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.




Cessnadriver
12-03-2007, 04:43 PM
Iím still in the process of figuring out where I ultimately want to end up in my career. My ultimate goal is to move out west. DEN would be first on my list, but SLC would work fine for me as well. Basically, I could accomplish this in one of two ways. Get on with United or Frontier in the next 4 or so years or attempt to get a job with SkyWest in the next few months. I posted a similar question about this a month or so and I think my decision ultimately comes down to this.

Do the majors really offer that much more than a good regional like SkyWest in this day and age. I realize that carriers like United and Frontier pay much more, but strictly from a quality of life perspective what would be the differences between the two. Iím looking for specific differences such as number of days off work rules, etc. If the majors are only marginally better these days, would this difference be enough to justify loosing youíre seniority.

Last time I posted about this, the general consensus was that I should stick with Mesaba, get my upgrade and move on. I agree and if I do plan to move on to a larger airline, then I will stick it out and get my PIC (Thanks to those who helped me make this decision). On the other hand, if I decide I want to make a career at SkyWest, then giving up my few months of seniority wouldnít be that bad.


Slice
12-03-2007, 04:51 PM
As good as SKW may or may not be to work for, as a codeshare they are not in full control of their company's destiny. They can be booted by UAL, DAL, etc anytime in the future. Personally, I'd take my chances with a major because the earning and QOL potential to me make it worth it. Do you really want to fly an RJ for the next 20-25 years?

cbire880
12-03-2007, 04:52 PM
Majors sell their own tickets. Regionals are effectively subcontractors. The majors therefore control their own destinies. This generally leads to better pay and work rules. A subcontractor will never have better pay and work rules than the prime, you can't compete on price with the guy who is hiring you b/c you are less expensive than his own operation (unless you provide something they need that they don't have, doesn't apply to airlines in the regional jet realm right now). As legacy carriers shift to international focus and subcontracting domestic capacity to "regionals", the gap between a regional pilot and a domestic mainline pilot will narrow. Unfortunately, it'll probably work opposite the way we'd prefer. Mainline domestic pay will come down as they play their labor forces against the threat of domestic outsourcing.

Of course this all changes if the mainlines decide to take back the "regional" capacity.


ChinsFive
12-03-2007, 04:59 PM
Unfortunately, it'll probably work opposite the way we'd prefer. Mainline domestic pay will come down as they play their labor forces against the threat of domestic outsourcing.

I would say that pilot groups of American, Alaska, and Continental - all of whom will sign a new CBA in the next 2 years (hopefully) will all see their narrow body payscales increase.

I assume SWA (who are also in section 6 negotiations) will see an increase in pay but I'm not deadset on it like the carriers above.

UAL and NWA have a few years left on their existing deals.

I know Spirt is going to mediation but don't know how that'll go.

Take if for what it's worth I don't think we will see major narrow body domestic guys take a paycut anytime soon.

767pilot
12-03-2007, 06:11 PM
Even if the money looks to be sort of close between the good regionals and the majors, take a look under the surface at things like benefits and retirement. The "good" regionals seem to have a 10-15 year life span and then "POOF". Look at the past leaders. Prinair, Ransome, Henson, I bet many of you have never even heard of some of them. On a shorter horizon you are seeing the downfall of Comair, AMR Eagle, Air Wisconsin, and ASA. Skywest looks good now but they'll have their day. Over a career you are much better off at the major even if the money looks to be close at the moment.

DAL4EVER
12-03-2007, 06:28 PM
You have to decide what you want. Do you want top end equipment at retirement to possibly be a 90 seater or do you want to eventually go international. I have flown at both a regional and a major and there is NO comparison. QOL even junior is light years ahead of a major.

The larger question is what the future is for the regionals. Oil above $50/barrel makes it uneconomical to operate the 50 seat RJs. Oil above $90 or $100/barrel makes it highly probable that many 50 seaters will get parked. Furloughs will most likely occur and those that aren't will most likely face paycuts in order to maintain the viability of their operations. The majors have restructured and are better equipped to ride out the economic impact of high oil, etc. Even so, mergers are probable. The regionals may also face a new round of M & A activity as larger economies of scale will be necessary to maintain competitiveness.

