Feb 15, 2010

Walmartization of the airline industry

I've been meaning to rent this video. Now that I've seen this clip I must really get on that. A true representation of an industry in trouble:

7 comments:

fche said...

Moore skilfully mixes fact and editorial, making it tricky to apply the skepticism due the latter, considering the source.

Aluwings said...

I agree completely. Moore's style is not exactly a dry listing of factual information. Nor is it a balanced attempt to show all sides in an arguement.

But I figure his "docs" present an entertaining and challenging look into some aspect of an important issue. I just wouldn't accept it as "the whole story."

John said...

I hate how Moore takes these facts and twists it into blaming capitalism. These pilots are not in slavery. They choose to have this career and make the money they are making. Because they love flying. If they didn't, they wouldn't be flying for such low wages. I wish pilots made more too, but that will never happen while there are other pilots who will jump at the chance to get paid for flying at all.

Curt Sampson said...

"Don't apply for food stamps in your uniform." That's pretty amusing, in a rather grim way.

While it's true that there is (and should be) downward economic pressure on pilot salaries due to the popularity of the job, there is a reasonable argument to be made that this is over time going to push a fair number of flights into having two low-time pilots, and thus compromise safety to some degree.

It's also fairly obvious that the current deregulated passenger air transport market is an extremely difficult one in which to work. It's not at all clear to me that it's producing the maximum consumer suplus that it could be. Does anyone have a good argument that it is?

Cirrocumulus said...

The question "Does low pay result in an underskilled pilot pool?" ought to be answered directly by mining some data.

However, you should also be asking about the effect of low wages on the kind of personality you'll be flying with in the future. If aviation doesn't pay enough to support a family, won't young Mr Sensible cross it off his list of possible careers? Leaving only the short-sighted and the reckless to join you? You'll be the first to notice if the quality of new FOs starts to fall.

Flyin Dutchman said...

There are so many College and University Aviation Programs that are essentially puppy mills over saturating the market. They advertise their programs like everyone who graduates will walk right into an FO spot at Air Canada or Westjet and that there is a looming pilot shortage...maybe a shortage of Aluwing type pilots with 30,000 hours and years in the industry. They aren't short of 300 hour wonders though with all the people who are buying into the marketing ploys.

Not like it is hard to sell becoming a pilot to someone, but I am sure there are some fence sitters that would think twice after they spent some time talking to those in the entry level jobs and also to some grey hairs who have been laid off 5-6 times in their career.

I was a 300 hr wonder too at one point and no matter what people said I was going for it and now I am doing pretty good. I was definitely a little naive about the industry initially but after getting laid off 3 times and filling an income tax return with my annual salary of 20,000 dollars I sobered up quick.

I can only see the problem of low wages possibly changing if there was a professional group that could limit the amount of commercial pilot's entering the workforce...but since aviation is so freekin expensive companies would get rid of it quickly.

Sorry to hijack the thread :)Take care Aluwings !

Aluwings said...

@Flying Dutchman - not a "hijack" at all. I enjoy reading the different opions and contributions.

Check my new post with the link to the Colgan Air documentary for more thoughtful reporting.

thanks!