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Old 10-21-2018, 12:13 AM   #1  
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Question Sun Country vs staying at Regional?

Sun Country recently lowered their hiring minimums to essentially ATP minimums. I am in my mid 20s, and am a 1 year FO at SkyWest. I live in MSP. I was just invited to interview at Sun Country and am looking for some opinions. (No, I wont make a big life decision through a forum - no need to remind me).

The question is, if I manage to get the job at Sun Country, should I accept or stay at SkyWest? I ultimately want to work at a major airline - Delta and United are my top preferences in that order.

Pros:
-Opportunity to fly a 737 around the world, seems incredibly more fun than flying to Lansing, MI.
-B737 type rating
-Year 4 captain pay at Sunny beats 20+ yr captain pay at SkyWest should I end up there for any length of time. I fly with so many captains at SkyWest who "still haven't gotten called." The thought of being stuck at a regional terrifies me. Why not take action now?
-Keeps me living in base in MSP. I love MSP and really don't want to move away or commute anywhere.
-I've only invested 1 year of my life into the airlines so far, so it would be much less of a loss for me (seniority and pay wise) to make this move vs somebody in a different position/timeline. If they invited me 6 months from now it would be a totally different conversation. It's now or never.
-The new firm that owns Sunny has large growth plans. Potential to get on the front end of some serious growth. Or... it could just close shop in a year lol. Who knows really lol... but then again I could always come back to SkyWest- keep living in base, keep my longevity pay with their Soft Landings deal.

Cons:
-My QOL at SkyWest, living in a junior base, is actually really fantastic. I get a lot of days off and have a lot of control over my schedule. I honestly can't complain about anything. "Why fix what aint broke?"
-I would be deferring upgrade for approximately 1.5 - 2 years by doing the Sunny move. If I stay at SkyWest I could upgrade in as
little as 1 year or less. So PIC time building would be delayed. Plus I would enjoy being a captain more than an FO.
-Sunny stability vs SkyWest? SkyWest owns their own aircraft and have never furloughed in 45 years. Is it crazy of me to think that SkyWest might actually be a safer business than Sun Country? Please tell me if you think otherwise.
-I hear captain reserve time at Sun Country is extremely long and they don't fly much. I haven't confirmed this. But that's probably no good...


Sooo any thoughts? My end goal is a major airline, and I don't want to delay that chance. But I'm also totally excited about this opportunity... It IS a career advancement right? Not a lateral move? I would be pretty upset to see myself still at Skywest in 4 years knowing I could've been at Sun Country all that time...and that's what worries me. I also get butterflies in my stomach thinking of flying a 73 on some charter to Asia or something. I got into this industry for the fun more so than the money.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:06 AM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damnyourabbit View Post
Sun Country recently lowered their hiring minimums to essentially ATP minimums. I am in my mid 20s, and am a 1 year FO at SkyWest. I live in MSP. I was just invited to interview at Sun Country and am looking for some opinions. (No, I wont make a big life decision through a forum - no need to remind me).

The question is, if I manage to get the job at Sun Country, should I accept or stay at SkyWest? I ultimately want to work at a major airline - Delta and United are my top preferences in that order.

Pros:
-Opportunity to fly a 737 around the world, seems incredibly more fun than flying to Lansing, MI.
-B737 type rating
-Year 4 captain pay at Sunny beats 20+ yr captain pay at SkyWest should I end up there for any length of time. I fly with so many captains at SkyWest who "still haven't gotten called." The thought of being stuck at a regional terrifies me. Why not take action now?
-Keeps me living in base in MSP. I love MSP and really don't want to move away or commute anywhere.
-I've only invested 1 year of my life into the airlines so far, so it would be much less of a loss for me (seniority and pay wise) to make this move vs somebody in a different position/timeline. If they invited me 6 months from now it would be a totally different conversation. It's now or never.
-The new firm that owns Sunny has large growth plans. Potential to get on the front end of some serious growth. Or... it could just close shop in a year lol. Who knows really lol... but then again I could always come back to SkyWest- keep living in base, keep my longevity pay with their Soft Landings deal.

Cons:
-My QOL at SkyWest, living in a junior base, is actually really fantastic. I get a lot of days off and have a lot of control over my schedule. I honestly can't complain about anything. "Why fix what aint broke?"
-I would be deferring upgrade for approximately 1.5 - 2 years by doing the Sunny move. If I stay at SkyWest I could upgrade in as
little as 1 year or less. So PIC time building would be delayed. Plus I would enjoy being a captain more than an FO.
-Sunny stability vs SkyWest? SkyWest owns their own aircraft and have never furloughed in 45 years. Is it crazy of me to think that SkyWest might actually be a safer business than Sun Country? Please tell me if you think otherwise.
-I hear captain reserve time at Sun Country is extremely long and they don't fly much. I haven't confirmed this. But that's probably no good...


