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View Full Version : CAL vs. CPS/NWA dilemma


LifeNtheFstLne
08-29-2007, 05:51 PM
Let me start this by saying I have very little interest in getting slammed for asking my questions by people with nearly no airline experience. I'm posting this in the 'Major' forum for that reason. I respect a lot of the caliber of my peers on here, so I'm merely asking for opinions. In no way am I in a position to be critical of any one legacy over another. I would just like some opinions that can be backed up with a few facts to help me sort my thoughts out.

I just got the phone call from CAL to interview anytime in Sept. I had to schedule in Oct. since I'm in YUL doing sims for Compass. (whoops). What do you guys think? Stick it out at CPS and hope to flow to NWA in 30 months or take a job at CAL in Oct. if one is offered to me? Could be a VERY tough call, as I'd be giving up a CA position with great seniority and some needed PIC turbine (I was just shy of 1000). I really don't want to be hopping companies so quickly. Don't slam me for going to CPS, it was a great opportunity but the appeal of NWA is waning as I talk to their current pilots who consistently preach doom and gloom and now that NWA is hiring off the street who cares about a flow through? I have a feeling CAL will be around for a while, but am wary of going somewhere that just had a major hiring boom the last couple years. I have little desire to sit as a RSV F/O forever in EWR. But who does? Anyway, let's hear it! Any info. would be greatly appreciated. I'll start digging in the threads for gouge.

And since it will be asked, my experience is as follows: E-175, G-1159, LR-60 types. 4800TT, 4000Turbine, 900PIC turbine, 121 (ACA RJ F.O.), 135 time, 4-year 'degree' from evil ERAU and I just turned 27.


rickair7777
08-29-2007, 06:00 PM
At your age you have the time to wait out some discomfort (say RSV in EWR). CAL and NWA are both career destinations...let's assume that the NWA pilots will fix some of their issues in the long-term.

Where would you rather spend your career? CAL or NWA? Go there...

If the answer is FDX, better stay at CPS and get the PIC. If cargo doesn't work out, you can still flow through to NWA.

cessnapilot
08-29-2007, 06:06 PM
At your age you have the time to wait out some discomfort (say RSV in EWR). CAL and NWA are both career destinations...let's assume that the NWA pilots will fix some of their issues in the long-term.

Where would you rather spend your career? CAL or NWA? Go there...

If the answer is FDX, better stay at CPS and get the PIC. If cargo doesn't work out, you can still flow through to NWA.

I agree with everything he said...


HalinTexas
08-29-2007, 06:06 PM
Easy. CAL.

I've heard nothing good about the morale at NWA. CAL has it's issues, but who doesn't, yet morale is better there. NWA is still under a concessionary contract. I can tell you, that's something to think about. Working conditions go to hell in those circumstances. I don't know the terms of Compass and NWA agreement, but those can always changes, just as the flowthrough can. If you take the Compass upgrade, then you're stuck. It's harder to leave.

Oh, if you're not married, don't!

Rook
08-29-2007, 06:17 PM
Life, did you have some internal recs to get your interview at CAL, or did you get called due to airlineapps? Thanks and good luck to you.

Oldfreightdawg
08-29-2007, 06:48 PM
Let me start this by saying I have very little interest in getting slammed for asking my questions by people with nearly no airline experience. I'm posting this in the 'Major' forum for that reason. I respect a lot of the caliber of my peers on here, so I'm merely asking for opinions. In no way am I in a position to be critical of any one legacy over another. I would just like some opinions that can be backed up with a few facts to help me sort my thoughts out.

I just got the phone call from CAL to interview anytime in Sept. I had to schedule in Oct. since I'm in YUL doing sims for Compass. (whoops). What do you guys think? Stick it out at CPS and hope to flow to NWA in 30 months or take a job at CAL in Oct. if one is offered to me? Could be a VERY tough call, as I'd be giving up a CA position with great seniority and some needed PIC turbine (I was just shy of 1000). I really don't want to be hopping companies so quickly. Don't slam me for going to CPS, it was a great opportunity but the appeal of NWA is waning as I talk to their current pilots who consistently preach doom and gloom and now that NWA is hiring off the street who cares about a flow through? I have a feeling CAL will be around for a while, but am wary of going somewhere that just had a major hiring boom the last couple years. I have little desire to sit as a RSV F/O forever in EWR. But who does? Anyway, let's hear it! Any info. would be greatly appreciated. I'll start digging in the threads for gouge.

