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.




View Full Version : Quality of life at FedEx


MCFlyer
01-24-2010, 05:45 PM
I'm looking at 3 years until the end of my military contract and am not sure whether I will be staying in or getting out. If I were to get out FedEx and Southwest seem to be the most attractive options as far as I can tell right now. I am looking for information on what the QOL is like at FedEx. What is an average month like for a junior and senior FedEx pilot. Time home vs time on the road? I am married with two kids and home time means a lot to me. Any input will me very much appreciated. Also, any advice on wether to stay in or get out or any personal experiences in regard to staying in/getting out will definately help my cause. Thanks in advance!

MCFlyer


longhauler
01-24-2010, 06:16 PM
Are you separating or retiring? In three years if you where not to retire how many more years would you have to put in to get a retirement? Either way the next three years is very hard to get a good economic picture. I personally think your opportunities are going great and many.

MCFlyer
01-24-2010, 06:22 PM
I'll be at 11 years when decision time comes.


FDXLAG
01-24-2010, 06:35 PM
Fedex gives you the opportunity to live where ever you want and you can make your quality of life. It is your choice; money or schedule. Particularly (but not exclusively) if you don't mind living in Memphis.

bleedairpacks
01-24-2010, 06:46 PM
Particularly (but not exclusively) if you don't mind living in Memphis.

You mean Collierville or Germantown! :)

Purple Promised? :(

Adlerdriver
01-24-2010, 07:01 PM
It could take a very long time to give a really detailed answer. Here’s one viewpoint and some general info – hopefully you’ll get a few different perspectives.

A lot depends on your plans for life after the Navy. Will you commute or move to your domicile? If you commute, will it be from a highly popular location like Norfolk or Denver or someplace less populated w/ other commuters.

As a junior guy, if you want time at home consistently, you probably need to move to Memphis, Anchorage or Hong Kong when depending on where you get based as a new hire. Sitting reserve in domicile has big potential for time at home but that depends on manning levels and how hard they’re flying the reserves. I’ve spent weeks on reserve without flying.

If you commute to reserve, you can plan on being gone 2 weeks out of every month. Sometimes it will be all in one big chunk, others are broken up into week on/week off or even smaller bites. Minimizing commutes back and forth will obviously reduce travel time you could be spending at home but the trade off is with less commutes, you’re gone for a bigger chunk of time.

Junior lines of flying can be full of dead space which would require numerous commutes back and forth. There’s always the option of trip trading or outright dropping trips to massage the schedule (obviously, drops would be a hit in the wallet especially on first year pay). With some time and effort monitoring the availability of open trips, you can make schedule changes and improve your lot in life, even as a junior pilot. It can be hit or miss and you can probably count on 13-16 days of work each month in addition to any commuting time. You don’t have to get super senior to get a line with some basic pattern like week on/week off. If you like time at home, it may be worth being gone a strong week to have 6-8 days solid off at home twice a month – depends on you. Having a guard/reserve job as a new guy is probably worth considering. In addition to the supplemental income options, you’ll have the option to massage your schedule more easily.

If you choose to get senior (when circumstances allow) and stay that way, there’s potential for all kinds of good deals. Some guys live in domicile and hold out and backs. They sleep in their beds every day/night, depending on whether they’re day or night flying. Others hold layover in the city they reside. They may have deadheads to that city at the front and back of their trips which means they’re home on the first and last day of their trips. The layovers are in that city all week, so they’re home every day or night, too. Other guys prefer long international trips, say 11-13 days long and then stay home the remainder of the month. Having 2 solid weeks at home each month is definitely “time at home” but there’s an obvious trade off during the work days.

There’s lots of variety for both junior and senior and plenty of flexibility via trip trading, drops, etc. (when open trips are available – not always the case). Overall, commuters of low to medium seniority probably spend half the month away from home, either all at once or a week/several days at a time.

Personally, unless you’re miserable in the Navy, I’d stick it out for the full 20. If you can’t hack that, then at least get a guard/reserve job, live in your unit’s city and commute (or even better, get a guard/reserve job in your airline domicile). Good luck.

A7AV8OR
01-24-2010, 07:16 PM
MC, I walked the path you're describing and am now retired from both the Navy and Fedex. Previous postings hit all the pertenent details but I'll put in my $.02. First give the military your very best until the end to keep your options open. Second, plan to get your 20 either active or reserve. You won't regret it even if you get a nonflying reserve job. Usually, living in your reserve/guard city works best. Double commutes are nearly impossible.

