Airline Pilot Forums

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fenix1
01-25-2018, 02:25 PM
If a pilot sought a career with Alaska as their destination/career airline, is Horizon - as Alaska's wholly-owned carrier - the worst possible regional they could work for?

My theory is that the progressively-deepening pilot shortage is driving the major/legacy airlines to create "systems" in which they can manage the pilots (i.e., balance between regional & mainline) as they see fit to do as much cheap flying as possible, so - in flow/agreement scenarios with a wholly-owned regional - pilots who are part of the wholly-owned regional won't get to the mainline carrier as fast as they would by applying from outside the "system." Thoughts??

I have no Part 121 experience so I would love nothing more than for the folks who have done some turns to correct me if this is a bad/incorrect way of thinking.


snackysmores
01-25-2018, 05:58 PM
If a pilot sought a career with Alaska as their destination/career airline, is Horizon - as Alaska's wholly-owned carrier - the worst possible regional they could work for?

My theory is that the progressively-deepening pilot shortage is driving the major/legacy airlines to create "systems" in which they can manage the pilots (i.e., balance between regional & mainline) as they see fit to do as much cheap flying as possible, so - in flow/agreement scenarios with a wholly-owned regional - pilots who are part of the wholly-owned regional won't get to the mainline carrier as fast as they would by applying from outside the "system." Thoughts??

I have no Part 121 experience so I would love nothing more than for the folks who have done some turns to correct me if this is a bad/incorrect way of thinking.

We've been saying this for years. Alaska will only take a maximum of 30% Horizon pilots per year. They won't sabotage their regional feed. Since the Pathway program has not hired any horizon pilots yet we don't know long it will take, but a conservative guess would be at least 3-4 years of longevity before being eligible to move on.

It's better to be part of the 70% (Military/skywest) and skip the whole demeaning and degrading "surrender your attendance/disciplinary/training records" act they got going on ONLY for horizon pilots and no one else.

flyblo
01-25-2018, 06:36 PM
FWIW, during my interview I asked whether or not a horizon pilot can apply to Alaska during the normal application window. Both the horizon and Alaska chief pilots said they saw no reason why not. So theoretically you could be part of that 70% as well.

True or not...may just come down to who you know to get your app pulled from the stack.


snackysmores
01-25-2018, 09:59 PM
Yeah but let's be real, everyone knows they aren't going to call you. Alaska has the mentality that if you aren't willing to surrender your docs as a Horizon pilot you automatically are trying to hide something.

Griever
01-25-2018, 11:08 PM
The career pathway program is too new. We have no idea what effect it will have on hiring habits at Alaska.

One could imagine a situation in which the program increased applications at QX, creating a surplus of bodies. It could also go the other way. We just have no idea.

Mercyful Fate
01-26-2018, 03:01 AM
We've been saying this for years. Alaska will only take a maximum of 30% Horizon pilots per year. They won't sabotage their regional feed. Since the Pathway program has not hired any horizon pilots yet we don't know long it will take, but a conservative guess would be at least 3-4 years of longevity before being eligible to move on.

It's better to be part of the 70% (Military/skywest) and skip the whole demeaning and degrading "surrender your attendance/disciplinary/training records" act they got going on ONLY for horizon pilots and no one else.

Honest question...I have seen you bring up the topic of turning over your records to Alaska as being a biiiig problem in your eyes. Why is that?

Packrat
01-26-2018, 07:13 AM
If you want to work for Alaska DO NOT go to Horizon. There has been a traditional corporate philosophy of not using "robbing" Horizon pilots for Alaska that goes back almost 30 years.

Your best bet...Sky West or any other regional.

snackysmores
01-26-2018, 11:11 AM
Honest question...I have seen you bring up the topic of turning over your records to Alaska as being a biiiig problem in your eyes. Why is that?

I don't have a specific problem with the act itself, other than the fact that only Horizon pilots are subjected to this treatment.

