Frieght/passenger airlines

oilcanbland

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I was just wondering if you guys could give me some of the various advantages and disadvantages of working for a freight airline, and just the regular passenger airlines. Please just compare and contrast anything you would like. Also, how is the earnings different?
 

Cardinal

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Well, it all depends :)

Majority of the freight flies at night, such as Domestic Next-Day-Air stuff. So the Caravans, Fokkers, and Beech 99s don't see much daylight. Evening departures and Early morning arrivals. It's all driven by a central sort at the hubs. However, at FedEx mainline (i.e, the jets flown by FedEx pilots, not contractors) it is to be noted that the majority of the fleet is widebody and an abundance of lfying is done in daylight. (Somebody can help me out with the specifics). So freight is not necessarily flying clapped-out equipment in the dark of night. Also it is more likely that you'll be able to live and fly out of an out-station instead of the big-city hubs. That usually isn't possible on the passenger side without commuting.

But boxes don't complain. Extra layers of hassle have been added to the lives of pilots at the passenger carriers since 9/11.

Just a few factors to consider.
 

VaB

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I would say that less than half of the FedEx flying is considered daytime, but it's kind of weird day flying. For example, there are alot of flights that leave MEM at approx. 4 pm, go to a destination and sit for a few hours, then return to MEM at about midnight. There are some flights that leave at 4 pm, then layover at a destination overnight and return first thing in the morning, and then you do that again at 4 pm. With those, you wind up having several hours in MEM at the hub. To long to stay there and to short to go home type of deal. However, they are still better than hub turning. For example, leave MEM at 3 am, fly 2 hours to ATL, layover and sleep all day until 10 pm, leave for MEM, arrive at midnight, then sit around and wait until 3 am to leave for ATL again. I'm in the 727 so these are what I see. The widebody guys do things a little different, I think they have less hub turning.

I would take the flying where I am in a second over the pax flying, especially now with the craziness at all the airports. As far as the pay goes, it's less than the Big 3, but, since I've been here less than a year, it beats what I would be making if I was at a Big 3 right now (i.e. on the street).

Good luck
 
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I fly for a UPS feeder out of MKE and I love the flying. The company I fly for has 402's and Beech 99's. I have been here for a month now after getting furloughed from a regional. I like the flying here much better then I did at the regional. I have a set schedule every month work only a couple of hours a day, and make more money!! The only downside is I only fly 2 hours a day. My weeks start on Monday evening around 7:30pm when I show up at the airport for an 8:15 departure. I fly 1 hour drop off the freight at the UPS ramp and then go over to our crew house in MKE which 7 of us stay at for the night then show up at 5:15am the next day for a 6am departure. I am at home by 7:30 and have all day to do whatever I want to. I get done on Saturday mornings at 7:30 and have all weekend to do whatever I want until Monday evening. I think I may want to be a freight dog for the rest of my life.
 

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Shem Malmquist
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FedEx international flying is mostly done when the sun is up. Now, with the time zones, how you want to define that (day/night) is up to you!
 

oilcanbland

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specifics

Can you guys give me specifics about the pay? How does working for freight companies compare with the regualr airlines?
 
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Flying for a FedEx or UPS feeder is generally more pay then at a Regional for an FO or even more then a junior captin. Where I work pay starts around 25,000 a year and up to 46,000 a year.
 

SpeedRacer

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Which way to go?

Cardinal said:
Well, it all depends :)


But boxes don't complain. Extra layers of hassle have been added to the lives of pilots at the passenger carriers since 9/11.

I see this a lot "Deadheading" to/from work on the majors. I prefer now to simply jumpseat on a FedEx jet to save me the hassle if I can swing it.

A good indicator of which way to go is to see what pax/cargo carries were left standing after 9/11 (without furloughing). I know the economy was in the sewer and timing is everything but if you want to take the most conservative approach to your decision making process this may be something to consider. You may not get rich flying for SWA, Jetblue or FDX compared to DAL or UAL but you're not on the street furloughed.....
 

ksus

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Air Inc. Has the profile for UPS in the Nov Issue,
Pilot Pay is as follows:

Year --- FE ---- FO ---- Capt
1 $2.167 --- 2.167 --- 2.167
2 5.287 --- 6.814 --- 11.749
5 7.011 --- 8.834 --- 14.022
10 9.524 --- 11.195 --- 16.709
12 9.885 --- 11.584 --- 17.290

Monthly rates guaranteed 82hrs/month.
2% pay increase for 07/13/02.
Pay is not defferentated by aircraft type, 12 yrs represents max longevity pay in all positions.
International override: Capt=$6.50/hr, FO=$4.50/hr, FE=$4.50
* info taken from Air inc.

