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View Poll Results: Which choice?
TSA with seniority 14 42.42%
CommutAir 2 6.06%
Envoy 3 9.09%
Piedmont 3 9.09%
Somewhere else 11 33.33%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-05-2018, 02:33 PM   #1  
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Question Getting back in; have offers, want advice

Long time lurker; I've been out of the airline game for ~9 years at this point while in the Army (non-flying). I've decided I like where it looks like the industry is headed and I enjoyed flying a lot more than I do IT. The end goal is one of the big 6 or JetBlue due to their MCO base (live in FL, package deal with the family since I'm getting out). AAL MIA is probably the dream but I'd honestly take any of the above listed. "Stars align" goal would be to go to the regionals and grind it out for a couple years and then get to the majors. Realistically, we all know there's a recession coming at some point.



I'd previously worked for Trans States and have over 1500 and 1000 SIC 121. So I'm in this weird boat where I qualify for DEC stuff...which, truth be told is secretly terrifying in the same way that TSA hiring 450TT me was in 2007...but I've not mentioned that in the interviews.


So here are the options I've looked at, what I like, and what I don't like:


Trans States


Pros: through a feat of good luck, I've been on military leave for ~the last 8 years. I have 1.75 years seniority/longevity, so I'd be at about 2 years when I hit the line...and from what I'd read I'd go back to the line. It sounds like I'd have the seniority to upgrade but not the company required 2500TT - so it'd be a year of FO then a year of CA, but probably most line flying the whole time with a commute to DEN or ORD from central FL. Have long call reserve, though I'm guessing with the current manning no one ever sees it. APT reserve (standby) pays 5 hours per assignment.



Cons: I know TSA is losing their AA flying, and the 7 jets they added with UA are only there for 3 years as of now. I don't really see where the MRJ fits in and I'm not sure I'd bank on TSA being around in the current form in 5 years...but if a recession hits, I might need it to be.


CommutAir


Pros: Immediate upgrade and it sounds like their reserve CAs are actually flying. United CPP with movement if UA is hiring after 3000 hrs with the company or 1000 PIC. Same airframe that I've been on before (EMB-145). A $32,500 signing bonus doesn't sound too bad, and I like that I'd be guaranteed (as of now, at least) $55/hr if things don't go as planned and I'm still an FO in 15 mos. They're partially owned by UA so I assume they're not going away before other UA Express carriers, such as, say Trans States. The company keeps saying they're getting another 20 145s, though I'll believe it when I see it.


Cons: Commute to reserve ('nough said), potentially on reserve as a CA for 2-3 years, sounds like airport reserve doesn't pay unless you fly...not that it would matter since I'm commuting to it.



Envoy


Pros: Immediate upgrade, probably between $32 and 37k bonus according to the recruiting team. Guaranteed ticket to AA mainline at some point. Getting new airframes. Recruiting team says that being an AMR employee has helped folks that don't want to stay for flow get off the street seats at AA mainline. Flow guarantees that senior folks are leaving.



Cons: Commute to reserve, and potential assignment to a dying airframe (700). No long call reserve, no pay for airport (standby reserve), time off reserve is anywhere between 24 and 36 months, as it stands now. Sounds like CA reserves can fly as little as 250 hours a year, so that's not a recipe to get anywhere quickly...might actually need the flow. New airframe stacks the deck against a return, since I've been told I would be "displaced to CA" (ie, force upgraded). I can picture a scenario where AA mainline is hiring off the street but doesn't hire WO guys due to manning levels there...



I think I've done my research here, but what am I missing? Worth looking at someone else, like say, Piedmont? What would you guys choose out of the 3, and would you recommend I look at anyone else?
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:44 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by BrazilBusDriver View Post

Pros: through a feat of good luck, I've been on military leave for ~the last 8 years. I have 1.75 years seniority/longevity, so I'd be at about 2 years when I hit the line...and from what I'd read I'd go back to the line. It sounds like I'd have the seniority to upgrade but not the company required 2500TT - so it'd be a year of FO then a year of CA, but probably most line flying the whole time with a commute to DEN or ORD from central FL. Have long call reserve, though I'm guessing with the current manning no one ever sees it. APT reserve (standby) pays 5 hours per assignment.
Ummm, unless I'm reading this wrong you *probably* have 9.75 years seniority and longevity. I know they may be telling you otherwise, talking about some sort of "five year limit" but that hypothetical limit is VERY narrowly defined and almost never applies post 9/11.

You need to get smart on USERRA as it applies to your specific case.

I suspect that your situation looks like this...

You took mil leave to join the army.

You attended some training, and graduated. At least one year? All exempt from the five year limit.

Upon completion of training, you incurred an active duty service obligation. I assume 3-5 years. Service to complete a training obligation is all exempt from the five year limit.

NONE of the above counts against the five year limit. So if that accounted for say at least five years of your military stint, then and only then does the five year absence clock start.

So five years exempt service plus maybe another three non-exempt would put you with still two years in which to claim your job and seniority back. Any other schools along the way which required OBLISERV? More time which doesn't count.

That's for regular active duty. If you were in the guard/reserve before you left and just went on extended orders, it may ALL be exempt depending on the orders.

So you should be a VERY senior FO to start. You could come back as a CA of course, but that would be VERY sketchy if you've never done it and been away that long. I'd start as an FO, and then upgrade in 6-8 months when you get back in the groove. Then you should still be a pretty senior CA.

