Why no one wants to work in aviation (US)

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 19 Sep 2017
at 14:42

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  • Tom Otley


    I know the article refers mainly to pilot positions but the same rot has affected all levels of the industry. Once upon a time I was responsible for, amongst other things, running ticket desks and training their staff. These days, when I overhear the abuse and the sense of entitlement that emanates from passengers, and I see the crap that the staff have to put up with, not only from pax but from their own management, I thank my lucky stars that I no longer have to do the jobs I once enjoyed and looked forward to going to work for.

    Then there is the way that they have been deprived of any sort of empowerment and right to make decisions, it’s all programmed into a computer by 16 year old geeks who have probably never even flown and don’t know the difference between Laos and Lagos. The interfaces (interfarces might be a better word) have been dumbed down to the level of a 12 year old and consequent upon that, we end up facing people who have become moronic automatons dependent on their computers. “Computer says no” pretty much sums it up.


    capetonianm +1


    There was a really good book published a few years ago called “Anger in the Air: Combating the Air Rage Phenomenon” by Joyce Hunter. One of her arguments (based on the US) was that the worsening conditions and increased pressures faced by air crew translated into bad service to customers and this, in turn, was a major contributor to air rage. So she was drawing a vicious circle that links pressure on prices (driven by us, the consumer) to airline policies to squeeze more out of assets including crew to negative aircrew behaviour/ poor service to passenger reaction and, ultimately to air rage.

    Certainly food for thought.


    Capetonianm +2

    Competition has enabled cheaper fares and easier travel for all ‘though management and computer programming has increased pressure on frontline staff and made it more difficult to deal with pax and their problems.
    FR has shown that Chaos Theory applies to carefully regulated aviation in similar ways to other industries.


    Capetoniam +3

    Without repeating what I said on another topic about true and real value or cost of flying, I’ll add these thoughts on this specific subject.

    As consumers we have passively allowed ourselves to give permission to the airlines to move their operating mode from an experiential to purely transactional business.

    Abdication of our greatest strength as consumers has allowed the airlines to interpret our lack of interest in the continuing drive to the bottom as advocates of the changes we bemoan. A classic example of this is our willingness to purchase ever more bizarre ancillary charges.

    We have been complicit,compliant and compromised as airlines have introduced us to don’t give a damn outsourcers ,minimal wage cabin crew, pilots whose primary jobs are now accountants more than aviators.

    We shrug our shoulders and tut as BA whimsically cancels flights, AC immorally cramps it’s 777’s with more seats than a 70’s cheap charter airline. Complain at now having to pay to be fed and watered whilst we already have a hand in our wallet. Encourage dot pay a supplement,just to get a seat that’s not pinching your bum cheeks. And it goes on,and on and on….

    If we accept as normal the whole variety of maddening practices the aviation industry subjects us too, then we surely are accountable as we contribute to turning the industry into a McDonald’s like short term YTS job as opposed to the wonderful exciting career the airlines once offered.


    I don’t think the thread title is entirely true – its not that people don’t want to work in the aviation industry, plenty do – but its the standard of the people coming into the industry that worries me.

    Looking at the “kids” on the recent Easy Jet documentary, reinforces my point, wide eyed aviation students, more interested in selfies and their sex lives, over presenting professionalism about the career being embarked upon.

    Customer services throughout the industry has become a battle of wits between consumer and supplier…

    Security at airports – in the hands of part timers (in the UK)

    The current debacle at Ryan – where lack of staff holidays is causing flight cancelations, is the result of cutting costs to the bone – eventually the bone will shatter or splinter….

    IMHO – the primary cause of the employment problem, is the decreasing prices the consumers desire….

    do we want the prices to increase……?????


    do we want the prices to increase……?????

    Following a comment on another thread where I mentioned that I am both a customer (not very frequent) of BA, and a shareholder in their holding company, my answer to this question is ‘yes’.

    I fly BA when it represents good value, sometimes on longhaul there are cheap C class fares, and I’ll bite at those because I know I’ll get a flatbed and a sleep. I couldn’t care less about the food or the IFE, which I expect to be sub-standard, and my expectations are usually met. They are sometimes less than half of the fares on other (better) airlines. If BA increased their prices, I’d spend more and switch to other carriers that offered a better hard product. Alternatively, if BA upped their prices and improved their hard product accordingly, I’d be happy to give more of my travel expenditure to a company of which I’m a shareholder.

    I’d happily see fares go up on shorthaul routes if it meant that the whole experience of flying was more pleasurable and dignified, and if it kept the riffraff off the flights and away from the many places that their presence is ruining. I shall no doubt be labelled a ‘snob’ by some for saying this, but won’t be losing any sleep over that.

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