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Old 12-14-2008, 09:39 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: Sep 2007
Position: B757/B767 FO
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Default Junior at NW/DL? Here's some CPS flowdown info.

So I've been following the massive "Latest & Greatest at Delta" thread and the most recent info from the always informative and surprisingly reliable ACL65Pilot is that DL's looking at parking some more planes (not just DC9s) and the company may furlough although the decision will be made around the end of 1Q 2009. He went on to state:
Quote:
Furlough btw was meant to mean not to have a job, not just a mainline job. Some MAY flow back, details are getting worked out.
In the thread there were a fair amount of posts regarding flowdown to Compass, some asking questions or expressing confusion over various points, but they were getting lost among the various other subjects on that thread, so I started this one for us Compass people to fill you in on the details.

First off, I want to say that if this happens, current Compass pilots will end up on the street. While we're not happy about that, we knew it was a risk when we came here, and we understand that the NW/DL pilots aren't any more excited about it than us. We also understand it wasn't the junior guys at NW that voted this f'd up B-scale into existence in the first place. My guess is that the pilot group here will accept the flowdowns as our own and treat them well.

So here's the deets:

Although we haven't had an updated seniority list released in a few months, my understanding is that the company quit hiring at 320 line pilots (more about that in a bit). The Jan bid package that just came out showed 317 line pilots in the 3 bases, divided as follows:

MSP: 94 CAs, 88 FOs
DTW: 39 CAs, 38 FOs
MEM: 32 CAs, 26 FOs

Nobody on CPS property has had the opportunity to turn down a flowup yet, so *ALL* 320 slots are available to NW/DL flowdowns. You flow to the top of the list, and progress downward as more pilots flow down. Once about 165 down the list, you get downgraded into the right seat. At around number 320, you'd presumably be shown the door.

Our training takes places in Montreal and is subcontracted to CAE. It's been a giant mess, and everyone at Compass will tell you the training is the worst part of the company (followed closely by the HR department). It's disorganized and unstandardized. I should note that once you get to the line, however, our check airmen are an exceptional bunch. No complaints there. All newhires are typed.

Compass bought a sim which will be installed at PanAm in Eagan MN sometime late in 2009; we'll see if the training improves then. They've been averaging 20 pilots a month and I understand that's the rate at which flowdowns will be trained. I have no idea what happens if Delta flows down 300 pilots at once; are you unpaid while waiting a Compass date? Somebody tell us if you know.

There's been some confusion on pay so here's the language straight from our CBA:

Quote:
The initial pay step for Northwest Airlines Flow Down pilots will be based on the lesser of:
a. Step 2 for Captains and Step 4 for First Officers, or
b. Accrued Northwest longevity.
EXAMPLE 1:
A laid off Northwest Airlines pilot with nine (9) years of longevity for pay purposes at Northwest Airlines who holds a First Officer position at Compass Airlines would be paid as a Step 4 First Officer in his first (1st) year at Compass. If the same pilot then became a Captain in his second (2nd) year at Compass Airlines, then he would be paid as a Step 3 Captain during such year.
EXAMPLE 2:
A laid off Northwest Airlines pilot with one (1) year of longevity for pay purposes at Northwest Airlines who holds a First Officer position at Compass Airlines would be paid as a Step 2 First Officer in his first (1st) year at Compass. If the same pilot then became a Captain in his second (2nd) year at Compass Airlines, then he would be paid as a Step 3 Captain during such year.
The pay rates as of 6/1/08 are as follows:

Step - CA - FO
1 - 61.47 - 23.59
2 - 63.50 - 34.27
3 - 65.66 - 36.46
4 - 67.68 - 37.94

You do not begin accumulating Compass longevity until the first person in your class completes their OE.

Minimum guarantee is 75 hours per month for all pilots. Lines are built to a maximum of 95 hours.

