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Old 02-23-2018, 12:05 PM   #1  
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Default Flexjet: One year in

I just passed my 1 year mark at FJ and I thought I would post what I thought about my employment so far and maybe help answer any questions for those thinking about coming to FJ.

Interview:
The interview is a 3 part process:
-1 Skype interview
-2 Panel interview at HQ in CLE.
For the most part this interview is low key with a little good cop/bad cop sprinkled in. Nothing technical.
During the interview they tell you that you'll make $63K a year and that you get to keep the cash back that you get on purchases made on your company credit card. Both are incorrect.
-3 Sim ride and another interview in DAL with on one or two of the CPs. This is the sniff test and a little less formal. You go into a CL300 sim, do a SID, ILS to a missed, land. Engine failure after rotation, ILS to a full stop landing. You aren't expected to know the callouts or systems. They just want to see your stick and rudder skills.
After about a week you receive a conditional offer.
The company pays for all airfare and hotels although during both of my in person interviews, FJ did not have direct billing set up for the hotels so I ended up paying out of pocket.
For the most part, the interviews are low stress and the company is good at making sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Unless you've done this kind of job before, its hard to know what that entails though.

Indoc is in Dallas and is your garden variety basic indoc.
Ground school is dependent on what a/c you get. As of now and the foreseeable future, all new hires are going into the Phenom. Everyone seems to hate that plane and they can't fill the seats so naturally thats where they stick the new hires.

One thing to keep in mind is you only get paid for 16 days while in training. So you're working for free for over half of your training.

OE is good and is your typical OE. You get 4 hours to see where the fuel cap and paper towels are and then you're off and running.

The Union:
This is a big issue. Being a new hire at FJ is like dating a freshly divorced person. You have to weather all the negative, constant change, bad blood and the dastardly significant other.
The union blames the company. The company uses the excuse of the union and the contract as a reason not to make positive changes to policy and the union issue has split the pilot group like the north and south of the civil war.
KR has vowed to fight the Teamsters to the bitter end and vice versa with the union. Its a big fat mess that is only starting and will get much, much worse.
(For whats its worth, I do think that Flexjet needs a union. Otherwise, you're giving all the power to one guy who can do whatever he wants to his employees. Thats too much power for my taste).
As an example of the bitterness of the union issue, the head of the Red Label program sends out a weekly email. Without question, the email states how we are a big family but then bashes the FO guys and holds no blows when it comes to his opinion about the union. It gets old really fast.

A typical rotation:
The company has a "14 and 10" policy. You work a solid 14 hours and then you have 10 hours of rest. When your duty day starts, you are expected to be at the FBO at your start time regardless of when your flight departs. You get 30 minutes after you land to clean and put away the plane and then your 10 hours of rest starts.
Ex: Your duty day starts 05:00 and ends at 18:59. Your rest starts at 19:00 and ends at 05:00. Even if you have 8 hours of scheduled flight starting at 11:00, your are expected to show up at the fbo at 05:00 and sit. This policy is exhausting and starting at day 2, you're really feeling it. Its a senseless and dangerous policy which is a disservice to our owners who are expecting and pay for fresh and safe crews.
I have personally been woke up during cruise flight by the other pilot snoring in my ear which happens often.
Unlike an airline where your main duty is the flying, not only do we fly a ton, we clean toilets, cabins, carpets, cupboards, take off and put on freezable stock, put in gear pins and pitot covers, shop for stock, make sure the paxs catering is what they ordered and onboard plus a million other things.
MX seems to be amazing here. Its rare to fly with an open MEL and the company addresses mx issues quickly.
You can order a crew meal for every leg if you want. It doesn't mean you'll get the meal or what you order but they try. You also get one dinner on the company dime at day which is nice if you have the time and energy to use it.
Hotels here suck. Holiday Inn Express is the go to hotel. The company will send you 10 miles out of the way to put you in a dumpy hotel if it saves them a buck.

Red Label:
Ask 5 different guys what RL is and you'll get 5 different answers. As far as I can tell, RL or Non-RL, you do the exact same thing. There is no difference in who you fly and for F/O's, you fly whatever tail they happen to stick you on.
The guys who are on the RL program make a lot more money, make their own schedule and seem to have a better all around qol.
They should do this for all the crews.
RL seems to be a way to reward those pilots who may be more loyal to the company while getting more money out of the owners who get the same basic product as everyone else.

