And I thought my family had a problem...

TWAnr

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Fort Worth Star-Telegram

American's difficulties hit home for employees
By Dave Lieber
Star-Telegram Staff Writer


Suddenly, the real estate agents were knocking on the front door. The kids in the Griffin household in Colleyville knew about the problems with American Airlines from watching the television news, but it didn't hit home until a Realtor showed up at 9 o'clock one night. The kids looked at their parents -- Dan Griffin, a 25-year veteran pilot and a captain, and Holly, a 30-year flight attendant -- with puzzled looks.



For the complete story, click here: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/columnists...ber/5729115.htm
 

AAStew

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Feb 24, 2003
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They have also worked their entire lives to get where they are! They have put in time and sweat. Just like the doublewide occupants my friend. It seems that you may need to get over wanting to bring other people down.
 
Aug 20, 2002
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Fort Worth Star-Telegram

American's difficulties hit home for employees
By Dave Lieber
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

The gap was in their monthly budget. They may have to leave their house and the Grapevine-Colleyville district schools. The family vacation, a planned Alaskan cruise, their first cruise, has been canceled. The budget gap, according to Dan's pad, is in the neighborhood of $5,000 per month before taxes. That's a loss of $60,000 a year in combined family income.

You can scoff if you want, and say that wealthy people who lose income have to scale down and live like the rest of us. But I don't agree.

Now when things go bad, and the real estate agents are showing up at the front door, and the kids have puzzled looks, and the dads and moms are sitting with pads and calculators at the kitchen table, you know it wasn't supposed to be this way.

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Tax records are public in Tarrant County, so don't shed too many tears over this, Dave Lieber.

The house mentioned in this column has a tax value of $554,400 and is 4610 SF in size, with a three car garage and a pool.

Not exactly a double-wide in a mobile home park.

That's way above average for Tarrant County, which is still somewhere in the $175-$200 range.

Oh, and by the way, the Griffins live in the same subdivision Gerard Arpey.
 

Winglet

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Aug 20, 2002
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And not one word in the article about the thousands that will lose ALL their income, medical insurance, etc.

Probably can''t afford the $15 a month to the union''s furloughed pilot''s load fund either. Might interfere with the Alaska cruise.
 

JS

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Aug 24, 2002
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I have no sympathy for people who earn enormous sums of money and still cannot manage to keep their house or vacation after a pay cut.

Living paycheck-to-paycheck is a bad idea for anyone, although it''s understandable if your income is low. But if your income is way, way up there like the Griffins, and you live paycheck-to-paycheck, all I have to say is ... wah.
 

Cart Pusher

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Aug 20, 2002
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AA Stew -

I have to agree with most of the people here. It''s pretty apparent that this family didn''t "plan and do well in life" because if they had, they would have planned for the unforeseen. Obviously a family couldn''t get by without an income for a long period of time but this family should have been able to withstand a pay cut for a few years without having to sell their house. Unless they were over extended in the first place, or lived paycheck to paycheck. It''s too bad they made so much money for so many years and now they are in the newspapers asking people to feel sorry for them because of their poor planning. Hey - to coin a phrase that you folks shoved down the TWA people''s throats for so long - AT LEAST THEY STILL HAVE JOBS!!!! You can''t say that to the TWA people anymore though - can you?
 

AAStew

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Feb 24, 2003
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The article did not say they live paycheck to paycheck! But seeing that their income is being reduced 25% they are cutting back on their lifestyle most likely to be able to keep saving. I will never understand the mentality of begrudging someone because they have planned and done weill in life! This income did not just fall on their laps.
KC FLYER you are are right!
 

FWAAA

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Jan 5, 2003
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I could certainly understand if the article had featured a young couple; but come on - a 25 year pilot and a 30 year FA? They''re both probably over 50 years old - don''t they have enough cushion in their finances for a one year cut of about 23% and about 17% in subsequent years?

A $554,000 house? In the Metroplex? Where housing is still relatively cheap?

