We’ve moved!

Well, we finally did it!  We’ve got our own server, a ton more space, doubled our staff, and a new commitment to provide you with all kinds of fun stuff!  For instance:

  • the gripeline – a live on-going widget where you can let your gripes go!
  • aviation-themed license plate hunting association – prizes for the best hunters!
  • poll of the week – fun questions about your life as an aviation-nerd.

So, update your links!  The new address is:


go to the new site already!!!


December 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

NMB Proposed Rule Changes and YOU.

The National Mediation Board (those government types who mediate your gripes and those of management) have proposed a change to the rules in regards to the defining of a majority and a lot of other legal jargon and blah blah blah that can easily put you to sleep.  To put this mumbo-jumbo into perspective, let’s use a real-world example.

SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (the SkyWest side of the house), had previously brought the ALPA vote to the pilots after a long, costly, and arduous effort by their Organizing Committee.  The pilots were instructed to call a phone number and cast their votes.  They were given the option to vote “yes” or “no”.  Those who were apathetic to the union drive, or plain unsupportive, anti-, or just plain lazy, and neglected to cast either vote, were assigned a “no” vote.  So, if you did not call, your ballot had been cast for you, and counted towards the totals.  In the case of the last ALPA run at SkyWest, the vote was for “no”, by a good margin.

Since history has shown that pilots are inherently lazy beings, many faulted the voting rules in regards to the union not passing.  Luckily, for the time between then and recently, management at SkyWest had seemed to be understandable in their actions, with no significant cuts in pilots’ QOL, that is, until earlier this year, when SkyWest pilots who had fought so hard to push the ALPA drive are snickering “told you so” as management had significantly cut health care benefits and other QOL issues with no input from SkyWest’s pilot representative group, SkyWest Airlines Pilot’s Association (SAPA).

More on the “lazy” aspect of pilots, in countless SAPA-related elections and pay packages that require a majority vote, a poor voter turnout is not uncommon.  But, back to the NMB.

The proposed changes to the NMB rules basically call for the process of counting incomplete votes to be changed from counting as a “no” vote to not counting at all.  As all who are controlled by the Railway Labor Act and the NMB, this proposed change has gone over with a sense of unity, where everyone can come to an agreement that not voting means exactly that.

While we can get into the debate on why are Americans destroying their hard-earned right to vote because they are lazy, what we all need to realize is this:

If you forfeit your right to vote, you forfeit your right to be part of any controlling majority in regards to the election.

Every person legally employed and legally able to vote for a union, or union-related issues, has every opportunity to vote.  As the technology exists that we could now vote via phone, email, or web, there is no excuse that you did not have access to vote, nor can you pull the “I need more time” card, since votes and elections are thoroughly organized and many are given advanced notice beyond what is deemed necessary.

But with any debate there is another side.  Some argue that the NMB does not have the authority to make changes to their policies, and that Congress is ultimately in charge of these matters.  While those who have made this point clear in the hearing as well as the comments publicly available on the NMB website [ http://www.nmb.gov/representation/proposed-rep-rulemaking.html ] some still agree that there needs to be change, and that this change the NMB is seeking “outside” their power can ultimately “tie up” any future NMB actions in court.  Also, some argue that redefining the “majority” can ultimately take power away from a CBA, as many CBAs require an absolute majority, and not the majority of those voting.

So, what does this mean for you?  Right now, nothing.  But, the NMB is taking comments on their website.  And, reading some of the speakers’ notes is a great read.  While we here at Blindvector take the time to read more about it for ourselves, we want to know what you think.  Let us know in the comments!

December 14, 2009 at 12:32 am Leave a comment

UAL searching for Narrow Bodies (unfortunately I don’t mean flight attendants)

Reuters reports that UAL has asked Embraer to submit a bid, along with others, for narrow body aircraft. UAL CEO Glen Tilton has gone on the record saying they wish to enter the narrow body market next year. This comes on the heels of an order for 25 dreamliners and 25 A350s. Just a few months ago it seemed like United was in a holding pattern waiting to be purchased but these orders have certainly shown that UAL has plans for the future.

December 10, 2009 at 9:52 am Leave a comment

XJT to Recall 96!

A friend of mine at Express just informed me that they are recalling 96 pilots. The first class of 32 to pilots is slated to begin on January 15th. That’s welcome news as XJT has over 300 pilots on the street. Welcome back, guys and gals!

Hopefully this is a trend and we have “Recall Monday” to counter-balance our Furlough Friday.

December 7, 2009 at 5:09 pm 1 comment

What Every Commuter needs for Christmas!

We’ve all been there: You finish up the last leg of a 4 day trip and you have only a couple of minutes to make it to your flight home. Do you run through the terminal in your uniform? Powerwalk? Summon one of those golf cart-people movers?

Now you can take matters in to your own hands and speed through the concourse on your trolley scooter. You’ll have ample time to stop by Sbarro and grab a delicious slice of pizza before you start your long commute home. Need to make a Starbucks run on a quick turn at the hub? No Problem!

Coming next spring: The add-on trailer for your flight kit and a cup-holder attachment. [Ubergizmo]

December 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

Skywest, ASA, and UAL: A holiday love triangle

Apparently United is enjoying its love affair with Skywest so much it has decided to make it a threesome with Skywest’s little sister ASA. Earlier we learned that ASA was awarded 13 RJs to operate out of Dulles and now there is talk of ASA opening a domicile in Chicago to provide even more feed for United. At this point there’s nothing concrete to report  but one thing to consider is the impact on DFW-ORD commuters. Currently there are quite a few ASA pilots doing the absolutely miserable DFW-ATL commute and if a Chicago base opens you can expect there to be a lot of ASA pilots looking for an easier commute.

Do you have an update or correction for this post? Done some eavesdropping in the chief pilot’s office? Drop us a line, homie!

December 4, 2009 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Can the Cockroach be Killed?

It’s safe to say things at Mesa are not great. Back in early November, United announced that it will not extend its contract on twenty six 50 seat jets. Now

UAL has filed suit against Mesa over some 70 seat flying they were under contract to perform by April of next year. Apparently Mesa can’t get anyone to loan them the money to get the 10 CRJs they need to fulfill the contract. Word on the street is that Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein even went to Skywest in an attempt to get some cheddar.

This downward spiral for Mesa has given mesa-haters on the forums lots to discuss and even celebrate although I predict Mesa has not quite breathed its last breath yet. But don’t be too harsh next time you sign on to the message boards; these days working at a bad job is still better than working no job at all.

December 4, 2009 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

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