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Old 02-01-2008, 06:22 AM   #1  
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Default The Great SWA Lie about Pay Rates

For those newbies out there looking at pay rates, Ive been tracking the SWA pay rates over the last 6 months and comparing APC listed pay rates of $/Trip versus $/Hour. SWA runs on a "trip for pay" system versus block hours. The 2nd year pay for SWA at APC is listed as $88 per block hour (after they do some conversion to get "trips for pay" to look like pay "per block hour").
These pay rates listed at APC seem to be incorrect. See below.

Here are the results for a 6 month period Ive been keeping track of:
Month 1
Trip for Pay (TFP): 112
Block Hours Flown: 88
Avg Trips per block hour: 1.27

Month 2
TFP: 76.16
Block hrs Flown:60.47
Avg Trips paid per block hour: 1.26

Month 3
TFP:106.4
Block hrs Flown:81.52
Avg Trips paid per block hour:1.31

Month 4
TFP:78.23
Block hrs Flown:42.47
Avg Trips paid per block hour: 1.84

Month 5
TFP:106.8
Block hrs Flown:82.46
Avg Trips paid per block hour:1.30

Month 6
TFP:138
Block hrs Flown:95.53
Avg Trips paid per block hour:1.44

The above trips include 3 days of reserve total over the 6 month period, flew 2 of the 3 days.
AGAIN, THIS IS WITH only 3 days of reserve TOTAL for 6 months. Sitting a lot of reserve and NOT flying would skew the numbers, not the case here.

So, taking the 6 months above, the overall average of trips per hour is: 1.37 (one block hour flown paid more like 1.37 block hours)

The pay rate at SWA is your total "TFP" times your pay rate.

The SWA pay rate for TFP per hour for a 2nd year guy is $77.45 per trip.

That means for every BLOCK hour flown, you ACTUALLY on average get paid 1.37 times your pay rate of $77.45.

So in actuality the pay rate for a 2nd year SWA pilot is more like $106 PER BLOCK HOUR FLOWN ($77.45x1.37=$106 per block hour FLOWN).

As an average, from one person experience, you can increase all pay rates for SWA pilots by roughly 37% from what is posted on APC.

As a sidenote, the average "time away from base" over the last 6 months was 9.31 days per month.
The average number of LEGS PER DAY flown was 2.4 over the 6 months.

Hopefully that breakdown gives folks some more information when making decisions about airlines and pay rates.

Please note, this is not a post to build up SWA, or a "my airline is better than yours" etc BS, its to provide more INFORMATION about decisions, PAY RATES and their accuracy.

This is just one persons experience. As a note, all the above times dont include VJA time which pays time and a half...which would send the numbers much higher. I need to get some of that Per Diem etc also not included.

Cheers!

Last edited by Metal121; 02-01-2008 at 07:31 AM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:17 AM   #2  
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By using block hours flown you are skewing the number. By this method I make 473 dollars an hour flown.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:23 AM   #3  
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Default Pay at Majors and LCC

I would agree that pay is definetly not just in the Hourly Dollar amount.

At Spirit which is the only Airline besides Eagle that I have experience with, my first year pay is only $40.00 per hour compared to the $39.XX that I was making at Eagle I should be making about the same money. I however have been making a heck of alot more money at Spirit. I made more in fact from April to the end of year at Spirit then I did the entire previous year at Eagle. The 150% OT, 200% JA, 8% override on internatinal trips, the A321 override, duty rigs, etc. Fact that it is very easy to get paid 120 hours of pay credit in a month and fly 60 all add up to better pay.

I know when I was shopping to find a better job and get away from Eagle, its hard to know what you are getting into, as pay rate does not always paint the whole picture.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:18 AM   #4  
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How exactly does Southwest define a "trip"?


IIRC, it had something to do with the flight time from DAL-HOU, which is like :55. One trip (or :55 minutes of flying) payed $77.50. So converted to hours, one hour pays $88.


If this is correct (or something very similar), then the APC rates are completely correct. The problem with your analysis is you are comparing BLOCK hours flown to pay per trip. You are essentially including trip/duty rigs and such into hourly pay. If we took some senior legacy international pilot, or some super senior guy on reserve who bids not to fly, using your method, I am sure they would be making $400 - $500 an hour. But that is not how the system works.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:53 AM   #5  
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The published SWA rates are based on the commonly [SWAPA] accepted conversion constant from trip to hourly rate. This allows us to compare apples to apples on the APC pay charts. No doubt that most airlines offer the contractual mechanics and incentives to "be productive".

While your mileage may vary, is this really a "Great Lie"?
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:24 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahflyr View Post
How exactly does Southwest define a "trip"?


IIRC, it had something to do with the flight time from DAL-HOU, which is like :55. One trip (or :55 minutes of flying) payed $77.50. So converted to hours, one hour pays $88.