I think the contract is going to be a very rude awakening, even to the NW flowdowns who served time under the post-BK contract. Work rules are nearly nonexistent. Daily guarantee is 3.5 hours (per duty period). Min days off are 11. There are no rigs. Reserve captains get used in the right seat more than the left. The company withholds about 10 of the best FO lines for OE (nobody gets bought off). Your 13 days of vacation really only buy you 13 days because the company merely modifies any touching trips. You cannot drop trips at all, and when swapping trips you have to pick up as many days as you drop, and you can't swap out of base. Junior manning is pretty rampant, although it's limited to 2 a month and 6 a year (4 and 12 duty periods, respectively). The one good thing I can think of is block-or-better. Compass people, feel free to throw out your own favorite contract nuggets. It's generally a POS. Keep in mind that nobody on property at CPS had the opportunity to vote on this contract: it was negotiated and ratified by NW ALPA (over the course of three days, according to our former president) with no vote. This was AFTER exiting bankruptcy, by the way.

We currently have line bidding but PBS is in the final stages of testing and will be going live within a month or two. As an example of what the lines have been like, for January there are 91 captain lines for MSP: 78 hard lines, 4 buildup (at mercy of crew planning), and 9 reserve lines. 78 of the 91 lines had 14 or fewer days off; 31 had 12 or fewer days off. Only 2 were CDO lines; 5 were primarily composed of daytrips, a handful more mostly 2-day trips, and the vast majority of lines are a mixture of 3 and 4 day trips. I would say January was a fairly typical month, although I've seen a few months where a good 70% of the lines were 12 or fewer days off.

The pairings have gone back and forth between being horribly inefficient (16 hour 4-days) and super-efficient (26 hr 4-days, 14 hr 2-days). There are plenty of lines that have both. A recent development is pairings with a ton of duty time relative to block; I just did one with 48 hrs of duty to 24 hrs block; every single day incorporated at least one 3 to 4 hour break. Note there are no rigs so it costs the company nothing to let you sit. We have a fair amount of 36-hour layovers; the 3.5 hr daily guarantee doesn't apply (no duty period) so you're only paid for the flying you do the other 3 days.

Until lately, the pairings have been mostly commuteable on at least one if not both ends. I think this has gone downhill recently with more 5am-9am reports and more 9pm-12am releases. I don't commute so any CPS guy who does, feel free to chime in.

There is a pretty a good mix of layovers (at least for MSP crews), with an assortment of east coast, upper midwest, tornado alley, florida, texas, and a few good ones out west (FCA, MSO, SLC, PHX). This is one area the DC9 guys might find some improvement. The layover hotels are decent with a few notable exceptions, although none are spectacular. My main hotel complaint is that the vast majority are almost on top of the airport or else in the middle of nowhere; we have few layover hotels with easy access to a downtown area.

Lessee, what else. Oh - our chief pilot, JK, is a giant doucheb4g. He views himself as management's stick to beat the pilots down with and NEVER backs the pilots up. He's suspended and threatened to fire several pilots for landing as soon as practicable when the QRH told them to, rather than continuing 500 nm to the nearest maintenance base. He's unilaterally changed our trip-trading system (FLICA) several times to make it tougher to swap/trade trips and improve your schedule. When pilots have had HR issues due to the ineptitude of that department, he's been utterly unresponsive to their pleas for assistance. I've heard rumors that he's on his way out, but I can't help but think he's a useful tool to our Redtail management.

Honestly, the pilot group at Compass is the high point. I've really enjoyed flying with everyone here. It's an interesting vibe, sorta an airline refuge camp or pilot orphanage because 95% came here from another airline, often under less-than-ideal circumstances (lots of ATA, Midwest, Skyway, etc). TONS of experience for a regional airline, many of my FOs were Captains at their last airline. Despite the horrible training, everyone I've encountered on the line has been pretty squared away. As far as nightlife goes, Compass isn't much of a party airline, but I haven't found too many slam-clickers either. Not many good looking FAs, unfortunately - they start at $14/hr so that pretty much keeps away anyone with looks or brains.