Sooo any thoughts? My end goal is a major airline, and I don't want to delay that chance. But I'm also totally excited about this opportunity... It IS a career advancement right? Not a lateral move? I would be pretty upset to see myself still at Skywest in 4 years knowing I could've been at Sun Country all that time...and that's what worries me. I also get butterflies in my stomach thinking of flying a 73 on some charter to Asia or something. I got into this industry for the fun more so than the money.
Since you won’t be commuting, I’d say go to Sun Country. The number pure civilian background folks hired by legacies within their first 5 years of 121 flying is small. Sun is probably the better move long term.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:03 AM   #3  
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I can’t believe this decision is actually a debate.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:39 AM   #4  
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Sun Country for sure. Shouldn’t even be a question.

But you have to interview and be offered a job first. Don’t count your chickens just yet...
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:43 AM   #5  
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Sun Country. I think that place has a lot of potential. Get out of the regionals.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:55 AM   #6  
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MSP is a Skywest base and you're already holding it? Is it also a Jr captain base? If Delta/United are your ultimate goal, then stick with the job that will get you an upgrade the quickest. If you've currently got good quality of life, then why change anything? If you'd have to commute to sit reserve once you upgrade at Skywest, I'd consider the Sun Country move...but as others have said, you gotta interview first. There's no decision to make until you have an offer.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:12 AM   #7  
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If you're background is clean and you're big-six material in all respects, if you stay at SKW, take the first upgrade, the bigs will almost certainly call in the next few years.

In my mind, the key question with sun country is how long to upgrade? And how much will you fly as a junior CA.

If you're going to the big-six for sure, then take the fastest route.

If you have any background glitches, or are risk-averse, then maybe better to lock in the decent job at sun country now, and maybe move on later, even if it delays your ultimate career progression.

But I would most definitely ask someone at sun country how their training, schedules, etc are (I have no idea).
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:49 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otterbox View Post
Since you won’t be commuting, I’d say go to Sun Country. The number pure civilian background folks hired by legacies within their first 5 years of 121 flying is small. Sun is probably the better move long term.
Stay. Upgrade. Build up 121 PIC time.
Delaying upgrade doesn’t help your resume. The majors are more interested in you upgrading vs you flying a 737.

Your looking at general gates on your resume to be more competitive. DL had a two year average civilian new hire qualifications of 7600 TT and 4100 PIC(not 121, just PIC). They also said “highly qualified is 1000 hrs TPIC). Other airlines have mentioned 500, or 1000 hrs TPIC, or 121 PIC, in the past.

I’d prepare two resumes, on a forward looking yearly basis, comparing what your resume would look like if you went to Sun Country vs staying at Skywest. And compare them to when you’d get 3,000 TT, 4,000, 5,000, 7600, as well as 500, 1,000 and 2,000 hrs 121 PIC. As well as when might you have an opportunity to be a CKA? I think the answer would be to stay.

Pay? Ridiculous to look at pay. Getting the best resume to get higher at your final job faster is the ultimate goal. A year added at the end of your career for a young guy is worth over $600,000, and perhaps $700,000, in today’s dollars. Let’s say you’re going to get hired at X hrs total time. Going to Sun Country will delay you reaching X hrs by approx. three months. If that’s the difference in getting hired it just cost you $150,000. So there’s a value to not jumping between jobs unless the new job fills an obvious hole in your resume/career advancement.

You’ll have the opportunity to fly the 737, or A320, for years and years at a major. Don’t chase a ‘big’ jet job unless it fills a hole in your resume or you have lots of squares filled but aren’t getting any traction. Then I’d pursue a new opportunity.

Short answer - You’re trading two years of regional Captain for two years of 737 FO experience on your resume. That is not a resume improvement move. Be patient and make steady advancements towards a competitive resume.

Good luck.

Last edited by Sliceback; 10-21-2018 at 07:54 AM. Reason: You’re trading two years of regional Captain for two years of 737 FO. That is not a resume improvement move.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:38 AM   #9  
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Interview anyway. Decide when/if you have a job offer.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:45 AM   #10  
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If you have any questions shoot me a PM. I was pretty much in the same situation as you . Only difference for me is that I went from commuting to now being based here in MSP. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

FYI upgrade is 2 years.

Last edited by MNpilot16; 10-21-2018 at 09:01 AM.
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