A Horizon pilot and Skywest pilot (or from anywhere else to be fair) show up to interview on the same day. Both are offered CJOs. The Skywest pilot gets an immediate class date and the red carpet rolled out for him, while the Horizon pilot must surrender all records and be deemed worthy in order to continue. The Skywest pilot is in class 2 weeks later building seniority while the horizon pilot has to sit in a pool for almost a year before being allowed to start.

pete2800
01-26-2018, 03:31 PM
A Horizon pilot and Skywest pilot (or from anywhere else to be fair) show up to interview on the same day. Both are offered CJOs. The Skywest pilot gets an immediate class date and the red carpet rolled out for him, while the Horizon pilot must surrender all records and be deemed worthy in order to continue. The Skywest pilot is in class 2 weeks later building seniority while the horizon pilot has to sit in a pool for almost a year before being allowed to start.
This is the part that management still fails to understand.


With that said, here's some info I have about the pathways program... So far there have been quite a few people interview for it, and the success rate is over 90%. No idea when those people start going to class, how senior they are, or what people did to get rejected. I suppose more info will become available as things progress. My opinion thus far is that it's probably a good opportunity for those senior enough to be toward the top of the pool, but for a new hire I wouldn't call it a big advantage. By the time a new hire was senior enough to see any impact, I'm sure this program will have been modified to be something else completely.

fenix1
01-27-2018, 12:06 AM
I appreciate all who replied to offer their insight & perspective. Frankly, it's beginning to feel like these programs to move pilots from the regional to the mainline are nothing more than opium for the masses & purely a recruiting tool without a lot of gumption behind them in reality... (All WO regional/mainline pairings, not just QX to AS)

BigfatQ
01-27-2018, 12:36 AM
If AS is hiring 400 this year and 30% is gonna be horizon, that's 120. And at 740 pilots that's 16% of our pilot group. Doesn't sound like peanuts to me

Packrat
01-27-2018, 07:11 AM
If AS is hiring 400 this year and 30% is gonna be horizon, that's 120. And at 740 pilots that's 16% of our pilot group. Doesn't sound like peanuts to me

It doesn't mean they'll hire 30%. It means they'll interview 30%. Big difference.

pete2800
01-27-2018, 11:53 AM
It doesn't mean they'll hire 30%. It means they'll interview 30%. Big difference.

They've been pretty good about having 30% of people in class be from QX. I think they're trying to get this to work, I just don't know how effective it will be.

ASpilot2be
01-27-2018, 12:14 PM
It doesn't mean they'll hire 30%. It means they'll interview 30%. Big difference.

They are interviewing more than 30% considering every QX newhire gets an Alaska interview.

snackysmores
01-27-2018, 12:59 PM
If AS is hiring 400 this year and 30% is gonna be horizon, that's 120. And at 740 pilots that's 16% of our pilot group. Doesn't sound like peanuts to me

Mgt has said we need to hire 300 pilots this year. I don't think that's predicated on losing 120 to Alaska. There's no way that is going to work.

BigfatQ
01-27-2018, 02:31 PM
I even read they’re wanting to hire 350. Doesn’t that mean we’re losing approximately that number? And in the few month I’ve been here it sounded like 95% of those who were leaving were going to AS. One went to DL.

amcnd
01-27-2018, 04:13 PM
Doesn’t matter if hou work for QX, OO, YV ect.. if you want to wprk for AS you make it happen... Network, make friends, ect...

flynshoe748
01-29-2018, 08:39 PM
Its about a six week difference between OO pilot getting a class and QX pilot classes that were hired in the same group. Rough estimate is one or two classes worth. QX folks are metered in by hire date and seniority order...OO, well not so much.

SIUav8er
01-29-2018, 10:56 PM
Why would ANYONE structure their entire career to work for AS??? AS has some of the lowest career earnings of of any Legacy carrier. Yeah, QX is a decent place to go it you REALLY want to work for AS, but thats it. Go to QX if they have a base where you want to live then apply to DL (who also has a SEA base....)

Ispeakjive
01-30-2018, 08:17 AM
Why would ANYONE structure their entire career to work for AS??? AS has some of the lowest career earnings of of any Legacy carrier. Yeah, QX is a decent place to go it you REALLY want to work for AS, but thats it. Go to QX if they have a base where you want to live then apply to DL (who also has a SEA base....)

