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KTM1524
06-28-2018, 06:55 PM
I have a buddy who is currently at ATP in Atlanta. We were talking the other day and he told me he has a buddy whoís father (who is 40) flies for Southwest out of Nashville, TN. He claims that said pilot makes $400k a year and only flies once a month. Can someone please confirm if this is even possible and how someone would even get to this point? I get seniority means a lot and you can make your own schedule but this seems a little too far fetched.

Thanks guys


2strokin
06-28-2018, 07:00 PM
I flew with a capt that made a little over 400k last year. He showed me his schedule. He took a day or two off a week. So pretty much working 20 plus days a month

So yeah, I call bs on the flying once month claim.

KTM1524
06-28-2018, 07:13 PM
I flew with a capt that made a little over 400k last year. He showed me his schedule. He took a day or two off a week. So pretty much working 20 plus days a month

So yeah, I call bs on the flying once month claim.

Yeah thatís what I figured. I eventually want to make around 250-350k but not if itís costing me an entire month being away from home and family. Not worth it.


e6bpilot
06-28-2018, 07:35 PM
If someone is making that much, it is by flying their butt off. There may be a vacation month where they can work a week and crush it, but that would be one or two months of the year. The rest of the time they would be either flying or glued to their phone/computer.

KTM1524
06-28-2018, 07:48 PM
The rest of the time they would be either flying or glued to their phone/computer.


Glued to their phone/ computer meaning???

Woodbourne23
06-28-2018, 08:04 PM
Maybe heís in management.

2strokin
06-28-2018, 08:05 PM
Glued to their phone/ computer meaning???

Checking open time, trip trade, etc

SlipKid
06-28-2018, 10:32 PM
We also don't have a Nashville base. ;)

ANGFlight81
06-29-2018, 01:33 AM
Iím calling bs on this post...

PS, whatís the obsession with what we make? I never see these posts on the DAL, UAL threads.

Get a life

tanker
06-29-2018, 04:28 AM
To make $400,000 and fly once a month it would have to be a 4 day that paid over 160 TFP, that isnít going to happen. Now I can see a pilot making over $400,000 who lives in BNA but that pilot would most likely only be home once a month.

Smooth at FL450
06-29-2018, 05:24 AM
No he doesn't.


$400000/year? very possible. By working 1 trip/month? Nope.

RJSAviator76
06-29-2018, 06:29 AM
400k a year as a captain here? Meh... that's not that impressive, but definitely not flying once a month unless he's on some kinda union pull or in management.

Now, if SlipKid made 400k, I would be floored considering he's fatigued at 200k, but that's something to shoot for in Contract 2020. ;)

The underlying question in 2020 - does SlipKid get to make 400k/year? If yes, vote yes; if not, vote no. :D

SlipKid
06-29-2018, 09:51 AM
400k a year as a captain here? Meh... that's not that impressive, but definitely not flying once a month unless he's on some kinda union pull or in management.

Now, if SlipKid made 400k, I would be floored considering he's fatigued at 200k, but that's something to shoot for in Contract 2020. ;)

The underlying question in 2020 - does SlipKid get to make 400k/year? If yes, vote yes; if not, vote no. :D

Actually, the underlying 2023-2025 question is:

Will this pilot group demand and vote for an industry leading contract, including pay rates, for the first time ever? Or will it be the usual: "we make less, but can work more to make up for it, so we make more, so vote yes!" ?

You know my opinion.

If we keep hiring the way we have been, and nothing else changes, it'll be difficult, if not impossible for a topped out Capt to make $400k in any case..... Even working regional like, 20+ days per month schedules, you know, like you do. And that's assuming that our "hard won" 117 "buffers" and other awesome contractual gems, brought to you by old swapa, even allow it.

It's tough to make the fat stacks when you actually have to fly for every tfp you earn.


FWIW..........

In previous 5-6 years, as a 20-25% Capt. in domicile, I've averaged around 10 TFP per day of work, over the year.

This year is, by far, the worst I've ever seen it since I was very junior. I am averaging low 7s tfp per day this year. For those of you playing along at home, that's close to a $700 per day pay cut.

Next month, for the first time this year, I'll break 100 TFP. Barely. And I have to fly 9 days of "actual work", in a vacation month, no less, to do it. In JULY!

