fractional vs regional ?

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would like some input from frac and regional guys as to the quality of life between the two. I am in the process of makeing a decesion and am mostly interested in quality of life. All my flying has been corporate so am trying to compare the 2 with pilots who have done both. I live close to cleveland so options is close to me

any input will be very helpful
 

EAP

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Good Lord, Fractionals HAVE to be better than the regionals!!!!
 

rufus

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I can tell you after working at Comair for 4 and a half years and now at EJA that there is no way to compare the two except for pay for now till our new contract comes.
Comair has great planes and a lot of great pilots, but a management team that would rather see you dead then have any lifesyle at all. You stay in crappy hotels and mcdonalds is the best food you see on the job at your expense. A normal week is 4-6 days with a average of 5-6 legs a day. When you are on reserve you only get 6 days a month where you know for sure when you will be off. Once you get a line the lifestyle is better, but when you upgrade to captain, the same old crap starts again. Lineholding captains are going at 5 years with the company.
At EJA for the most part you stay at top notch hotels and the company feeds you very good meals all day. I really feel the management does really care about you. You start off on the 17 day schedule, which means you know of 13 days a month that you will be off. You can bid your time off and I have never had a problem getting certain days off. I am lucky and fly one of their wider body planes at EJA, which means a average day for me is 2 legs. The flying is so much better here also. New places all the time which includes trips to the islands and many great resorts throughout the USA. At Comair every other leg is to cvg and gets really boring. Also you make about 22k more your first year compared to comair and that does not include your perdiem you will not be spending when the company does feed you.
If you have a choice, take the fractionals. The job is as good as a major, maybe better, it just needs to pay better and you will soon see the pay increase a lot. Hope that helps

Also upgrade times at EJA for most of the planes is a couple of months, at most
 

Ty Webb

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I can believe that EJA is better than being at Comair, but if you seriously thinkt hat EJA is better than being at a major, you're out of your mind. When the majors start hiring again, you'll see plenty of guys lining up to leave for the majors again.

Going to places like Telluride and Aspen and the Caribbean is nice (I did it for years as a corporate pilot), but for a fractional, it's not like you are staying and skiing or beaching it, unless you are broke down or very, very lucky.

Me, I would rather fly to the same 50 cities over and over, but on a 16 day a month schedule, and have the travel benefits to go to those places when I want to go there, with the major airline salary to enjoy them.

I hope you guys get the "big pay increase" that you are hoping for, but you aren't going to be seeing any kind of major airline pay, that's for sure.
 
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tjsatter

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EJA versus a Major?

Why would you take a Major over EJA? I wouldn't. I have an interview in a few days with EJA, I hope I get it. It's been a lot of work and money to get to this point but I'm finally (almost) there. I've done my homework and with everything I've learned about EJA versus the majors I cannot see myself choosing United Airlines (z.b.)over EJA. If I even had the choice, I'm not even sending apps to any of the Majors, EJA is the only company I want to work for now. If they turn me down I'll work on deficiencies, correct them and reapply. The only reason I've sent resumes to companies other than EJA is a plan B in case I get furloughed from my present job. I still love flying.

Compared to a regional, no contest. But I'd argue against a major.

EJA is where I want to be. Who needs the big bux, their pay seems to be just fine for me.

tjs
 

EMB145

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I have only worked and currently working with the regionals, so I will tell you some pros and cons of the regionals. I am currently in the process to work for EJA and I have made my decision based on the pros and cons, not because I am furloughed.

Pros:
1. Jumpseat priviledges. Great gig, but no time ot $$$ to use it for personal travel. I commute using JS.
3. Non-rev. travel benefits. See above.
4. Great aircraft. EMB 145 for me.
5. Good, fast flight time building in Part 121.
6. You can live anywhere you like, just be there on time.

Cons:
1. You are a number and nothing more.
2. Low pay.
3. Bad work rules.
- long hours
- long sit times with no pay
- reschedules and reassignments that screws you, especially if you are a commuter
- reserve sucks
- reduced rest - 4 to 5 hrs of sleep a night
4. Old, beat-up A/C.
5. Low quality hotels (majority of the times) waiting for the van for 30 min. in the freezing cold.

Upgrade is very different from carrier to carrier, so is A/C type.
** Make the right decision now, you may be chosing your last flying job. Based on recent, tragic events and the companies' desire to take advantage of them, the major airlines maybe a pipe dream for most of us. I would rather be at the fractionals than the regionals for the rest of my career. And it applies to the 24 year old Embry-Riddle wonders too.

Good luck deciding.
 

Ty Webb

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TJ, you've got it bad, man!

Write back when you've been there about nine months, and let me know how you feel about it.

I can tell you this, though, there were over 20 pilots a month leaving EJA for majors last year, but I have yet to hear of any pilots leaving a major airline to go to EJA.

