Monday, September 15, 2008

How ALPA DOESN'T support it's pilots

Yep, that's right, I said it. I have a beef with ALPA (the AirLine Pilots Association, the pilot's union). Well, actually it's only a thing to nit-pick about and overall I can't complain because they are helping us out quite a bit with this whole "can't fly, lost the medical" crap.

In my daily websurfing, I decided to check out the ALPA site to see if they offered college scholarships. Hey, I'm going to graduate school, plan to do research on the topic of family life of aviators and the whole A.I.D.S. phenom (or lack there of, as I suspect). They should give me some money to fund my research; after all, it's pertinent to them. And guess what, ALPA does have a scholarship program. That sucks. They blow their wad by giving out a single 4 year scholarship totalling $12k to an undergrad son or daughter of an ALPA pilot.

So... current ALPA pilots aren't even eligible for a scholarship from their own union? What about the pilot who wants to get a BS degree so he can upgrade to a Major some day? Oh, SOL for getting money from ALPA. What about the pilot who wants to get an advanced degree an go into pilot training or alternative fuels or aviation law or something else to advance the aviation industry. Oh, they're SOL too. Or me, who wants to find ways to make aviation life better for families, since most pilots do end up married with families and job satisfaction and lower stress goes a long way towards reducing turn-over and enhancing safety ? Yep, you guessed it, I'm SOL too.

ALPA needs to get with the program and update their antiquated scholarship program. This isn't the 1950's where one goes to college, gets out and is done with higher education for the rest of one's life. Spread the love, spread out the money and be true to your goals to support pilots and enhance the aviation profession.

I wonder if it would hurt my scholarship chances if I called the MEC to complain...


Anonymous said...

I didn't follow all the acronyms, but I get the general tone. I think you should make a stand for change!

Someday said...

Thanks for pointing out the need for clarification!

Acronym Dictionary:

ALPA- AirLine Pilots Association, the pilot's union.

A.I.D.S.- Airline Induced Divorce Syndrome. A common thought that the divorce rate is high for Airline Pilots because of the nature of their job (ie. time away, close, frequent proximity with flight attendants...)

BS Degree- Bachelor of Science Degree, you basic 4 year college degree

SOL- S^&# Out of Luck. Out of luck, not a chance it's going to happen.

MEC- Master Executive Council. The local, airline specific branch of the union. Each airline has it's own MEC that interacts with ALPA

Head in the Clouds said...

I know this is from a while ago-- but thought I'd offer the suggestion that Women in Aviation International gives scholarships... and I think the 99s do as well. You might check those out...

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