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View Full Version : SWA or Bust


Av8r75
11-20-2017, 03:05 PM
Hello all,

Please excuse the intriguing title to my post! Just wanted to grab some attention and hopefully some advice. I am in my early 40s and truly desire to complete my aviation career at SWA.

Got a late start to my professional flying career due to serving in the USAF and shortly thereafter 9-11 happened. Flew for a regional for about a year back in 2007 and did some 91 flying off and on over the years since. Currently flying as an SIC in a small business jet in the part 135 world.

Happy where I am currently, but when the time is right, want to put my stuff in at SWA. TT sitting right around 1100, 750 ME Turbine, 200 PIC (NON TURBINE). I also have about 200 hours that can be applied to my TT, from my years as a Flight Engineer in the service. So TT around 1300 right now. I also hold A&P and Aircraft Dispatcher licenses (heard that SWA point system for applications takes these things into consideration).

Big thing I lack is PIC Turbine obviously and of course need more TT. In my current gig, I am logging around 50-60 hours per month.

Few questions for SWA pilots out there:

1) Should I go to a regional to build time faster once I meet ATP mins or stay where I am?

2) When (Hours/experience wise) should I submit my resume at SWA?

Truly love the SWA culture and BWI is 45 min from where I live. Much better than a commute to Philly or DC and I want to live in base. Wife and I do not really want to leave Maryland.

Any advice is much appreciated.;)


Proximity
11-20-2017, 04:56 PM
I would get on with a regional with AA flow, or Endeavor (if JFK/LGA is drive-able) if you could get interested in Delta. PSA and Piedmont have bases in your area. Another option, Commutair has an agreement with United, and has an IAD base.

You should put your app in at every airline as soon as you meet their minimums.

Southwest can be your first pick but you should apply at all of them.

dash8driver
11-20-2017, 05:04 PM
Republic has a DCA base and should be signing a new contract with a nice pay bump in a few months.


Av8r75
11-20-2017, 05:06 PM
Thanks Prox! Appreciate the advice. JFK/LGA would be too far unfortunately. I have no issue with going to the regionals again, as I will build time quicker that way. Was actually looking at Republic as one option as well. Philly or DC would not be my preference, but I realize I will have to suck it up for a few years in order to be competitive at any major or legacy carrier. SWA is the preferred final destination though, for many reasons. Just need to map out the best path to get there, with a plan B of course, if SWA never pans out.

Av8r75
11-20-2017, 05:08 PM
Thanks dash8driver....Republic seems like one of the top choices for a regional right now. Who did you fly Dash 8's for??

dash8driver
11-20-2017, 05:10 PM
Flew them for both Piedmont (-100, -200 and -300) and Republic (Q400). Iíd recommend DCA over PHL. PHL has been steadily shrinking. DCA has stayed about the same and flies for all three code shares (UAL, AA, DAL).

Av8r75
11-20-2017, 05:13 PM
When did you fly for Piedmont?? PM me if you want...

dash8driver
11-20-2017, 05:21 PM
Sure, just PMíd you.

RckyMtHigh
11-20-2017, 05:38 PM
I think you are on the right track looking for an airline that supports an easy drive to work. I would probably jump ship to a regional where you can check the 121 box and build hours faster. I believe most of the legacies and SWA have dropped their pic requirements (someone can correct me if Iím wrong). With your mil background and certs in conjunction with 121 regional time I would bet you would get an interview sooner rather than later.

Av8r75
11-20-2017, 06:02 PM
Thanks RckyMt...yeah the short drive to work is the way to go for sure! I hope that my background, military, other FAA licenses, etc. help with SWA.

RadarColor
11-21-2017, 05:15 AM
SWA uses a scoring system so youíre going to need, realistically, around 5,000+ and TPIC to be anywhere close to competitive unless you have some Instructor/Check Airman/Management experience (box checking). You might want to invest in a 737 type if you can handle the expense as this is another box that will score you some serious points.

sherpster
11-21-2017, 07:01 AM
Swa only hires about 50% of the pilots who interview. You will be stuck in a loud, cramped 737 cockpit (but they use headsets which is a plus). To put all your efforts into getting hired at swa only is crazy. They might not like you and then what? Good luck.

