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Bottom of SWA or bottom of new American?

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Bottom of SWA or bottom of new American?

Old 11-17-2013, 05:59 AM
  #11  
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I would take the first one that offered you the job. You can work there, see how it goes and keep applying to the other one if you don't like it.

Airlines are funny. A candidate can look like the perfect fit and not get hired.

SW is a great company. I have friends that left here (US) have not looked back even though they are still a F/O there and could be a captain here. Will they change their mind now that it looks like a merger will go through? Who knows. They say it was like Piedmont used to be, they enjoy going to work while they didn't in the darkest days of US.

There is going to be a couple years of rough edges to knock off at the new AA. Sounds like SW has a few with AT.

I have enjoyed the variety of flying I've done here, from 8 legs a day on the F-28 to trans-Atlantic on the 767. I have over 8,000 hours on the 737 and enjoyed it when I flew it, but after the 767 and A320 I never want to fly another one. I never flew the NG, and even though I'm sure it's better, it's still a 737.

Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:16 AM
  #12  
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Agreed on the horror of flying a 737 several legs a day til you retire in a system that requires you to turn airplanes fast, fly fast, and pick up extra trips in order to get paid well. I'd rather have the option of wide body flying, 1 leg 20 or so days off a month.

I guess that comes down to personal preference. I like that AA allows you the choice to fly narrow or wide body (when you can hold it), intl or domestic
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:38 AM
  #13  
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SW buddy last week - "so, what are you doing? I'm still on the 737." That's his standard line for the last....15 yrs.

SW is a great company. No doubt about it. Massive growth phase is over. Competitive advantage has shrunk or disappeared. Slow advancement. The decision to go to SW is different today than it was in days past.

AA/US has a lot of retirements coming up. Upgrade probably 10 yrs. Or skip the upgrade and continue to fly FO n/b domestic, or Caribbean, or w/b's to Asia, or Europe, of visit your second family in S. America. Having the choices is huge. For many domestic flying is a huge PITA compared to international flying.

Among the Big 3 the career expectations are probably close enough(no one knows the future) that I'd put the airline that has a MAJOR crew base in my home town as my first choice. Not commuting, and living close to the airport, is a huge QWL improvement.

There's reason w/b intl flying goes senior to n/b domestic flying. It's not just the pay. It's different. Different airplane. Different type of flying. Different cities. Different cultures. Fewer departures(majority of the work B.S. comes during preflight/loading). Bigger cockpit. Quieter cockpit. Longer trips = longer days off breaks. Overwater(HF good, CPDLC heaven) = no VHF radio noise.

There's a reason the majority of guys that go international stick with it. Some guys hate it. But the key issue they had the choice, stuck their toe in the water, and didn't like it. That's not an option at a primarily domestic or n/b airline.

Turn SW down? No. But if a Big 3 called I'd be gone.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:47 AM
  #14  
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The one thing I've learned over the last 13 years....take other pilots opinion with a grain of salt.....this pertains to:

Money
Stock decisions
Bidding
Commuting
Training


Whenever a pilot starts advice with " what you should do that is the first sign that you may want to seek advice elsewhere....

Whenever a pilot or future pilot asks me for advice, I usually say " there are many ways to...... I did it this way but only because my situation was....... But you'll have to decide what is best for your situation....." Too many pilots think they have it all figured out and they're way is best.....and they'll let you know it....

BTW, the one time I followed the recommendation of a pilot, I lost out big on a stock purchase......... I believe his exact words were.... " you have gotta be crazy to buy them, they be bankrupt in a month...." Instead I would have probably quadrupled my money by now.....

Lesson learned
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:07 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by ghilis101 View Post
and pick up extra trips in order to get paid well.
It's all perspective, what one is used, and where expectations lie.

But a different way to say the above in regards to SW would more along the lines of "just fly your awarded line to get paid well, pick up to get paid VERY well".

But that's just me. One thing this job has taught me is to live WELL within my means, and DON'T ever have that mindset of "next year I;ll be be making xx amount so I can start spending that, then next year I'll be making xxxx so I can start spending xxxx", etc.

To the OP, you DON'T have a choice till you have BOTH job offers in hand. What if you ended up being hell bent on AA, interviewed, didn't get it, but turned down a SW interview based on wanting AA? Not that you would, but just throwing it out there. Meanwhile, you're holding your breath waiting for DAL or UAL to call? I know, it'll just be a matter of time before you get a call with the numbers coming up. But even before 9/11 when the hiring was VERY good, I saw a couple friends in this scenario;

#1) Can't get a call. Competitive, multiple recs, just not happening yet
#2) Interviewed, but sadly had a bad day and got a TBNT, reapply in a year
#3) Interviewed, got selected, and is in a pool, waiting on a class date.
#4) Interviewed, got selected, AND offered a class date.

Now imagine, at that time, if #4 was SW, FedEx, or UPS?

If you were to ask this question back pre 9/11, it would have been bottom of (insert legacy) as an automatic answer. So imagine how much it must suck NOW for the guys that went to SW pre 9/11 and stayed? That's sarcasm........

