ATLANTA, GA – Steve Johnson, a 47-year-old veteran narrowbody pilot is furious after learning he will only earn a mere $475k this year to sit in the cockpit of a plane that is mostly flying itself.
After learning his union negotiated a new deal with Delta Airlines to increase pay for widebody pilots to $590k a year, Johnson is beside himself. While the deal also included a sizable pay jump for narrowbody pilots to a tidy sum of $475k, Johnson and several other narrowbody pilots are livid.
Announcement from @AmericanAir CEO Robert Isom today to pilots. He’s ready to match the dollars in @Delta pilots newly ratified deal, with even more quality of life guarantees. By year 4, narrow body captain tops at $475,000, wide body captain $590,000 annually. pic.twitter.com/0pEPCAM3Lo— Doug Dunbar (@cbs11doug) March 8, 2023
“How are we supposed to afford our new all-electric Hummer this year,” Johnson told a reporter. “At $475k a year, I can barely afford to make our family’s annual trip to Mar A Lago while still maintaining my sugar baby’s life in Los Angeles.”
He went on to suggest that he and other fellow narrowbody pilots may quiet quit in solidarity by refusing to inform passengers of the weather conditions at their final destination.
The new proposal stunned many in the industry who indicated they were shocked at how paltry the final numbers for the salary deal were.
Carl Lapold, an industry analyst for Clickbait Travel Bloggers dot com, shared his take, noting, “Pilots are the demigods of the airline industry. Without them, who’d hit the autopilot button after the plane levels off? No one, that’s who. They deserve more, to be honest.”
LOl. A little close to the truth but good one.
I’ve been a pilot since 1986. I’m retired now due to medical reasons. I grew up farming m, joined the Navy, worked a lot of part time jobs on top of my Navy pay to make ends meat. I became an Airline pilot in 1998. Pilot pay sucked horribly from 1990’s through 2016. Most pilots had lost their retirement due to bankruptcy and regional pilots made less than $40,000 a year on average. Pay is finally back up and where it should be. My first 3 years at a regional, I made less than $45,000 all three years combined. I started a construction company and after flying 4-5 days a week, I built homes.
I’ve done a lot of jobs. Being an airline pilot was one of the most difficult. Being away 4 and 5 days a week was the norm. My kids didn’t know me well and I was an outsider visiting when at home. The job is not easy. Any pilot who says it’s easy is a liar. It requires near constant studying to remain a high level of proficiency and flying in terrible weather and dealing with long delays and often truly immoral passengers can really wear in a person’s belief in humanity.
Most pilots don’t make $500,000. The majority make between $80,000 and $150,000. This is after spending 4 years in college and another 2-3 years training and building time or if you go the military route spend 10-20 years in the service.
I still teach pilots to fly. But I caution young men and women to be very careful in choosing this career path. The family life can be terrible. Divorce rates are 80%+ and airlines go bankrupt in economic downturns. When I began flying as a young kid in the 1970’s…. TWA, PanAm, United were the dream jobs. Braniff, Eastern, Continental, US Air, Western, and 20 other airlines were financially stable and had thousand of employees. Since that time the vast majority of airlines have gone bankrupt and closed. Those that remain cannot find pilots because for the 15 years after September 11, it was a terrible job to have for the majority of pilots. No one trained to become pilots except those who were willing to fly for free.
Don’t become jealous of pilots. There are plenty of jobs that pay more and have you home at night with your family.
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