United Airlines amazing pay scales - How did this come to pass?

Pilots making 250,000 - 300,000 a year for working 80 hours a month - Mechanics making 75,000 - 100,000 + a year. Granted working with and on airplanes is complex and demanding but these pay scales are astounding.

How did they come to pass in a supposedly competitive environment?

according to

the payscale for your pilots are generally a myth.

My guess would be unions.

It’s not a myth, but maybe a little misleading. Getting to the top of that payscale takes a long time, and things happen all the time that put you right back down at the bottom.

You CAN make $250000+ a year flying for a major airline, if everything goes well, your airline stays afloat, and you get in early and don’t change jobs.

And the 80 hours a month is a little misleading too. That is 80 hours of FLYING a month. That doesn’t count staying in hotels far away, flying to and from work, etc. They only have to give you 8 hours of rest between flights, and most of that time is taken up by getting to your hotel, checking in, waking up and getting ready, and so on. The workload isn’t really reflected in the numbers.

I don’t find those payscales astounding at all.

Sure, the unions have a part in it, but look at how specialized the work is. How many pilots and mechanics qualified to work on today’s fleets are out there?

It is only partly due to unions. UAL employees own 55% of UAL stock. Each division of employees (pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, etc.) had real equity to back up its bargaining power.

Of course, their failure to allow wages to adjust has rendered their share of the stock completely worthless.