Airline Careers Not So Attractive

Thinking about a glamorous career in the airline industry? Good luck. I just ran across an article describing how desperately lousy the pay is for beginning airline pilots. And flight attendants? Not looking too good there, either.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune had an excellent piece about the difficulty that regional airlines are having in finding enough pilots to fly their proliferating fleets of little regional jets. No wonder, with starting pay for a first officer as low as $24,000 a year.

It’s true that some pilots who fly wide-bodied jets for the major airlines can still earn six-figure salaries, but their pay has been dropping for years. And a beginning pilot can spend years at food-stamp wages with the regional airlines before getting a shot at the majors.

As for flight attendants, Reuters reports on rock-bottom morale, reduced pay and deteriorating working conditions.

Maybe the only thing worse than being an airline passenger these days is being an employee.


3 thoughts on “Airline Careers Not So Attractive

  1. Pilot

    That´s right I´m not good paid at my Latinamerican country thats why I´m working at India earning 160K a year.

  2. Alex

    The morale has picked up in the American Airline’s pilot corps. We recently elected a new group of national officers in our union who share a collective vision of reminding management that they promised to share the gain as well as sharing the pain of the post 9-11 airline economy. As is obvious, the pain is gone. For the last two years, AMR management has paid themselves back many times over with huge bonuses and stock options. The AMR board has recently awarded the same management group a huge stock option windfall, based on performance, for 2010. We, the pilots of American Airlines, are anxious to share in this gain as we look to recoup the lost wages and benefits that kept AA out of bankruptcy in 2003. In short, life should get better in our little corner of the airline world.


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