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Wait for regional flow or?

Old 01-14-2022, 06:20 AM
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At what point should a pilot wait for a flow to the big 3, assuming Big 3 id career goal?
At 4 years remaining, 3, 2?
With an UCC calling, does if make sense to wait? (Spirit, Sun Country, etc.)
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:20 AM
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Depends on age I think, but 2-3 year wait looks like a no-brainer.

But with all of the legacy retirements seniority progression on a legacy narrowbody fleet is likely to beat any progression at a ULCC in the mid-term.

Obviously you should apply OTS to the big three as well, and go immediately to any that call.

There's always a slight risk that something bad will happen, and stop all hiring. But if it's bad enough to cancel out all of the short-term legacy retirements it will be bad enough that ULCC might furlough. In that case might be better off at the regional anyway.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jedinein View Post
At what point should a pilot wait for a flow to the big 3, assuming Big 3 id career goal?
At 4 years remaining, 3, 2?
With an UCC calling, does if make sense to wait? (Spirit, Sun Country, etc.)
Depends on a lot of things. Like how long have you already been waiting? And they arenít mutually exclusive. The Big Three are raiding the ULCC FO ranks pretty heavily right now. Guys who had sort of stagnated at the regionals are finding that adding a new type rating on their resume for an aircraft that carries over 76 PAX suddenly boosts their Big Three app scoring up considerably. And I actually think the ULCC model - should you get stuck there as a junior FO - is going to be less likely to furlough in an economic downturn than the Big Three, because the business model is more resilient.
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Old 01-14-2022, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
Like how long have you already been waiting?
Sunk cost fallacy, do not consider time served at all in your calculations because it has no impact on the future. Water under the bridge.

Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
The Big Three are raiding the ULCC FO ranks pretty heavily right now. Guys who had sort of stagnated at the regionals are finding that adding a new type rating on their resume for an aircraft that carries over 76 PAX suddenly boosts their Big Three app scoring up considerably.
True, but it's not a trivial step to take and not risk-free to plan on using a ULCC as a stepping stone.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Sunk cost fallacy, do not consider time served at all in your calculations because it has no impact on the future. Water under the bridge.
.
Not exactly true, since the time behind you affects the time you have left to age 65. Not to mention the fact that if you haven’t had a new type rating for a decade (especially if it’s your only one) you are likely to be viewed as somewhat of a training risk and a more recent type might get you the nod quicker.

And if you have been just flying a CRJ-200 or E-145 and those are the only aircraft your regional flys, you are at severe risk to be out a job in the not too distant future in any event regardless of your seniority. So staying put is not necessarily the safe move.

As I said, lots of variables. I’ll concede if you are a senior guy flying for Skywest ir Republic, your job is fairly secure. But I’d be amazed if we’ve seen the last of the regionals going out of business.

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jedinein View Post
At what point should a pilot wait for a flow to the big 3, assuming Big 3 id career goal?
At 4 years remaining, 3, 2?
With an UCC calling, does if make sense to wait? (Spirit, Sun Country, etc.)
right now? 6-12 months. 3-4 years puts you behind an ENORMOUS hiring wave
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Old 01-14-2022, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by jedinein View Post
At what point should a pilot wait for a flow to the big 3, assuming Big 3 id career goal?
At 4 years remaining, 3, 2?
With an UCC calling, does if make sense to wait? (Spirit, Sun Country, etc.)
Define waiting. You are only waiting if you already have options on the table. Otherwise, you are actively building the resume necessary to be hired at your career destination job. As others have said, you should be actively pursuing options outside of flow. Hiring may hit records this year and next. Ideally you want to be hired on the front side of that. The ULCC option (if you even have it) is itís own ball of wax as others have stated. Kill time by upgrading to LCA, volunteering for safety positions or sim instructor. Continuously look to improve your position so that flow becomes a backstop, not your primary option.
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Old 01-14-2022, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
Not exactly true, since the time behind you affects the time you have left to age 65. Not to mention the fact that if you haven’t had a new type rating for a decade (especially if it’s your only one) you are likely to be viewed as somewhat of a training risk and a more recent type might get you the nod quicker.
.
Age matters. Time previously spent waiting to flow does not. For a given set of personal circumstances (including age) the decision on how to go forward differs not one little bit if you spent one or ten years waiting to flow. Unless you have an emotional attachment to the flow concept, ie it reassures you that you were the best of the best of the best in the regional CFI draft back in 2012.
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Old 01-14-2022, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
And if you have been just flying a CRJ-200 or E-145 and those are the only aircraft your regional flys, you are at severe risk to be out a job in the not too distant future in any event regardless of your seniority. So staying put is not necessarily the safe move.
I agree. My opinion whether you are a FO or a CA with a regional that only flies a 50 seater, you will not be working for them in a year or so. Either you leave, or you are sitting there when they fold up shop.
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Old 01-14-2022, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TransWorld View Post
I agree. My opinion whether you are a FO or a CA with a regional that only flies a 50 seater, you will not be working for them in a year or so. Either you leave, or you are sitting there when they fold up shop.
Can't really argue with the math on that.
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