ALPA pins

Since I don’t fly for the airlines (yet) I wanted some real information about this. I was reading on airline pilot central forums on a United board, and they were essentially saying it’s frowned upon to not have an ALPA pin on your uniform. Is this true information that most pilots wear one??


I’m calling “fake news” on this one. I’m not only a proud ALPA member for 15yrs but an MEC, LEC member and pilot rep, and I don’t wear an ALPA pin. Why? Because I don’t wear pins.

Listen airline pilots spend a considerable amount of time sitting around not doing much and some simply look for things to complain about. When I was at XJT one of the union officers asked me my ALPA #? I told him I don’t know offhand and he barked “then you clearly don’t spend enough time on the ALPA site”. I said “nooooo, my computer stores my login. I also don’t know my wife’s phone number, you want to see how many times I call her?”. He was obviously a jerk but my point is again there’s always “those guys” who look for things to moan about.

I think you’ll find at most union carriers there are pilots that are strong union supporters, some that despise the union and the majority are somewhere in the middle. If you fly for an ALPA carrier AND you support what they do AND you want to wear your pin then by all means do but if not I seriously wouldn’t give it a second thought.

Where I would be cautious is on your interview at a Major. If you’re flying for a non union Regional and one of the pilots on the panel happens to be the guy who’s job got saved by the Association, and they ask you your thoughts on unions, that is not the time to profess your anti union sentiments. Simply say “I don’t have any experience with ALPA, but I hear good things”. Then after you get hired AND your off probation go crazy :wink:


That was a good response, and ya I have noticed that a lot of the people on APC are so negative and one sided. It’s like they always try to find something to complain about.


If you truly aspire to be an airline pilot you MUST learn to complain about just about everything you can think of. That is the sign of a great airline pilot! Or so it seems sometimes…




This is a difference in corporate (union) culture here. I fly for United, but I came from the Continental side. At Continental ALPA pin wearing was rather optional, but most pilots wore one.

When we merged with United I very quickly learned how important the pin is in the culture of United. It is seriously frowned upon to not wear a pin, the pilots see it as a sign of unity. About a year ago, while on a flight, the back of my pin broke and the pin fell off and got lost. I mentioned to the FO that I wondered how long it would be until somebody said something to me about not wearing a pin. As we walked up the jetway from that flight, the pilots that were going to take the airplane out were waiting there, the captain immediately looked at my tie and offered me an extra ALPA pin.

United by far seems to be the most adamant about pin wearing. Whether or not wearing a pin makes a bit of difference is another debate, but it is expected that you will wear one as a United pilot.


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Interesting. Ya my dad was a old timer Continental pilot and then the merge happened. I also was asking this because I honestly don’t ever remember seeing him wear one when he’d go on trips (not trying to sell him out or anything). Maybe I just wasn’t aware and he did wear one, who knows he’s retired now :joy:

Must be a United thing? You guys are strange!


Love that haha :joy:

Not to belabor this conversation, and I don’t want to dis UA but wearing a pin doesn’t make someone a good union member. Wearing a pin is easy. Volunteering, participating in union functions, following the contract and speaking up when the company doesn’t is not.


I’ll have to ask my dad now if he wears his ALPA pin haha I’ve never noticed


I’d like to know, I honestly can’t recall ever seeing it on my dads uniform but I wasn’t as interested in the airlines back then so I could’ve just not known what to look for.