I would rather be at a major with a large international operation as larger aircraft flying high yield passengers will better be able to ride out the high cost environment.

Bucking Bar
12-03-2007, 06:28 PM
All these pilots speak the truth.

EagleDriver
12-03-2007, 06:29 PM
I'd say prepare yourself for the majors. If oil stays anywhere near $80-100/barrel the regionals will quickly become cost-prohibitive for operations. At todays prices for oil (even 50% of todays prices) a 50 seat jet is just not economically feasible.

The people at Eagle will soon discover what the folks at Xjet already understand - the 50 seat jets are on their way out. The regionals will shrink drastically unless they can acquire larger jets around the majors scope clauses.

saab2000
12-03-2007, 06:31 PM
Five years ago AWAC was THE regional to be at. Pay was industry leading by a long way. QOL was great. Practically a major and if you were from DEN or ATW or ORD there was no huge need to go to a major.

Fast forward to today....


'nuf said.

What goes up, comes down. Same can happen to SKW and RAH. I don't wish it upon anyone and those are the companies I would go to if I could start over (in the US) four years ago, but your best long-term bet is probably at a major.

But you really do have to look where you want to be and what you want to do.

767pilot
12-03-2007, 07:16 PM
I have flown at both a regional and a major and there is NO comparison. QOL even junior is light years ahead of a major.

Did you mean to say "at a major" versus "of a major"?
A lot of us feel like we are treated like drek at our company's. When we feel that way we should try and remember what it was like to really be treated like drek at a regional.

Deez340
12-03-2007, 07:25 PM
I have flown for two top tier regionals and one major and i can say with full confidence that my worst day at Delta was leaps and bounds better than my best day at either regional. Even post 9/11 there is just no comparison.

jsled
12-03-2007, 07:52 PM
Iím still in the process of figuring out where I ultimately want to end up in my career. My ultimate goal is to move out west. DEN would be first on my list, but SLC would work fine for me as well. Basically, I could accomplish this in one of two ways. Get on with United or Frontier in the next 4 or so years or attempt to get a job with SkyWest in the next few months. I posted a similar question about this a month or so and I think my decision ultimately comes down to this.

Do the majors really offer that much more than a good regional like SkyWest in this day and age. I realize that carriers like United and Frontier pay much more, but strictly from a quality of life perspective what would be the differences between the two. Iím looking for specific differences such as number of days off work rules, etc. If the majors are only marginally better these days, would this difference be enough to justify loosing youíre seniority.

Last time I posted about this, the general consensus was that I should stick with Mesaba, get my upgrade and move on. I agree and if I do plan to move on to a larger airline, then I will stick it out and get my PIC (Thanks to those who helped me make this decision). On the other hand, if I decide I want to make a career at SkyWest, then giving up my few months of seniority wouldnít be that bad.


Do you want a 30 hour layover playing golf in Kauai or an 11 hour layover in Des Moines?:D

Cessnadriver
12-04-2007, 05:52 AM
I didn't realize that there was still that big a differance between the two. Thanks for the input, looks like I'll stick it out with my current airline and get my PIC ASAP.

JoeyMeatballs
12-04-2007, 05:58 AM
I didn't realize that there was still that big a differance between the two. Thanks for the input, looks like I'll stick it out with my current airline and get my PIC ASAP.

yeah, just look at Comair and Expressjet, two of the "best regionals" out there and look at whats happening to them/us..............

gooneybird_71
12-04-2007, 07:42 AM
yeah, just look at Comair and Expressjet, two of the "best regionals" out there and look at whats happening to them/us..............
I 2nd that look at what has happened to comair in the last couple of years we use to be on top and now heck were just trying to compete..
"HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM?:eek:

gooneybird_71
12-04-2007, 07:44 AM
SAAB CONGRATS on the 3000 post.. u must get alot of time off...lol

iflyjets4food
12-04-2007, 10:10 AM
yeah, just look at Comair and Expressjet, two of the "best regionals" out there and look at whats happening to them/us..............

Are things bad at Expressjet?

dojetdriver
12-04-2007, 02:52 PM
Are things bad at Expressjet?