I''m not begrudging anyone the chance to live the good life - but for many people, a similar paycut would simply reduce their savings level, not cause them to sell their house. It''s a shame they didn''t sock more away during the past 25 years, but it''s hard to feel sorry for a family that so closely resembles the Grasshopper Family (remember the fable) when there are so many ant families out there.

If the author was looking for a sympathetic family - they probably picked the wrong one to write about.

And Stew - I know they both worked hard and this income didn''t just "fall in their laps." I work hard for what I have, and believe me - a 25% paycut would not force me to sell my house (or cancel a vacation). And I live in LA, where the median home price has appreciated more than 50% in the last two years (and where $554,000 buys about 2,300 sq feet, not 4,600 sq feet). I''ve got millionaires for neighbors who don''t live in houses anywhere near as oppulent as the Griffins.

And good thing they don''t work at LLC - at least they still have jobs.
 

AAStew

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Feb 24, 2003
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Okay, I can agree that maybe this couple did not plan well but that does not seem to be the case. I do not know what houses go for in the DFW area. In mine an average priced home (metro DC) is around 550,000. But yes I can see canceling a vacation. ANd the paycut remember is for at least 5years. So maybe this couple is saying, lets not live paycheck to paycheck and downscale. Remember also if you put away 10% in sabings it is considered prudent and this couple just had their pay slashed 25%. They may have their children in private schools and feel that is something they are not going to give up. Give them a break, unfortunately the reporter chose a couple that not many people could relate to, but their problems are just the same as everyone elses albeit a different scale.
 

JS

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Well, let''s see, a $60,000 a year pay cut of 25% means their original income was $240,000/year. That $60,000/year cut is pre-tax, according to the Griffins, and at that income, the marginal tax rate is 35% (no TX income tax). So it''s really only about $40,000/year after taxes. The tax man gets a pay cut, too!

Did anyone read the whole article? Check out this wonderful statement:

"When I fly on an airplane, I want my pilot to be talented, experienced and well-compensated."

Hmmm, so is the pilot''s flying ability now going to be 25% poorer?

Funny how he didn''t mention anything about the flight attendants -- after all, aren''t they there "for our safety"?

Gimme a break, high-seniority AA pilots and flight attendants do not command such high wages because of their incredible flying and door-opening capabilities, respectively. They are just as good as any other airline pilot and flight attendant, per FAA regulations! They are paid huge sums of money because of the union and its ability to crush the company with a strike.
 

FrugalFlyer

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Aug 20, 2002
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While it is unfortunate when people loose their jobs or take pay cuts, not being able to go on an Alaskan cruise isn''t really a "sacrifice" - it''s not one of life''s necessities.

Just like JS, I have no sympathy for people living paycheck to paycheck, whether they make $20000 or $200000 per year.
 

KCFlyer

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Ah, compassion for one''s fellow man. You know, I''d be willng to wager that ANYONE posting on this board who was fortunate enough to attain the income level that the couple reached would NOT be living in a one bedroom apartment. Because they may have to sell their house does NOT mean that they squandered every penny they brought home. After 25 years with a company, would you be living in the same house you did when you started? I didn''t see a word about their savings or lack thereof. If you were facing a decrease in your household income of $5,000 per month, and you know that you''re looking at it for 5 years, would you want to fill that income gap from your savings account?

Oh...but he''s a pilot and he''s damn near as bad as management. The GALL of him to command a higher salary than a mechanic or reservations agent. I swear, if you''re so envious of what he makes, even after a cut in pay, then for goodness sakes, learn to fly - get a job flying packages. Then move up to flying for a commuter, then move up to the right seat of a bigger jet, then move over to the left seat. Oh, and by the way, be ready to be forced to retire at age 60. No, in you''re perfect little world, everybody would make the same amount of money so that everybody would "share the pain" equally. To each according to their needs, right?
 

AAviator

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Nov 12, 2002
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Wow such an opinion from one who earns his living in one of the biggest blood sucking industries known to man. Insurance. JS, do you ever have anything productive to offer?
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EVER?