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Another lame which airline? AW or Comair

avrodriver

************
I always used to hate seeing....."Which airline do you think I should go to?" threads, but I find myself spending all my freetime daydreaming about which is the right move and if anyone else had any constructive thoughts (instead of getting flamed) I would love to hear them. I've been at my current carrier for 2 1/2 years now and have decided it's time to go. I've been fortunate enough to have been hired at AW and anticipate being in class Feb 3rd, meanwhile I also have a Comair interview this week and from a buddy of mine's experience the days of waiting for a class date there are over (Interviewed 3rd week of DEC, scheduled for class 3rd week of JAN) and if I get hired I know that I better start thinking about my decision now. Both companies have decent contracts, both are growing pilot wise (AW currently 700 pilots adding revised nunber of 170 newhires in 03 means 24% more pilots, Comair currently 1600 pilots....350 newhires in 03 means 22% more), both fly coast to coast, both offer a/c larger than a 50 seater. Where I'm based isn't an issue for me (although I do like the diversity of bases AW offers). What I fly isn't an issue either......just want to go to the best company. AW feels right, but Comair offers alot of security. Anyway, I'd be glad to hear your thoughts......good luck to all. C-ya AD.
 

cocknbull

Well-known member
I can't tell you first hand who has a better contract because that is something I have no idea about. I have alot of friends who fly for Comair. Every single one of them loves it. Cincinnati is not a bad town considering it is cheap to live here and there is plenty to do. The only word of caution I can give you is that Comair is owned by Delta. If history repeats itself like Eagle, Piedmont, PSA, etc... Then it might end up being a bad place to work in the future. Also I have many friends who fly for Delta and many of them want to see Comair burn. . The funny thing about that is one is a former Comair pilot. This couuld cause some problems if you want to fly for DAL in the future. As for Air Whiskey, seems like a top notch company.

My guess is in todays market you can't go wrong with either.
 

JJJ

Well-known member
Go with the airline that you wouldn't have to commute, or that has crew bases where you want to live.
 

embdrvr

Well-known member
You're in a great situation.
Sounds like you're not too concerned with domicile lcoations. Commuting really sucks so keep in mind that domicile location could be a critical factor later.
If it was me I'd probably stick with AW. I like the fact that they are not owned by a major. They have excellent future earning potential and I think they might have a better retirement package than Comair. The only downside is that they are tied to UAL which my be a sinking ship. At least they are starting to codeshare with a LCC and could potentially shift some flying in that direction if UAL starts giving away some of their business to a bottom feeder.
 

captjim

Well-known member
If I had a job and wasn't in a big hurry, I'd go with Air Willy.
Great contract and big growth coming.
 

Titan5

Member
Reply

Avro,

I'm in the same situation you're in. I work for a wholly-owned regional, Piedmont, have been hired by AW, and am expecting a call within the next week or two with a class date.

As far as the Comair situation, definately go to the interview, see what your impressions of the company are, then when they hire you worry about what to do at that point. I've found that spending all of this time worrying about what if, what if, does nothing but give me ulcers. Don't worry about it until you come to that bridge...

On a happier note I've heard that management at AW had the official meeting today to determine the direction the company will be taking during the next several months regarding pilot hiring. From what I've heard the Feb class should happen but I also heard that about the Jan class so all we can do is wait until next week and see. Hope this helps,

Titan
 

KSwift

Member
I would say Air Whiskey as long as you are sure they are going to hire you. I was in the same situation last year with ACA vs. AW. AW drained the pool. and I haven't heard from them sense. Make sure you have a job before you turn comair down.
 

Thunderchief

Ultra Hog
I would take AW. Comair and the whole Delta thing...

AW can be a little more versatile as the aviation industry changes, Comair is governed by Delta.

Good luck!
 

skydiverdriver

Senior Member
I'm not sure what you guys mean by the whole "Delta" thing, but I see it as an advantage. Delta is one of the best and strongest major airlines, and they treat us pretty well. I havn't met one Delta pilot who "wants to see Comair burn," and I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that.