And since it will be asked, my experience is as follows: E-175, G-1159, LR-60 types. 4800TT, 4000Turbine, 900PIC turbine, 121 (ACA RJ F.O.), 135 time, 4-year 'degree' from evil ERAU and I just turned 27.

When I started out in aviation life, I had the similar credentials, except I was younger. "Freight dogs" were just that, FDX was still flying Falcon 50's and the pilots were paying for fuel with their personal credit cards. UPS used a conglomeration of "non-scheds" like Ryan Air to haul their air freight, and their captains work for 40K/year (about 1/3 of pax carrier legacy), with no benefits or retirement. I was very happy to be hired at AAL in 1986 at age 24.

Today, those same "freight dog" captains out earn me by 70K/year and have very bright futures. I can make the same comparison with SWA. I knew guys in 1986 that quit AAL to work for Piedmont (bought by US Air) that are now on furlough and working for the new "Republic" as captains for 60K/year (or less). I've flown with FO's at AAL with 10 years seniority that can't go to FDX or UPS or SWA because they lack PIC.

I guess the moral of the story is: short term career decisions are tough to make. You have to look at the long term, get the PIC, then move on.

Good Luck.

Rosie
08-30-2007, 05:06 AM
Life,

I'm pretty sure the flow up agreement from CPS to NWA has some wording in it that only allows for the flow up depending on the staffing at CPS. In other words if staffing at CPS is tight then NWA will not pull from CPS (this may have only pertained to furloughed guys only not sure). For furloughed NWA guys working at CPS there was the 30 month deal. I'm just not real confident in flow thru agreements.

I would be hard pressed NOT to leave Compass (with the hope of someday moving to NWA) if offered a position at CAL. NWA has some really bad morale problems. I read on the NWA ALPA web-board that last year some 150 plus pilots under the age of 55 have left for other things....could be good for seniority when you think about but there are still many angry people there.

CAL is looking at hiring about 400 to 500 more dudes between now and the summer of 08 and you want to be in the front of that wave (that's a good hunk of seniority). The other option...hang at CPS and hope in 30 months with a bunch of folks hired at NWA before you that you may flow thru to NWA...and possibly fly a 190/195 on the mainline (NWA is looking at the 190/195 as the DC-9 replacement).

My choice...I left NWA.

Good luck.

Rosie

HoursHore
08-30-2007, 05:50 AM
1000 pic will open up a lot of doors. CAL may close, but DAL, FDX, and UPS, SWA become possibilties.

Ottopilot
08-30-2007, 06:12 AM
CAL still has a lot of retirements. There would be plenty of movement until age 65 passes or some major event that affects all airlines. I like it at CAL, but I was not in your position. I'd go with the first offer. If CAL happens first, take it. If NWA does, take that. You're lucky to have options. Most don't. You're young, so it doesn't matter too much. Once you're hired, who cares about PIC time. You can sit wide body FO for 20 years if you wanted or upgrade in a few years. Good luck.

GravellyPointer
08-30-2007, 06:20 AM
When I started out in aviation life, I had the similar credentials, except I was younger. "Freight dogs" were just that, FDX was still flying Falcon 50's and the pilots were paying for fuel with their personal credit cards. UPS used a conglomeration of "non-scheds" like Ryan Air to haul their air freight, and their captains work for 40K/year (about 1/3 of pax carrier legacy), with no benefits or retirement. I was very happy to be hired at AAL in 1986 at age 24.

Today, those same "freight dog" captains out earn me by 70K/year and have very bright futures. I can make the same comparison with SWA. I knew guys in 1986 that quit AAL to work for Piedmont (bought by US Air) that are now on furlough and working for the new "Republic" as captains for 60K/year (or less). I've flown with FO's at AAL with 10 years seniority that can't go to FDX or UPS or SWA because they lack PIC.


Wow.

Thanks for the real life cookie crumbles stories.

BTW Life, what about the Compass 1 yr. training bond you signed for? Something for your honor and integrity to consider.

Slice
08-30-2007, 06:33 AM
Wow.

Thanks for the real life cookie crumbles stories.

BTW Life, what about the Compass 1 yr. training bond you signed for? Something for your honor and integrity to consider.

That's a two way street...that's closed these days. Take care of yourself first. It's business, just like when furlough time rolls around. You quickly become a number on a balance sheet.

cessnapilot
08-30-2007, 06:34 AM
Easy. CAL.

