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Applying early

Old 07-12-2013, 05:31 AM
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Default Applying early

There's an older thread about whether military guys should apply early to airlines (early being before exact retirement/separation dates are known, and probably at least a year or so before retirement/separation). My take from that thread is in general "yes", just make sure it's clear that you don't know exactly when you'll be available if you don't have an approved retirement/separation date yet.

My question is: If one applies early and is fortunate enough to get a couple of offers, how long will airlines wait for an answer on an offer? In other words, let's say one gets an offer from airline "A" first, but airline "A" is not that pilot's first choice and he's not separating for a while since he applied early. In general, how long can a pilot hold out for his first choice while keeping airline "A" waiting for an answer?

I realize this is a good dilemma to have, but I have no sense of how the offer/acceptance process works.

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Old 07-12-2013, 07:41 AM
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I got offered a job at a Major and told them I was coming to training, but couldn't give an exact availability date. They said "let us know when you are available". When I pressed on how late I could push back training, they said 6 months, and then you have to reapply.....
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:28 PM
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Assuming your availability date is say six months out, you could accept your first offer immediately (and probably should). Then if you get a better offer later, you can change your mind.

But I'd still keep the 2nd choice on the burner until the last minute, the earlier of start date at first choice or maybe a week before class. Then politely decline the 2nd choice to due to "personal circumstances". You never know what will change in this industry.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:04 PM
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I made the mistake of waiting to apply until I was about 3 months out from being available after finishing my AF time. In the end it didn't matter; I got the interview and pretty much the first class I could have made. However, I heard from a friend of a friend that he applied with just about a year to go from his retirement date and not only got the interview, but an offer. This was with Delta during their last hiring period (circa 2010). In the end they stopped their short hiring period, and didn't pick up again anytime soon. Around a year later they rescinded the offer due to no hiring, but told him he'd be first in line for interviews when hiring started up again. He ended up retiring (instead of pushing it back) and going with FedEx.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kentwb View Post
Also, for the military types. If you've interviewed recently or are about to, I've put up a website for sharing the "gouge". Let's get some info in the database to help out your buds! It's Airline Pilot Hiring - The Best Airline Interview Prep, Application, Airline Profiles and Hiring Database!
Thanks man! Looks good. I've been at this job search for almost a year. Only one interview, jetBlue, which I didn't get. Only a few more months before I retire and without a job. This website looks like a great resource.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:42 AM
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I am a little over a year out and I have begun applying. I don't want to miss any opportunities or application windows because I waited.

ElCid - I am assuming you fly Vandys, have you done interview prep with anyone yet? I am trying to get enough guys together to convince ECC to come to OKC.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:18 AM
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Default Do Apply Early

Like others said, be honest. Give them your best guess at availability. Accept any and all offers up to the time you HAVE to make a decision. A bird in the hand is definitely worth two in the bush in this case. We had guys in my new hire class leave to go to another carrier during indoc. Yes, they burned a bridge, but went where they really wanted to be. For most guys leaving the military, it is a hard concept to grasp that you don't owe the new company anything. Remember, they will furlough you the day after hiring if it suits them. It's business. It's also business for you. You have to make the best decision for you and your family. If it means telling a company no after you told them yes, then so be it. It's business. If you dump one company for another, they may not necessarily like it, but they won't cry over it either. They will just move on to the next guy who will be elated that you bailed and gave him/her a shot. They will not take you back after that point though, so make sure you are leaving them for good. On a side note, I took the first training date available and ended up at my last choice airline. Turned out it was a blessing in disguise. Like Garth Brooks said, "Thank God for unanswered prayers." Sometimes its for the better. Good luck. Multiple choices and decisions is a good problem to have.
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Old 07-13-2013, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. Good information.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:57 PM
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I can't really add anything, it's pretty much been said.

Apply early and be honest. I, for one, was grateful I had a few months off between retiring and starting training, but it was getting a little tight.

Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by e6bpilot View Post
I am a little over a year out and I have begun applying. I don't want to miss any opportunities or application windows because I waited.

ElCid - I am assuming you fly Vandys, have you done interview prep with anyone yet? I am trying to get enough guys together to convince ECC to come to OKC.
Count me in. I was figuring I'd have to drive to Dallas for ECC, but if they'll come to OKC I'm game.
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