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View Full Version : CAL vs SWA


Bags
09-26-2007, 12:13 PM
I am trying to list pros and cons of each company to help me make a decision, i.e. where they are now and where they seem to be heading in the near and long-term future. The first, and to me most obvious, difference is in pay.... When you look at quicker upgrade times and the B plan offered by CAL, along with the prospective new contract, the pay is less of an issue.... they seem closer to even than not.

The point of starting this thread was to ask for other input as to pros and cons of each company. Any thoughts?


luv757
09-26-2007, 12:26 PM
Well in the event that you are fortunate enough to get hired by one of them let alone both, here are the things to consider:

CAL offers more variety of flying with domestic and international and different airframes to fly.

SWA offers more variety in terms of domiciles.

CAL you may be able to upgrade faster. I say may because what is true now (2-3 years) is not always going to be true. That said, even if the upgrade does slow down here at CAL i think it will still be a little faster than at SWA.

You touched on retirement but I don't know enough (read anything) about SWA so that is a subject left to someone else.

As far as scheduling each are going to be a little different as well. I think on the 737 as a junior lineholder you may get more days off per month at SWA based off what I have seen posted here in the past. However at CAL the senior guys can pull 16-18 days off a month.

Reserve sucks no matter where you are. CAL you will be off reserve in 1-3 mos. Not sure what the going rate is at SWA.

Whichever way you end up going the job is going to be what YOU make of it. Anywhere you go there are going to be the people that love it and the people that ***** about it. I have been fortunate to work with some great folks at CAL and I know a couple guys in my squadron who are in the pool at SWA and are great guys too.

Contracts, pay rates and work rules change over time. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The right choice, if you have a choice, is the one that makes the most sense to you.

328dude
09-26-2007, 03:29 PM
Well in the event that you are fortunate enough to get hired by one of them let alone both, here are the things to consider:

CAL offers more variety of flying with domestic and international and different airframes to fly. Can't argue with that.

SWA offers more variety in terms of domiciles. Currently MDW, DAL, HOU, LAS, OAK, MCO and BWI.
CAL you may be able to upgrade faster. True, for now, but nobody knows the impact of the age 65 rule. I say may because what is true now (2-3 years) is not always going to be true. That said, even if the upgrade does slow down here at CAL i think it will still be a little faster than at SWA.

You touched on retirement but I don't know enough (read anything) about SWA so that is a subject left to someone else. 401K match at 7.3%. Profit sharing that paid 8% of your yearly gross last year. Some years are better than others. Stock options, but aren't worth much right now since nothing's moving.
As far as scheduling each are going to be a little different as well. I think on the 737 as a junior lineholder you may get more days off per month at SWA based off what I have seen posted here in the past. However at CAL the senior guys can pull 16-18 days off a month. I'm a junior line holder in HOU and average 17 days off (not including the overnights in my home city which adds another 4-5 nights at home. Changing your schedule around is easy to better accomodate your monthly life. I've seen guys with 20+off by trading their stuff. Just depends.
Reserve sucks no matter where you are. CAL you will be off reserve in 1-3 mos. Not sure what the going rate is at SWA. Reserve schedules are split either AM or PM. Most reserve schedules are 3 on 4 off. Min days off on reserve is 15. I sat reserve for 2 months in HOU.
Whichever way you end up going the job is going to be what YOU make of it. Anywhere you go there are going to be the people that love it and the people that ***** about it. I have been fortunate to work with some great folks at CAL and I know a couple guys in my squadron who are in the pool at SWA and are great guys too.

Contracts, pay rates and work rules change over time. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The right choice, if you have a choice, is the one that makes the most sense to you. Current first year pay rates are $54 per hour converted from our trip system. Health and travel start on day one. Health, dental and vision depending on plan cost's me and my family $47 per month.

Good luck with your decision. Both great companys.


Myboyblue
09-26-2007, 04:09 PM
They are so even that it is nothing more than personal choice.

The diff in pay comes with 2nd yr pay. I know S.west pilots make more money in the first year but if you end up prorating the 10 grand for the type then it gets much more in line.

2nd yr pay S.west blows away CAL no question. You can however make up some of the diff by bidding bigger equipment at CAL that S.west doesn't have if money is your concern.

Upgrade will be no doubt be quicker at CAL so it may make up the diff a few years down the line. The gap in pay between S.west and CAL IMO is for now an anomaly, the ground CAL pilots have to make up in this contract is HUGE. I for one don't even know if S.west pilots who are in negotiations are even looking at a pay raises above and beyond inflationary rates.

CAL you will do the heavy, long haul, international flying. Of course some people don't care about this, once again personal choice.


I think most people who have been in this industry would tell you that having to commute to one but not the other is where the answer lies.

1Seat 1Engine
09-26-2007, 04:29 PM
Several places offer the type rating for less than $6K (I got mine for $4995). Compared to CAL, you'll make that back in the first 6 months.

CALPilotToo
09-26-2007, 05:37 PM
I would choose FedEx, UPS, SWA, and CAL in that order.

With that said, I would recommend SWA. Better long term as far as staying out of BK.