot. Even the Rampers get their medical benefits at a cheaper price than us pilots do.

18) Midday Flying is Nonexistent
Because of these table scraps, you can expect to fly either early in the morning or late at night. Meanwhile your peers at Republic, Mesa, Skywest, etc. will have 0800 shows and will be done flying for the day at 1700 or 1800. If you like waking up before 0400, or staying awake past 0300 because you got extended, then Envoy is the airline for you!


Specifics To Reserve:
I can’t speak too deeply into this as I was on Reserve for a very minuscule part of my stint at Envoy. However, the general consensus of the Pilots at Envoy believe that the Reserve system is in a dire need of an overhaul. I will do my best to highlight specifics below.

19) Airport Standby (or Ready Reserve)
Envoy is one of the only airlines in the regional pool that uses the outdated Airport Standby system. At Envoy, these shifts are 8 hours long. This does not result in more compensation, other than the lousy $1.90/hour that you can expect to receive in per diem (which is taxed, btw). I don't know about you, but personally, I love sitting around for hours at the airport doing absolutely nothing.

20) No Long Call
Almost every airline in the industry uses a system of Long Call Reserve. Essentially, you will have a 12 - 24 hour call out prior to your show time for a flight. Don’t expect this at Envoy. Our pilots are extremely bitter about this and we don’t see it changing anytime soon.

21) Escalating RAP to Standby
What this means is that you can expect to be called in to sit Standby, even if you were on a RAP (2-hour call out). Other airlines have an escalation clause, which allows for more compensation when you were originally scheduled to work a 2-hour call out reserve assignment. This essentially forces the airline to pay for their poor reserve planning by adding more compensation to a pilot who experiences this phenomenon. Don’t expect Envoy to ever pay you for their poor planning. What you should expect is to sit standby for a decent amount of reserve shifts. Sounds fun, right?

Final Reserve Thoughts:
There’s much more than what I’ve shared here, but this is a decent introduction to the pain that you will experience on reserve if you join Envoy.

The Company and the Union recently got together to revamp these Reserve Rules. After months of negotiations, the company sent a lowball offer to the Union with many concessions for the pilot group. When this was overwhelmingly rejected by the pilots, the company retreated into its shell like a three-year old that didn’t get a cookie after dinner. As was described to me by a representative of the union: the company put the union on notice that they refuse to negotiate with the pilot group regarding reserve. The company thinks that their reserve system is entirely acceptable.

Rotorcraft Transition Pilots (RTP):
If you’re still reading this, you most likely have already made up your mind that Envoy is not for you. Let’s say that you still believe that Envoy’s RTP program is still a viable option. I strongly advise you to look elsewhere, as most regional airlines now have these programs.

The company that contracts with Envoy to do the flight training for this transition is about 12-18 months backed up at the moment. Expect to wait a very long time to enter the program. You will be at the bottom of the seniority list.

If you’re in the military, you’ve undoubtedly heard how awful and disorganized the training program is at this contractor.

If you’re looking at company to Envoy and joining the Rotorcraft Transition Program, please ask around within your unit and other units. The research may save you from making the jump into a miserable career with a dismal airline.

Cadet Instructors:
If you’re thinking about joining this program, then you should think again. It could take you a year or two to earn the hours needed to progress to a regional. This industry is very dynamic: what is great today, will not be great tomorrow.

With that being said, it is a decent perk to receive Flight and other benefits such as Medical, Dental, Vision and 401k. However, these come at an exorbitant cost. If you decide to leave Envoy when you have reached your ATP minimums, you will incur a $5000 penalty to “buy-out” your contract.

I highly recommend you do your due diligence before you sign a contract with this airline.


In closing, the trend that Envoy as an airline is experiencing is downward in nature. Due to the current corporate culture and management, you can expect tomorrow to be worse than today.

I welcome your response and input. Feel free to send me a private message if you have questions on a personal level. I will be happy to answer them.

in2deep 01-02-2018 03:54 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z2s...l=DeeWithDaTea

Half of these are complaining that you actually have to work to get a check. As for #11, one of the last class was done in about 2.5-3 months.

bigtime209 01-02-2018 03:56 PM

I agree with about 90% of this. Management has some work to do, but they simply do not care unless their hiring numbers drop.

HanSoolu 01-02-2018 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by in2deep (Post 2494032)

Actually, not mad - but certainly regretful at the moment. I am trying to write a post that I wish someone would've written before I made the decision to jump to Eagle.

At the end of the day, I wish for each individual to evaluate this airline as a viable career solution based on their own particulars.

Quote:

Originally Posted by in2deep (Post 2494032)
Half of these are complaining that you actually have to work to get a check.

I think you failed to understand that my complaint is that we are NOT working. So be your quick judgment, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by in2deep (Post 2494032)
As for #11, one of the last class was done in about 2.5-3 months.

Are you saying that 3-6 months as a general timeframe is false?

Quote:

Originally Posted by bigtime209 (Post 2494035)
I agree with about 90% of this. Management has some work to do, but they simply do not care unless their hiring numbers drop.

I'm curious as to what you disagree with. My hope is that this thread serves for "just the facts." If I am wrong on anything, please correct me.

Jamesthunder 01-02-2018 04:18 PM

Quote:

Call in sick during your probationary period and expect to be fired.
Seriously?

HanSoolu 01-02-2018 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jamesthunder (Post 2494048)
Seriously?

I personally know of three separate instances where this has happened.

Although there may be more of a backstory that I do not know, something seems odd here. And I don't know if I blame the pilots or the company.

Castle Bravo 01-02-2018 04:21 PM

I should have just stopped reading at "I am retiring from the airline industry." Everything after that was just whining. Good luck at the Big 6 Accounting firms.

HanSoolu 01-02-2018 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Castle Bravo (Post 2494050)
I should have just stopped reading at "I am retiring from the airline industry." Everything after that was just whining. Good luck at the Big 6 Accounting firms.

If one's opinions are a general reflection of how the pilot group feels is called "whining," then I do apologize for wasting your time.

Because I'm curious: When was the last time you flew with ENY? Are you flying the line or are you on Military Leave?

Armybeatnavy 01-02-2018 04:40 PM

I’m sorry you have had a bad experience at Envoy. From your post I can see the frustration and I understand. There are a few things I disagree with you on. First is the flight benefits. I do think we (the wholly owned) have the best flights benefits in the regional level. The wife and I have travelled on over 70 flights last years and never had an issue. Second my experience on the CRJ has been completely different. I was junior manned once last year and declined to do it. I went in and spoke to the chief pilot and it was all cleared. Also I called in sick during my probationary period and I was not fired. I would never put safety in second. By no means am I defending the company but at the same time I feel your post shows angles of frustration and that leads to certain truths being stretch out a bit. Hope all is well man. I’ll see you on the line.



Essayons

ag386 01-02-2018 04:41 PM

I agree with HanSoolu. I left envoy for Allegiant 2 years ago and was told what an idiot I was for "walking away from the flow." Looks like I was correct. The flow is bogus and will never work as the envoy recruiters and salesmen claimed it would. I'm in the left seat of the Bus now. Worlds better than anything envoy has to offer.


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