I would hardly say things are "bad" at ExpressJet. The thing is, the future isn't secure per say as it was a few years ago when we provided exclusive feed for CAL at a guaranteed profit. Granted, 75% of our fleet is STILL in the CAL system generating that guaranteed profit.

A couple things, the stock price is low. Although it has little to do with the actual health of a company, it is generally regarded as a bad sign. We are operating in an extremely competitive LCC market that management has to be able to adapt quickly to regarding market demands. IE, recognize routes that are not making money and constantly looking for new ones and reallocating assets promptly. We have an expensive pilot contract, which can make it difficult to secure additional feed from other legacies when there are carriers out there that can do it cheaper, regardless of quality. The DAL thing came because of "most favored nation" with CAL as well as operating some aircraft on a pro rate type of deal. There are no plans (as of yet) to acquire larger aircraft with lower CASM's. It's no secret, the 50 seat market is saturated. Granted, the 50 seater is part of the business plane to stay under the radar of SW, etc. But again, as far as acquiring new partners to fly for, it can make it difficult to get additional flying with ONLY 50 seat equipment, reference the F9 deal we could have secured last year that went to RAH. Granted, there were some other things at play. But if we had 70 seat aircraft, we more than likely would have that flying.

As far as the original posters question goes, there is a saying that most would agree, and some don't. Everything is relative.

The worst major is still better than the best regional.

Ottopilot
12-04-2007, 03:03 PM
I spent 9 years at Continental Express and 2.5 years at Continental.
IT IS BETTER! I make more already as an FO than I did as a 9 year CA(actually, I'm doubling my pay this month in Captain training!). The planes are better, the destinations are better. I flew to Milan, Rome, and Barcelona last month (and had two weeks off straight). I have type ratings in the 737, 757, & 767. I would rather be number last at a major than number one at a regional. Go for the major.

JoeyMeatballs
12-04-2007, 07:41 PM
Are things bad at Expressjet?

no, but Larry has made it very clear he doesnt want as many RJs flying for CAL as they have now, and I fully expect the Q's to move down to IAH.

JoeyMeatballs
12-04-2007, 07:46 PM
I spent 9 years at Continental Express and 2.5 years at Continental.
IT IS BETTER! I make more already as an FO than I did as a 9 year CA(actually, I'm doubling my pay this month in Captain training!). The planes are better, the destinations are better. I flew to Milan, Rome, and Barcelona last month (and had two weeks off straight). I have type ratings in the 737, 757, & 767. I would rather be number last at a major than number one at a regional. Go for the major.


I think Otto is drinking a severe amount of Kellner Kool-Aid, there is a lot of improvement that needs to be taken care of this time around (health insurance, pay, pbs, training on days off)

I would also say that regionals, are way tooooooooo Dependant on the Major airline they feed. I would say Regional crews are more fun and more apt to shoot the breeze with then some of these older folks I run into at the majors.......


Bottom Line
go for the major, I would have to agree with Otto, I would rather be the last guy on the list at Big Momma CAL, then the first at a regional :)

ChinsFive
12-04-2007, 09:30 PM
Being the best regional is like being the smartest kid in special ed. class.

hangaber
12-04-2007, 10:51 PM
Iím still in the process of figuring out where I ultimately want to end up in my career. My ultimate goal is to move out west. DEN would be first on my list, but SLC would work fine for me as well. Basically, I could accomplish this in one of two ways. Get on with United or Frontier in the next 4 or so years or attempt to get a job with SkyWest in the next few months. I posted a similar question about this a month or so and I think my decision ultimately comes down to this.

Do the majors really offer that much more than a good regional like SkyWest in this day and age. I realize that carriers like United and Frontier pay much more, but strictly from a quality of life perspective what would be the differences between the two. Iím looking for specific differences such as number of days off work rules, etc. If the majors are only marginally better these days, would this difference be enough to justify loosing youíre seniority.

Last time I posted about this, the general consensus was that I should stick with Mesaba, get my upgrade and move on. I agree and if I do plan to move on to a larger airline, then I will stick it out and get my PIC (Thanks to those who helped me make this decision). On the other hand, if I decide I want to make a career at SkyWest, then giving up my few months of seniority wouldnít be that bad.