Best of luck to you.

SC-7
01-24-2010, 07:31 PM
A7AV8OR beat me to it, but I was in your position 10 years ago and looking back, would probably have stayed in if I had known then what I know now. In a nutshell, giving up a guaranteed pension and healthcare for life to take a shot at getting a reasonably tolerable job in the current aviation job climate is not the same proposition it was 20 years ago, or even 10. If you do choose to jump out, strongly consider a guard or reserve job.

I have no regrets, but it hasn't been the most stress-free decade.
My $.02.

Goose17
01-24-2010, 07:56 PM
As you can tell from our threads, we have some issues at FedEx. That being said, it's still a great job. As for getting out of the mil… I cut clean after my commitment. I had a young kid and another on the way and I was looking for a more stable family life and wanted to spend more time with them. Two jobs (civil pilot and guard/reserve) was not going to make that happen for me. I eventually got lucky and got on with FedEx when we were hiring. And, I would imagine we would be hiring again by the time you possibly separate. A guard/reserve job could be a good insurance policy to keep the $ flowing while you are shifting to the civil side of flying, and many guys continue to retire from them… but like I said, it wasn't for me.

To each his own and there will be many views on the subject. Educate yourself on the subject, save a nice chunk of $, keep your options open, and then decide.

Goose17

Albief15
01-24-2010, 08:36 PM
I did Anti Goose...stayed in the Guard when I got to FedEx. Geez...I know lots of guys who've had tough times after getting out but I've had just about the closest thing to "happy ever after..." I could imagine.

Three points: First...asking your SWA buddies and FDX buddies may or may not give you an accurate picture. SWA used to be a 5 year upgrade...its probably 15 years now. Fedex is currently stagnate, but we do have 400 pilots over 60. However we are also going from 3 to 2 man aircraft rapidly, and we seem hell bent on cost cutting. Point is progression of your old bros may not be your progression. Second...I'd never bail without a reserve/ANG position in this environment. There are some jobs that don't deploy...training command, etc. The abilty to flex in and out of orders can be very nice, and the ability to supplement first year pay is nice. The ability to have a safety net when facing furlough or job cuts is priceless. Third--use the PM feature if you want to chat. You can probably get some numbers from folks and have some good discussions.

In the meantime--good luck and thanks for your service!

SaltyDog
01-24-2010, 11:56 PM
I'm looking at 3 years until the end of my military contract and am not sure whether I will be staying in or getting out. If I were to get out FedEx and Southwest seem to be the most attractive options as far as I can tell right now. I am looking for information on what the QOL is like at FedEx. What is an average month like for a junior and senior FedEx pilot. Time home vs time on the road? I am married with two kids and home time means a lot to me. Any input will me very much appreciated. Also, any advice on wether to stay in or get out or any personal experiences in regard to staying in/getting out will definately help my cause. Thanks in advance!

MCFlyer

Adlerdriver accurately described (sans domicile names) a UPS lifestyle.

We wear the ugly pajamas though. <g>
My suggestion is to live in domicile (FedEx) and join the Reserve/Guard and commute to the military. If want to maximize the time home, will probably want to drop the military flying though. Mil Reserve flying is a heavy time magnet. I did a few years at 7-12 days/month. Non flying will trim that considerably to 2-3 days plus the two week annual active duty. However, the benefits for the family and yourself are tremendous. Both in continued service and in retirement.

Back on thread directly: From a Military perspective (I had 9+ active Navy, 17 Reserve and tracking) FedEX is generally considered, and has been since my recollection of the mid 80's as a destination airline for majority of Marine/Navy drivers. UPS became one in the early 90's. Southwest essentially the same view, but in less numbers. Have many friends at both companies, all belly ache about this and that, but they all seem happy enough and proud to work at their respective company. If you can get at either one, think you will find a satisfying career.

Save cash like your life depends on it for the next three years and you will be in a much better position to control your future.
Best luck
SD

purpledog
01-25-2010, 03:22 AM
Personally, unless you’re miserable in the Navy, I’d stick it out for the full 20. If you can’t hack that, then at least get a guard/reserve job, live in your unit’s city and commute (or even better, get a guard/reserve job in your airline domicile). Good luck.
Can't put it any better than this.
I'm pushing a decade here with no upgrade in sight. It will probably be close to 17 years total before I can hold a left seat flying line. Most airlines probably have the same stagnation since the age change legislation.



Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1