Compared to last year and at least 4-5 summers prior, I am taking, roughly, a $30-$40k pay cut, just between May and August. I'd have to fly 6 extra days per month (sound familiar?) to make that up this year.

Even if I wanted to, and I don't, the 117 buffers make that difficult to impossible, even if I lived in domicile.

The preceding months have been pretty lean so far too.

In all, it's looking to be a $50k+ total haircut, working more "actual work" days than last year.

Our industry leading work rules, that we got instead of industry leading hourly rate, amongst a host of other things, are worthless when you can't possibly use them. :eek:

All I can say is that I am glad I stayed in my FO house, stayed with Mark 1, Mod 0 wife, and haven't sunk into the typical pilot quagmire of spending money I don't have on expensive toys, and having to kill myself flying 20+ days every month, just to pay for them.

SlipKid
06-29-2018, 10:14 AM
I have a buddy who is currently at ATP in Atlanta. We were talking the other day and he told me he has a buddy who’s father (who is 40) flies for Southwest out of Nashville, TN. He claims that said pilot makes $400k a year and only flies once a month. Can someone please confirm if this is even possible and how someone would even get to this point? I get seniority means a lot and you can make your own schedule but this seems a little too far fetched.

Thanks guys

The only way he can possibly make that, and only fly one trip per month is if he's management OR he's draining his sick bank. It's been a while, but I don't think even a union guy can do that anymore.

liveupthere
06-29-2018, 01:06 PM
Yeah thatís what I figured. I eventually want to make around 250-350k but not if itís costing me an entire month being away from home and family. Not worth it.

What a ridiculous thing to say on a public forum. Say that again out loud. Doesn't that sound ridiculous?

full of luv
06-29-2018, 01:11 PM
The only way he can possibly make that, and only fly one trip per month is if he's management OR he's draining his sick bank. It's been a while, but I don't think even a union guy can do that anymore.

So he has to work ONE day a week, but WHICH day? And is it the same day each week?:cool:

full of luv
06-29-2018, 01:14 PM
Iím calling bs on this post...

PS, whatís the obsession with what we make? I never see these posts on the DAL, UAL threads.

Get a life

Hey, the IRS is obsessed with what I make!!!

KTM1524
06-29-2018, 01:42 PM
What a ridiculous thing to say on a public forum. Say that again out loud. Doesn't that sound ridiculous?

What is so ridiculous about it? Maybe you just need to just calm down there buddy.

Excargodog
06-29-2018, 01:45 PM
To make $400,000 and fly once a month it would have to be a 4 day that paid over 160 TFP, that isnít going to happen. Now I can see a pilot making over $400,000 who lives in BNA but that pilot would most likely only be home once a month.

And/Or be smuggling in massive quantities of cocaine.

KTM1524
06-29-2018, 02:18 PM
And/Or be smuggling in massive quantities of cocaine.

Lol I was waiting on someone to say it

SlipKid
07-01-2018, 09:39 AM
What a ridiculous thing to say on a public forum. Say that again out loud. Doesn't that sound ridiculous?

Especially on a WN pilot forum.

Apparently, most of us have no lives, and we wish(!) we could work every single day of every month, so we can brag about how much we make compared to our peers, in spite of our industry lagging pay rates. :D

Sr. Barco
07-11-2018, 09:47 AM
FWIW..........

In previous 5-6 years, as a 20-25% Capt. in domicile, I've averaged around 10 TFP per day of work, over the year.

This year is, by far, the worst I've ever seen it since I was very junior. I am averaging low 7s tfp per day this year. For those of you playing along at home, that's close to a $700 per day pay cut.

Next month, for the first time this year, I'll break 100 TFP. Barely. And I have to fly 9 days of "actual work", in a vacation month, no less, to do it. In JULY!

Compared to last year and at least 4-5 summers prior, I am taking, roughly, a $30-$40k pay cut, just between May and August. I'd have to fly 6 extra days per month (sound familiar?) to make that up this year.

Even if I wanted to, and I don't, the 117 buffers make that difficult to impossible, even if I lived in domicile.

The preceding months have been pretty lean so far too.

In all, it's looking to be a $50k+ total haircut, working more "actual work" days than last year.

