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Old 11-21-2018, 01:26 AM   #9  
On Reserve
Joined APC: Nov 2018
Position: Financial Manager
Posts: 12

Originally Posted by MySaabStory View Post
It was a good read. Thank you.

It was a tough time in our industry, but I survived it by always putting my family first. Flying was never more than a job I enjoyed. Even my first year, at my first airline, I was able to get Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years off. It required a lot of effort on my part (swapping days with pilots or the company, getting days off from the chief, moving days around, reading and understanding the contract, getting lucky, etc.) but I managed to do it.

I’m at a major airline now, and of my 20+ years flying professionally, I have never missed those 3 “major” holidays and rarely missed any important family milestone or occasions. Family always comes first.

Here are just 2 keys to my success:

1) Choose the flying job that allows you to drive to work (30 min - 60 min max) Commuting does not work with quality of life.
2) Bid reserve. Option #1 allows for that. My total time at the airlines, at my 20 year mark, was barley over 5,000 hours. My pay was based on reserve so that was over 17,000 hours of pay.

Basically to all those people who are just starting make this job into whatever you want it to be. You’re in control of your future and your success; personally and professionally. They are both possible if done right.
Family is the most important thing, I absolutely agree. Even a high paying or prestigious flying job will feel fruitless if your home life is neglected.

In the case of Republic, those two keys backfired, which were another part of my cautionary tale:

1. Republic had base closures, which is what led to me being stranded on an ugly commute from STL-ORD when AA downsized their ops in STL. There weren't any other flight jobs to choose from with STL as a base except for good-old-boy-club corporate flight jobs that were unattainable, or Netjets, where I was in the hiring pool before they furloughed for years.
2. Reserve is conditional on #1, living in base. Reserve at Republic meant you worked your tail off flying 100 hours a month, deadheading everywhere, being sent to reserve in hotel rooms at other bases, being given stand-up duty overnights and maintenance check flights, and being used as a FO in addition to a Captain.

While some things were negotiable, calling in sick on the holidays was not (they required a doctor's note), so you flew those as well while you were low on the seniority totem pole. If you called in sick more than 7 times per year, you were fired.

I think while your keys are a good idea after you've gained seniority and can bid closer to the top of the reserve seniority list, they don't prevent the possibility of being at the bottom for years, as I was.
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