2011 Seniority List. I blurred everything to protect the innocent. :)
So what's in a number? If you believe we are just a cog in the wheel, a pebble on the beach, or as Pink Floyd's song goes, "another brick in the wall" then we are just that, a number.
But if you are joining an airline which bases everything on seniority, a number is EVERYTHING! It means promotion, if you are number 2000 then you don't move until 1999 decides. It means vacation choice, domicile choice, left seat or right seat, monthly flying preferences, whether you get Christmas off or summer vacation, or your kids birthdays off, anniversaries, or whether you get a flying block or will be on reserve. So how does most companies determine the most important number for your career? Well, it's literally pulled out of a hat. Yes, some companies base it on marks, or age, flight time, but for AC it's like drawing straws.
At one time it was based on fierce competition amongst the class and when I joined, the pilots which came from the connectors received a better number than the ones from off the street. Looking back, it was unfair but you must play by the rules.
Lucky Captain Doug came from the connectors. Those that didn't are 400 numbers junior to me and they started the exact same day. I know, I know.....
I remember reading one writer's words of wisdom in an aviation magazine, "get your butt in ground school Monday morning." Some didn't and lived to regret it. One guy I know delayed the course because his wife was due. Not good enough.!
(I know I will get flak for saying this, but I'm trying to make a point) :)
So what's in a number?
Every year it's a cheap thrill seeing my seniority go up. I went from 1276 to 1171. (105 numbers). It's used to be as equivalent in seeing American money converted to Canadian money. But lately, that thrill is gone. :)
(You're probably thinking Captain Doug needs to get out more) LOL
Presently there is 3077 numbers which means I'm 38 percent from the top.
As you may have heard two pilots who retired at age 60 have been legally reinstated through the courts. What does this mean? There will be more who are due to retire but will stay. Translation...Captain Doug's and everyone else's career goes into a bit of a hold. But not everyone will want to return. I know many pilots counting the days. Yes, they will tell you the exact amount of days before they say "gear up" for the last time.
It doesn't matter whether this is fair. I'm wise enough to realize it's going to happen but things are still stuck in the court for the others wanting to return to the seniority list. Stay tuned.
Here's some numbers:
Presently I am bidding 199/368 55% (from the top) as A320 captain in Toronto.
I can not hold summer or Christmas vacation. I can now barely get Christmas off but
it costs dearly for the rest of the month. I can get most of the specific days off I want and hold most weekends off. Overall I fly 10 to 15 days a month.
I could be....
#2 F/O on the A320 showing top 1% (YYZ) (down bid)
#2 Embraer captain showing top 1% (YYZ)
For bottom B767 captain in YYZ I am 345 numbers away.
For bottom A330 captain in YYZ I am 634 numbers away.
For bottom B777 captain in YYZ I am 900 numbers away.
As B777 F/O (down bid) I would be 80% (barely hold a flying block)
So what's in a number...a lot!
Well seniority #1171 will be commanding an A320 for the next four days.
First stop is PBI (West Palm Beach) and back and then it's off to an exotic cold Canadian city overnight. The third night gets me to Orlando, but I arrive around midnight throwing the beer math way out of kilter. :)