SUMMARY:

 

Reasons we have such high seniority reserves:

  1. Reserve ratio went up to 20% system wide for LAA
  2. LUS went to rotating reserve
  3. Very few FA’s between 7-20 years

 

Problem with our current rotating reserve system:

  1. Rotating reserve is based on Years of Service instead of percentages of actual bodies available.
  2. Not enough new hires or attrition to support a “years of service” rotation.
  3. Having a 1-for-3 rotation, pushes reserve pool to 80% if no junior FA’s.
  4. At senior bases not enough One Year or straight reserves.
  5. Impossible to plan (your life) as you never know if you’ll be on reserve due to 1-year and 3-year FA’s eclipsing their first and third years and never knowing when or if new hires will be placed in your base.

 

Solutions:

  1. Use a percentage based rotation, not years of service.
  2. Have a percentage of straight reserves at the bottom regardless of years.
  3. Eliminate 1-for-3 rotation or use 1-for-2 rotation.

 

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

I feel like I want to make a few personal points and observations.   As noted, of course this is divisive; it’s a shame to pit the juniors and seniors against each other.  It should not be that way as we are all a team and all good people that just want to have a decent life and a decent work environment.

However, there is a reality check here too.  The seniors have been at this job for decades, some longer then some juniors have even been alive.   It is and has become a long term career for the senior “people”.  They have paid their dues and they have put in their time.  It is not reasonable or fair to dismiss this accomplishment and effort, they deserve their status.

It is also of note, that the airline industry is and always has been a seniority driven hierarchy, when you have thousands who have the same job, (we are all just numbers), then seniority is the only reasonable way to delineate privileges amongst the work group.  ALL industries are like this, junior people or new hire in all industries the world over start at the bottom and work their way up, particularly when it comes to schedules.

For junior or new hired FA’s, yes, the reserve system and scheduling is no fun.  But it is and always will be part of the job.  The bottom people must fill the least desirable schedules until they move up.  How else would it be fair?

As a new hire or junior employee, you have to consider whether you are in this for the short haul or the long haul, its really that simple.  If you are in for the long haul, (and don’t be surprised if in 30 years you suddenly realize you WERE in for the long haul!), then you should consider hard what rules you are voting into place. So if you are in for the long haul, think about what kind of life style you want after you have been flying for 30 years.  You are voting on issues that WILL affect you much differently in just a few years time.

Right now the airline industry is as healthy as it’s ever been, it is growing.  Most airlines are hiring.  Due to the giant bubble of time between 10-20 years that so few FA’s were hired, there will be mass attrition in the next 5-15 years that will push everyone way up the seniority ladder.

This mass attrition has been a speculation for some time, there a LOT of super senior people and a LOT of super junior people, and not many between.  The most senior will be moving on in a mass fashion.  Similar to the baby boomer retirement phenomenon, there is a LOT of seniors.

So if you’re senior, enjoy what you can, enjoy your job and the benefits of a long and well served career, if your junior, look forward to an exciting life in the airline industry, make the best of it while you’re still on the bottom, you will be pushed up the seniority list a lot faster then you think.

And above all, this is a really great job, if you don’t think it is then you should get another job, that simple.  Appreciate what we do have and what this job DOES do for you.