March 20, 2012

Delta Pilot Puts Uniform Up For Sale at Ebay

As the story goes, ebay pulled a listing in 2005 that a Delta Air Lines Captain had placed on the auction site. Up for sale? Captain Wendall Lewis's Captain's uniform. After Lewis saw his monthly pension of $6500 slashed by 73%, he decided to make a statement.  I post this now as my employer explores the depths of bankruptcy.  Don't get me wrong...I love my job and I'm thrilled and proud to wear my uniform every day, but I find it especially easy to relate to the statement made by this long time airline  veteran.  True or not...these stories often are not...the sentiment is an accurate representation of what many of us experience after a life-long airline career.

And here was his statement:

AUTHENTIC Delta Air Lines Captain Pilot Uniform This uniform was worn by a dedicated Delta Pilot for many years. Now retired and robbed of part, or all, of promised pension, uniform is now offered for sale to supplement income. Suit is worn and empty but filled with memories and honor. Suit has been across many miles and many experiences. Suit was once filled with pride and service getting thousands of passengers to their destination safely. Suit has been through rain, snow, ice, and wind without a single tear or scratch. Suit once controlled multi-million dollar assets, flown throughout the world, with billions of dollars of liability to the company. Suit has never cost company one (1) cent in accident or injury.

Although the suit is worn and has been discarded by the company, it can be yours. Suit is clean but used. Coat may be soiled from hydraulic fluid or grease as plane was inspected. Shirt may be soiled from mad dashes through the airport in a rush to the next plane in an effort to get back on schedule. Tie may have stains from fast food meals that were hurriedly eaten while at the controls.

Tie comes with your choice of pins, Air Line Pilots Association, Air Force, or Airplane. Pants may show signs of wear from may hours spent strapped into a seat, hip shows some signs of wear from firearm used to protect you and your passengers from harm. Shoes are shiny but worn. Suit comes with choice of Old Delta or New Delta emblems. Many prefer the Old Delta.

Suit is thought by many to have APHRODISIAC qualities, although this cannot be confirmed or denied.

BEWARE putting on this suit can have adverse effects on your life. It can cause you to miss your childrens' birth. It can cause you to miss holiday reunions, family times, and weekends. You may miss your Daughter's prom and your Son's graduation. Your family may think Christmas is not always on December 25th. Your wife will have to learn to be a single parent when you are gone for days. The suit can cause you to miss entire nights of sleep or get up at 3 AM to meet your next schedule. Your neighbors may be jealous of you and think you do not deserve to wear the uniform or be compensated for your work.

Originally suit required a four year college degree and an internship of 5-10 years in the military, and another 10-15 years for the fourth stripe. Suit comes with a promise of a pension if you provide years of dedication and service. THE PROMISE MAY BE AS EMPTY AS THE SUIT. Now it can be had for the highest bid. Good Luck bidding.



  1. How Sad--but what a GREAT statement!

    Un-frikkin-believable that raping a worker's pension isn't as illegal as highway robbery! It should be BANNED by an act of Congress!

    We never had a pension at our airline (my part, anyway,) just a 401k. But I was glad, as I knew it was only a matter of time before any promised "pension" would be pillaged.

    Good luck with the Ch. 11 trauma. I've been through 3, and survived, if a bit scathed. Here's hoping success for you...

  2. That was actually quite hearbreaking to read.

    As a student who wants to be a pilot, this post upset me somewhat.

    1. I find the contents of this post upsetting as well. But if you are interested in a career in aviation, I think it would be unwise to spend the kind of time and effort involved without having a clear understanding of the ups and downs. If you read my posts on twitter or regularly follow this blog, then you know that I generally portray the positive side of the experience. I often take heat for posting anything negative here, but I feel some sense of responsibility and can't imagine encouraging young aviators to pursue this career without including the good, the bad and the ugly.

      Thanks for reading and thanks very much for the comment. I wish you all the best!

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