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Old 10-19-2007, 09:35 PM   #1  
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Default New SkyWest vs the Old SkyWest...

I got asked the below question on another message board. For those seeking historical perspective to make your final choice regarding Sapa, Alpa, etc thought I would post here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyNation


[I]a curiosity. do you work at SkyWest, or did you used to work here? in terms of QOL, overall pay, company health and prospects for growth, how do you rank SkyWest compared to our competitors? your exhaustive lists of complaints on numerous posts here indicates that you see SkyWest in a very bad light. referencing the items listed above, how do you think we compare to Comair, ASA, Mesa, AWAC, XJET? I have friends at all except Comair, and I know how they answer. I'd like your take to compare.

First let’s be clear, Skywest is not the same airline I hired on with a decade ago. I have watched year after year as management has reduced the benefits of this job while stacking large sums of money into the company coffers. They also paid $400,000,000.00 cash for another airline that they would later use to whipsaw against the pilots that helped raise this money in the first place. How’s that for thanks?! Skywest started out seemingly doing the right thing by its pilots a decade ago. We find ourself in a very different place today, especially the last six years.

If you go back and read most of what I have written here you will see the majority of my remarks are backed up with documents and facts. If someone lies and deserves to be crucified I usual do it with their own words. You see I tend to save things. I have a lot of the memo’s and promises doled out from management over the years including Sapa meeting minutes, quotes from Sapa reps, management promises, etc. Let me tell you something point blank in all soberness…..somewhere along the line the management of Skywest decided it was better for them personally to go another way from how they had previously gone in the past. At some point they decided it was ok to embellish the truth and sometimes flat out lie knowing full well they would later renege on their words. This process started slow but they do it now without hesitation, a straight face and no regret. There is no two ways about it, Skywest management has not been honest with this pilot group. It is born out again and again and this has caused much frustration among the ranks.

Now we have to ask what vehicle has management used to renege on these promises and who was ready and willing to be a part of this process? That vehicle was/is Sapa. I have watched this group, tried to work with this group and been deeply disappointed with this group for some time now. I know Jim B, Mike E, David L, Dave C, Dave A, etc personally. These are not men of high moral character. They are what they are and that is salesmen, opportunists and sell outs. I’ve watched several of these men jump from cushy job to cushy job within the ranks of Skywest, kissing butts along the way to secure what is best for THEMSELVES on a personal basis. They are like rats looking for a warm burrow to sleep in while the rest of the workers are hung out to dry. I do not have any respect for these men. I used to have respect for Mike E, but no longer. I felt bad for the guy when he had heart trouble and lost his medical, that is, until he became a management lackey handing out work rules that affected my daily life in a negative way and gave all the pilots the proverbial “bird” in doing so. I resent the fact that these men carelessly delivered management so many things that have negatively affected my families’ quality of life as well.

Some people who clearly are not in possession of the facts will say, “you knew what you were getting into when you hired on at Skywest, if you don’t like it now you can leave." I DID like the Skywest I hired on with (I am a happy person by nature) and it is NOT the same Skywest today! Frankly I am fed up with how the company has operated and what Sapa has done or undone as the case may be. Many others feel the same way. Even ardent Alpa critics have become frustrated with this downward spiral and the flippant attitude of Sapa and the company when these issues are brought to their attention. These pilots have seen the trust being broken a lot lately and there are new converts to Alpa every day. Then there’s the new guys, some who flew for Mesa and the like, who wanted to believe in the new religion of Skywest….it would take them to the aviation promised land. They don’t want to hear that this place could have some of the same problems of their last regional and yet even less protection to boot. Certainly they do not want to hear from the “old timers” stating the facts about what has happened here and would rather lash out in denial or plug their ears altogether hoping things will improve on their own. They thought for certain Jim Black was honest when he sold them on the evils of Alpa and the benevolence of Skywest management/sapa during basic training/endoc. Sadly they will find out the “new Skywest” is not what they used to read about on those message boards of old.

Regarding Alpa, I have said this many times before and probably will say it again, it is not the answer to all of lifes problems but when compared to Sapa it has a lot more horsepower to work with. It can produce much better accountability and has functions Sapa could never dream about implementing. It contains much better tools to build what should be the gold standard of regional airlines, especially considering how profitable Skywest continues to be post 911. For those not familiar, Skywest has benefited enormously from what happened to the industry after 911, yet they continuously preach financial gloom and doom almost every day and four times a day during pay negotiations. No matter how you slice it Alpa is most certainly better than what we have now. To be honest I don’t care if it does take three or five years to get a new contract. At least the sliding will stop and the upside is we really could set the standard and help raise this industry.

