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View Full Version : PHX base info


SynisterAZ
07-14-2018, 07:06 AM
Long time lurker, first time poster, in the terminal phase of refining where I would like to work for the next 30 yrs. Id like to stay in AZ for the forseeable future and am hoping to one day be based in PHX. There is a lot of info in the Southwest thread about their PHX ops but not so much here.

Looking at some of the latest class drops PHX pretty much never comes up. It looks like the 320 is the bread and butter out here, so lets assume that a hypothetical future version of me was awarded MIA 320 out the gate. So, what would be the path of least resistance following indoc. to get PHX base and how long would it take to get there? In the meantime, how commutable are some of the other likely initial bases from PHX?

Thanks in advance.


PRS Guitars
07-14-2018, 07:53 AM
You can get PHX pretty quickly right now. It is a senior base right now in the sense that it takes a while to hold a line, upgrade to CA, etc. that can and likely will change. The other bases arenít bad to commute to from there, Iíd imagine,but donít know.

With all that said, if youíre comparing SWA and AAL, take the long view please. Donít base the decision on your first year or 2 at either company. There are pros and cons to both jobs. Youíre likely to get more negative comments on here about AA. There seem to be quite a few SWA cheerleaders on the board, and many AA pilots unhappy with our contract. Donít take that too seriously, at the end of the day, both are great jobs...and different.

Also, take the first job offered, because the second might never call, or the interview could go bad.

Name User
07-14-2018, 09:01 AM
If wanting to stay in PHX for 30 years I would place that bet with SWA not AA. Make your life easy, go to SWA.


Regionalsuck
07-14-2018, 01:42 PM
Their have been PHX 320 slots going to new hires lately

Cheddar
07-14-2018, 02:59 PM
I wish I could share Vasuís (VP of network planning) PHX townhall with you. Long story short - PHX is not going anywhere and may even grow once they can figure out how to manage LAX capacity. There was also a mention of bringing wide bodies back eventually - but I wouldnít bet on it.

Friend of mine once gave me the best advice about the first few years at an airline: youíre not doing this job for the first five years - youíre doing it for the last twenty.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sliceback
07-14-2018, 04:48 PM
Adding w/b flying didn't mean it would be based out of PHX. If PHX got a long haul trip, or two, it probably would be flown as a six day trip from another base.

I'd put SW down as more stable in PHX. $.02

Would I pick SW over AA? No. I think SW is a great company but there's a reason so many guys at AA go fly the w/b's, even if they have to commute to them.

Here's an idea of how guys actually bid -
top 1000 CA's - 87% on w/b's
top 500 CA's - 94% on w/b's
top 200 CA's - 97% on w/b's
top 100 CA's - 100% on w/b's

Top 285 FO's, all of whom could be a G4 CA (777,787,330)? 275 are FO's on the G4 aircraft, one is on the 767, and 6 are on n/b's.

They're living it. They not picking narrow body flying for a reason.

SynisterAZ
07-14-2018, 08:56 PM
Whoa, thanks for the replies!

I didnt mean for this to turn in to a SW vs AA thread because Ive already done a bit of that myself in trying to balance the never-ending work / life equation. Its just that PHX has only so many contenders to consider for basing opportunities. My distilled version of things thus far (and feel free to critique) goes something like this:

-Live in the base for the airline for which you would like to work. In this case, SW and AA both fit the bill and if you omit the corporate politics and focus on maybe 3 tangibles (earnings, sked, and QOL) I think you can get ( dare I say) close to objective.

-If you cant live in base, then gun for the most commutable solution. In this case, perhaps cargo might be the most commutable option, however, the w/b pay breakdown previously mentioned and skeds currently available to the pax brands is not to be discounted.

And I do for sure appreciate the "long view" advice on things. Until the last few years, my long view was to remain in the military convincing myself 'its not that bad' for 20 yrs.

Maybe the grass is always greener and maybe there is no perfect job and all the advice given anywhere on this forum is just a coping mechanism for people justifying their choices.

Thats a bit dark though so Ill continue to thank the responders giving solid objective advice that includes aspects of a career choice that I (and others) may have not fully considered outside of a narrow X, Y, or Z comparison.

So, thanks. And keep it coming.

Name User
07-15-2018, 01:51 AM
They're living it. They not picking narrow body flying for a reason.
$$$$

At SWA it's kinda moot everything pays the same as our widebodies for the most part. Probably even higher.

mainlineAF
07-15-2018, 03:10 AM
$$$$



At SWA it's kinda moot everything pays the same as our widebodies for the most part. Probably even higher.



