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Old 01-25-2016, 06:09 PM   #1  
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Default jetBlue or Alaska

I'm about to separate from active duty and would love to live out west. I have all of my ducks in order-apps out, networking in order, interview prep, etc. I haven't decided exactly where I'd like to settle down but California, Arizona, and Nevada are on my radar. I hate the cold and the rain so north of California is out. Sorry PNWesterners, nothing personal.
Which airline would you go with? I know, I have to get an offer first. The first few years pay is about the same but talking to a few military buds, there seems to be more opportunity to make more money at jetBlue. Alaska has a higher 401k contribution but nothing else really stands out besides this. Both are strong companies but Alaska concerns me a bit being so small with very slow growth, whereas jetBlue is more than twice the size of Alaska and is still growing at a healthy pace. How are the work rules? How senior does LAX (Alaska) and LGB (jetBlue) go for a new hire? How about the upgrade times?
Thanks in advance and my apologies for the dumb questions. I just don't know a whole lot about the airlines.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:16 PM   #2  
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Just a thought, but you could broaden your horizons a bit. Off the top of my head I can think of other airlines with bases in LAS, SFO, OAK, PHX, LAX, ONT, etc, as well, not to mention other airlines that home base wherever you want.

Apply soon, apply often.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:29 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Work4life View Post
I'm about to separate from active duty and would love to live out west. I have all of my ducks in order-apps out, networking in order, interview prep, etc. I haven't decided exactly where I'd like to settle down but California, Arizona, and Nevada are on my radar. I hate the cold and the rain so north of California is out. Sorry PNWesterners, nothing personal.
Which airline would you go with? I know, I have to get an offer first. The first few years pay is about the same but talking to a few military buds, there seems to be more opportunity to make more money at jetBlue. Alaska has a higher 401k contribution but nothing else really stands out besides this. Both are strong companies but Alaska concerns me a bit being so small with very slow growth, whereas jetBlue is more than twice the size of Alaska and is still growing at a healthy pace. How are the work rules? How senior does LAX (Alaska) and LGB (jetBlue) go for a new hire? How about the upgrade times?
Thanks in advance and my apologies for the dumb questions. I just don't know a whole lot about the airlines.
Just an idea, but your three listed states include the cities of Oakland, Phoenix, and Las Vegas which are the three most junior bases at SWA. You will get assigned to any of them immediately and be off reserve in a few months most likely. Sorry, I don't mean to hijack the thread either.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:33 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallFlyer View Post
Just a thought, but you could broaden your horizons a bit. Off the top of my head I can think of other airlines with bases in LAS, SFO, OAK, PHX, LAX, ONT, etc, as well, not to mention other airlines that home base wherever you want.

Apply soon, apply often.
I've got my apps in with the big boys also but this was a hypothetical question since jetBlue and Alaska are similar companies in that each have a big presence on both coasts (west for Alaska and east for jetBlue). I have a lot of info about the other airlines from my buds but I don't have a whole lot of people that I know at Alaska and jetBlue, especially at Alaska.
I remember speaking with someone from my squadron who left for Alaska years ago. I didn't know him very well since he left shortly after I got to the squadron. He was so happy to land a job there but I recently heard that he is looking for greener pastures. Why would anyone leave a major/legacy airline and give up their seniority? Those are the things I'd like to hear about so that I can make an intelligent decision. They both seem like very good companies but I just don't know.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:36 PM   #5  
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Just an idea, but your three listed states include the cities of Oakland, Phoenix, and Las Vegas which are the three most junior bases at SWA. You will get assigned to any of them immediately and be off reserve in a few months most likely. Sorry, I don't mean to hijack the thread either.
I'd love to work for SWA. I have my apps in with them also. I just wanted to find out a bit more about these two since I don't have a whole lot of contacts at either of these companies, especially Alaska.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:39 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by Work4life View Post
I'd love to work for SWA. I have my apps in with them also. I just wanted to find out a bit more about these two since I don't have a whole lot of contacts at either of these companies, especially Alaska.
Ok, no worries, good idea to explore all your options.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:50 PM   #7  
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LAX is going pretty junior. Good chance that you can hold it right out of training. I believe more than 50% of the LAX base are commuters the last time I checked. Unless you have family ties down there, the housing prices make it difficult to live anywhere near the airport unless you enjoy hearing frequent sirens and gun fire. Upgrade is running around 10 years if you are willing to go up to ANC. Upgrade time in LAX is probably the highest mainly due to lack of growth. I doubt LAX will ever get significant growth-just my guess. Growth comes in terms of seat miles rather than pilots, here at Alaskan. 200+ pilots over a time span of just over a decade is hardly considered growth by any means.
Over 60% of this pilot group signed a 5 year contract in 2013. Don't expect to see a new contract until well past the amendable date. Weak association+ultra greedy management=sub-mediocre contract years past amendable date. My .02. The current contract is well below mediocre deal. That's why our pay is where it's at. Soon, Alaskan pilots will be the lowest paid 737 pilots in the legacy world by a big margin and one of the lowest paid in the major world.
If you still want to come here, more power to you. In any case, good luck.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:54 PM   #8  
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I have a buddy at JetBlue and he's been waiting for over a year for LGB. Not sure when he'll get it. All the Jr FOs get A320s to JFK or E190s to BOS...
On the plus side I have 5 friends at JB and they ALL love it and aren't applying anywhere else despite being very marketable. 1st year pay isn't great but by the 3rd year you're looking at 6 figures. Seems like a great place to work from what they tell me.
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:06 AM   #9  
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6 figures by 3rd year? How about premium pay at either one - available, not available? How is it at each place?
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Old 01-26-2016, 04:29 AM   #10  
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Default JB realities

First and foremost. I enjoy working at JB.

But I want all poolies and applicants to come in with their eyes WIDE open.
THIS IS AN EAST COAST AIRLINE!
It will take you probably 1.5-2.5 years to get out to LGB, and when you do, you will be VERY junior. I also hear they have the worst trips of all the AB bases (4 legs and redeyes).
I don't have the upgrade numbers handy, but you can be a captain in BOS or JFK in about 2.7 years. LGB is more like 10, AND YOULL BE JUNIOR.
To those asking about extra money...it can be had here. VERY easily if you live in base. I say again, live in base.
RSA (reserve stints that pay 150% come out about every month, but they come out it seems late the day prior so if you're a commuter it's difficult to grab them.
The biggest way to make big money here is do not use PTO (it's our combined sick/vacation pot). You can sell it back at 150% of current seat. I was on the jumpseat and a 12+ year captain on the AB makes more in PTO sell back than I make in a month.
To the OP, if you think you can stomach living on the east coast for a couple years, then be super junior in LGB, welcome aboard.
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