I've heard nothing good about the morale at NWA. CAL has it's issues, but who doesn't, yet morale is better there. NWA is still under a concessionary contract. I can tell you, that's something to think about. Working conditions go to hell in those circumstances. I don't know the terms of Compass and NWA agreement, but those can always changes, just as the flowthrough can. If you take the Compass upgrade, then you're stuck. It's harder to leave.

Oh, if you're not married, don't!

I remember going on CO when the morale was terrible. I was happy to be at TWA... then, I was happy to be at NWA.... Now, I'm happy to be at UPS... I'm not a huge fan of CO, but I think CO has its issues also. I've heard that trips aren't great for commuting. After many years with many airlines, I would say it is VERY important to answer the question of "where do you want to live?" more importantly, for those who are married, where does your significant other want to live? If things go backwards, at least if you live in base, reserve isn't the end of the world.

Best of luck!
CP

7576FO
08-30-2007, 06:45 AM
I'm at AA as an FO. My last girlfriend was a flight attendant out of EWR for Continental. She loved it. If i was in someone else's shoes and not tied to where i am. I'd get on with CAL live somewhere near EWR and wait for a wide-boy FO position. CAL flies to some incredible destinations.

On RSV for AA I only get to occasionally fly Paris or Madrid. Those are very senior trips out of MIA. They are sort of a red-eye going over, but daytime back. So you feel pretty good when you get home.

I think CAL would be great. But ask yourself now where you want to live. Commuting is so hard. My airline is pushing for more productivity. I don't commute, and I live in Base in Miami (i'd rather live elsewhere) but it's ok here.

If you plan on going with CAL or NWA it's going to be a long hard career if you're gonna commute. I hear it from everyone I work with (about commuting).

7576FO
08-30-2007, 06:48 AM
Meant to write "Wide Body" not wide boy...BTW we call the extra FO Food Boy.
And if it's double crew'd or 3rd FO FC=Film Critic

pullup
08-30-2007, 07:01 AM
Having spent 11 years at NWA I wouldn't trust that flow up or Alpa as far as I could throw a 747. Go to the interview and if you get the nod I would be seriously inclined to bail for CAL. Just my .02

frozenboxhauler
08-30-2007, 07:17 AM
Let me start this by saying I have very little interest in getting slammed for asking my questions by people with nearly no airline experience. I'm posting this in the 'Major' forum for that reason. I respect a lot of the caliber of my peers on here, so I'm merely asking for opinions. In no way am I in a position to be critical of any one legacy over another. I would just like some opinions that can be backed up with a few facts to help me sort my thoughts out.

I just got the phone call from CAL to interview anytime in Sept. I had to schedule in Oct. since I'm in YUL doing sims for Compass. (whoops). What do you guys think? Stick it out at CPS and hope to flow to NWA in 30 months or take a job at CAL in Oct. if one is offered to me? Could be a VERY tough call, as I'd be giving up a CA position with great seniority and some needed PIC turbine (I was just shy of 1000). I really don't want to be hopping companies so quickly. Don't slam me for going to CPS, it was a great opportunity but the appeal of NWA is waning as I talk to their current pilots who consistently preach doom and gloom and now that NWA is hiring off the street who cares about a flow through? I have a feeling CAL will be around for a while, but am wary of going somewhere that just had a major hiring boom the last couple years. I have little desire to sit as a RSV F/O forever in EWR. But who does? Anyway, let's hear it! Any info. would be greatly appreciated. I'll start digging in the threads for gouge.

And since it will be asked, my experience is as follows: E-175, G-1159, LR-60 types. 4800TT, 4000Turbine, 900PIC turbine, 121 (ACA RJ F.O.), 135 time, 4-year 'degree' from evil ERAU and I just turned 27.

Lifein, Whatever choice you make is the "correct" one. I would do both. Stay employed with CPS and go talk to CAL. The worst thing that could happen is that you have two offers of employment. Decide at that time.
Good luck to you.
fbh

Eric Stratton
08-30-2007, 08:24 AM
Having spent 11 years at NWA I wouldn't trust that flow up or Alpa as far as I could throw a 747. Go to the interview and if you get the nod I would be seriously inclined to bail for CAL. Just my .02

I'm assuming you don't live in one of NWA's bases to leave after 11 years...

Flow throughs are dangerous just ask all the expressjet guys that had to interview to get hired or the ones that were just told to **** off. the bad thing is that the flow through may work out, but there are no guarantee's

life if you went to compass so that you don't have to commute and decide to go to CAL you'll have 38 years worth of commuting. unless you move to base that's a huge amount of time away from home.