I'm not knocking EJA- it was my backup plan in case things did not work out at the airline I started at in November, but, thankfully, things worked out for me.

If you really think EJA is the be-all/ end-all, then I hope it is the right place for you. Thank goodness we don't all want the same job, or we'd all be in a mess.

Good Luck
 

Fanblade

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Fractionals VS. Regionals

First of all I want to say what a great forum! My opionion is only that! With that said, I for one fly for EJA, I love it! I was a little older when I started flying. I first got out of the Air Force as an enlisted mechanic at age 23. College was my priority. I went to Boise State and got a 4 year degree in Aviation Management (BBA). During college I got a job throwing bags at United which gave me some valuable insight. For 1) Pass travel sucks because of the lack of seats and the fact that you can't depend on non-reving the flight. Not a bad deal if you are travelling alone, but if you have a family-forget it. 2)Saw a lot of in-house bickering between unions and management. 3)Every Captain that I got to know loved the flying but hated their jobs. United turned me down twice for a Flight Officer position. The experience was extremely rewarding and gave me insights to better myself and lead me to where I am today. If United had offered me the job back then, yes, I would have taken it. I flew corporate & charter for 5 years. Then I came to a fork in the road which was regional or fractional. It was a no brainer for me. For 1)The fractionals starting pay is much higher than the regionals in my geographic area. 2)The flying is challenging and rewarding and different every day. 3)I get to fly aircraft with state of the art equipment and cutting edge technology. 4)I get fed very well and meet some really cool people. 5)I get enough airline miles and hotel miles that I can take my whole family anywhere I want on POSITIVE space. 6)Most important, my time at home is MINE-no pager, no reserve-seven on seven off! Sorry for rambling. I just can't say enough good things about EJA. I have been there 1.5 years and couldn't be happier flying the X. There is something for everyone out there. The best thing I ever did was take the time to evaluate my options and what was available to me. P.S. The pay and benefits will be going up tremendously with our new contract. Fly Safe!
 

flying_gringo

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you can have the airline life...

I see it all the time - treated like a criminal... searched like a con....

all to drive the same airplane to the same destinations day in and day out.... do it until your numbers up - then thanks for playing...

take your upgrade when they tell you - fly with folks that have no place in the cockpit - yet due to seniority they'll be your captain some day...

let dispatchers make your calls for you - simply sign the paper and off you go... get stuck away from home... reserve, poor bases, getting junior manned, layoffs... and the benefits? trying to jumpseat or pass travel... good luck and enjoy it.

I've tried it, I've got the T shirts... and I decided to go a different road.

remember - they give you money in exchange for the suffering... and you can always make money elsewhere... but you can't make back the time. Put a dollar figure on being away from friends and family... the nights on the road when life goes on outside your hotel room's walls...

and also bear in mind... the world is changing... UAL can't compete with SWA... the high paying jobs of the past - will go away... companies will strive for more cost effective methods.. we could fly these things without pilots you know... not that I think that will happen soon... but in our lifetime - I expect to see it. (heck fly by wire is almost entirely a computer controlled a/c... the pilots just run the software)... but all in all salaries will go down simply because there are pilots that need to feed the family.... kids don't like a heaping plate of union rhetoric in lieu of food.

just my thoughts... now turn off the computer and go outside.
 

Ty Webb

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Interesting thought process. I doubt flying that Metro really enabled you to sample life at a major, though. I think the fractional v. regional thing has already been covered.

Enjoy EJA. I could make the same style comments about what life would be like at EJA, if I had the same negative outlook as you.

As Mark Twain said, "Most folks are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be".

It sounds like you would be miserable at a major. Glad you're not taking up a seat at one.

Enjoy your career.
 
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gump88

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Hi fellow aviators,

I am an ex-Midway pilot who just finished training at EJA on the Ultra. All I can say is I LOVE IT!!!!!! We are treated with respect. They don't give us employee numbers because they want to know us by name. Hey, you "major" airline guys have never heard of that now have you? hahahaha

Seriously I am very content at EJA and am looking forward to spending the rest of my 30 years there. Oh yea, I don't have to retire at 60 now......cool! For the first time in 12 years of professional flying I feel secure and do not worry if my job will be here next week. HEY, thats another concept I bet you "major" airline folks have never heard of. I have been there; I know it sucks!

As far as non-revenue travel....hahahahaha. Its a lot of fun to be treated like dog-crap from the check-in counter to the aircraft because they don't have to give you anything. My family was really impressed when I tried to take them on a non-rev trip when I worked for AAEagle. The AA people were VERY rude to my wife and kids because they new they could get away with it. Now you "major" airline folks must really enjoy those benefits. Of course, I am taking my family to Disney World as a positive space passenger with all the service and courtesy that a regular fare paying passenger deserves.

