Someone once mentioned, it's a cheap thrill getting paid in American dollars and admiring the conversion value when placed in a Canadian banking account.
Every January the new Air Canada pilot seniority list is published. Yours truly went from #1405 to #1276, a whopping 129 numbers! Another cheap thrill. (I also watched it slide 601 numbers with the Canadian merger, but I'm over that one. Did I tell you I'm over that one?) The bottom number is #3173 so as #1276, it proves I'm working my way up the food chain.
What can seniority #1276 hold? About 60 percent (40 percent are below me) from the top of the A320 captain list in Toronto. I can't hold summer vacation and getting Christmas off is close, but no cigar. I would be 90 percent (only 10 percent are below me) as first officer on the B777 both in Toronto and Vancouver. My seniority could not hold left seat on the A320 in Vancouver.
I could be top 4% on the Embraer as captain in Toronto entitling me to summer vacation, Christmas off and the best monthly schedule the airplane has to offer, but it would come with a $35,000 pay cut.
As many of you know, our age 60 mandatory retirement is being challenged by pilots that have retired or are going out the door. What does this potentially mean if they win (and they will)? Career progression coming to a standstill. Looks like another quagmire is heading my way.
But these things are out of my hands. I read an interesting tidbit the other day. There are more pilots over the age of sixty with American Airlines than there are under forty.
But to put it in perspective. I'll recount one anecdote.
One day two pilots from opposite ends of the seniority list met in flight planning. One was 'wet behind the ears' having recently joined the company. The other, a grey hair senior captain on the company's biggest aircraft. The two meet and the young junior twenty something year old says, "I wish I had your seniority number." The captain tilts his head down to look pass his bi-focal glasses and says with reminiscing eyes, "No son, I wish I had your seniority number."
A case in point, I'll enjoy the ride!
Airbus 320 captain - Toronto
seniority number 1276