I see what youíre saying but the SWA guys who are making more than g4 captains are not just flying their line.

Regionalsuck
07-15-2018, 05:23 AM
Personally if it was me and I was dead set on PHX living. Iíd pick SWA if you are military and can get hired because itís a more stable long term base there. Who knows what AA does in PHX long term. Closing or shrinking will always be a threat in the back of your mind there IMO.

Commuting is absolutely miserable vs living in base. It is not worth hardly any amount of money or widebody to commute long term for the rest of your career.

After a decade of commuting vs now living in base you cannot even compare the QOL difference if you value your kids/family. 30-40 extra hours a month riding in the back of an airplane ďifĒ you can even get on. Which that keeps getting worse and worse every year. (That is a full extra work week a month for normal people). Countless nights in hotels or crashpads living like a homeless rat instead of just driving home because of commuting on days off for early starts/late finishes, reserve, Delayed flights, jumpseat competition, lazy gate agents, maintenance problems, weather, cancelled flights. Extremely long days 16-22 hours+ sometimes trying to drive to airport early, wait for flight, end up on backup flight 3 hours later, then sit on 2-5 hour flight, deplane with rifraff after 30 minutes of them dilly dallying around... all before you even start to work full long 12 hour day. The added stress is unreal.

Paperboi
07-15-2018, 07:02 AM
What's the big advantage of being an FO on WB vs NB besides pay? Why are so many FOs staying on WB instead of upgrading to NB captain?

Sliceback
07-15-2018, 08:52 AM
W/b has bigger blocks of time off. Super senior trips are 3 three day trips a month if you fly all of them. You donít. With vacations, training, and sick, youíll average 2.5 (+/-) per month.

Sliceback
07-15-2018, 09:11 AM
Live in PHX? But choose, or forced (PHX base closure) to commute. Spoke with a couple of PHX commuters. Could be 320 CAís but instead they were commuting to LAX. Sitting 777 reserve and barely flying. Boat, RV, motorcycles. Tough life.

ďWhat about the commute?Ē ďTwenty seven flights. Great weather. A couple of times a month.Ē

PRS Guitars
07-17-2018, 05:33 AM
Personally if it was me and I was dead set on PHX living. Iíd pick SWA if you are military and can get hired because itís a more stable long term base there. Who knows what AA does in PHX long term. Closing or shrinking will always be a threat in the back of your mind there IMO.

Commuting is absolutely miserable vs living in base. It is not worth hardly any amount of money or widebody to commute long term for the rest of your career.

After a decade of commuting vs now living in base you cannot even compare the QOL difference if you value your kids/family. 30-40 extra hours a month riding in the back of an airplane ďifĒ you can even get on. Which that keeps getting worse and worse every year. (That is a full extra work week a month for normal people). Countless nights in hotels or crashpads living like a homeless rat instead of just driving home because of commuting on days off for early starts/late finishes, reserve, Delayed flights, jumpseat competition, lazy gate agents, maintenance problems, weather, cancelled flights. Extremely long days 16-22 hours+ sometimes trying to drive to airport early, wait for flight, end up on backup flight 3 hours later, then sit on 2-5 hour flight, deplane with rifraff after 30 minutes of them dilly dallying around... all before you even start to work full long 12 hour day. The added stress is unreal.

I will concede that, of course, living in base is better. But ďabsolutely miserableĒ and ďunreal stressĒ are a bit over the top, at least from my limited experience commuting. Stress wise, compared to my Air Force jobs, Iíll say that Iím happier (and less stressed out) driving to the airport to commute out for a 4 day trip, than I ever was driving to my Air Force job on a Monday morning.

Depending on your commute, you might not ever need hotels or crashpads. Commuting at AA, one can reserve the jump seat, which dramatically reduces stress. Additionally, depending on base and equipment, there are trips that start late and end early (which as I understand it, is not the case with a SWA. I could easily never have to use a hotel or crash pad in my current status (I choose to though sometimes, to knock out back to back trips).


Bottom line for the OP, I wouldnít choose SWA just because PHX could someday close as an AA base. But I wouldnít be inclined to choose SWA anyway, so I might be biased.

RyanP
07-17-2018, 09:48 AM
I will concede that, of course, living in base is better. But “absolutely miserable” and “unreal stress” are a bit over the top, at least from my limited experience commuting. Stress wise, compared to my Air Force jobs, I’ll say that I’m happier (and less stressed out) driving to the airport to commute out for a 4 day trip, than I ever was driving to my Air Force job on a Monday morning.