I feel much better now. Thanks for listening.

gump:p
 

niteflyr

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Glad to hear

Thanks for the post Gump! Good to hear as I am joining you at EJA later this month. You really expressed the way I am hoping to feel with the new job. I am mostly glad that there will be NO MORE COMMUTING!
 

may

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Gump,

Sounds like you have a real grudge with the "majors." You almost sound like you worked for one, But you didn't did you. If my math is correct you started your "profesional" flying career when you were 18? What job did you have at 18. I flew with alot of disgruntled pilots like you at a fractional, the honeymoon will wear off and you will again be able to bring your fellow pilots down. I suggest you print your post and read it again in a year for a reallity check.

I am not trying to pick a bone with you, but, your story and excitement is all to familiar. EJA is the right choice for a frac job.
 

gump88

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May,

Actually I started flying at age 15. At 18 I was a CFII working at the local airport trying to began an aviation career. I think maybe your math is flawed or you should re-read my post. My intent was to communicate my excitement for being able to fly 30 MORE years and not having to retire at age 60. My "professional" career actually began at age 22 when I was hired by a commuter.

I have no "crudge" with the majors. I have never applied nor do I ever intend to. However, I have much experience with non-revenue travel and its not all its cut out to be.

As for a reality check; I think I just did that back on 9/12 when my company ceased operations and I was forced to work at whatever odd jobs I could find in order to support my family like so many others in this profession. I hope you never find yourself in that situation.

Sorry if I stepped on your toes in my previous post. I wish you much success in the future.

gump
 

CL60

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back,

(Check you private messages...),

From the varied, nonresponsive, and somewhat heated posts to your question, the answer is... it's totally subjective. From what I've read, everyone who has posted here is passionate about their respective career paths and truly believes that they have made the right move to attain their personal goals. By not answering your question directly, most of these posts have shown you what you do and don't need to succeed. A love for aviation, and above all, humility.

Don't discount other aspects of aviaiton as well. Frax and regionals are only part of the picture. There is the upper end of corporate aviation, major airlines, freight, etc... I'd look into all of it before deciding on frax or regionals.

Good luck and good health...
 

sweptwingz

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No contest....

Sliding back to the original post and question on this thread....

I have flown for two regionals, USAir Express (BE-1900), and Eastern
Express (BE-C-99), as well as freight (MU-2), Air Ambulance (C-421),
Ag Ops (BE-90), and charter (C-310, PA-23/250).
I don't know about the other fractionals, but I can ASSURE you that
working for EJA is light years ahead of any regional flying as far as quality
of life, pay, equipment, and benefits. I've flown for this fractional for
almost 5 years and have had Co-Captains and Co-pilots from the military,
majors, regionals, and almost every background imaginable. Almost 99%
of them tell me that (except for the major airline pay scale),
this is the best place they've EVER worked. I hope the new contract
will fix the pay situation, as well. Trust me, ask ANY pilot who has worked
at both a regional and a QUALITY fractional....it's a "no brainer".
 

superfly

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I've just come back from indoc and a/c training in CMH with EJA and I've also drank the Kool Aid. Sign me up, I'm here to stay! EJA is a great place to be but it's not for everyone. Is it better than a Major? Who knows, I guess it's all in ones perception and what you value in a job. There was one furloughed Major pilot in my class whom would not leave if recalled.

With that being said this next contract will be the deciding factor for many people. "Show me the money" is still a common theme during my indoc. Yes we need a pay raise but that is not the only reason I came here. I also came from Midway.

Good luck!
 

Frac Daddy

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At RTA I have flown with plenty of ex-regional guys but I personally do not know of anybody leaving RTA to fly at a regional. Take it for what it is worth.

Sorry for th late response to your question.
 

EMB145

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I am hoping to leave the regionals for EJA. However, I have worked with several guys who left the fractionals to work at the regionals. Part 121 time is valuable if you are looking toward the majors.
I guess, it is the economic forecast, flight time, upgrade time and whatever blows your skirt up.
 

EJA Capt

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Ty Webb said:
I can tell you this, though, there were over 20 pilots a month leaving EJA for majors last year, but I have yet to hear of any pilots leaving a major airline to go to EJA.
Ty,
Actually, I have the EJA resignation list in front of me, back to Jan 2000. The average for the entire period was only 6-8 per month. One month as high as 16, some as low as 4. (These also include terminations.) As a matter of fact, some EJA pilots did go to majors and return. Both prior to, and since Sept. 11th.

I turned down a nice job flying 72's 4 years ago to come to EJA. If I had not, I would now be in the furlough line with several of my contemporaries. Instead, I'm in the top 20% at EJA, and based in my hometown.

Glad to be here.
 
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