I have noticed the same and as a low time flyer I really like this new normal, if that's what it is. It seems like we are adequately staffed this summer for the first time ever. I'm hearing consistently that they are trying to bring our staffing way up to minimize POT awards and schedule disruptions. I actually caught 2 net zeros in July (unreal!) so I was able to trade down down to 5 days of flying in a vacation month (started with a 4 day and a 3 day). It only pays 73 TFP but that's fine with me.

This is going to sound blasphemous but not all pilots at SWA are high time flyers. Now that we are seemingly adequately staffed I've been able to trade down in ELITT almost every month this year and/or give away 1 to 2 days and trade into rigged trips. I've been flying 3 day trips with 13-15 hours of block, TAFB of 48-51 hours and 19.5 TFP. I will typically do 3 of those per month. The pay is not great but the QOL is awesome, IMO.

THEKERNALKLINK
07-11-2018, 04:07 PM
I was mid 400's last year, I think I'll end up low 400's this year... they are finally catching up on the demand. It's a mixed emotions thing for me.

Not everybody can do it, and nobody can do it long term. However, I would not want a day and a half layover every time like my buddy at Delta gets. GET MY @SS HOME!

When I'm 56 1/2 and collecting my retirement pay from the reserves, I will be a minimal flier for sure. I like to stay busy, but their are other ways to occupy myself than the daily grind of flying as part of ones job.

KTM1524
08-15-2018, 04:40 PM
No he doesn't.


$400000/year? very possible. By working 1 trip/month? Nope.

How many days flying out of the month would you say is realistic for making that kind of money? He is still trying to tell me that he is right even after showing him this forum.

Peacock
08-15-2018, 04:50 PM
How many days flying out of the month would you say is realistic for making that kind of money? He is still trying to tell me that he is right even after showing him this forum.

Letís assume heís a 12yr captain. (Heíd need to be even more senior to really earn but thatís the top rate. Plus if heís 40 thereís no way heís very senior as a captain) That means his pay rate is $224.80. $400,000 / 224.80 = 1,779.36 trips for pay he needs to credit. Thatís 148.28 trips per month. Even if he ONLY flew premium trips (1.5 x pay), heíd need to be flying around 14-15 days a month.

Those calculations donít factor in vacation or profit sharing or 401k contributions from the company, but I donít need to factor them in to say itís absolute bull**** that anyone can make that much flying one trip a month. Not even remotely close.

Peacock
08-15-2018, 04:55 PM
I think this was mentioned earlier but the only way thatís possible is if heís a chief pilot or project pilot or something. In that case, 40 seems too young and either way the one trip a month would be deceptive because heíd be commuting to Dallas or another base and working 9-5.

RJSAviator76
08-15-2018, 05:12 PM
Letís assume heís a 12yr captain. (Heíd need to be even more senior to really earn but thatís the top rate. Plus if heís 40 thereís no way heís very senior as a captain) That means his pay rate is $224.80. $400,000 / 224.80 = 1,779.36 trips for pay he needs to credit. Thatís 148.28 trips per month. Even if he ONLY flew premium trips (1.5 x pay), heíd need to be flying around 14-15 days a month.





Just a small asterisk to the above... once youíre over 275k, your B-plan money is paid out on your paycheck as taxable income driving your W-2 further up... that is unless you choose to partake in one of unqualified deals.

flensr
08-15-2018, 07:39 PM
There is one way to make $400k/year flying only once a month, but it involves a little more work.

A senior captain showed me how it works, with the contract and various scheduling/trading tools. Basically it's a "cartel" style operation with a very senior guy managing the trades. Trades go up and down the pyramid like a big money laundering scheme. A senior guy bids on open time premium he doesn't want, then gives it away to someone more senior than him (explained to me that this is the only legal trade whenever seniority determined an award). At that point it's laundered, and the senior cartel trip broker now sells that trip down to more junior pilots for a small commission, keeping only the trips he personally wants for currency.

Also, trips can get split up which adds TFP for deadheads, picked up premium, then recombined by the senior guy which preserves the extra tfp and premium and again, sold back downhill.

Does it really happen? I dunno, it makes a great conspiracy theory.

However I"ve heard FAs talking about the exact same thing plus on 2 separate base boards I saw printed flyers actually advertising the sale of premium trips for $50 or more, so I know that stuff sort of like this actually does occur, at least on a small scale.