Depending on your commute, you might not ever need hotels or to winter weather cities or reserve. Commuting at AA, one can reserve the jump seat, which dramatically reduces stress.

I guess you haven't had the luxury of commuting very long or on popular commutes. Or certainly on reserve, hub-hub or into any bad weather seasons because I have had the exact opposite experience commuting. It has always been a nightmare. Probably losing at least a month or more per year commuting minimum on time off when I could've been sitting at home instead with family. Even if you are lucky and have nice commutable schedules for the most part and only end up commuting on 1 day off per month, that is still nearly 2 weeks per year lost with family. That is a good scenario commuting for someone senior enough to hold those schedules and gets lucky with low commute competition, plus no delays ever to make you miss the last commute flight home and perfect weather, no cancellations ever. Not to mention no redder than red trips so you can trade at your leisure into commutable luxury.

If you commute on 2-3 days off per month on average you are losing nearly a month off per year. Over a decade that is almost an extra year you lost out on your family. Nobody ever thinks about these things but the time lost adds up.

Reserving a jumpseat is a nice benefit. Except for on reserve when you don't have the notice to do it early enough. Or on a commute with 50 other people trying to do the same thing as you. Or when you have it reserved but you get in 2 hours late due to flow delays and end up spending the night in the Airport LaQuinta instead of your own bed with family. Then you can't get on any morning flights the next day (your day off) either.

I've heard of these mythical easy commutes from small town USA but in 5 different domiciles worth of commuting from big cities or hub to hub, I have never had an easy low stress one.

The stress comes from the extremely long days the commute causes on both ends of trips and missed time at home. Or having to work at 10am on a Monday but unlike driving to work Monday morning like everyone else, you are having to leave Sunday afternoon at 2pm on your limited days off. Also, Instead of no big deal as delays build up throughout the day (for the local living pilot). Your stress is building all day on day 4 as you watch your last commute flight home vanish because the rampers are screwing around, maintenance is taking forever, weather is building....... and you know you are going to also lose a day off before the next trip as well due to an early sign in. SO now you are home for 1 full day instead of 3. I could keep going for hours. Commuting SUCKS.

After having lived in base and commuted for many years. There is not even a value you can put on the difference in QOL. It's astronomical. I get wanting to live in certain areas. I have done it myself, but the QOL hit to do it is HUGE. There may be some super cush commutes, I just have never had one. If you absolutely must commute, commute East to West or stay in the same time zone. That helps. I did a 5 hour transcon commute at one point from the West which made me want to quit this profession every day and probably took years off my life. Attempting to Sleep on the floor of the Airbus cockpit or jammed into a middle seat for 5 hours plus drive and airport appreciation time before and after flights, then have to work all day. Awful.

PRS Guitars
07-17-2018, 10:34 AM
RyanP,

Sorry to hear that, maybe someday, Iíll feel that way, but right now the benefits of keeping my kids in their schools, outweighs the benefits of moving. I have commuted for 4 years, to the east coast and west coast, on long call reserve and short call reserve. During that time I also commuted to my AF job. Yes, you lose some time at home, but I have already factored that into my decision to commute, so I donít dwell on it, which is key. Also, I donít lose nearly the amount of days that you did. I commuted to the east coast from DEN, 1 night early 4 times last year, always made it home. So lost 4 partial days off. This year, Iíve only done it once and that was because I picked up a trip that paid a lot more but started early (worth it to me). Believe it or not, I actually enjoy the commute often. I like decompressing on the flight home. I enjoyed driving to my AF job and listening to books. That said, Iíll consider moving to base when my youngest goes to college, probably commute half the year, live in base half.

Iím not trying to thread drift here, but the OP is military and needs to hear all sides of the commute issue (even though this commute is only theoretical at this point, since we have a base in PHX...). A potential commute (that may never materialize) would be low on my decision matrix.

mainlineAF
07-17-2018, 12:23 PM
I guess you haven't had the luxury of commuting very long or on popular commutes. Or certainly on reserve, hub-hub or into any bad weather seasons because I have had the exact opposite experience commuting. It has always been a nightmare. Probably losing at least a month or more per year commuting minimum on time off when I could've been sitting at home instead with family. Even if you are lucky and have nice commutable schedules for the most part and only end up commuting on 1 day off per month, that is still nearly 2 weeks per year lost with family. That is a good scenario commuting for someone senior enough to hold those schedules and gets lucky with low commute competition, plus no delays ever to make you miss the last commute flight home and perfect weather, no cancellations ever. Not to mention no redder than red trips so you can trade at your leisure into commutable luxury.