Aside from the super lame 14 and 10 policy, the uniform is my personal pet peeve about my employment. We were told (and it seems true) that KR and his wife, (both who are really into fashion) designed the uniform and it's only function is to be fashionable. The shirt is ok, but being grey, you have to get them from the company source and they're pretty damn cheap. Also, being grey, any kind of moisture, sweat, water, whatever shows until dry.
The pants, the pants are satan's gift to aviation. They are very thin, skinny pants with ZERO space for your bum and junk. If you think about spreading your legs or bending down, the crouch will split. So most guys order their pants 5 sizes too large so they don't rip so easy but then you're pulling your pants up 1000 times a day because the waist is too big. I'm not sure how they do it, but the pants are awesome at untucking your shirt.
I cannot say enough how awful these pants are.

I have to give our Chief Pilots a shoutout. JD seems to be one of the best CPs I've ever had. Most of the other flight managers seem to be good dudes too.

So after a year here, I would give Flexjet 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Pluses for feeding their crews, good mx and paying you on time.
Minuses for the tumultuous union environment, the seriously fatiguing duty and rest policy and the asinine uniform which you spend 14 hours day in.

If I'm being honest, in today's environment, I'm not really sure why anyone would come to FJ or what FJ has to offer over other companies.
Upgrades are crazy long and with the integration of both the Flight Options and Flexjet's seniority lists, the upgrade is forget about it long.
You'll make more money just about anywhere else then here.
At an airline, you just fly the airplane. Here you fly the airplane, clean the toilets, take care of rich people and a hundred other things.
If I was someone looking to change companies, I'd go to a regional or major airline. If the airlines aren't up your alley, I'd go to a place like Travel Management Company, which is a terrible company but at least you'd make more money and upgrade within months.

If anyone has any questions about the interview or life in general, I'll do my best to help you out.
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:05 PM   #2  
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Very thorough and informative. If I may ask some additional...

-You said $63k the first year was a lie. What was on your 2017 W2? Any bonuses included?
-How many hours did you block?
-Average days off per month?
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:30 PM   #3  
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Sounds exactly like the other big fractional we know and love so much.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:38 PM   #4  
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Probably one of the more informative posts Iíve read on APC. Well done.

Sadly, FJ has several positive aspects (including the fleet - love the Legacy 450/500, CL300/350 and big Gulfstreams like the incoming G500 and G650ERs) and the potential to be a career operator, but the negatives discussed (including the very low salary) canít make FJ very competitive in this market - for either newhires or retaining crews. How many newhire FOs would stick around these days?

The amount of money made by Legacy airline pilots (in addition to the QOL improvement) is just too big of a difference with the fractional operators to ignore. Huuuuge pay difference. In another thread, a former Flight Options (now Flexjet) Phenom Captain with 18 yearsí experience there made something like $110K. Sorry, but that is pathetic in this market with 18 yearsí of experience. You can make that amount in year 2 at Southwest on your way to making far more. A friend just met a newhire Delta FO with ZERO connections at Delta who had only 4-5 years of FO time at Skywest before being hired at Delta - no PIC time and zero connections. He attended a job fair and got an interview... And SWA has been hiring Netjets FOs recently - they like fractional pilots...

If you donít like your fractional operator - now is absolutely the time to jump to the airlines. Just ask your friends and former coworkers who have done it. I doubt many people regret the decision - they probably regret not doing it sooner. The financial and QOL differences are too big to ignore these days.

Last edited by David Puddy; 02-23-2018 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:38 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archy Meatpants View Post
Very thorough and informative. If I may ask some additional...

-You said $63k the first year was a lie. What was on your 2017 W2? Any bonuses included?
-How many hours did you block?
-Average days off per month?
I was never lied to about pay or bonuses. A lot of the information comes from company headhunters who, by human nature, get some of the information wrong. You could make way more than $63,000 per year as a first year f/o if you're willing to live on the road but you'd make just as much with a lot less work and time away from home with the sign on bonuses at other charter companies and airlines. Not to mention a much, much faster upgrade.
I worked an average 16-18 days per month.