So... yea, theoretically a "cartel" member could make a ton of money and not fly much at all, depending on their position in the pyramid. In reality? Nobody actually doing it will admit it to anyone who isn't buying into the scheme, yet everyone seems to know that one guy who is the smartest guy in the room who seems to make a lot of money for not flying much at all, who also has a lot of "friends" he trades with.

Without some sort of trade scheme going on, I also don't see anyone here making $400k flying one trip per month. Spirit has some scheduling contract rules that allow a senior pilot to create a lot of paid conflicts during the month so I could see a really senior spirit pilot *before their new contract* making a ton of money by bidding conflicts and playing various scheduling games, but not here.

Super EZ E
08-15-2018, 07:51 PM
Iím calling bs on this post...

PS, whatís the obsession with what we make? I never see these posts on the DAL, UAL threads.

Get a life

The "Cartel Members" work the system. They drop trips on their buddies schedules and pick them back up at premium. The system has all kinds of built in tricks. I just know what my buddies tell me. I guess one guy made $500k last year but he works. $500 isn't the norm. :cool:

e6bpilot
08-15-2018, 08:58 PM
There is one way to make $400k/year flying only once a month, but it involves a little more work.

A senior captain showed me how it works, with the contract and various scheduling/trading tools. Basically it's a "cartel" style operation with a very senior guy managing the trades. Trades go up and down the pyramid like a big money laundering scheme. A senior guy bids on open time premium he doesn't want, then gives it away to someone more senior than him (explained to me that this is the only legal trade whenever seniority determined an award). At that point it's laundered, and the senior cartel trip broker now sells that trip down to more junior pilots for a small commission, keeping only the trips he personally wants for currency.

Also, trips can get split up which adds TFP for deadheads, picked up premium, then recombined by the senior guy which preserves the extra tfp and premium and again, sold back downhill.

Does it really happen? I dunno, it makes a great conspiracy theory.

However I"ve heard FAs talking about the exact same thing plus on 2 separate base boards I saw printed flyers actually advertising the sale of premium trips for $50 or more, so I know that stuff sort of like this actually does occur, at least on a small scale.

So... yea, theoretically a "cartel" member could make a ton of money and not fly much at all, depending on their position in the pyramid. In reality? Nobody actually doing it will admit it to anyone who isn't buying into the scheme, yet everyone seems to know that one guy who is the smartest guy in the room who seems to make a lot of money for not flying much at all, who also has a lot of "friends" he trades with.

Without some sort of trade scheme going on, I also don't see anyone here making $400k flying one trip per month. Spirit has some scheduling contract rules that allow a senior pilot to create a lot of paid conflicts during the month so I could see a really senior spirit pilot *before their new contract* making a ton of money by bidding conflicts and playing various scheduling games, but not here.



This exact scenario may have happened long ago, but those loopholes have been closed for better or worse.
I donít condone cartel behavior or any pilot doing anything that harms another union member.
The obsession with restricting cartel activity, however, has cost the 99.7 percent of pilots who play by the rules money and QOL due to silly restrictions put in place to prevent it. If we arenít careful, we will restrict ourselves even more.
There will be a holes in this pilot group who will selfishly utilize things that are allowed by the contract to further their goals at the cost of their brothers and sisters. They will always exist because they are shady individuals and will justify it by saying it was legal so it is ok. You just have to know that eventually the universe has a way of sorting it all out.
Those who make gobs of money at SWA are generally hard workers who take advantage of opportunities. I work more than average so that my daughters wonít have college debt. Some guys go through rough divorces. Some are saving for retirement. Some are just greedy. Some made bad decisions and have debt up to their eyeballs.
I am glad I work for a company that allows me to either hustle and pull in some side bucks or lay back and relax but make less. Letís not screw that up by putting a bunch of restrictions on ourselves in the name of ending the ďcartelsĒ.

SlipKid
08-16-2018, 08:59 AM
This exact scenario may have happened long ago, but those loopholes have been closed for better or worse.
I don’t condone cartel behavior or any pilot doing anything that harms another union member.
The obsession with restricting cartel activity, however, has cost the 99.7 percent of pilots who play by the rules money and QOL due to silly restrictions put in place to prevent it. If we aren’t careful, we will restrict ourselves even more. There will be a holes in this pilot group who will selfishly utilize things that are allowed by the contract to further their goals at the cost of their brothers and sisters. They will always exist because they are shady individuals and will justify it by saying it was legal so it is ok. You just have to know that eventually the universe has a way of sorting it all out.
Those who make gobs of money at SWA are generally hard workers who take advantage of opportunities. I work more than average so that my daughters won’t have college debt. Some guys go through rough divorces. Some are saving for retirement. Some are just greedy. Some made bad decisions and have debt up to their eyeballs.
I am glad I work for a company that allows me to either hustle and pull in some side bucks or lay back and relax but make less. Let’s not screw that up by putting a bunch of restrictions on ourselves in the name of ending the “cartels”.

