Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




cwells063
12-17-2019, 04:13 PM
Is There really a difference outside of pay

I am not a pilot. Just lookin at possible careers.


wrxpilot
12-17-2019, 05:43 PM
Is There really a difference outside of pay

I am not a pilot. Just lookin at possible careers.

Yes. Much more time off, much better work rules, much better benefits, and much more career stability.

galaxy flyer
12-17-2019, 06:21 PM
Then again, theyíre exclusive and not comparable. No one has a choice of eitheróstart at regional, try for major later.


rickair7777
12-18-2019, 07:07 AM
Is There really a difference outside of pay

I am not a pilot. Just lookin at possible careers.

As GF said, most folks have to start at regionals. So the question is do you stay or move on when/if you get the opportunity?

All regionals are about the same (there are some that would be better than others if you stay long-term).

Narrowbody lifestyle and pay at most of the majors is similar (minus a couple small outliers).

The larger majors (and FDX/UPS) also have widebodies, which offer a different lifestyle and even more pay.

Staying at a regional would cost you significant QOL (mainly days off, as much as ten days off per month). It would cost you, long term, several hundred thousand dollars per year, so ultimately millions in lost compensation.

Some folks stay at regionals because of timing, they get hired and get good seniority in a base they really like and settle down with a family. They may chose to forgo the big money and settle for a perfectly adequate living at the regional and an easy lifestyle.

Common theme is folks live in a town they like and have the seniority to consistently hold standup schedules. They may work 16 or more days per month, but they have the day completely free and may even have a 9-5 job. Around 8-10pm they head to the airport and fly one leg, typically 1-3 hours. They go to a hotel for a few hours, maybe get 4-6 hours in bed, and then fly the early am flight back to the hub, arriving around 6-8 am. They go home and have breakfast with the family. So that's almost a normal life except you sleep in a hotel about half the time, and earn an extra $150K-ish. Small wonder those guys tend to stick around. But you need some luck and timing (or decades of seniority) to get schedules like that.

But regionals (and their bases) come and go, so almost everybody who chooses to stay has a backup plan, even if it's driving a truck. On average, majors will provide more stability in the long run (although they certainly have their share of turbulence too).

FDNYOldGuy
12-27-2019, 07:11 PM
Common theme is folks live in a town they like and have the seniority to consistently hold standup schedules. They may work 16 or more days per month, but they have the day completely free and may even have a 9-5 job. Around 8-10pm they head to the airport and fly one leg, typically 1-3 hours. They go to a hotel for a few hours, maybe get 4-6 hours in bed, and then fly the early am flight back to the hub, arriving around 6-8 am. They go home and have breakfast with the family. So that's almost a normal life except you sleep in a hotel about half the time, and earn an extra $150K-ish. Small wonder those guys tend to stick around. But you need some luck and timing (or decades of seniority) to get schedules like that.

Is there anywhere I might be able to read up more about experiences/schedules like this? Iíve poked around here a bit and searched ďreserveĒ and sifted through the results, but thatís a lot of hits that havenít always been pertinent. Iíd love to be able to focus my research a bit more.

Long story short, Iím looking for a way to potentially work two jobs; staying with the FD with its flexible schedule and somehow get seniority started at an airline to be able to shift over to if/when I decide to punch out of the FD. From what Iíve read on reserve, this seems pretty feasible; especially since Iím living in NYC. That puts 3 major airports in easy reach and, from what I gather, is pretty junior.

Iím open to all options and, at this point, this is all a few years down the road to even start while I build hours for (at least) my R-ATP. But, I figure it canít hurt to research and get an idea of what I can be doing to better position myself as I work toward that point.

Thank you!

rickair7777
12-28-2019, 05:59 AM
Is there anywhere I might be able to read up more about experiences/schedules like this? I’ve poked around here a bit and searched “reserve” and sifted through the results, but that’s a lot of hits that haven’t always been pertinent. I’d love to be able to focus my research a bit more.

There's no definitive documentation, although you can gain some insight from reading various pilot forums (US-specific forums, foreign airlines are often quite different).

Find the regionals which have bases in NY, and check out their forums here on APC. Ask questions


Long story short, I’m looking for a way to potentially work two jobs; staying with the FD with its flexible schedule and somehow get seniority started at an airline to be able to shift over to if/when I decide to punch out of the FD. From what I’ve read on reserve, this seems pretty feasible; especially since I’m living in NYC. That puts 3 major airports in easy reach and, from what I gather, is pretty junior.

That's going to be tough but might be barely achievable if you're senior enough (or however that works) at the FD to have essentially total control of your schedule and be able to work less there than ten days/month for a good long while.

You'll also need vacation/LOA during airline training... zero flexibility there and it will be all consuming. People have been known to flunk out because they go home to their families on weekends instead of hitting the books.

Probably the best way to do something like that would be to take an extended LOA from the FD if that's possible. Get settled in with some seniority at the airline, see how it is, and then decide whether to stick with one, the other, or both.

Also consider that you won't be able to do a busy 24-hour FD shift and then immediately go fly. Your cognitive performance will be too impaired. I know FD guys live that way, and I did too in the ground-pounder military but it doesn't work for pilots. Even mil pilots get mandatory rest, only exception is for major combat ops and then they get amphetamines instead (that's not an option for civilian pilots).

FDNYOldGuy
12-28-2019, 07:28 PM
There's no definitive documentation, although you can gain some insight from reading various pilot forums (US-specific forums, foreign airlines are often quite different).

Find the regionals which have bases in NY, and check out their forums here on APC. Ask questions

As always, thank you for the excellent insight. I figured some info would certainly lie within this forum, but I wasnít sure how to focus my search.

That's going to be tough but might be barely achievable if you're senior enough (or however that works) at the FD to have essentially total control of your schedule and be able to work less there than ten days/month for a good long while.

You'll also need vacation/LOA during airline training... zero flexibility there and it will be all consuming. People have been known to flunk out because they go home to their families on weekends instead of hitting the books.

Probably the best way to do something like that would be to take an extended LOA from the FD if that's possible. Get settled in with some seniority at the airline, see how it is, and then decide whether to stick with one, the other, or both.

Also consider that you won't be able to do a busy 24-hour FD shift and then immediately go fly. Your cognitive performance will be too impaired. I know FD guys live that way, and I did too in the ground-pounder military but it doesn't work for pilots. Even mil pilots get mandatory rest, only exception is for major combat ops and then they get amphetamines instead (that's not an option for civilian pilots).

I was thinking it might be possible taking a leave of absence (up to a year is totally manageable) and/or utilize the vacation/leave allowed after AD orders to get through training and put some time in, but I know it certainly isnít going to be easy (or have my family like me much) trying to juggle three (FD, Reserves, and airline) jobs. The schedule can be fairly flexible, but it would require quite a bit of dancing around that would get old quickly.

I love the FD and really have no inclination to leave anytime soon, but itís really hard to pass up starting the ball rolling and potentially making it to that Captain at a major money down the road and the comfort that can provide my family. So, definitely trying to see what my options may be.

Anyway, thank you again for the excellent input, as always. Off to hit that search button hard.