Airline questions

C

C172Guy

Once again, thank all of you for your responses about my situation on the other post. Now I've got some more questions, this time there a little more aviation related.

First of all, I know right now, all of you are probably taking whatever jobs you can get (especially if you were furloughed). However in normal circumstances (or now) do you at least have the choice to decide if you want to go the PAX or cargo route?

What are the basic differences in the airline vs. corporate lifestyle? Do you have a set schedule for corporate, or is it just always on call? What about financially? What are the differences?

In the airlines, how far in advance do you know your schedules? When you are interviewed by an airline, will they be able to tell how your schedule will be or do you take the job, then worry about the schedule?

I know seniority is a big thing when it comes to schedules. Is seniority determined by flight time, or how long you've been with the company? For example, if I was 40 years old, just got a job with an airline, and had more flight time than someone who was 30, but he had been there for 5 years already, who would have more seniority?

Do your wives or family ever get to come on trips with you?

Thank you for your time and interest.
 

Speedtree

lovin' life
Joined
Jan 6, 2002
Posts
193
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4000
I am a corporate pilot and here is what I know about it.

Most airlines run on a monthly schedule. You have to talk to the pilots to find out which airlines have better lines (schedules). Some lines are better than others. Your seniority is based on date of hire. So the longer you are with the company the more seniority you have regardless of time etc. It also breaks down into position and equipment (or those who you bid against).

Generally in the long run airlines will pay more, but you have to pay your dues first. I accepted a corporate job with a company instead of going to a commuter. The initial pay was better but by now I would most likely be a captain if I would have taken a commuter job 3 years ago and making more money.

Corporate jobs run the gamut. My company is great to work for and they take good care of me, although the pay is not great as a pilot on a turboprop. Some companies require you to be on call and your schedule changes all the time. This is how it is for me though most of our flying gets me home at night. They don't do much last minute flying so it's not so bad. Larger companies may have schedules if they have many pilots and many aircraft. They may also be more likely to send you to Europe for a week or two.

Travel: I can take my wife or friends along if the airplane isn't full and I get permission from the president and passengers. My wife has gone to Yellowstone, Telluride etc. with me. On the airlines you and your family can fly anywhere you want for next to nothing (at least on your airline). I have no pass privileges.

They are two different worlds each with plusses and minuses. Also, corporate flying is much more service oriented in that you are responsible for cleaning the aircraft, getting coffee, ice, whatever the passengers want. Putting the airplane away (depending on where you hangar). Airline flying is more specific and you are just responsible for flying. Airline pilots can help you out here.

Keep asking questions.
 

skydiverdriver

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
869
Total Time
5000+
Good post by speedtree, especially about the corporate stuff. I'm a bit suprized that he would make more as a regional captain, as corporate guys keep telling me that I would make more there. I did fly for a cargo regional before Comair, and can speak to that. I loved the schedule, four days a week, every holiday and weekend off, one whole week off a month. Downside, no pass bennies, just ID-90's on a few carriers. All regional pilots get passes for them, spouse and dependent children under 23. Your wife can come on trips with you, to meet you at an overnight, if there is room on the plane. Some airlines offer companion bennies as well, for your significant other. Not as good as a spouse, but a small fee per flight isn't bad.

Cargo is nice because boxes don't complain about the turbulence, or missing their connections, and they don't get sick or try to hijack you. However, you do carry some hazmat, and that can be a bit more dangerous. You depend on the shipper to declare what's in it, and undeclared stuff can kill you.

After trying both, I can say that I like both lifestyles. I would probably choose cargo, as the flight attendants aren't able to come up and visit us in flight anymore. Not that much difference otherwise. Let me know if you have any other queries. Good luck.
 
C

C172Guy

Cool. Thanks for the responses. So I now have another question. How is the pay different from the cargo and pax airlines? Can you make a career out of working at FedEx or UPS? Or do they not pay as much as the pax airlines? I'm not so sure I'd want to do the corporate thing, because I don't think I'd like not knowing what my schedule would be. I'd rather know how my schedule would be.
 

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Shem Malmquist
Joined
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279
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C172, ref the query on FedEx/UPS, go to the Major Airline Interview board and read the threads. I think your questions will be answered.
 

starchkr

New Bus driver
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
1,065
Total Time
enough
From your last posts i have come to understand that you want to fly because you love to do it correct? IF that is the case then before you go making your life decisions based on what the pay and schedules are like i would suggest finding out just what makes you tick about flying and why.

For example, why go to the highest paying job when you could possibly be bored out of your mind and hate it, causing you to lose the love for flying that you once had. Working conditions are another thing to think about. If you want to marry a woman who can't stand to be away from you, and you feel the same way, then that should play some kind of factor.

DON'T do this for the money, do it for the love you say you have. Definately do not sell yourself short and be miserable at something you love to do. There are a lot of posters on here who think that flying even an RJ is crappy and they cannot wait to make the "big bucks" that the majors pay. These are the same guys i run into on the ramps of many US airports who say they would trade anything to come fly a Baron again to get back to enjoying flying. Of course you know by now that this industry is filled with money hungry people who would do anything to $crew the guy above and behind them to get a step up, even if it was a loved one.

Anyway, relish the ease of flight training, and enjoy the good times while you still can. Once you start looking for that first job don't let the common beliefs of many sway you into doing something you don't want to do. This career is supposed to be FUN, so make it that, even if you end up making a small fraction of what the "other" guys make. Besides, that is what the wife is for. :)
 
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