Most of the cartel stuff posted above hasn't been possible since I've been here.

Guys making $400k, even those in a cartel, are still working their butts off. I've never heard of anyone paying a cartel "don" for his trips. Trip parking definitely happens, and is used to stay under the cap while bidding on open time.

IMHO, the "cartel" hype is just that. Few, if any of the restrictions we've placed on ourselves have curtailed it.

This group is not gonna be happy until we restrict ourselves to the point that PBS starts looking good.

e6bpilot
08-16-2018, 09:14 AM
This group is not gonna be happy until we restrict ourselves to the point that PBS starts looking good.



This exactly. Everyone is all grab your torch and pitchfork when it is time to vote on restrictions on ourselves. I donít get it. Cartels are the boogeyman. They exist, but not as some nefarious trip stealing pyramid scheme. What little harm they do isnít worth harming the fair players.

SlipKid
08-16-2018, 09:15 AM
How many days flying out of the month would you say is realistic for making that kind of money? He is still trying to tell me that he is right even after showing him this forum.

15-20 days per month. 15ish if he gets nothing but premium (very difficult to do on a regular basis, since you have to clear your board AND be awarded premium trips), 20+ if he works mostly straight paying trips.

SlipKid
08-16-2018, 09:18 AM
This exactly. Everyone is all grab your torch and pitchfork when it is time to vote on restrictions on ourselves. I donít get it. Cartels are the boogeyman. They exist, but not as some nefarious trip stealing pyramid scheme. What little harm they do isnít worth harming the fair players.

1000% agreed.

I've given away premium awards in the past, for non cartel reasons.

Can't do it anymore.

Good job folks. :eek:

vroll1800
08-16-2018, 09:29 AM
Actually, the underlying 2023-2025 question is:

Will this pilot group demand and vote for an industry leading contract, including pay rates, for the first time ever? Or will it be the usual: "we make less, but can work more to make up for it, so we make more, so vote yes!" ?

You know my opinion.

If we keep hiring the way we have been, and nothing else changes, it'll be difficult, if not impossible for a topped out Capt to make $400k in any case..... Even working regional like, 20+ days per month schedules, you know, like you do. And that's assuming that our "hard won" 117 "buffers" and other awesome contractual gems, brought to you by old swapa, even allow it.

It's tough to make the fat stacks when you actually have to fly for every tfp you earn.


FWIW..........

In previous 5-6 years, as a 20-25% Capt. in domicile, I've averaged around 10 TFP per day of work, over the year.

This year is, by far, the worst I've ever seen it since I was very junior. I am averaging low 7s tfp per day this year. For those of you playing along at home, that's close to a $700 per day pay cut.

Next month, for the first time this year, I'll break 100 TFP. Barely. And I have to fly 9 days of "actual work", in a vacation month, no less, to do it. In JULY!

Compared to last year and at least 4-5 summers prior, I am taking, roughly, a $30-$40k pay cut, just between May and August. I'd have to fly 6 extra days per month (sound familiar?) to make that up this year.

Even if I wanted to, and I don't, the 117 buffers make that difficult to impossible, even if I lived in domicile.

The preceding months have been pretty lean so far too.

In all, it's looking to be a $50k+ total haircut, working more "actual work" days than last year.

Our industry leading work rules, that we got instead of industry leading hourly rate, amongst a host of other things, are worthless when you can't possibly use them. :eek:

All I can say is that I am glad I stayed in my FO house, stayed with Mark 1, Mod 0 wife, and haven't sunk into the typical pilot quagmire of spending money I don't have on expensive toys, and having to kill myself flying 20+ days every month, just to pay for them.

This is the best expression of someone's position that I've seen in a long time. :cool: This and other posts demonstrates that there's more than one way to "skin a cat" to suit one's tastes.