I read your blog website and you are a lucky person to fly and do what you like best. Could you write something about furloughs that a pilot goes through on your blog?
I read many blogs and others don't recommend this career to their kids. Pay no job stability etc. Airlines merging etc. Don't know if you will be hired by an airline and if you are hired how long will you work there etc. Were you ever furloughed in your career?
I found this website maybe you read it already about Commercial Airline pilot best career in 2011. Please read the comments of others what they say in this field. True?
Click Here to read the article.
Tom, Thank you so much for the great questions.
Yes, I have been furloughed. But that furlough pushed me out the door to attend my interview with Northwest Airlines. The best thing that could have happened.
Had I stayed, I would have been on the street when Tower Air officially closed it's doors for good--- Behind a few hundred other people. I would have given up a couple thousand seniority numbers with NWA--- if they hired me a year later.
I wasn't furloughed at Braniff, but I ended up on the street after they shut down. I'm thinking the furlough was better. Furlough--- Job competition is fierce. Supply is much higher than demand.
Can a furlough be a good thing? Sometimes. It provides the opportunity to get another job before the business goes away. You get a jump start in the job market, before the thousands of pilots ahead of you.
What does a furlough really mean? It means you don't have a job. You aren't sure if you should go somewhere else--- what if they call you back? You'd hate to give up that seniority. But you need to support your family.
For some it means--- time to move on. To others it means--- life is not fair.
Is it different to be furloughed as a pilot than any other job? Perhaps. Flying not just a job for some, but a passion. It's a career that has taken a ton of money, time and energy to achieve. For those who've never called in sick, gave their heart and soul to their company, and gave up time with their families to cover trips--- a furlough becomes very personal. A betrayal. It hurts. It's frustrating. Fearful for most.
And then we ask--- What job is stable these days? Tomorrow, today's technology is already obsolete. What company will be around in thirty years? The publishing houses are changing as I write. Will our great grandchildren have books they can touch? We don't know the future.
The angst of pilots who don't recommend the job to their kids, who are against it, and fear mergers--- what can I say? They've obviously been betrayed by their career of choice. For those of us who still love it--- why? The answer to that question is personal....
Freedom. Control. Accomplishment. The view. Time off. Travel....
No doubt times have changed. I'm amazed in the thirty-one years that I've been flying how much is different. I still think it's a good job. It could be a great job if TSA didn't have to touch me before every flight. Seriously...
What would I tell my children to do?
Exactly what I've always said, "Do what you love."
One of My Rules:
- Never do anything only for the money.
Money is great... but first you have to do what you love. Flying is a passion. A way of life. The job provides so many good things. Sometimes it's exhausting, frustrating, and I wonder what in the heck I'm doing. But then--- I'm in the sky, and somehow it all makes sense.
Is the article correct? It's all about perspective.
Thank you for the questions Tom.
How about you? Have you ever been furloughed? What's your experience?