My objective of this post was to reach those who are looking into FJ and help them make the most informed decision possible. When I came onboard, there was very little current info about the company so I'm just sharing my experience and opinions.


Flexjet has to do something to attract some talent because they really aren't competitive in the new hire market. I'm not really sure what they could do to improve that situation but I hope they figure it out because I think I can speak for nearly every FJ pilot when I say we need more pilots because we are getting our booties kicked with all the flying/work we do.

Jazz
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:08 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine View Post
all new hires are going into the Phenom. Everyone seems to hate that plane and they can't fill the seats so naturally thats where they stick the new hires.
Why is that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine View Post
You work a solid 14 hours and then you have 10 hours of rest. When your duty day starts, you are expected to be at the FBO at your start time regardless of when your flight departs. You get 30 minutes after you land to clean and put away the plane and then your 10 hours of rest starts.
Ex: Your duty day starts 05:00 and ends at 18:59. Your rest starts at 19:00 and ends at 05:00. Even if you have 8 hours of scheduled flight starting at 11:00, your are expected to show up at the fbo at 05:00 and sit. This policy is exhausting and starting at day 2, you're really feeling it. Its a senseless and dangerous policy which is a disservice to our owners who are expecting and pay for fresh and safe crews.
This is enough of a reason that I would never apply or seek to work there. That is just stupid, and as you pointed out, unsafe.








Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine View Post
Unlike an airline where your main duty is the flying, not only do we fly a ton, we clean toilets, cabins, carpets, cupboards, take off and put on freezable stock, put in gear pins and pitot covers, shop for stock, make sure the paxs catering is what they ordered and onboard plus a million other things.
I have no experience but it seems to me that seems to be typical for almost all corporate/135/91k jobs?
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Old 02-24-2018, 07:07 AM   #7  
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One thing I forgot to mention and its a big perk and the reason I decided to work for Flexjet is the home basing. If you live close to a decent sized airport, you’re basically good to go.
I live in BFE southeast America which would make commuting impossible.
I do wish they were a bit more kind about the travel to and from home/work. Sitting in the very back middle seat on at least 2 legs to get home is very common. You get the very cheapest seat possible but you do get to keep all your miles for airlines and
Hotels.
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Old 02-24-2018, 12:37 PM   #8  
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What was your first year income?
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:14 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine View Post

A typical rotation:
The company has a "14 and 10" policy. You work a solid 14 hours and then you have 10 hours of rest. When your duty day starts, you are expected to be at the FBO at your start time regardless of when your flight departs. You get 30 minutes after you land to clean and put away the plane and then your 10 hours of rest starts.
Ex: Your duty day starts 05:00 and ends at 18:59. Your rest starts at 19:00 and ends at 05:00. Even if you have 8 hours of scheduled flight starting at 11:00, your are expected to show up at the fbo at 05:00 and sit. This policy is exhausting and starting at day 2, you're really feeling it. Its a senseless and dangerous policy which is a disservice to our owners who are expecting and pay for fresh and safe crews.

Aside from the super lame 14 and 10 policy, the uniform is my personal pet peeve about my employment. We were told (and it seems true) that KR and his wife, (both who are really into fashion) designed the uniform and it's only function is to be fashionable. The shirt is ok, but being grey, you have to get them from the company source and they're pretty damn cheap. Also, being grey, any kind of moisture, sweat, water, whatever shows until dry.
The pants, the pants are satan's gift to aviation. They are very thin, skinny pants with ZERO space for your bum and junk. If you think about spreading your legs or bending down, the crouch will split. So most guys order their pants 5 sizes too large so they don't rip so easy but then you're pulling your pants up 1000 times a day because the waist is too big. I'm not sure how they do it, but the pants are awesome at untucking your shirt.
I cannot say enough how awful these pants are.
So only 10 hours at a hotel every night for your rotation? Is this policy really followed?

YIKES !!!!
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:24 PM   #10  
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So only 10 hours at a hotel every night for your rotation?
If you subtract time for transit to/from airport, waiting on shuttle, getting dinner, getting breakfast, then it is actually a lot less than 10 hours "at the hotel".

This leaves zero personal time to unwind and relax.
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