If you commute on 2-3 days off per month on average you are losing nearly a month off per year. Over a decade that is almost an extra year you lost out on your family. Nobody ever thinks about these things but the time lost adds up.

Reserving a jumpseat is a nice benefit. Except for on reserve when you don't have the notice to do it early enough. Or on a commute with 50 other people trying to do the same thing as you. Or when you have it reserved but you get in 2 hours late due to flow delays and end up spending the night in the Airport LaQuinta instead of your own bed with family. Then you can't get on any morning flights the next day (your day off) either.

I've heard of these mythical easy commutes from small town USA but in 5 different domiciles worth of commuting from big cities or hub to hub, I have never had an easy low stress one.

The stress comes from the extremely long days the commute causes on both ends of trips and missed time at home. Or having to work at 10am on a Monday but unlike driving to work Monday morning like everyone else, you are having to leave Sunday afternoon at 2pm on your limited days off. Also, Instead of no big deal as delays build up throughout the day (for the local living pilot). Your stress is building all day on day 4 as you watch your last commute flight home vanish because the rampers are screwing around, maintenance is taking forever, weather is building....... and you know you are going to also lose a day off before the next trip as well due to an early sign in. SO now you are home for 1 full day instead of 3. I could keep going for hours. Commuting SUCKS.

After having lived in base and commuted for many years. There is not even a value you can put on the difference in QOL. It's astronomical. I get wanting to live in certain areas. I have done it myself, but the QOL hit to do it is HUGE. There may be some super cush commutes, I just have never had one. If you absolutely must commute, commute East to West or stay in the same time zone. That helps. I did a 5 hour transcon commute at one point from the West which made me want to quit this profession every day and probably took years off my life. Attempting to Sleep on the floor of the Airbus cockpit or jammed into a middle seat for 5 hours plus drive and airport appreciation time before and after flights, then have to work all day. Awful.



tldr some people canít handle commuting. Some can. Itís what you make of it.

Name User
07-17-2018, 01:05 PM
I guess you haven't had the luxury of commuting very long or on popular commutes. Or certainly on reserve, hub-hub or into any bad weather seasons because I have had the exact opposite experience commuting. It has always been a nightmare. Probably losing at least a month or more per year commuting minimum on time off when I could've been sitting at home instead with family. Even if you are lucky and have nice commutable schedules for the most part and only end up commuting on 1 day off per month, that is still nearly 2 weeks per year lost with family. That is a good scenario commuting for someone senior enough to hold those schedules and gets lucky with low commute competition, plus no delays ever to make you miss the last commute flight home and perfect weather, no cancellations ever. Not to mention no redder than red trips so you can trade at your leisure into commutable luxury.

If you commute on 2-3 days off per month on average you are losing nearly a month off per year. Over a decade that is almost an extra year you lost out on your family. Nobody ever thinks about these things but the time lost adds up.

Reserving a jumpseat is a nice benefit. Except for on reserve when you don't have the notice to do it early enough. Or on a commute with 50 other people trying to do the same thing as you. Or when you have it reserved but you get in 2 hours late due to flow delays and end up spending the night in the Airport LaQuinta instead of your own bed with family. Then you can't get on any morning flights the next day (your day off) either.

I've heard of these mythical easy commutes from small town USA but in 5 different domiciles worth of commuting from big cities or hub to hub, I have never had an easy low stress one.

The stress comes from the extremely long days the commute causes on both ends of trips and missed time at home. Or having to work at 10am on a Monday but unlike driving to work Monday morning like everyone else, you are having to leave Sunday afternoon at 2pm on your limited days off. Also, Instead of no big deal as delays build up throughout the day (for the local living pilot). Your stress is building all day on day 4 as you watch your last commute flight home vanish because the rampers are screwing around, maintenance is taking forever, weather is building....... and you know you are going to also lose a day off before the next trip as well due to an early sign in. SO now you are home for 1 full day instead of 3. I could keep going for hours. Commuting SUCKS.

After having lived in base and commuted for many years. There is not even a value you can put on the difference in QOL. It's astronomical. I get wanting to live in certain areas. I have done it myself, but the QOL hit to do it is HUGE. There may be some super cush commutes, I just have never had one. If you absolutely must commute, commute East to West or stay in the same time zone. That helps. I did a 5 hour transcon commute at one point from the West which made me want to quit this profession every day and probably took years off my life. Attempting to Sleep on the floor of the Airbus cockpit or jammed into a middle seat for 5 hours plus drive and airport appreciation time before and after flights, then have to work all day. Awful.
This guy exaggerates a ton. Very rarely will you lose an entire day off commuting. Example most flights depart from the hub around 6-7am. My personal (longish) commute is three hours plus an hour time change so I leave at 7am I arrive around 11am and am home by 1145am. I normally get up around 8am so I lose 3:45 on my day off. Yes it sucks and eventually I will move to base like I have in the past but it's hardly losing a day off.

