Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pilot pay must be increased

The Hero Pilot who saved many lives by landing in the Hudson River:

Sullenberger testified that his pay has been cut 40 percent in recent years and his pension has been terminated and replaced with a promise "worth pennies on the dollar" from the federally created Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. These cuts followed a wave of airline bankruptcies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks compounded by the current recession, he said.

That is unacceptable that a pilot who is of both a national security and public safety importance being forced to take such a cut in compensation. This can't help and most certainly does hurt. We are then asking people to put aside so much for "professionalism". This encourages early retirement and other qualified people choosing other careers. I'm confident that current pilots in fact do their absolute best regardless, but they shouldn't have to work under these conditions. As Americans we should want each pilot incentivized to do their very best in every possible way.

Of course, every pilot is going to give their utmost effort, but we all know that people have different levels of commitment.

The government should have never let such a cut in pilot pay occur. Congress should mandate a minimum salary that guarantees that the best people will want to go into that profession.

This will cost us in either less service on flights, higher ticket prices, or something else.
But we will have made a better effort to attract and retain the most skilled pilots.

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