People vote with their feet. Do you see people leaving the majors to go to the regionals or are they leaving the regionals to go to the majors? There is you answer.

Flying Monkey
12-05-2007, 09:54 AM
Do you want a 30 hour layover playing golf in Kauai or an 11 hour layover in Des Moines?:D

Ahhhhh... I'm in Des Moines right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Short timer, though.

Slice
12-05-2007, 11:32 AM
I would also say that regionals, are way tooooooooo Dependant on the Major airline they feed.



Umm, that's the reason they exist in the first place. :confused:

JoeyMeatballs
12-05-2007, 11:37 AM
Umm, that's the reason they exist in the first place. :confused:

haha I know I know, thats what I mean, there soul existence is to provide for the major airline, like a hooker to her pimp, unless you da pimp, it aint no good............ Why majors can't have smaller airplanes on the same list is beyond me............oh wait I know so the "regionals" can fly dc-9 sized aircraft for a 1/3 of the pay:D

Ottopilot
12-05-2007, 03:33 PM
[QUOTE=SAABaroowski;273666]I think Otto is drinking a severe amount of Kellner Kool-Aid,


What are you talking about? I'm drinking Kellner kool-aid for liking CAL better than XJT? I thought you wanted to come here too? If so, what are you drinking? Re-read my post and tell me what kool aid you're talking about.

tony
12-05-2007, 03:50 PM
The oil prices going to be higher in the next of couple of years. and believe me even the Major airline will going to get bankrupt and close all the operation.

Pilotpip
12-05-2007, 04:25 PM
The oil prices going to be higher in the next of couple of years. and believe me even the Major airline will going to get bankrupt and close all the operation.

Do you think anybody will take you seriously when you type like that?

tsween
12-05-2007, 04:33 PM
Do you think anybody will take you seriously when you type like that?

my exact thought

JoeyMeatballs
12-05-2007, 05:28 PM
I think Otto is drinking a severe amount of Kellner Kool-Aid,


What are you talking about? I'm drinking Kellner kool-aid for liking CAL better than XJT? I thought you wanted to come here too? If so, what are you drinking? Re-read my post and tell me what kool aid you're talking about.

I gotta be honest Otto, I re-read your post, and I take back the Kool-Aid comment, I honestly find your post pretty dead on, :eek: I think I was under the impression that you did'nt think some things needed to change there, but that wasn't what you said at all, my apologies.:)

Blkflyer
12-05-2007, 05:39 PM
The oil prices going to be higher in the next of couple of years. and believe me even the Major airline will going to get bankrupt and close all the operation.

What are you talking about

7576FO
12-05-2007, 05:45 PM
The oil prices going to be higher in the next of couple of years. and believe me even the Major airline will going to get bankrupt and close all the operation.

Tony, i'm guessing you're not at UND or Embry Riddle. Cause they know how to ****ING read and write with correct grammar in english. Feel free to post here when you get your GED.

Ottopilot
12-05-2007, 06:04 PM
I gotta be honest Otto, I re-read your post, and I take back the Kool-Aid comment, I honestly find your post pretty dead on, :eek: I think I was under the impression that you did'nt think some things needed to change there, but that wasn't what you said at all, my apologies.:)

The last contract hurt, too much. I didn't vote for it, but it happend and I have to deal with it for now. I'm ready to fight for the changes, just like I did at Express in '97 and '02.

jsled
12-05-2007, 06:28 PM
The oil prices going to be higher in the next of couple of years. and believe me even the Major airline will going to get bankrupt and close all the operation.

Run Forest. Run

jsled
12-05-2007, 06:32 PM
Ahhhhh... I'm in Des Moines right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Short timer, though.

Been there. Done that. I have actually played a round at the Waveland golf course in DSM on a layover. Spent many a night at the Marriott. Sleep fast.:)

Five Green
12-08-2007, 05:18 AM
All good points in this thread. Just look at the payrates on APC and compare. You may also want to check this site. It gives a good overview of career earnings.

http://www.*****************/calculators.html

SmoothLanderJ
12-08-2007, 09:51 AM
Run Forest. Run

LOL!!!!!..........