Anyways that about covers it. Any Compass people, feel free to add; any NW/DL guys, feel free to ask away. Hopefully this doesn't happen but if it does, I'll fly with some of you. I only ask that you pay for some of my beers when I'm back on FO pay! We can spend the trip plotting the eventual stapling of the DCI carriers to the Delta list and the recapturing of all jet flying for mainline.

Last edited by JungleBus; 12-14-2008 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:50 PM   #2  
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Great post, Jungle. Hopefully no one will have to flow down.
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Old 12-14-2008, 09:59 PM   #3  
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How did "he" upset you today. You sound like you just had to vent!!!
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Old 12-14-2008, 10:08 PM   #4  
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Haha, "he" hasn't done anything to me personally lately. I've been following his shenanigans for a while, though. I think he's by far the worst chief pilot I've worked for (out of 6 companies, and that includes two 135 freight ops).

The intent was to inform. If I got some venting out of the way, that's just a bonus!
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Old 12-14-2008, 11:23 PM   #5  
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Great post.... DL would have to furlough over twice the size of the CPS list to get to me (and just a few numbers prior to the infamous TK), but I've often wondered what would happen if i were to end up flowing down to you guys.

I hope it doesn't happen... I know several guys at CPS and really would not like to see them displaced.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:34 AM   #6  
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Thank you for the detailed post - since Compass is new, I haven't heard much about the internal workings like this, with types of trips and the like.

It sounds like you're MSP based - are DTW trips similar?
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:17 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaflyer View Post
Thank you for the detailed post - since Compass is new, I haven't heard much about the internal workings like this, with types of trips and the like.

It sounds like you're MSP based - are DTW trips similar?
I am MSP-based so I don't know what DTW lines have historically been like. Off the top of my head, I can think of one active poster that's DTW-based (BOHICAagain), I'm sure he'll be along shortly or you can PM him for info.

I can give you the rundown on Detroit's January lines. There are a lot fewer lines & pairings than MSP so they're easier to analyze.

39 total lines: 29 hard lines, 2 buildup, 8 reserve
1x 18 days off, 1x 17 days off, 2x 16 days off, 4x 14 days off, 5x 13 days off, 9x 12 days off, 15x 11 days off.
2 lines of Monterey daytrips
3 lines of mostly 2-day trips
5 lines of all 4-day trips
The rest of the lines have a mishmash of 1, 2, 3, and 4 day trips. A block of working days is often composed of several trips strung together, ie 2+3 or 1+4, so I assume a commuter would be spending a little quality time in the Detroit Clarion.
Other than that, of the 29 hard lines, 14 are very commuter-friendly (which I define as no more than 1 early show/late release at the beginning/end of your workweek). It looks like they made the effort to keep the commuter lines "pure," the others have a *lot* of early shows & late releases.
8 lines with all weekends off, 10 lines with some or partial weekends off.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:18 AM   #8  
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Nice post..

I can't believe $23 an hour.....how much at Walmart???
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:18 AM   #9  
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Say hi to M Bomar, M Tyson, and M Taylor
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:27 AM   #10  
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[QUOTE=JungleBus;518602]
Quote:
Nobody on CPS property has had the opportunity to turn down a flowup yet, so *ALL* 320 slots are available to NW/DL flowdowns.
That was the criteria for allowing the CPS operation, and you did all know that coming into the game. While you say you and everyone else is aware of this, I still detect resentment?

Personally I think the prospect of having to flush the entire list a CPS is so expensive and disruptive it will lead to the stapling of the CPS list to DAL before any furloughs other than a very small one occurs. It does not help any of your pilots who end up on the street, but it makes the initial promise of working for NWA whole. DAL already has rates for the E-175/95, and far better work rules. It would be far more cost effective for DAL if they were to furlough a 1000 pilots to staple you first, then be able to furlough clear through the list without ever having to train the entire list x2 (+) on the E-175 on the way down, and only train those left who could hold the position. Reading the contract on the flow down, there is NO provision to allow them to flush through without offering the training in seniority order, even if meant waiting, typing, training, and then immediately furloughing.

Small solace, but you would have a guaranteed DAL number to eventually come back to as opposed to waiting for the flow up.......
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