SlipKid
11-21-2017, 08:12 AM
As others have said, definitely get on with a regional ASAP, and build up as much time as possible.

Also, as previously mentioned, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Apply to everyone.

If you get multiple job offers, that's a GOOD problem to have.

flyguy81
11-21-2017, 08:41 AM
Swa only hires about 50% of the pilots who interview. You will be stuck in a loud, cramped 737 cockpit (but they use headsets which is a plus). To put all your efforts into getting hired at swa only is crazy. They might not like you and then what? Good luck.

Itís more 65-75% based on data for this year. Iíll give you the cramped cockpit though.

at6d
11-21-2017, 08:53 AM
Swa only hires about 50% of the pilots who interview. You will be stuck in a loud, cramped 737 cockpit (but they use headsets which is a plus). To put all your efforts into getting hired at swa only is crazy. They might not like you and then what? Good luck.

Not true on the hiring percentage.

And the 737 isnít that cramped.

Have you been turned down? Wondering because you seem upset.

sherpster
11-21-2017, 08:59 AM
Not true on the hiring percentage.

And the 737 isnít that cramped.

Have you been turned down? Wondering because you seem upset.

Other way around. 3 of 9 in my group got turned down

RadarColor
11-21-2017, 09:12 AM
Other way around. 3 of 9 in my group got turned down

If you think ď3 of 9Ē is 50% then thereís no wonder on why you were turned down.

P.S. The newer 737-800s and definitely the Max are much quieter. And BTW....Youíll be sitting while flying, not roaming the cockpit so big deal. The 747-400 isnít much roomier with regard to the pilotís seats.

at6d
11-21-2017, 09:17 AM
Other way around. 3 of 9 in my group got turned down

Thatís only 1 group out of six that interviewed that week. So using your groupís numbers, out of 54 candidates 18 would not be hired.

Thatís still around 67% being hired.

When I was hired two years ago, only one out of our dayís candidates wasnít hired.

I still feel that if you can score an interview, they want to hire you.

sherpster
11-21-2017, 09:23 AM
Meant only 3 out of 9 got hired

I dont care, shouldnt have posted.

RadarColor
11-21-2017, 09:25 AM
Meant only 3 out of 9 got hired

I dont care, shouldnt have posted.

You missed the point as ď3 of 9Ē is 33% or 67% no matter which way you meant it.

BarrySeal
11-23-2017, 07:40 AM
having the 737 type does not carry the weight it used to

that is what I have been told

Otterbox
11-23-2017, 07:50 AM
having the 737 type does not carry the weight it used to

that is what I have been told

Maybe not but the People department reps were telling folks at a career fair in Denver a couple months ago that if you otherwise meet minimums, a 4 year college degree and a 737 type will get an interview.

For whatever that’s worth.

RadarColor
11-23-2017, 09:14 AM
Maybe not but the People department reps were telling folks at a career fair in Denver a couple months ago that if you otherwise meet minimums, a 4 year college degree and a 737 type will get an interview.

For whatever that’s worth.

^^^^^THIS^^^^^

It’s worth a lot. It’s a point system and the 737 type is a high scorer if you don’t have other boxes to check. BarrySeal is misinformed.

Av8r75
11-24-2017, 07:40 PM
Thank you to those of you who responding constructively...

This is one of the reasons I do not post often on these forums. I usually just read the forums and filter out all the garbage. The comments about not putting all my eggs into one basket are not necessary and neither are comments about cramped flight decks.

I am not new to life and only mentioned SWA as my career goal, because that is where I prefer to end up for multiple reasons, not least of which is the culture at SWA. If I end up somewhere else then so be it, but that is not the question I originally asked.