Last edited by rickair7777; 12-05-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:22 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Ummm, unless I'm reading this wrong you *probably* have 9.75 years seniority and longevity. I know they may be telling you otherwise, talking about some sort of "five year limit" but that hypothetical limit is VERY narrowly defined and almost never applies post 9/11.

You need to get smart on USERRA as it applies to your specific case.

I suspect that your situation looks like this...

You took mil leave to join the army.

You attended some training, and graduated. At least one year? All exempt from the five year limit.

Upon completion of training, you incurred an active duty service obligation. I assume 3-5 years. Service to complete a training obligation is all exempt from the five year limit.

NONE of the above counts against the five year limit. So if that accounted for say at least five years of your military stint, then and only then does the five year absence clock start.

So five years exempt service plus maybe another three non-exempt would put you with still two years in which to claim your job and seniority back. Any other schools along the way which required OBLISERV? More time which doesn't count.

That's for regular active duty. If you were in the guard/reserve before you left and just went on extended orders, it may ALL be exempt depending on the orders.

So you should be a VERY senior FO to start. You could come back as a CA of course, but that would be VERY sketchy if you've never done it and been away that long. I'd start as an FO, and then upgrade in 6-8 months when you get back in the groove. Then you should still be a pretty senior CA.

Ok thatís huge if it applies to my specific case and def sways the decision.

For clarification I did ROTC after getting furloughed in early 2009. I got the mandatory recall in 2010 sometime but was placed on mil leave due to be contracted with the Army. Started AD in 2011 and just fulfilled ADSOs a couple months ago.

I have some reading to do...
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Old 12-05-2018, 04:43 PM   #4  
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Since you DON'T WANT TO immediately upgrade to Captain, after that long a break, the company 2500 hour limit shouldn't be an issue. So after IOE you likely become Trans States MOST SENIOR FO and will MAYBE sit reserve for the rest of the month you complete IOE before you get the BEST FO lines that Trans States has. After "suffering" through a year or so of the best schedules that TSA has to offer, you'll upgrade and by that time probably be in the top 10-15% of their captains, again pulling less than one bid of reserve.

Even if TSA becomes extinct in two and a half years, that would seem too good a deal to pass up. And if a recession comes, you'd be close to furlough-proof.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:12 PM   #5  
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Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
Since you DON'T WANT TO immediately upgrade to Captain, after that long a break, the company 2500 hour limit shouldn't be an issue. So after IOE you likely become Trans States MOST SENIOR FO and will MAYBE sit reserve for the rest of the month you complete IOE before you get the BEST FO lines that Trans States has. After "suffering" through a year or so of the best schedules that TSA has to offer, you'll upgrade and by that time probably be in the top 10-15% of their captains, again pulling less than one bid of reserve.

Even if TSA becomes extinct in two and a half years, that would seem too good a deal to pass up. And if a recession comes, you'd be close to furlough-proof.

Think TSA has a 2500 tt or 1000 at company for upgrade now
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:19 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
Since you DON'T WANT TO immediately upgrade to Captain, after that long a break, the company 2500 hour limit shouldn't be an issue. So after IOE you likely become Trans States MOST SENIOR FO and will MAYBE sit reserve for the rest of the month you complete IOE before you get the BEST FO lines that Trans States has. After "suffering" through a year or so of the best schedules that TSA has to offer, you'll upgrade and by that time probably be in the top 10-15% of their captains, again pulling less than one bid of reserve.

Even if TSA becomes extinct in two and a half years, that would seem too good a deal to pass up. And if a recession comes, you'd be close to furlough-proof.
Yeah I think I just accidentally "hacked" the regional airlines. Makes the choice a 100 times easier.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:19 PM   #7  
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Think TSA has a 2500 tt or 1000 at company for upgrade now
That's what I've been told by training, but honestly, for 10 years of seniority, I'll hang out a year as an FO.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:53 PM   #8  
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I left the industry as well and came back because I liked what I saw. I flew the line a couple months to get acclimated again. Felt confident and was like riding a bike to me. I went for upgrade and didnít have any issues. Love the left seat life. Iím at Piedmont so I came back to a plane I was very familiar with which made my transition back in quite easy. I donít think I would go near Envoy unless you are older and could hold the 175 from the beginning. Anything else is guaranteed suckfest on reserve from what Iíve read on their forums. Take a look at PSA if you want a WO, is my suggestion.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:36 PM   #9  
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Think TSA has a 2500 tt or 1000 at company for upgrade now
If so, he could upgrade as soon as he feels comfortable doing it, since he already has 1000 hours of SIC with them. That would make it even more of a slam-dunk. Fly four or five hundred hours to get back into the saddle and then upgrade. With his seniority he could have 1000 TPIC in less than two years from showing up for indoc. Heck, his seniority will be INCREASING even when he's getting his ATP. And even Trans States is unlikely to fold in two years. And if someone buys TSA and they merge seniority lists....
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:50 PM   #10  
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I left the industry as well and came back because I liked what I saw. I flew the line a couple months to get acclimated again. Felt confident and was like riding a bike to me. I went for upgrade and didnít have any issues. Love the left seat life. Iím at Piedmont so I came back to a plane I was very familiar with which made my transition back in quite easy. I donít think I would go near Envoy unless you are older and could hold the 175 from the beginning. Anything else is guaranteed suckfest on reserve from what Iíve read on their forums. Take a look at PSA if you want a WO, is my suggestion.
At this point the decision on where to go is made if I have 9 years of seniority somewhere...glad to hear you picked things up quick and were ready for upgrade that fast!
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