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Old 07-14-2019, 09:37 AM   #1  
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Default Question for ACMI guys

I did a whopping 12 months at ABX. I am now at a passenger airline. I went from driving to work to now commuting. I have friends always asking if they should go to an ACMI carrier. I dont know what to tell them.

Amazon is going to keep growing like mad and Omni, K4, and ATI have nice enough contracts now but the thing I dont see is the ability to drop trips. Drop reserve. Work less if needed. Change your schedule, trip trade. Pick up higher paying trips to make more money, not just work extra days. Home basing sounds great until you realize you are gone for 16 days no matter what. Commuting stinks but no schedule flexibility I "think" is worse. Am I missing something? At ABX I was only on reserve but it wasnt bad because I was able to just sit at home until called and they had a FIFO list I could watch.

How is schedule flexibility at your carrier? Isnt everyone just on reserve for X number of days?
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:57 AM   #2  
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I did a whopping 12 months at ABX. I am now at a passenger airline. I went from driving to work to now commuting. I have friends always asking if they should go to an ACMI carrier. I dont know what to tell them.

Amazon is going to keep growing like mad and Omni, K4, and ATI have nice enough contracts now but the thing I dont see is the ability to drop trips. Drop reserve. Work less if needed. Change your schedule, trip trade. Pick up higher paying trips to make more money, not just work extra days. Home basing sounds great until you realize you are gone for 16 days no matter what. Commuting stinks but no schedule flexibility I "think" is worse. Am I missing something? At ABX I was only on reserve but it wasnt bad because I was able to just sit at home until called and they had a FIFO list I could watch.

How is schedule flexibility at your carrier? Isnt everyone just on reserve for X number of days?
Can’t compare all by what happened at ABX. My ACMI has trip trading, and plenty of schedule variety. You mostly will be gone 16 days, but it can be all at once, or in two and even three chunks. Bid what you want. Often the first day on duty is just a call with your scheduled DH to work the next day. That knocks it down to 15 away from home. Kalitta guys have CA’s who did over $500k last year by working the system. Fly your reserve days and you’ll make more without working extra days. We have both lines with scheduled flying and reserve lines. We have special carve out programs that even come with higher guarantees (80 hour instead of 64), and another that is basically scheduled PAX service with published hard lines.
ABX is a poor example to wages, working conditions and quality of life at most ACMI’s in my opinion.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAfng View Post
I did a whopping 12 months at ABX. I am now at a passenger airline. I went from driving to work to now commuting. I have friends always asking if they should go to an ACMI carrier. I dont know what to tell them.

Amazon is going to keep growing like mad and Omni, K4, and ATI have nice enough contracts now but the thing I dont see is the ability to drop trips. Drop reserve. Work less if needed. Change your schedule, trip trade. Pick up higher paying trips to make more money, not just work extra days. Home basing sounds great until you realize you are gone for 16 days no matter what. Commuting stinks but no schedule flexibility I "think" is worse. Am I missing something? At ABX I was only on reserve but it wasnt bad because I was able to just sit at home until called and they had a FIFO list I could watch.

How is schedule flexibility at your carrier? Isnt everyone just on reserve for X number of days?
At Kalitta (74) you are essentially a reservist for 16 days. You bid trips, but you probably wonít fly them. There isnít any trip trading. You canít drop trips. You can request certain days off, or any changes to your awarded days with the head of scheduling and she will work with you, but that is the only flexibility. If you want more money, it will take either overtime, or being in the right place at the right time.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:25 AM   #4  
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Cujo, who do you work for?
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Old 07-14-2019, 02:28 PM   #5  
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Cujo, who do you work for?
Omni, but from speaking with friends at K4, ATI and oddly enough even Atlas, your depiction based solely upon the ABX experience isnít exactly a fair depiction of the industry. Lots of great improvements have been happening. Guys are refusing to settle for scraps. The tide is turning.
Itís a great time to be a pilot

Last edited by Cujo665; 07-14-2019 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:30 PM   #6  
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I'm at K4 and could care less about the trips I get. Schedule flexibility can be as simple as asking the Director of Scheduling to adjust your schedule based on availability. I've had two instances where I needed to swap days, and both were happily approved. Bidding is simple - choose the days that you want to work and settle in for 16 days. You will most likely not fly the schedule that you are awarded, but your line value is protected. I'm roughly 30% off the bottom of the list, so I can hold a line slightly worth more than min guarantee, but often choose reserve to get the days off that I want. I usually get one of my top 10 choices, and even when on reserve, I still credit roughly 85 hrs per month. K4 is a great place if your are interested in another ACMI carrier.
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Old 07-14-2019, 11:25 PM   #7  
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I think one of the big differences in the pax world is that by being senior in baseequipment, you are able to bid better schedules (more time off) if that's what you want.
At the ACMI's your 16 or 17 day month will always be there. Some times it may work to your advantage such as flying close to home, but a lot of contracts and schedules change over time.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:10 AM   #8  
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It depends what you want out of life and the career.
I always push the younger guys that ask me for advice to keep their eye on the prize and go to a Legacy. I'm still attempting to get to one myself, but am enjoying the ride at my ACMI. That said, I have no illusions about the multi million dollar career earnings difference, if you are under 40. It's worth the move to a Legacy base if you get the job. But, everyone's situation is different, if it falls on you to run the family ranch outside of Casper, Wyoming (and the money isnt as much of an issue) then home basing at an ACMI is probably the way to go. I just found out WGN is the only ACMI with approved home basing in SJU.

Our reserve rules are a 12 hour call-out. You will usually get 24 hours notice before a flight. This time of the year it's super slow. I keep my bags packed but haven't been flying much. The truth is our life on the road is just one big long reserve schedule anyways, our schedules change almost constantly.
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:25 AM   #9  
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Iím in my 1st year at an ACMI and absolutely love it. Sure, Iíll keep my resumes refreshed and apps current at purple and brown for consideration somewhere down the line, but I live in a small, rural town in the south and I enjoy making one trip a month to the airport. Every month has a two week vacation. No commuting. No crash pads. After 15 years at a regional, thereís not enough money in the world to make me go back to ďpeople haulinĒ.

While it does stink that whether youíre the plug or number 1 on the seniority list, everyone works 16 days, you start throwing vacation weeks in, and you work less than half the year. I did so many 4 on/2 off months at my previous carrier, that it made me dread going to work.

Now, I get it that everyoneís thoughts are different. If I lived in a major hub, sure, I could suck it up and try to get on with a Legacy. Problem is, I donít want to live in a crime infested city like Chicago, away from friends and family, just so I can ďmaybeĒ have a better career.

Best of luck, but I really donít think you can go wrong with ACMI. Get out. Fly something heavy. Get real world experience. F the regionals and the sham that the legacies run.
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:01 AM   #10  
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My 16.5 days on the road I would never trade away because I love having all of my days off in a consecutive row, and the stress of commuting is for the birds. I have no interest in going to the pax world ever again if it means I have to commute home every three to four days, rinse and repeat. Every time I am in an airline terminal in uniform, I feel like a tool, basically living at the airport. Nothing beats going through security at a freight hub, super quick and easy. Oh, a flight cancels? I now have to find a hotel room? Nope, that's already taken care for me. The only money I spend on the road is for my own desires, not needs.
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