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Old 07-27-2006, 08:08 PM   #111  
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Joined APC: Dec 2005
Position: 7ER B...whatever that means.
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Originally Posted by ChrisH
I see where you are coming from, and again, I understand things are not all peachey in the airline industry. But as flynavyj pointed out, things aren't all peachey in other industries either. I don't know many people making much over $30K to $40K out of college, and many of these people work 50 to 60 hour per weeks, not getting paid for any of that "over-time", since for the most part, people are salaried and not paid by the hour. I also know numerous people who have been laid off or had to take cuts in benefits, including pay. I once mentioned the problems the airlines are having to a co-worker, who is retired from an Exxon-Mobile plant. He said that is going on even at the Exxon plant, where he retired from, meanwhile the gas and oil companies are making record profits.

While I do realize the risk of furlough, I also realize I could spend an entire career and not get furloughed; it does happen. I don't want to not become a pilot, and many years from now look back and regret it, wondering what could have been. Could I be a Captain at FedEx right now? But, if I give it a shot, and hate it, or it doesn't work out, at least I am getting a back-up degree, and can choose to get out. It is easier to get out, than try to get in at a later age.

I think right now we have something to look forward to. United, American, SouthWest, and Continental all have made 2Q profits. The first for United in 6 years, just 5 months after getting out of bankruptcy. Prior to 9/11, I never saw complaints like I see now. It is frustrating, but things are beginning to look up. Some majors are beginning recalls, and others are announcing plans to begin them. Sometimes it helps to look at the positive signs, and not just focus on all of the negative.
You're still not getting it.... Granted, most people don't make much more than $30K-$40K a year right out of college. I'll give you that. But we're not talking about right out of college. We're talking about SEVEN YEARS out of college. Im not sure how old you are now but most people are 22-24 when they graduate so fast forward 7 years and you're pushing 30! You probably got married in that time, might have a kid or two, bought a house, all those other things people work for. Thats also when most people start thinking seriously about retirement and money for college. But in that 7 years you were averaging $23,000/yr. Its gonna be tough. Maybe you will get lucky and get all the way through your career without a hiccup. But then you would be the exception and not the rule. If you want to hope for that, be my guest. Im not trying to emphasize the negatives, just trying to emphasize the reality. No one, my self included, is telling you not to pursue your dream of becoming a pilot. I 100% agree, wondering what might have been is no way to go through life. All most of us are saying is have a plan B. The best advice I have gotten in this industry is not to rely on your airline paycheck. Look at it as a way to secure another source of income. I also learned this from a non-aviation job recruiter: a degree in a field you are not currently active in becomes obsolete after about 5 years (depends on the field).

Yes, things are looking up but this industry (and the economy in general) tends to run in cycles of about 10 years or so. These cycles affect EVERYBODY, not just the airlines. I (and almost anyone with half a brain) understand that layoffs and paycuts are not isolated to just the airline industry. Hell, half of my family were at one time or another auto workers. The other half (myself included) in the IT world. But since you are on an AIRLINE PILOT forum, its only natural that the topic of converstaion tends towards the world of aviation. Why not look back in time as far back as you can at the DOW and S&P 500 and watch how it goes up and down roughly every 10 years? When was the last time the airlines were really in the sh!tter? It was around 1990-1992, right? Well when were things going gangbusters at the airlines? Some time around 1994-2000, right? Well about 10 years later and the economy started to decline in 2000 and then the bottom fell out after 9/11 and kept falling till 2003-2004 and here we are again at the start of an upswing. From an economic stand point, its actually really fascinating. So think about where you will be in 2010-2013 because thats probably when the next down turn will be.
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