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Old 12-20-2005, 05:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What regional is best?

What regional is the best to work for? Why do you think it is the best to work for?
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Old 12-20-2005, 05:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I heard AWAC, or Air Wisconsin was the best. I believe they are the highest paid in the regional industry. I think it is only 3yrs upgrade time
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Old 12-20-2005, 08:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dittidano
What regional is the best to work for? Why do you think it is the best to work for?
The one that hires you Seriously having flown for a "regional" for the last 6 years they are all about the same. Sure some have better pay, work rules, pass benefits, management/pilot relations,etc, but overall it's still a regional. I'll give you my breakdown.


Top Tier:
Comair
Express Jet
Skywest
Horizon
Air Wisconsin

Mid Tier:
ASA
Mesaba
Eagle
Chautauqua
Independence
Pinnacle
Mid Atlantic
PSA
Piedmont
Skyway
Trans States
Mesa

Lower Tier
Colgan
Great Lakes
Commute Air
Gulfstream


Just my opinon
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wouldn't know but the word is that Horizon is the best to work for and some are staying there instead of moving on. To the poster above, could you please say how you came to those Tier line-ups?
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Old 12-21-2005, 05:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERJ135
I heard AWAC, or Air Wisconsin was the best. I believe they are the highest paid in the regional industry. I think it is only 3yrs upgrade time
AWAC pilots took concessions last year to better compete with Mesa/Chautauqua/insert carrier here. IN doing so, it erased compensation and work rule aspects of the contract.

Also, the old bases closed down and completely moved to the other coast.

In doing so, very senior people (5, 10, 15, 20 year guys) are leaving in droves, resulting in a severe shortage of pilots, especially captains, and an eroding work environment. Talking to CA's that were here 5 years ago they say the place has just totally gone down the tubes. It is no longer the Air Wisconsin that everybody knows it as.

That being said, with the projected hiring of 300 pilots next year, upgrades will probably come down to the 20-24 month time period. People that aren't even finished training are awarded line holder positions. And all this while losing a net of about 16 BAe-146's (they will totally disappear). That's a lot of attrition!

Most lines have 12 days off. Yep. Minimum guarantee. Some are up to 14, but that is rare. The trips themselves are not commutable. You will be at home, if you commute, around 4-6 days a month. Hardly exciting. I've flown everyday except 2 on my reserve days so far.

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Old 12-21-2005, 05:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirWillie
I wouldn't know but the word is that Horizon is the best to work for and some are staying there instead of moving on. To the poster above, could you please say how you came to those Tier line-ups?
Just my observations over the years having had friends fly for just about every regional out there. There are some I rated in the "Mid Tier" which are quite close to a "Top Tier" airline, just as there are those in the "Mid Tier" who are close to the "Lower Tier".

As a previous poster mentioned, the benefits and work rules of the Top Tier regionals are slowly going away as they have to compete with those who have lower costs to secure flying, i.e. Air Wisconsin. Comair stands to lose pay and benefits as they are tied to the Delta BK proceedings.
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default regionals / pay / benefits

Thanks for your insights...I think we can all agree the industry (except the cargo operators) seem to be sliding down in pay / benefits...

Is this a normal adjustment or a devaluation of pilots worth?

Pilots are not alone in this - most of corporate america is cutting pay / benefits to stay competitive...Unless you are management - it seems there is no end / limit to the size of golden parachutes...


I'm considering a aviation career after my military career. I have already decided to pass on pax carriers and stick to cargo.


-LA
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Old 12-21-2005, 09:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAfrequentflyer
Thanks for your insights...I think we can all agree the industry (except the cargo operators) seem to be sliding down in pay / benefits...

Is this a normal adjustment or a devaluation of pilots worth?

Pilots are not alone in this - most of corporate america is cutting pay / benefits to stay competitive...Unless you are management - it seems there is no end / limit to the size of golden parachutes...


I'm considering a aviation career after my military career. I have already decided to pass on pax carriers and stick to cargo.


-LA
I am not more in the know than you, but I think the industry goes through cycles where it is up and then down. I don't know if this will continue, improve, or stay where it is now; but hopefully there will be a slow improvement.

You are correct in that this is happening to more than the airline industry. My family has experienced this on a few occasions over the last few years, and nobody in my family is in the aviation field. With the economy, numerous industries are laying off, cutting pay, and benefits. Pilots are not alone, despite what they may think.
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Old 12-21-2005, 04:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I really think that it's a personal decision as to which regional is "best", based on a number of variables. I firmly believe that not having to commute makes ALL the difference in the job.

For instance, I met up with a Captain from Air Wisconsin on a crew van in PHL, and he had been based in Denver for practically the entirety of his career at AWAC. Being from Seattle, he still had to commute, but it was, in his own words, "tolerable". Now, Denver has closed (or greatly reduced?) and he's in Philly, and has literally a cross-country commute. He mentioned he had put in his notice 4 days prior due to this unfortunate change.

Another example...I average around 13-14 days off a bi period, yet at least 4 of those days are spent doing the commuting "process". So, in essence, I average 8-10 days off (max) at "home". If I were to live in base, ALL of my days off would be at "home". As well, I average 4-5 nights spent in hotels on my own dime when I have to commute in the night before a trip, or can't get out in time when released on the final day of a trip. For those living in base, not only do they have more time at home, but get to avoid the expense of hotel stays or a crashpad. $200+ a month in housing for your commute adds up as well.

Give a few bucks an hour difference, all pay at the regional level is consistent (and low at that). Most have block-or-better, and somewhat similiar work rules. To me, it's a comparison of "apples to apples". Obviously, upgrade time is factored in as well, yet that's extremely subjective and fluctuates often. Therefore, it's usually not a wise move to base one's decision strictly on upgrade potential.

And just when you think you're sitting pretty, living in base, you're displaced or your base is reduced, and suddenly you have to commute. So your decision to go to such-and-such regional backfires.

...what was my point again??
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually, I'm not so sure about those "tiers". A lot of those upper and middle tier carriers are furloughing now. Independence Air, for example, is a pretty bad place to be if you have less than 8 or 9 years of seniority, and nobody with less than 4 or 5 years even has a job. I work for one of the "lower tier" carriers, make over $20 an hour as a first year fo, average 14-15 days off and 80-85 hours a month and am scheduled to upgrade before I'll ever have to go to recurrent. I would be very wary of advice that tends to direct you toward carriers based on size or number of rjs, or that are entirely based on someone's opinion. Growth at a lot of the big RJ companies, which once had 2 year upgrades, has slowed or even stopped. A lot of them are furloughing. Amongst the regionals that are hiring, look at why they are hiring. Some are only replacing attrition, others are staffing for growth, I would look at those first. Many of those "upper tier" carriers do have work rules and pay that are better than the others. If you want to be a career RJ pilot, put those kinds of carriers at the top of your list. But if you are more interested in what your career is going to look like when you are in your fifties, it might be wise to put less emphasis on that and go to an airline that will make you a captain quicker. All the majors want turbine PIC time(and turboprops count), 5 years in the right seat of a CRJ might as well be 5 years driving a delivery van if you are looking to fly bigger equipment. Look before you leap.
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