Things change, you'll NEVER know till you retire what was and wasn't a good move in your career.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:10 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by kingairfun View Post
The one thing I've learned over the last 13 years....take other pilots opinion with a grain of salt.....this pertains to:

Money
Stock decisions
Bidding
Commuting
Training


Whenever a pilot starts advice with " what you should do that is the first sign that you may want to seek advice elsewhere....

Whenever a pilot or future pilot asks me for advice, I usually say " there are many ways to...... I did it this way but only because my situation was....... But you'll have to decide what is best for your situation....." Too many pilots think they have it all figured out and they're way is best.....and they'll let you know it....

BTW, the one time I followed the recommendation of a pilot, I lost out big on a stock purchase......... I believe his exact words were.... " you have gotta be crazy to buy them, they be bankrupt in a month...." Instead I would have probably quadrupled my money by now.....

Lesson learned

Don't forget advice about relationships.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:13 AM
  #17  
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If you are fortunate enough to have a choice, that is outstanding. John Carr is right, though. Understand the cyclic nature of this business and realize that chances are good that today's OK contract will quite possibly get gutted tomorrow and there is an even chance you'll get laid off at some point. Not trying to be negative, but if anyone thinks that it's all smooth sailing because guys are retiring and airlines are hiring, they're delusional. Live below your salary, have a rainy day fund, and be financially and emotionally prepared when things go south.

Last edited by Spudhauler; 11-17-2013 at 09:14 AM. Reason: format
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:16 AM
  #18  
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FWIW... if you make a decision based on a pay comparison, remember that seniority is forever, and pay is a snapshot in time. SWA might be paying more now than some of the legacies, but this was not always the case, and probably won't be in the future. Besides, how long will it take you to get to the higher rungs of the ladder? IMHO, simply looking at payscales is a huge mistake.

Last edited by tsquare; 11-17-2013 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:23 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by John Carr View Post
It's all perspective, what one is used, and where expectations lie.

But a different way to say the above in regards to SW would more along the lines of "just fly your awarded line to get paid well, pick up to get paid VERY well".

But that's just me. One thing this job has taught me is to live WELL within my means, and DON'T ever have that mindset of "next year I;ll be be making xx amount so I can start spending that, then next year I'll be making xxxx so I can start spending xxxx", etc.

To the OP, you DON'T have a choice till you have BOTH job offers in hand. What if you ended up being hell bent on AA, interviewed, didn't get it, but turned down a SW interview based on wanting AA? Not that you would, but just throwing it out there. Meanwhile, you're holding your breath waiting for DAL or UAL to call? I know, it'll just be a matter of time before you get a call with the numbers coming up. But even before 9/11 when the hiring was VERY good, I saw a couple friends in this scenario;

#1) Can't get a call. Competitive, multiple recs, just not happening yet
#2) Interviewed, but sadly had a bad day and got a TBNT, reapply in a year
#3) Interviewed, got selected, and is in a pool, waiting on a class date.
#4) Interviewed, got selected, AND offered a class date.

Now imagine, at that time, if #4 was SW, FedEx, or UPS?

If you were to ask this question back pre 9/11, it would have been bottom of (insert legacy) as an automatic answer. So imagine how much it must suck NOW for the guys that went to SW pre 9/11 and stayed? That's sarcasm........

Things change, you'll NEVER know till you retire what was and wasn't a good move in your career.
This is true. SWA is a great airline with the best 737 pay in the industry. On pay alone the decision is difficult. I think what AA does offer is flexibility in that the fleet and type of flying varies significantly so you can pick and choose what works best for you as you age. Theres nothing "wrong" with the way SWA does things, but by very nature of the flying, its fast paced and requires a pilot that likes to be on the move. That go,go,go attitude is admirable, especially when Im sitting in the jumpseat However, some of us ask ourselves, do I want to do that when im 60? At that age many guys want to be in a widebody doing an easy leg to Europe or Asia, 30 something hours off, come back, and then not fly again for a week or more.

This in no way is about "size" of aircraft as it is about the style of flying.

lol @ whoever posted visiting your second family in South America
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Old 11-17-2013, 09:30 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by ghilis101 View Post
This is true. SWA is a great airline with the best 737 pay in the industry. On pay alone the decision is difficult. I think what AA does offer is flexibility in that the fleet and type of flying varies significantly so you can pick and choose what works best for you as you age. Theres nothing "wrong" with the way SWA does things, but by very nature of the flying, its fast paced and requires a pilot that likes to be on the move. That go,go,go attitude is admirable, especially when Im sitting in the jumpseat However, some of us ask ourselves, do I want to do that when im 60? At that age many guys want to be in a widebody doing an easy leg to Europe or Asia, 30 something hours off, come back, and then not fly again for a week or more.

This in no way is about "size" of aircraft as it is about the style of flying.
I would agree with all that. But the more and more time I spend in a SW JS, they seem to be flying less legs than they traditionally did. And a DAL friend of mine showed me his domestic 757 rotation. 14 legs in 4 days, longest overnight is 13 hours. Not ALL the time, but good grief.

When I'm 60, do I wanna do that? Heeeeeeeeeck no. But at 60, I'm not sure I wanna be doing back side of the clock European 3 days either. OR 3.5-4 day orient trips. I KNOW, they pay well and give time off. But where I commuted from, there's A LOT of very senior/silverbacks that do that. They're in their mid to late 50's, they look like death warmed over commuting home with them.
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