As far as cramped flight decks go, get a life. Some people will complain about waking up in the morning for crying out loud. You fly jets for a living and you are critiquing the noise levels and space you have to do what?? If you want quiet and room to walk around, get a regular desk job in an office (although some cubicles are quite small)...lol!

I digress, thanks again for all the constructive advice, but for those who just want to complain or give me advice as though I am 22 and fresh out out school, just don't waste your time. These forums are a great source of information, but they would be better if folks would just stick to answering the questions asked.

Thanks again and remember to enjoy your journey, wherever it may take you.

Otterbox
11-24-2017, 07:59 PM
Thank you to those of you who responding constructively...

This is one of the reasons I do not post often on these forums. I usually just read the forums and filter out all the garbage. The comments about not putting all my eggs into one basket are not necessary...

I am not new to life and only mentioned SWA as my career goal, because that is where I prefer to end up for multiple reasons, not least of which is the culture at SWA. If I end up somewhere else then so be it, but that is not the question I originally asked.


Actually, the comments about looking at all the airlines close to you (SWA at BWI, AA at PHL and DCA and UAL at IAD)... are constructive because itís far easier to lateral from one major to another than it is to break out from the dime a dozen regional pilots and corporate crowd.

Biggest things you seem to be missing from your resume are amount of total time and lack of 121 time.

If youíre 45minutes from BWI, youíre within driving distance of regionals at AA Wholly Owned regionals PHL and DCA (Piedmont and PSA respectively). Why mention those? Theyíve got flow throughs to AA and you can use that as a backup while you beef up your resume for SWA and worse case update your app as an AA pilot after you flow (and SWA HR will enjoy stealing you away from AA).

Av8r75
11-24-2017, 08:13 PM
Thanks Otter! Actually your response was very constructive. Great idea about SWA stealing me away from AA someday!

I was referring to responses that just assume I am not even considering other majors, when my original post never stated that I only would consider SWA. They are just my preference, that's all.

Thanks for the advice, I truly did find it constructive and worth reading. It was exactly the type of insight I was looking for actually.

SlipKid
11-25-2017, 12:56 PM
Thanks Otter! Actually your response was very constructive. Great idea about SWA stealing me away from AA someday!

I was referring to responses that just assume I am not even considering other majors, when my original post never stated that I only would consider SWA. They are just my preference, that's all.

Thanks for the advice, I truly did find it constructive and worth reading. It was exactly the type of insight I was looking for actually.


The thread title "SWA or Bust" infers that it's SWA or nothing. Which is why myself and others mentioned it. But, whatever......

Av8r75
11-25-2017, 01:13 PM
Hi SlipKid,

As I mentioned in the first line of my original post...I titled the post that way to garner some interest and even apologized for doing so. I do desire to end up at SWA, but obviously understand that it may not go that way. My post was really for SWA Pilots who may be able to give me a little insight into the hiring process at SWA.

Unfortunately there are many on these forums who like to troll through threads seeking whom they may advise (devour really). Not saying that is you, just trying to explain my original post and my latest post admonishing those I was disappointed with.

As you know, there are many on here who just like to bash certain companies or like to complain about everything. The poster for instance who complained about cramped cockpits and the noise levels is ridiculous and not something I care to hear about.

Finally, what if SWA was my goal and I had no desire to go anywhere else (that is not the case), but if it was, that is my personal desire and goal. Since my original post was posted in the SWA forum, requesting insight from SWA pilots, I did not ask for general career advice. I am not right out of college and said as much in my original post.

No disrespect, just hope this explains my earlier admonishment that you are referring to.

Klsytakesit
11-25-2017, 03:57 PM
My two cents( from some SWA friends): You are going to score in the middle so somewhere around 6000 total time/1000 plus pic turbine( preferably 121 captain time). They say the reduced mins are are for pilots outside of the average.....ie friends and family, blue angels or any of the other targets they are shooting for....Regionals fly near the max so you will hit those targets in 4 to 5 years....



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