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Squawks & HeadlinesUnited Airlines recalling all furloughed pilots

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United Airlines recalling all furloughed pilots

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United Airlines announced Thursday morning that it will recall the "nearly 600 pilots" currently on furlough. The company says it's making the move "to address the airline's future staffing needs," adding that "no United pilots will remain on furlough following the recall." (www.usatoday.com) More...

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yr2012
matt jensen 4
Good for the pilots.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 0
Good for all the flight crews. 600 pilots, assuming they get them all back, will generate a lot of flights unless they are looking for a mass of retirements. More pilots > more FA's and more pax.
drdisque
Ben Deneweth 2
They won't get them all back and they are expecting a lot of retirements. United has no plans to significantly expand over the next few years. This is just to keep up with attrition.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Pretty much what I figured too. That's why I mentioned it.
Derg
Roland Dent 3
Have to laugh at this....some of them are now Fleet Captains in places far away. Good Luck to them. That's where I would be headed if I was a younger guy.
okguido
Guido Warnecke 4
It would be very interesting how many pilots will return. Are they expected to stay ready at home until the airline "calls them back"????
Happy Landings,
Guido
17dec1903
17dec1903 2
Perhaps not as "obvious" as @Guido makes it out to be (even though his remark is sarcastic). If you were a US-based furloughed United pilot working for a carrier in China/India/Asia, would you want to spend weeks/months away from the family continuing with your Chinese carrier, or would you opt-in to work at United again where you only have to spend days away from your family?
mikeharbour
Mike Harbour 1
Depends...if you don't like your family or the money's really good, then maybe you stay abroad! That's really a question only one of these pilots can answer. Maybe one of 'em will do so here!
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
> "Maybe one of 'em will do so here!"

Ha! Wishful thinking.

The affected pilots will consider their options, make their decision and inform the company in the legally required time.

I wouldn't expect any public complaining and kivitching about it all, until after the process is complete.

What I do wonder about is what was the final outcome of the arbitration on the integrated seniority list. Do any furloughed pilots get placed ahead of currently active flying pilots? If so, by how much? Do currently active pilots from either merged airline get bumped from their current lines or bases because if the ISL?
drdisque
Ben Deneweth 1
Are any furloughed pilots ahead of any active pilots?: Yes, some furloughed sUA pilots will be ahead of some current sCO pilots for bidding purposes. However, it's unlikely that they will have any affect on bidding in the short term because all the recalled pilots will likely be placed into the new CHI and DEN 737 bases while most of the junior sCO pilots are in the LAX, NYC, and IAH 737 bases. I believe the bases are protected for a number of years. Some of the furloughed sUA pilots are 1999 hires while sCO has 2006 hires I believe. So the gap is pretty substantial, at least in terms of years. Basically, no sCO pilots will lose their lines of flying, but when it comes to bidding up to better bases or bigger a/c the furloughed pilots with earlier date of hire will be ahead. However, in the case of any future furlough, it will be based on length of service. Most of the sUA furloughs were in 2008, so a 1999 sUA hire would currently have 9 years of service, same as a sCO 2004 hire. That is in the unlikely event of a future furlough that would be larger than the hiring class that will be starting soon.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Thanks. That was helpful.

DOH seniority seems so restrictive not only of carriers being able to hire the best and brightest pilots and place them into their organization exactly here they belong, without starting them at ZERO seniority. But pilots also don't get to move around to other carriers fir whatever life reasons make a change a better or necessary option, without losing all their seniority built up at previous carrier.

It would make more sense to recognize a pilot's experience, no matter which carrier. What really matters is how good a pilot is. If one takes into consideration the experience, all expereince is important, not jus experience at present carrier. Also, what types were flown, and for how long (hours in the seat) an where (company culture) would all seem more important than DOH seniority.

Do pilots truly benefit from DOH seniority? Any opinions either way?
drdisque
Ben Deneweth 2
All those things are subjective - union work rules have to be 100% objective, so only objective measures like DOH and length of service work, even though they're probably not very good metrics of a pilot's proficiency. For example how would you weight being a Pilatus PC-12 pilot for 10 years vs. being a CRJ-200 Captain for 1 year vs. a CRJ-900 First officer for 4 years vs. a 737 First officer for 2 years? Which one is the most proficient? Which one has the most experience? It's all subjective. For the purposes of bidding and furloughs, the pilots have to be ranked somehow, and seniority is the only remotely fair way to do it, as silly as that sounds.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
But why not count all pilot experience at all shops, instead of just at the current employer.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Right you are, PhotpFinish. It seems a very simple common sense approach to count each and every bit of experience gained. After all, the employers get the benefit of the full bundle of knowledge and experience through the particular employee.
Even if some part of CV may seem irrelevant or unlikely to be useful, every piece of learning adds to a person's mental capabilities, besides some other ones.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 2
Sorry, it ought to have been 'PhotoFinish'.
My apologies.
17dec1903
17dec1903 2
Does this announcement have anything to do with the fact that all United (former UA/CO) pilots are now working under a single contract?
drdisque
Ben Deneweth 2
It doesn't matter how many return - in fact they're probably hoping that they don't. But they have to recall everyone on furlough before they can start hiring off the street or flowing through from regional partners if there are still any of those agreements in place.
Derg
Roland Dent 2
You know for a blue collar person like me this stuff is just not in my mental tool kit.
drdisque
Ben Deneweth 1
Somewhat, before the ISL was completed, these pilots wouldn't have known where they were going to fall on the integrated seniority list so that would have affected their decision whether to come back or not. Now they know where they fall so they can make a more informed decision. Also, United wasn't going to hire any more pilots until the ISL was completed. Now that it is, they have to recall these pilots before they can start hiring.
okguido
Guido Warnecke 1
That makes sense, Ben.
iflyrjs
terry gersdorf 1
Great news
ric2roz
Rick Hollenbach 1
If the company furloughed you once, what will stop it from happening again? Why trust them? How did they show loyalty to the worker by laying them off, only to expect them to just sit and wait?
drdisque
Ben Deneweth 1
Pilots aren't furloughed arbitrarily. There's a seniority list. When the furlough happened, these guys were on the bottom. They aren't expected to sit and wait, being on a furlough list where they are guaranteed to be offered their job back first and retain some of their seniority is actually a union benefit.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Well said my friend Ben Deneweth. The work experience gained in the interregnum is being considered. More over, not every one will accept the new terms because they may NOT be attractive enough for one reason or the other. Similarly, the company may NOT find every recalled pilot to be within their revised job description frame.
So, it will be give and take from both sides, as well as the condition 'as is where is' basis ! And so on.
The company can only issue a general invitation. The details or the proverbial 'fine print' has to read for each case separately.
eckstrombryan
Bryan Eckstrom -1
everything that is being said here is far from what we are talking about at KDEN. Ill just keep it that way .
Bigboy1942a
Richard Stiller -1
Great news but they need to do some work on being the airline with the most near misses last year. TRAINING!