Exactly. Work out a spread sheet of earnings over time and you'll see that the systematically higher pay of the others will get you approx $1 million more over a 30-35 year career.

fenix1
01-31-2018, 05:40 AM
Part of the reason for QX-AS aspirations would be strong northwest family ties (although not sure if that's a reason to make AS priority #1 or last priority some days...). Also, I'll be hitting the regionals in my early 40's so I'm not sure how much interest the Big 3 will have in me when I have the TT/TPIC/other objective attributes to be competitive for hire - doesn't it stand to reason that they'd hire someone younger than myself first because they can get more years of service out of them? I'd love to work for the Big 3 as much as the next guy/gal for the reasons you cited, but a major or LCC/ULCC might end up being my only options and/or best fit as a career changer.

Why would ANYONE structure their entire career to work for AS??? AS has some of the lowest career earnings of of any Legacy carrier. Yeah, QX is a decent place to go it you REALLY want to work for AS, but thats it. Go to QX if they have a base where you want to live then apply to DL (who also has a SEA base....)

arctic099
01-31-2018, 12:42 PM
A little more food for thought. Even if you apply externally and do not go through the old guaranteed interview program or pilot pathways program you will still get put in a pool with the rest of the people in the programs.

flynshoe748
02-01-2018, 10:11 AM
Pay Comparison NPV 401K
Delta B737 $3,727,251 $3,106,603
United B737 $3,712,194 $3,094,365
Alaska Airlines B737 $3,482,399 $2,802,202
Horizon Air $1,630,288
SkyWest $1,603,430

Constants/Assumptions
Company 401(k) Contribution/Match 15 - 16%
Monthly Credit Hours: 80
Net Present Value Percentage: 4%
401K Assumptions
Rate 0.07
N 1
Time(years) 1

Not accounted for:
Cost of Commuting

For me it is quality of life. All things being almost equal, where can I be based where I want to live, do I want to move, or do I want to commute.
This data is lifetime earnings for a mid-30s person joining the airlines converted into 2018 dollars, hence Net Present Value. Please check my math.
On average, over a career at Delta, United, American, Southwest, or Alaska in 2018 dollars you'll make $3.6 million. Average annual income just over $200,000 on a 30 year career, working just about half the year. According to USA Today, super reliable, you'll be making more annually than, wait, than 95.8% of the country. You'll almost be in the 1% club, not too shabby, even at Alaska Airlines, for only working half the year.
If you want to live and play in the Pacific Northwest then Alaska Airlines is a good company with strong financial record that will probably weather the coming economic downturn just fine. If not, go somewhere else, if you get a phone call.
As for OO and QX, probably close in pay, OO doesn't have a union, where as QX does. It might not be a whole lot but, its something.

SactisbonesBJ
02-02-2018, 05:11 PM
Why would ANYONE structure their entire career to work for AS??? AS has some of the lowest career earnings of of any Legacy carrier. Yeah, QX is a decent place to go it you REALLY want to work for AS, but thats it. Go to QX if they have a base where you want to live then apply to DL (who also has a SEA base....)

This! Go to Compass, they have a SEA base.

Excargodog
02-02-2018, 06:54 PM
Pay Comparison NPV 401K
Delta B737 $3,727,251 $3,106,603
United B737 $3,712,194 $3,094,365
Alaska Airlines B737 $3,482,399 $2,802,202
Horizon Air $1,630,288
SkyWest $1,603,430

Constants/Assumptions
Company 401(k) Contribution/Match 15 - 16%
Monthly Credit Hours: 80
Net Present Value Percentage: 4%
401K Assumptions
Rate 0.07
N 1
Time(years) 1

Not accounted for:
Cost of Commuting

For me it is quality of life. All things being almost equal, where can I be based where I want to live, do I want to move, or do I want to commute.
This data is lifetime earnings for a mid-30s person joining the airlines converted into 2018 dollars, hence Net Present Value. Please check my math.



It's not your math that needs to be checked, it's your assumptions. If you assume that you will never proceed beyond the 737 (which is all Alaska flew until they bought Virgin), the analysis is arguably valid. And it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if you decide ahead of time that Alaska is where you want to work. But UA, Delta, and AA also fly bigger stuff. An Alaska captain may top out at $251 (2018 dollars) but a Delta or UA captain flying a 777 can make $330.

