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Old 05-25-2019, 02:13 PM   #1  
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Default Atlas vs PSA (AA regional)

This might be a stupid question for some of you but here we go. I’m a 30 year old, married, no kids, Atlas 747 FO, been here for a little over 6 months. Obviously most of you know the current working environment at Atlas. Recently I received a job offer from PSA (AA regional airline), so the question is what would you guys do. If I move to PSA, based on some research and talking to other PSA pilots chances are that I may flow to American Airlines in about 5-7 years. So I can get to American Airlines before I hit my 40s (of course we can't predict the future, don't know if PSA or AA will be around for another 5-7 years). On the other hand if I stay with Atlas I can get heavy time (no really a lot), hopefully upgrade in another 3 years and just keep hoping that soon we can get a new contract with better pay which nobody knows how long it is going to take (it could be months or years). I'm flexible with bases and schedules, more concern about: Pay, Quality of life, Benefits and Job security. Of course while I fly for Atlas or move to PSA I'll keep updating my apps for the big 5. Thank you all and don't be too hard on me.
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:22 PM   #2  
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Go to PSA. You have career insurance there. The best Atlas can hope for in the next contact still won't approach what American will give you in the long term. We may get a contact next year, and you may regret the move for a little while. In the long term you have a future at PSA. Flow whether in 6 or ten years trumps anything we can or will be able to offer. Atlas is a dead- end.

Last edited by Elevation; 05-25-2019 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 02:27 PM   #3  
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I think PSA is the better choice here. I chose an ACMI with a better contract than Atlas and in retrospect I would have stayed.


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Old 05-25-2019, 03:04 PM   #4  
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Tough call. Atlas will get a contract, how good remains to be seen. If it at least comes close to Kalitta or Omni you may regret going to PSA for 7 years.
If you’re saying you upgrade in 3 years, assuming a new decent CBA, you’re walking away from $200+k a year....
going to PSA you’ll be under $60 until making Captain, then under $100k a few more years, then up to around $120k if you work OT for the rest while waiting to flow. Meanwhile you gave away at least 5 years at $200+k a year.
I’d make a spreadsheet using the ATI payscale vs the PSA payscale with your best guess at upgrade times. Then use the AA group 2 scale for everything after year 7, figure 3-7 as an FO before upgrading to CA and back onto reserve.
I say use the ATI payscale because I’m pretty sure Atlas will do better, much better, so it’s a safer comparison. Use the Omni payscales if you’re optimistic.
Factor in commuting/jumpseating if you don’t live in Base, which also means crashpads and going in a day early or staying a day late to commute when needed. No hotels in base at AA for cancellations.

I think you will most likely get street hired at AA long before you will ever flow. Start attending job fairs and network your tail off. Volunteer on one of the union or company safety committees. The big 6 need to hire more pilots over the next ten years than there are pilots in the entire regional industry. This assumes you also have a degree. They will eventually drop the requirement, but not right away. United already has it as a preference, not requirement, but the ones hired without it are very very very few. That could make PSA more viable. If you really want AA, I’d move to Dallas and go to a Envoy. With your existing 121 time you’d be a quick upgrade minimizing the time on crappy regional FO pay. Living in Base makes it a completely different job. Do not - DO NOT - commute for a regional. The QOL drop is huge.

Honestly, I’d stay where you are and just really focus on networking, job fairs, volunteering and polishing the resume. You’ll get street hired long before you’ll ever flow. Don’t overlook the LCC’s like JetBlue, Spirit & Frontier. They’ve become real jobs, with real payscales and direct contributions. Going to any one of them now, and you’d never be able to catch up by waiting seven years to flow to AA, then 3-5 more to upgrade and finally get over $200k.

Last edited by Cujo665; 05-25-2019 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:01 PM   #5  
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With PSA's SAP, you will have more days off, but with commuting it might not seem like it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:16 PM   #6  
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Don’t expect to flow within 5 years. You’d be better off going to an LCC, staying there for a few years or so, then applying to whatever legacy you want. Unless your goal is American...
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:32 PM   #7  
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PSA no question
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Old 05-25-2019, 06:53 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualapp View Post
.... So I can get to American Airlines before I hit my 40s (of course we can't predict the future, don't know if PSA or AA will be around for another 5-7 years). ......... I'm flexible with bases and schedules, more concern about: Pay, Quality of life, Benefits and Job security. Of course while I fly for Atlas or move to PSA I'll keep updating my apps for the big 5. ...
Not sure your"big 5"
If FedEx and/or UPS are in the 5, you would be kissing those two companies goodbye permanently.
Those 2 companies HR departments would conclude you prefer pax lifestyle over non pax.
UPS has hired dozens upon dozens of Atlas pilots. Not sure how many FedEx has hired, but am sure many hired.
If not interested in those 2 companies, then a pax move may be best. Not sure PSA would be best, but wish you a good journey.
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Old 05-25-2019, 08:49 PM   #9  
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Thank you all for your responses. Here's an estimate of how much you should expect to make for anyone that is in a similar situation. This is considering that: Atlas will get a CBA on 2021 (similar to ATI pay scales), and PSA flow to AA in 7 years. Both include hourly pay rates, per diem, no open time or any other soft pay.

Atlas, avg 65 hrs/month
2019: $73000
2020: $89000
2021 "new pay": $116000
2022: $120000
2023 (upgrade): $177000
2024: $183000
2025: $187000
2026: $192000
2027: $198000
2028: $202000
Total for a 10 year period: $1'375000
(Max annual pay after +12 years $213000)

PSA, avg 75hrs/month
2019: $62000 (including $10000 signing bonus)
2020: $91000 (upgrade + $8000 second year bonus)
2021: $85000
2022: $86500
2023: $88000
2024: $90000
2025: $92000
2026: $95000 (AA first year 737/320)
2027: $137000
2028: $160000
Total for a 10 year period: $834000
(Max annual pay after +12 years $320000)
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:49 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by visualapp View Post
Thank you all for your responses. Here's an estimate of how much you should expect to make for anyone that is in a similar situation. This is considering that: Atlas will get a CBA on 2021 (similar to ATI pay scales), and PSA flow to AA in 7 years. Both include hourly pay rates, per diem, no open time or any other soft pay.

Atlas, avg 65 hrs/month
2019: $73000
2020: $89000
2021 "new pay": $116000
2022: $120000
2023 (upgrade): $177000
2024: $183000
2025: $187000
2026: $192000
2027: $198000
2028: $202000
Total for a 10 year period: $1'375000
(Max annual pay after +12 years $213000)

PSA, avg 75hrs/month
2019: $62000 (including $10000 signing bonus)
2020: $91000 (upgrade + $8000 second year bonus)
2021: $85000
2022: $86500
2023: $88000
2024: $90000
2025: $92000
2026: $95000 (AA first year 737/320)
2027: $137000
2028: $160000
Total for a 10 year period: $834000
(Max annual pay after +12 years $320000)
Great job.
If I were running it, I’d leave the per diem out of it.... unless you’re going to include insurance costs and such. Just a straight pay to pay comparison. Also, I think your first year AA pay is wrong. I think you’ll get a CBA much sooner than folks are thinking.

Might be worth running a side by side with Spirit too. JetBlue pays a tad better and Frontier a tad worse so Spirit is a good LCC average.

One big thing missing is the retirement. When I built mine I assumed a 10% contribution from me plus either the match or the direct contribution. Build in a safe 5% gain.
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