Uber Changes How You Request Rides to the Airport and Half of Cathay Pacific Pilots Want Out

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. You know that in non-union places, seniority still often is used in determining who gets first choice in assignments. You keep making unions your straw man, which is really weak thinking. Unions have their problems, so you don’t have to add additional ones that are made up.

  2. We need much stronger safeguards to protect us from these out of control customs agents who commit such indignities on people. And I don’t like to see my tax money going to pay off victims of US government employees who don’t know how to treat people decently and who apparently are not held accountable. These customs officers should be placed on trial for assault. As long it’s only the taxpayers on the hook for their unconscionable actions, they don’t care. Our liberties are deteriorating fast.

  3. I generally like your blog, but I REALLY can’t stand the constant union bashing. It’s unnecessary and misleading. Given the huge accomplishments of labor unions over the past 100+ years (child labor protections, occupational safety regulations, minimum wage laws, etc, etc), you should show some gratitude and respect for what they’ve accomplished. Workers died to ensure better working conditions for everyone and seeing you spit on that sacrifice is sickening.

  4. @Brett

    Yup, you’re right. There are a few non-airline unions in the US, and I’m hard pressed to think of one that doesn’t do trip assignments and pay just like a union shop.

    Gary blames this on the unions, but management loves it too, so the system isn’t going anywhere. Why does management love it? They get the upper hand in labor negotiations, particularly when revenue is soft and concessions are needed. They can demand 10% (or 20% or whatever) reduction in pay, and tell the pilots if they don’t like it, they can either go work elsewhere or risk furloughs. Since “going elsewhere” is a massive paycut (at newhire pay) they have no choice but to take it in the shorts. Plus, when hiring is done, all hires are brought in at first year pay. What else could management ask for?

    No, this isn’t something to blame only the unions for. Both sides agree to the system, even at non-union carriers.

  5. In General: Seniority is only a factor for bidding/assignment in the US – the rest of the world uses fair share. The unions in the US would never want to switch to fair share.

    Cathay lost big on fuel hedging and have to cut costs.
    Cathay pilots are among the best paid in the industry – so this is where they look to cut.
    cuts to benefits/pay = unhappy pilots.

    Not really related to unions in this case –

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