Skywest Inc made over $150,000,000.00 dollars NET PROFIT last year alone and yet they still nickel and dime the employees while at the same blowing the “we have to be competitive” bugle because “we are skating on thin ice here.” Its just plane ridiculous and insulting. They don’t think I listen to the conference calls where they gloat to the investment community about having the best balance sheet in the industry and and the lowest costs with a "union free" work force that loves them, or that I can read the annual report? They have the president of ILFC, the largest aircraft lease company in the world on their board of directors cutting industry leading rates. They prepay on their engine overhauls a year or more in advance to reduce profit sharing money. They have benefited from some good strategic decisions and even they will admit a fair bit of luck. Keep in mind Jerry was originally against regional jets and had to be talked into it by RR. The point to all this is that Skywest for a variety of reasons has competitive advantages beyond the “industry average” wages Jerry told us were the new direction we were going after voting down Alpa in 1999. During this drive he said we would be at or above the top. ASA will not go broke with the wages they just received. Skywest will continue to make more money than they have ever made even if they paid the pilots of Skywest ten percent more, which is what we should have got after a stalled and bad faith bargained pay agreement

Back to your question though, how does Skywest compare to other regionals? Id say measuring today at this very moment they are right in the middle and quickly sliding towards the bottom. Moral at Skywest is at all time lows based on the guys I have flown with and the comments I have heard. The growth at the regionals is going to slow down across the board other than like what just happened two days ago, exchanging for a few more seats on a handful of airframes. The majors are relatively happy with the number of regional units they have deployed now and the market will stay pretty much the same over the next several years. If the work rules suck and the almighty growth can’t be sold by management to take its place it’s going to get ugly. I know you want to believe that Skywest is like the old Skywest but it is not. I likely won’t be at Skywest this time next year but that doesn’t stop me from fighting the good fight for those that will be. The buck stops here. Let’s get on with it.
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:12 AM   #2  
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If you hate working at SkyWest that much, go somewhere else. Try UAL, you know since they're ALPA, they MUST have better work rules and higher morale than us.
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:21 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by chitownpilot View Post
If you hate working at SkyWest that much, go somewhere else.

What??? Can't somebody try to make things better???
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:47 AM   #4  
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Go somewhere else, SWA may suck. If it does leave, stop looking to ALPA or any union. Your future is in your hands.
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:50 AM   #5  
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This may be the most coherent drunk post ever.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:35 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chitownpilot View Post
If you hate working at SkyWest that much, go somewhere else. Try UAL, you know since they're ALPA, they MUST have better work rules and higher morale than us.
Going somewhere else may not always be the answer when considering how seniority in this business works. Trying to fix what you have is a good approach IMHO. Don't get on the guy for wanting to make positive change.
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:34 AM   #7  
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Default Debbie Downer

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Originally Posted by H= 9 * (SQRT P) View Post
Don't get on the guy for wanting to make positive change.
Not sure what you found positive in that rant....... sounds like Debbie Downer to me.

Things are certainly relative to each of us. The original poster finds things "bad" compared to his experience at SkyWest in the past.

I compare things in the same way, except my past experience was much like working at a Mesa. I think things (overall) are awesome here.

I rarely encounter a Debbie Downer here like this guy. I can only imagine his demeanor when this 3rd union drive fails. It's good to know he'll be moving on.
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Old 10-20-2007, 11:41 AM   #8  
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If this is low moral I would hate what he would say about other regionals. I came from Comair, there was not too many happy pilots there, and if they were happy it is because they were able to hold a line with 11 days off because they were a Captain on reserve for 8 years. With those whopping 11 days off he got a whole 78 hours of credit too. Grass is always greener on the other side unless A: you haven't lived on the otherside or B: with Americans short term memory they just forget what the other side was like. I agree with forcing a company to "pay up" and give what you deserve, but ALPA??? That is like asking France to help us in the next war.
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:26 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladder1423 View Post
If this is low moral I would hate what he would say about other regionals. I came from Comair, there was not too many happy pilots there, and if they were happy it is because they were able to hold a line with 11 days off because they were a Captain on reserve for 8 years. With those whopping 11 days off he got a whole 78 hours of credit too. Grass is always greener on the other side unless A: you haven't lived on the otherside or B: with Americans short term memory they just forget what the other side was like. I agree with forcing a company to "pay up" and give what you deserve, but ALPA??? That is like asking France to help us in the next war.
Asking help from ALPA is like asking france to help in the next war? Now that's funny right there.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:18 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladder1423 View Post
If you hate working at SkyWest that much, go somewhere else. Try UAL, you know since they're ALPA, they MUST have better work rules and higher morale than us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chitownpilot View Post
If this is low moral I would hate what he would say about other regionals. I came from Comair, there was not too many happy pilots there....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Williams View Post
I compare things in the same way, except my past experience was much like working at a Mesa. I think things (overall) are awesome here.
Let's keep comparing SKW to Mesa and the other sh!tty regionals so we can feel better about our conditions. GREAT THINKING! That will surely improve things.
And when someone actually exposes how dramatically conditions have been changing at SKW, simply ignore him and tell him to leave.


Tony, even though you just got into SAPA, you sound just like the veteran SAPA propagandists... things are NOT "awesome" here. Is that what you guys talk about at the SAPA meetings? You guys take a great gulp of koolaid and remind each other how much better than Mesa/GoJets/TSA we have it? That would explain the "awesome" resuts SAPA achieved....
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