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Old 03-25-2017, 09:54 PM   #1  
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Default Attarian: Virtual Bases still a “Great Idea"

I have it on first hand authority HA himself said exactly this a while back. He also said he’s personally brought up the subject with our MEC Chair. For anyone who remembers previous threads I’ve participated in regarding the subject of Virtual/Satellite/Sub Bases, you might imagine my delight at learning this. However….


After all the vague warnings of possible “unintended consequences” (glug, glug, burp), I actually thought up one on my own that I won’t detail on an open forum. In general I realized how some pilots might effectively be ‘forced into’ a Virtual Base. That is obviously unacceptable. But, as circumstances change, this possible “consequence” might be rendered moot by other events.


Also, I have a better sense now of how difficult it can be to influence the MEC. Now I never imagined it would be easy, but after observing a separate/noncontroversial LEC resolution get nowhere at the MEC level I see no point in the near-term pursuit of something far more divisive which I’d be lucky to even get approved at the LEC level.



Meanwhile, I do not believe DAL’s own VB test has even started yet. If DAL is successful I imagine that UAL might bring the subject up with us again anyways when contract negotiations open next year. Or not.



Been a little dull on the Forums lately. Peace out.
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Old 03-25-2017, 11:39 PM   #2  
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Seen this discussed a lot, but I still don't understand exactly how a supposed virtual base would work. Understand a lot of guys are against the idea... have yet to get a nuts and bolts FM systems diagram to form my own opinion.
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:45 AM   #3  
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The DAL guys were probably foaming at the mouth at the thought of a VB in PNS and Fort Walton Beach. 2000 slots in each place.

Probably won't work.

If United had only one narrow body fleet type, I could see VB's having a chance. We have 3, including 757's. Marketing changes trip pairings weekly. Too complicated.
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Old 03-26-2017, 05:48 AM   #4  
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I wonder if HA still thinks pilots that are virtually based need to cover their own sick calls?
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:24 AM   #5  
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The companies want Virtual basing for flexibility and because no investors have the stomach for actual new hubs unless you are a new entry to the market.

If DL or UAL have a virtual base in FL, investors will go crazy with doom and gloom.

Both carriers need a FL base, probably UAL more than DL, but IMO the investors are preventing any appearance of expansion.
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Old 03-26-2017, 12:24 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomie View Post
The companies want Virtual basing for flexibility and because no investors have the stomach for actual new hubs unless you are a new entry to the market.

If DL or UAL have a virtual base in FL, investors will go crazy with doom and gloom.

Both carriers need a FL base, probably UAL more than DL, but IMO the investors are preventing any appearance of expansion.
It sounds like you're confusing a base (aka pilot domicile) with an airline hub.

You have to ask yourself, why do ALPA and the company disagree on virtual basing? The VP of flight ops thinks it's a "great idea" but the MEC won't even discuss it under the model the company proposes. Why?
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:36 PM   #7  
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You have to ask yourself, why do ALPA and the company disagree on virtual basing? The VP of flight ops thinks it's a "great idea" but the MEC won't even discuss it under the model the company proposes. Why?
MEC MO: if the company wants it, it must be bad, salvo everything to destroy it. (think contract extension, some members of the MEC wanted it killed and not sent to the pilots for a vote).
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:09 PM   #8  
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Quote:
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You have to ask yourself, why do ALPA and the company disagree on virtual basing? The VP of flight ops thinks it's a "great idea" but the MEC won't even discuss it under the model the company proposes. Why?
Serious question, anyone have an idea what percentage of LEC/MEC officers are commuters? I know that company-wide the percentage of commuters is 55%. I'd be pretty surprised if even 1/3 of our elected officers company-wide are commuters. I'd like to think they represent the interests of all our pilots equally on all issues, but they are not immune to human biases. I like the LEC officers I've met so far on a personal level and trust that they are dedicated to the group as they see it. But, I haven't seen a lot of commuters at the LEC meetings I've made it to.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:42 PM   #9  
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How does reserve staffing work with virtual basing? I like the idea, however I just can't see how it makes sense from a company scheduling standpoint. I think maybe they think that we'll give something up for it if it's actually implemented.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:48 PM   #10  
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How does reserve staffing work with virtual basing? I like the idea, however I just can't see how it makes sense from a company scheduling standpoint. I think maybe they think that we'll give something up for it if it's actually implemented.
You broke the code.

Last time this concept came up the company could not "justify" reserves. So if you were sick you needed to trade out of the trip or find somebody else in your virtual base to pick up the flying.

Meanwhile, pilots in the existing bases were opposed to the loss of "their" flying.

The plan went nowhere.
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