If this is correct (or something very similar), then the APC rates are completely correct. The problem with your analysis is you are comparing BLOCK hours flown to pay per trip. You are essentially including trip/duty rigs and such into hourly pay. If we took some senior legacy international pilot, or some super senior guy on reserve who bids not to fly, using your method, I am sure they would be making $400 - $500 an hour. But that is not how the system works.
I agree. I can tell you that between 1994 and 2005, when I was a narrow body F/O with a legacy carrier, I flew 6,148 hrs "hard time" averaging 512 hours per year. I was paid total W-2 of $1,356,000 averaging $113,000 per anum. That averaged out to $220.00 per hour, based on a pay rate that averaged out to $110 per hour, so I was effectivly paid at twice my contractual rate when payday rolled around. I always flew to the pay cap of 85 hours per month pay and credit. Why not?

Needless to say we had tight duty rigs, fat minimum day rig, great sick and vacation provisions, and training (especially initials) paid extremely well right up until the post 9-11 bankruptcy contract was implimented.

Just an example of "the way it used to be"...

JP
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:42 PM   #7  
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HSLD is correct.

Both SWAPA and Southwest management have produced the conversion figure that we used to convert the $/trip to $/hour.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:35 PM   #8  
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HSLD and Freightdog are part of the vast cargo conspriracy to keep the SWA man down and make sure he never looks good on paper.

Had a friend just join there. Lots of great people. I'm sure he'll dig it. He lives in domicile which should help.

But seriously...this forum is about the best there is. Are you sure you want to take face shots at the folks who made it possible? I think you can make your point without calling them "liars".
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:37 PM   #9  
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Definitely not a "great lie" but I'm nominating Metal for the SWA pilot recruitment coordinator. Anyway, maybe another way to track all this would be pay per duty hour or pay per duty day (reserve duty is not applicable.) The info on pay presented here on APC is generally top notch (and free to boot). Maybe y'all can cut Metal some slack - he's happy with his job, that's all.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:29 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal121 View Post
For those newbies out there looking at pay rates, Ive been tracking the SWA pay rates over the last 6 months and comparing APC listed pay rates of $/Trip versus $/Hour. SWA runs on a "trip for pay" system versus block hours. The 2nd year pay for SWA at APC is listed as $88 per block hour (after they do some conversion to get "trips for pay" to look like pay "per block hour").
These pay rates listed at APC seem to be incorrect. See below.

Here are the results for a 6 month period Ive been keeping track of:
Month 1
Trip for Pay (TFP): 112
Block Hours Flown: 88
Avg Trips per block hour: 1.27

Month 2
TFP: 76.16
Block hrs Flown:60.47
Avg Trips paid per block hour: 1.26

Month 3
TFP:106.4
Block hrs Flown:81.52
Avg Trips paid per block hour:1.31

Month 4
TFP:78.23
Block hrs Flown:42.47
Avg Trips paid per block hour: 1.84

Month 5
TFP:106.8
Block hrs Flown:82.46
Avg Trips paid per block hour:1.30

Month 6
TFP:138
Block hrs Flown:95.53
Avg Trips paid per block hour:1.44

The above trips include 3 days of reserve total over the 6 month period, flew 2 of the 3 days.
AGAIN, THIS IS WITH only 3 days of reserve TOTAL for 6 months. Sitting a lot of reserve and NOT flying would skew the numbers, not the case here.

So, taking the 6 months above, the overall average of trips per hour is: 1.37 (one block hour flown paid more like 1.37 block hours)

The pay rate at SWA is your total "TFP" times your pay rate.

The SWA pay rate for TFP per hour for a 2nd year guy is $77.45 per trip.

That means for every BLOCK hour flown, you ACTUALLY on average get paid 1.37 times your pay rate of $77.45.

So in actuality the pay rate for a 2nd year SWA pilot is more like $106 PER BLOCK HOUR FLOWN ($77.45x1.37=$106 per block hour FLOWN).

As an average, from one person experience, you can increase all pay rates for SWA pilots by roughly 37% from what is posted on APC.

As a sidenote, the average "time away from base" over the last 6 months was 9.31 days per month.
The average number of LEGS PER DAY flown was 2.4 over the 6 months.


Hopefully that breakdown gives folks some more information when making decisions about airlines and pay rates.

Please note, this is not a post to build up SWA, or a "my airline is better than yours" etc BS, its to provide more INFORMATION about decisions, PAY RATES and their accuracy.

This is just one persons experience. As a note, all the above times dont include VJA time which pays time and a half...which would send the numbers much higher. I need to get some of that Per Diem etc also not included.

Cheers!
Approx 70 block hours per month? In 9.31 days? What up with that?

Or, is this "The great Metal lie about days away from base"?

I'm sure you must be talking about 24 hr periods. But, listing it that way...could make it sound like you're only working 9.31 days/month. And, I'm sure that isn't what you were implying. Just like APC was not trying to put out bogus pay rates.(Which they didn't)

And, just for grins...I checked for Jan. I'll make $345/hr using your methodology.
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