One thing that Comair has that many airlines don't is a will to fight. I think the main reason nothing like Eagle or Piedmont problems will happen here is that we are willing to take our union to court to prevent such things. I have worked for wholly owned regionals and independent codeshare regionals and I would choose the wholly owned. I honestly don't know much about AW, but I hear it's a good company, so I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. Good luck to you.
 

avrodriver

************
Thanks

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I went ahead and went to the Comair interview and it went very well. Very impressed by the GO and all the people I met, very awesome company. I still have no clue what to do, but guess I'll decide when I have to. KSwift, I'm not sure if you took the job at ACA, but I'll tell you I know for sure Air Wis was reinterviewing all the guys that were in the pool and a buddy of mine was among the first to get hired.

On a seperate topic I want to warn people about drinking the kool aid that some companies may be trying to serve you. Be realistic in what to expect as you sign up with carriers or make the switch from your current carrier to another. One thing I was not buying that Comair was trying to sell me on was that the upgrade should be around 2 years. I did a little math of my own and herewhat I came up with assuming the current rate of growth remains where it is today

Today 1,600
1 year 1,600 + 300 = 1900 puts you 16% of the way up the list
2 year 1,900 + 300 = 2100 24% of the way up
3 year 2,100+ 300 = 2400 38% of the way up
4 year 2,400+ 300 = 2700 44%
5 year 2,700+ 300 = 3000 50%

Ok, so that was with 0% attrition, so I added a reasonable figure of about 8 guys/gals a month leaving due to retiring or being lucky enough to find a job at the next level. These are the numbers

1 year 20% of the way up
2 year 37% of the way up
3 year 49% of the way so maybe you'd be seeing an up grade about then, but that is assuming that Comair continues to take 3 planes a month for the next 3 years and continues to hire 300 pilots a year, and about 96 leave a year.

It's not all about upgrade, and lord knows with nobody moving right now you're going to be lucky to find some place that can give it to you in a decent amount of time. I think 3-4 years is a decent amount of time to be expecting an upgrade the way the market is, I'm just warning people of believing everything you hear when your shopping jobs, either that or I'm just rambling about something that probably means absolutely nothing to everyone else. In conclusion, if your like me take a good hard look at where you might be at your current company and see where you might be in 3 or 4 years before you leave. As for me I'm tired of making $26 an hour as a 3rd year f/o at what my mgmt tells me is a world class airline, and for those of you who tell me a new contract and a raise is on the way well maybe I'm just sick of working for these ass h*les and have no interest in helping the little pricks make a buck even after I beg and plead for something we deserved a heck of a long time ago. C-ya AD
 

atpcliff

Well-known member
Hi!

AWAC's contract is better, though Comair's isn't that far off.

If U don't want to move on, I would go with AWAC.

They are both good.

Cliff
GRB

PS-I tried to get interviews with both, but neither would take me because I wasn't flying-otherwise my credentials were excellent.

Comair is adding a 4th daily flight to GRB soon.
 

CaptDave

Active member
Avro-

Good luck to you.

I just wanted to comment that yes you might be right about upgrade time being slightly longer than what you were told.

I will also point out two things that might alter your upgrade time estimate. One thing is to upgrade there are hour requirements. I think they are 3000 total and 500 company time. In the past these can be a limiting factor when low time people were hired. Obviously higher time people are being hired, but this might delay the ability to upgrade for some that are employed right now and any future low time hires.

Also you can interpret this how you want, but the most junior CA is around number 1040 out of almost 1600 right now. There are around 250 FO' s senior to the most junior captain.

Hope this helps and good luck.
 

skydiverdriver

Senior Member
Hey roughneck,
Are you trying to say that Air Wisconsin is a major and Comair is just an rj operator? Perhaps you thought he was talking about a Phoenix based major airline?
 