BoxFlyer
08-30-2007, 10:48 AM
If you want to fly pax the rest of your life, I'd go to CAL asap. Get that number and start moving up the list. Don't bet on a flow-up to NWA in three years, a lot can change in that time (downturn in the econ., merger, terrists, etc). If you want to get into boxes, build pic time and network. You're young, so sort out your dream job and go for it.

Tigerpilot1995
08-30-2007, 11:07 AM
I can not speak much for your situation. Here is what I see. My friends at CAL are VERY unhappy with how things are there. They are mainly upset with the schedule/PBS nightmare. CAL even has ****sed off the scabs with this one. Pay and bennies could be better. They are going to work VERY hard to change those things in their next contract, which is almost amendable. Dems in the White House will helps this out of course.

In my class at UPS there was a guy who left NWA after 9 years. In the last UPS class there were 4 out of 14 guys from NWA. That was pretty eye opening to me. The guy in my class couldn't have spoke less about an organization.

18 years ago very few wanted to work at UPS. It was a very looked down upon job. Now look at it. The point is you just never know.

Best wishes to you in your decision. They are never easy and never as clear as you hope or think they are.

Blue Skies

atpcliff
08-31-2007, 06:18 PM
Hi!

Can you go to the interview, get hired at CAL, and then delay your class date long enough to get the 1000 PIC at Compass? That would be a good choice.

cliff
YIP

aircraftdriver
08-31-2007, 08:28 PM
To answer your question:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MaKHxsGZ-A


And a Question for you:
What is going to be the break down of aircraft between MSP, DTW, and MEM? And, how many pilots on the list as of now will take MSP in your opinion?

Thanks!

LifeNtheFstLne
09-01-2007, 05:38 AM
Life, did you have some internal recs to get your interview at CAL, or did you get called due to airlineapps? Thanks and good luck to you.

I had three internal recs, and there is no other option besides airlineapps that I'm aware of. I also attended AirInc. in ATL where I was told 'I don't know why we haven't called you yet, but we will by the end of summer.' I guess he held true to his word. I was shocked.

LifeNtheFstLne
09-01-2007, 05:40 AM
I'm assuming you don't live in one of NWA's bases to leave after 11 years...

Flow throughs are dangerous just ask all the expressjet guys that had to interview to get hired or the ones that were just told to **** off. the bad thing is that the flow through may work out, but there are no guarantee's

life if you went to compass so that you don't have to commute and decide to go to CAL you'll have 38 years worth of commuting. unless you move to base that's a huge amount of time away from home.

I place little value on the flowthrough, so you have a valid point. It's hard to wade through all the M&A rumors that consistently fly around property too. I actually live in IAD, but grew up near SEA, so either way commuting is in store for me with either one of those carriers. SEA is a VERY senior NWA base. Thanks for your input.

LifeNtheFstLne
09-01-2007, 05:41 AM
That's a two way street...that's closed these days. Take care of yourself first. It's business, just like when furlough time rolls around. You quickly become a number on a balance sheet.

You both are correct. And I actually have recently paid off a training bond on a Gulfstreeam type rating, only to avoid burning a corporate bridge. That being said, no amount of money would keep me from pursuing a better opportunity. I have been furloughed before, and certainly felt disposable.

LifeNtheFstLne
09-01-2007, 05:44 AM
Hi!

Can you go to the interview, get hired at CAL, and then delay your class date long enough to get the 1000 PIC at Compass? That would be a good choice.

cliff
YIP

I'm going to attempt that. However, then one must consider the value of a couple hundred extra hours over 100? numbers on the list. There just may be no right answer. Let's hope I get the job offer first!

LifeNtheFstLne
09-01-2007, 05:47 AM
To answer your question:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MaKHxsGZ-A


And a Question for you:
What is going to be the break down of aircraft between MSP, DTW, and MEM? And, how many pilots on the list as of now will take MSP in your opinion?

Thanks!

Here's what I've been told, but I'm sure you know by now everything comes with a disclaimer and is subject to change. 36 Firm orders. Plans are for the first 20 a/c to be in MSP followed by 8 a/c ea. in DTW and MEM. I've been told the additional bases won't be opened until sometime later next year, as deliveries roll in. They're actually slightly behind schedule. Because so many of the pilots on the seniority list actually live in MSP, I would imagine it would stay senior. Despite being senior, I'll bid DTW just for the shorter commute from IAD. If you have any other questions let me know. I've been VERY impressed with the caliber of the staff at CPS so far, and they've even avoided hiring too many tools to drive the planes.