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Thread: Sigh, bumpy road ahead

  1. #1
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Sigh, bumpy road ahead

    It's a tough time to be in the airline industry, but the good times are normally very short lived anyway. The economy was already having a huge negative impact upon all of them, then the spike in oil just drove more nails into the coffins, with no end in sight. I'm a first officer (copilot is the hollywood term) on a 50 seat 'RJ', and just found out today I'm going to be laid off, AGAIN for the second time in 7 years in this darn industry. Timeline was just 'summer or fall'. It took me 3 years to get back into the industry after the last layoff as jobs were so scarce. Since this is a seniority based industry, that means I lose all those years spent working my way up from the bottom. It's not like other jobs where you can make lateral moves based on experience, here you start of the bottom no matter what, bottom pay, bottom schedules, etc. I nearly went bankrupt last time, and my wife and I are still pulling ourselves out of the debt incurred from that whole mess. Ugh!

    This time though, I saw the writing on the wall, and my wife and I decided it was best to move back to our hometown of SLC asap, from where I'd just commute to work into Houston every week (ie I won't be home hardly ever). It's home though, that's where friends and family is, and we might need the support structure and job connections. Last time this happened it of course caught us by surprise, and we were in Portland where we didn't know a soul, and it nearly destroyed us. So at least this time I had a feeling and was able to plan a move just in the nick of time.

    People have many misconceptions about it being a high paid and glamorous job. If you work for Fedex or UPS, it might be, but those are 1 in 1000 pilots that get those positions, and you have to know someone on the inside to 'sponsor' you. And here at the 'regional' level, we get paid peanuts. Seriously. But you have to put your years in here just to have a sliver of hope of moving up in the industry, hoping all the while to not get caught by a furlough. If so, you lose what you've built up.

    I'm very seriously considering leaving this god-forsaken industry all-together. After working in it for 13 years, I'm going to have to start over at the bottom again after this. Back to wages I made 13 years ago, for the second time. This job really does destroy families and finances. Well, since my degree is in av, I may have to go back to school, in my 30's for crying out loud, with no idea what else I would do, as this is all I know. At this rate I'll never own a house of my own. My poor wife is in shambles. She's sick of being poor, of moving cross country, of lack of stability, never seeing me. Ugh. I have no clue where to go from here. Sorry for the rant guys, but thanks for listening.

  2. #2

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    Military pilot What about flying helicopters for the news or police, or a hospital?

    That sucks though. I'm not particularly a fan of the aviation part of the travel industry whatsoever. Like oil, it is not at all market based. No one buys tickets because they are ludicrously expensive, so then the airline gets mad no one is buying tickets, and raises the prices further, which causes even less people to buy tickets. Aviation has been around for over a hundred years, and despite an incredible amount of technological advances in the field which have made things hundreds of times more efficient, prices continue to go up. It shouldn't cost $1500 to get to S. America FROM HOUSTON. Or $500 to go to Belize, which is what...a 2 hour flight? Hell I'd be in Thailand tonight if it wasn't like $1600+ (and that's if you buy the ticket almost a year in advance).

    I was going to go to Germany this summer, and the second I convinced myself to buy the ticket, I logged in, and it had arbitrarily increased in price by over $300 over the course of about 3 hours. I called and they said the flight with the good price had sold out, I told them no, because it was the SAME FLIGHT NUMBERS. They said the sale must've ended, and I said no, because the website said the sale was on for another 2 days. The response I got was, "Well, I have no idea then. But that fare is gone".
    Z polski y dumny
    Prayer - how to do nothing and still think you're helping.
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  3. #3
    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    I'm sorry your going through such a tough time. I know what your talking about with the economy and having to work your way up from the bottom.
    My Dad is a pilot for JetBlue and ever since I was very young I've watched him climb all the way from flying corporate jets, to what he's doing now. Granted, he is getting better pay, but still not a huge differance considering it took 14 years. Now he's relying on the company not to go out of business.
    He only recently bought a house of his own.

    I know it's a risky business, but don't give up, try again. You never know, you might do a lot better in a different company.
    I hope things clear up and get better for you.
    Good luck!
    -Matt
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  4. #4
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. No military background. Fractional is where it's at. They are the most secure sector, and will be for a long time to come. Problem is it's nearly impossible to get hired by them in hard economic times - they hire about 10% of interviewees, and those who even get interviewed are jumping ship from the likes of Delta, Continental, etc, ie guys who already made it to the big time. Last I heard, one operator in particular had over 7500 resumes for 300 positions...

    Current thought is that cheap airline travel is going to gradually fade away, and that it's going to trend back to the way it was in the '30's and '40s: only the elite and rich flew on what small amount of planes that existed. Ticket prices are only going to rise higher and higher to cover fuel. Oil is killing this industry right now. And it's only going to get worse; and if it hits $200/barrel, many of the legacy carriers, let alone all the lesser airlines, will be gone forever. This is what many airline union reps, management, and industry analysts are saying. Here's the kicker, the rich already skip the airline hoe-down all together, and go fractional. Many are predicting that rail and bus use will rise, and that even high-speed rail lines will replace much of the domestic flying done today. Most airline flying will be in the international arena. Who knows, all I know I'm sick of starting over. I could kick myself for picking such a dead end career. I don't want to be 50 and barely be getting into my first house.

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    What do you mean by fractional? (Sorry if that's a dumb question lol)

    Idk man, you're only in your 30s. I'd go the military route if I were you. The pay isn't fantastic, but you get so much stuff paid for, discounted, etc. Plus, you can live somewhere else. And you can live in almost any country you want. I'm telling all my military friends to put in international requests now. That way, if the worst happens and Billary wins, they'll already be out of the country .
    Z polski y dumny
    Prayer - how to do nothing and still think you're helping.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F5aCUNE4Z8
    ^^^Newest vid

  6. #6
    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    That way, if the worst happens and Billary wins, they'll already be out of the country .
    lol

    Yeah, military does have nice advantages, my Dad was in the Air Force for a few years. It's by no means necessary, though.
    growlist

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    herenorthere's Avatar
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    That's too bad and I'm sorry you have to go through that. I went back to school in my upper 30s and started again a year ago, at 46. I've had a good job throughout that time, but wanted a chance to do something a little different. I was 31 and working in a Fotomat because things didn't turn out as I had hoped, but was there little more than a year before I landed the job that's been paying for my house & family ever since.

    Few people are lucky enough to have everything happen the way they want. They usually think they're better, but what they mostly are is lucky. You won't be the first person to go back to school because a career path got rocky and you have an advantage over a lot of people because you've been through college before. You'll be amazed at how much easier it is when you have a few years on everyone else.

    With the math and science you've had to master, you should be a natural for some of the higher-paying, more challenging fields that scare off a lot of 18-year olds. Or maybe even teaching, especially if Texas has one of those rapid certification programs designed for people switching careers.

    I admit I'm no fan of the aviation industry, which is amazingly wasteful and polluting, but I hope things work out for you and that you find success in something, whether in that industry or elsewhere.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    I'm really sorry to hear that. I can feel for you. I got laid off from a job many years ago, due to a corporate merger, in the height of a bad recession. It wiped out every penny I had trying to survive 'til I could get a job. I had to "start over" too. I've never recovered financially. Now I'm facing the possibility of it happening again. Times are really tough.

    I wish you all the best. I wish there were something I could do to help.

    BTW....love the avatar.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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