ERJpusher

Well-known member
I am brand new to the airline industry. So far, I've met a lot of different people from a lot of different airlines, including Air Wisconsin. However, I had my first contact with Comair just recently. I was riding on a hotel shuttle the other day with a Comair crew and it turned out to be the worst interactive experience I have had with so-called "professional" pilots. The conversation basically consisted of how great Comair is and how bad my company is. "You aren't as good as us." "I don't see how you can be making money." "You took our routes" (whining like a baby). The 5-minute shuttle turned out to be a trash-my-airline festival. I must say, I held Comair in high regard before that experience, but that is completely shot to he** now. I hope that this is not typical of the rest of the company. Probably just a couple of bitter guys knowing they'll never see the majors. It left a bad taste in my mouth for Comair nonetheless. The Air Wisconsin crews I have talked to were all extremely nice people. We all just need to remember that we are all just people doing a job. We are not gods because we fly an airplane. If you think your company is better than mine, be mature and keep it to yourself.

Anyway, based on that experience, I would definitely take AWAC over Comair.
 

Lumber Yak

Well-known member
ERJPusher,

Now you know why Delta's MEC is not in favor of granting Comair pilots preferential hiring - ARROGANCE.... In another recent case, a Comair captain refused a Delta pilot a jump seat DESPITE open seats in the back of the RJ - he refused to let him on the aircraft even though he was commuting to work and had to get on the flight - he missed the flight.

Avrodriver - I would go with Air Wisconsin - seems like a happier group of pilots there. Plus, if you are interested in Delta down the line, at least you would have a CHANCE...
 

CaptDave

Active member
ERJpusher-

Hello, sorry about your bad experience in the van. It sounds like it wasn't someone you would like to fly with, huh? I guess as long as there are people, we are going to have many personalities and there are many because we are all different.

You said that they said "you took our routes", oh well. That is business, we all just work where we work, we don't make those decisions. They weren't complaining about all the routes Comair has "taken" from Delta. So no, "you" didn't take our routes. Delta (just a company) decided to give you the routes. This is just business and we should all get used to it.

I hate to see people are grouping each other in this industry like we do. We all made choices and we work where we work. If maybe people in the van didn't group people like yourself, then you all could have had a more pleasant conversation.

This point I am making is "sorry" on behalf of those at Comair that feel the same.

Take Care,

Dave Williams (Comair)
 

ERJpusher

Well-known member
CaptDave-

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad to interact with someone else at Comair, someone more sensible than the people I met in the van. Perhaps I was hasty with my comments before, but I believe that pilots are supposed to represent their companies with dignity and respect. I am proud of who I work for and I respect those who work elsewhere. I take offense to anyone who thinks it is necessary to berate someone who is doing the same job at a different place. We pilots are part of an exclusive club, and we should be grateful to be a part of it.

Anyway, I appreciate your apology on behalf of Comair, but it is unnecessary. It was very professional and class act, though.

Fly Safe!!
 

General Lee

Well-known member
A lot depends on what happens at United. If United tanks because of the high fuel prices, lack of Pax during an Iraq War, or simply can't make the revenue triggers set up by the banks who own it now, then there is a possibility of Chap 7. Then Air Whisky would not be a good choice. If United tumbles, then all of its regionals will downsize and scramble to hook up with other carriers. That is a possibility, and I hope it doesn't happen. Comair is another bag of worms. Operationally, it is a great airline. It flies coast to coast, and has nice airplanes. It probably would be a good airline to go to if you intend to stay there for life. You will always have a paycheck, and that is comforting. CVG is an OK town---and commuting probably wouldn't be a problem. The only thing wrong with Comair right now is that you probably would never get an interview at Delta when things turn around. Now, you may not want to go to Delta, or any other airline, and that is fine. Currently the Comair MEC has chosen to not allow any of the 1015 Delta furloughs to go to the bottom of their list without giving up their Delta recall rights. This might not seem uncommon, but then you realize that Delta owns Comair and that their sister airline, ASA, does allow that practice. This has created some bad feelings towards the group, and hopefully it will be resolved. The Delta MEC has already discussed preferential hiring with ASA in the future---which could be 3-4 years away. So, overall Comair is a good company to work for with nice airplanes and routes, but only has one flaw.

Bye Bye--General Lee:cool:
 
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