Can you guys explain what an airline pilot SCAB is?




An airline “scab” is the same as any other union referenced scab. In short it’s a pilot who crosses a picket line and works while their fellow pilots are on strike. Not something you want to be.


I have a friend who has flown for United for quite some time. He has some pretty funny/sad stories about the scabs. Everyone knows who they are, and nobody wants to be around them. One in particular is a 777 Captain, so I’m sure he’s laughing all the way to the bank, but from the stories I’ve heard - he’s a pretty lonely guy. Can you imagine coming to work every day and knowing that pretty much everyone you come in contact with is going to hate working with you because of something you did 30+ years ago?



There are many tales of the “scabs” but fortunately it’s been decades since there have been any new ones (I believe?). When I first got hired at ExpressJet they had just separated from Continental and many of the senior Capts had the Continental “Scab List” which was an actual printed little book. While yes these pilots kept their jobs, many definitely were given a hard time and most could forget about jumpseating on their own airline.


I think I remember there being a couple of guys who crossed a Spirit line a few years ago.

You are correct, there were a few management pilots that did.