Granted, money ISN'T everything, I don't care if you want to live in the NW simply to dig geoducks, but if you are purporting to do an economic analysis it ought to be apples to apples. Don't torture the data to make it agree with your going in biases.

Alaska clearly DOESN'T pay what the other three do. That you find what they do pay sufficient for your purposes is fine, and personally I would too, but don't pretend the dufference doesn't exist.

flynshoe748
02-03-2018, 06:43 AM
That comparison was for actual apples to apples, 737 to 737 pay rates. A progression of 5 yr 737 FO, 5 yr 767 FO, 10 yr 737 CA, 10 yr 767 CA nets $ 4.2 million NPV. I think it is obious that you'll make more at United, Delta, American, UPS, and Fedex.

It was more point as to quality of life less about the actual money.

Excargodog
02-03-2018, 08:26 AM
That comparison was for actual apples to apples, 737 to 737 pay rates. A progression of 5 yr 737 FO, 5 yr 767 FO, 10 yr 737 CA, 10 yr 767 CA nets $ 4.2 million NPV. I think it is obious that you'll make more at United, Delta, American, UPS, and Fedex.

It was more point as to quality of life less about the actual money.


No, that was apples to apples for equipment but apples to oranges for employers. That's like saying a Volkswagen is just as capable as a Maserati if both are limited to 100 horsepower. True in a sense, but grossly deceiving.

If your financial "analysis" was for the purpose of saying that either option was sufficient financially for your purpose, OK. But it was presented as if the financial options top three vs Alaska were equivalent, and as you now admit they are not.

And of course it is an option to work for one of the others and still live in the Pacific Northwest. Many pilots do.

flynshoe748
02-03-2018, 09:25 AM
My numbers actually, clearly show, AS does pay less than United for the same equipment, $3.4 vice 3.7 million NPV. You're also making less in your 401K, 2.8 vice ~3.0 million.

The point I am making is: if you make $200,000 on average per year over a 30 year career, it becomes less about money and more about quality of live. What ever that is to you, if you actually get the job.
Then, you're also making more than 95% of Americans and working half the year.

fenix1
02-04-2018, 09:05 PM
Is Compass stable? I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Republic buying all 3 TransStates Holdings airlines (Compass, GoJet & TransStates).

This! Go to Compass, they have a SEA base.

Packrat
02-05-2018, 04:01 AM
[QUOTE=flynshoe748;2518913 What ever that is to you, if you actually get the job.
Then, you're also making more than 95% of Americans and working half the year.[/QUOTE]

And we can't figure out why our co-workers think pilots are overpaid, greedy prima donnas.

Excargodog
02-05-2018, 08:03 AM
Is Compass stable? I’ve heard a lot of chatter about Republic buying all 3 TransStates Holdings airlines (Compass, GoJet & TransStates).

You assume a buyout by a company with higher pay for its aircrews would be a BAD thing? Why? The equipment, people, bases, and jobs would still be needed.

For that matter, when seniority lists are merged, the smaller pilot workforce generally gains.

fenix1
02-06-2018, 02:04 AM
Great general points. However (and I may be wrong), I understood part of what was making the sale feasible was dwindling work for Compass from both AA (sending flying to Envoy) and DL (sending flying to SkyWest & Endeavor). GoJet has major sustainment issues (hiring street CA’s currently) as well. I understand TransStates to be the only ‘healthy’ airline of the 3 so - if the buyout/merger occurs - then Compass & GoJet pilots could be in a bad spot.

You assume a buyout by a company with higher pay for its aircrews would be a BAD thing? Why? The equipment, people, bases, and jobs would still be needed.

For that matter, when seniority lists are merged, the smaller pilot workforce generally gains.

flynshoe748
02-09-2018, 07:54 PM
Except, when a gate agent makes a mistake, they don't have the potential to kill people, pilots do, and so do mechanics. That is a good reason for high pay and good working conditions for pilots, mechanics, DX, and FAs.


And we can't figure out why our co-workers think pilots are overpaid, greedy prima donnas.