He's the same type of guy that calls finishing at 8am on day four working the whole day when in reality they are mostly three days (look at the TAFB).

Hands down the biggest benefit to living in base is bidding reserve and picking up premium or OG trips.

Buy Gogo and/or join a Gogo cartel and get stuff done on your commute.

RyanP
07-17-2018, 01:38 PM
:oRyanP,

Sorry to hear that, maybe someday, I’ll feel that way, but right now the benefits of keeping my kids in their schools, outweighs the benefits of moving. I have commuted for 4 years, to the east coast and west coast, on long call reserve and short call reserve. During that time I also commuted to my AF job. Yes, you lose some time at home, but I have already factored that into my decision to commute, so I don’t dwell on it, which is key. Also, I don’t lose nearly the amount of days that you did. I commuted to the east coast from DEN, 1 night early 4 times last year, always made it home. So lost 4 partial days off. This year, I’ve only done it once and that was because I picked up a trip that paid a lot more but started early (worth it to me). Believe it or not, I actually enjoy the commute often. I like decompressing on the flight home. I enjoyed driving to my AF job and listening to books. That said, I’ll consider moving to base when my youngest goes to college, probably commute half the year, live in base half.

I’m not trying to thread drift here, but the OP is military and needs to hear all sides of the commute issue (even though this commute is only theoretical at this point, since we have a base in PHX...). A potential commute (that may never materialize) would be low on my decision matrix.

Different strokes for different folks. I totally get "why" people such as yourself commute. Nothing wrong with making that choice if you know what you are getting into. I did it too for my own personal reasons for 9 years. It just was too much of a beating for me and my home life suffered pretty seriously for it. If I could have commuted only on work days all the time then it wouldn't have been as bad but that never really worked out for my commutes and seniority levels. Typically lost a day on one end or the other. When it did work out the 20 hour days of getting up at 4am to drive to the airport commute then eventually finish that days afternoon trip flying until midnight was always a beating in itself. Vice versa for the last day commute home. Had to spend half a day off recovering due to lack of sleep because of commute adding at minimum 5-8 hours to my work days. More on severe weather days.

Living in base for me has been like a whole different job. More like a part time job actually with infinitely more flexibility in bidding, scheduling, making more money or less as you please, sitting home on reserve and playing golf or fishing instead of sitting in a crashpad with 40 other dudes in NYC snoring and leaving a mess of the place.

Personally as a commuter I wanted to quit nearly every week and hated the job. As a local, this job is so much easier and less stressful, it's hard to even explain to people on the outside looking in. Whenever trash trips puke out in the monthly bid results, I can drive to work either way. When my trip finishes delayed at midnight, I drive home instead of sleep in a chair at the airport like a hobo until next day flights start departing. Reserve at home is time off, not omg can I make it to work in another state or am I going to be living like a poor college kid in bunk beds at some rat hole crashpad for the week.

"Maybe" commuting to some cushy long haul schedule is a great gig. Those choice schedules are VERY senior and take forever to attain in the right seat. They take an entire career to ever even get to near those in the left seat, if you ever get there, assuming you are young enough.

I just can't in good conscience recommend a permanent commute to anyone ever when that topic comes up. I would recommend a job as a manager at Home Depot before that. Lol. Saying that, this talk is all just a guess anyway because none of us line rats know what PHX does long term. Maybe it explodes and is an ultra junior mega hub, not likely... but you really never know what this airline management will do from quarter to quarter. I actually like PHX, just wouldn't personally at this time even consider the move there and take on a huge risk of it actually staying around and being stable for the long haul. I just read the same news, rumors, quarterly reports, listen to what the company says VS what they actually DO over the years and then speculate just like everyone else here though. So don't take my word for it!! :)

Sliceback
07-17-2018, 03:49 PM
Not commuting is the best. No doubt about it.

But then you get to hold a G4 seat. Things change. Pay and quality of the trips. Guys suddenly commute for the G4 long haul trips if their base doesn't have G4 flying.

The OP is talking about hypothetically having to commute from PHX to LAX. Guys doing that commute say it's easy. Major factors are the number of flights and the number of days with good weather.



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