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20 January 2010

Los Angeles Times Story of Overworked and Underpaid Pilots

Pay and working conditions for pilots have been an ongoing concern, especially in the last few years as airlines have eliminated benefits and lowered pay in order to remain competitive. Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times published an article about pay and working conditions at regional airlines in the US, focusing on one pilot from regional carrier Pinnacle airlines, painted a picture of long workdays and a lifestyle that forces many pilots to commute hundreds or even thousands of miles from their homes to their airline, sometimes sleeping in their airline's crew lounge before performing their duties.

Pilot pay is a subject previously covered by, and the LA Times illustrated the current economic reality by describing how the pilot in the story started as a first officer making $1,650 per month plus benefits, and now makes $28,000 per year, which turns out to be less than a Los Angeles bus driver.

Pinnacle, the airline featured in the LA Times article, is the parent company of regional carrier Colgan Air, which was the airline operating the aircraft involved in the fatal February 2009 Continental Connection crash in Buffalo.


  1. I'm glad that this subject is seeing some light, but the American public could care less what an airline pilot makes. All they care about are low fares. If that means lowering wages for pilots. so be it.

  2. Piolets should be opid fairly....if airlines have to cut back...this is not the place to do it...I recall an overnight that I had in Amsterdam where Aeroflot piolts were eating meals from the plane and sleeping in the lounge because they couldn't afford otherwise..

  3. Also don't forget about the A&P mechanics, who have to make the aircraft safe to fly. We are also hurting, as I am now eraning less than I did 21 years ago

  4. airlines often load bags on top of one another in the cargo hold of your flight. Hundreds of pounds of pressure in conjunction with the low temperatures in unheated cargo compartments may lead to cracks or damage to the laptop screen or damage to other components.

  5. indeed i feel pilots should be paid handsomely , because they are the custodians of peoples lives in basically these people need motivation at all costs absolutely.

  6. They are being paid to have the priviledge of having fun doing what they like to do, that is, fly a plane. Just like a hippie who wants to take on a night security guard job so he can spend his entire shift doing meditation and taking home a mere 12 dollars an hour, likewise a pilot is just enjoying himself so a $800 dollar biweekly take home pay should be appropriate.