As you can see flying freight can be as profitable as flying for the top 3.
Good Luck!!!
 

VaB

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ksus,

I would put exactly ZERO faith in those pay Air Inc charts. They're just like FITREPs (Fitness Reports for you non military guys). They are remotely based in fact, but for the most part are inaccurate. They skew those numbers to make it look like guys make more than is really realistic. I don't want to start an Air Inc bashing thread because that horse has been beaten senseless, but those numbers are usually inflated.

The best way to post pay is just go with the hourly rate. Obviously there are other factors like BLG, etc., but you can get the best idea from that.

I don't have a FedEx contract in front of me, so I can't quote all the rates, but I do know that a 1st year 727 S/O gets about $48/hour, a 2nd year S/O gets $58/hour, and a 2nd year widebody F/O get about $107/hour. Again, I'm going from memory, so they aren't exact.
 

SpeedRacer

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Freight Pay

Your numbers are right on for FedEx pay for the early years.

To finalize the "top end" or 15 year wages.

Dec 03 wages are: Widebody Capt- 206.24
Widebody F/O - 146.21
Widebody S/O - 125.50

Narrowbody Capt- 177.78
Narrowbody F/O - 128.64
Narrowbody S/O - 110.37

This is where we top-out prior to the end of our first contract.
I'm hoping ALPA gets voted in to replace FPA prior to our contract expiration in 04 and maybe we'll be unified enough to get even better wages next round.
 

oilcanbland

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salaries?

Do you guys know any specific salaries for the freight airlines?
Basically, my question is can you make as much money flying for freight companies as passenger companies?
 

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Shem Malmquist
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Well, ALPA would be nice but don't expect ALPA alone to make any difference. What is it you think ALPA brings to the table that we don't have or can't buy? Think about this a bit, as many people stand to be disappointed when they find that there is no magic bullet.

As to the hourly rates, that is one measure. I would not agree with the above post that states that hourly rates are the only way to look at things. There is a lot more to it and to pretend or imply otherwise is true naivete of this business.
 

browntail

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Im with profile on this one. Don't expect ALPA to work any magic for you. The power must come from the FPA flying members. The best thing I have ever witnessed out of ALPA is their fight for safety and better rest requirements. When it comes time for negotiations, don't expect much!!!!
 

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Shem Malmquist
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Flight safety in itself is enough reason to vote for ALPA, but we have to make sure that the ball doesn't get dropped on cargo issues. Did you ever wonder why one of our union member pilots (when we were an ALPA carrier) needed to get IPA to fund a lawsuit under the FOIA to get NASA to release the night cargo study? Why did not his own union do this? I am optimistic that this sort of thing would not happen again, but it is instructive that it did, we need to keep our eyes wide open.
 

VaB

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Profile,

I didn't mean to imply that hourly rates were the best way to measure a contract. I was simply saying that it is probably, in this forum anyway, one of the easier ways to compare 2 airlines payscales. A very, very basic way to compare, instead of using Air Inc "stats". Like I said there are other big things, retirement, vacation, work rules that all make a huge difference in the actual contract.

As far as the ALPA thing... I'll admit that since I've spent the first 12 years of my flying career in the Navy and only the last 1 year in the airline biz, my knowledge of this whole thing is slim to none and I'll defer to your experience and knowledge of the subject. But it's my feeling that joining ALPA is the next step for us as a pilot group, if for no other reason then their political strength in DC. They've been around alot longer than FPA and, I would guess, know a few more congressman and have a bit more pull there. But like I said, I'm still dancing around because I made it through probation without visiting the ACP's office and don't have alot of experience and knowledge on this subject, so I'm not even going to try to argue with you, or even try to convince you. I do think you're right though that ALPA is not a magic bullet and all our problems aren't going to be solved when we join them.

See ya out there.
 

SpeedRacer

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FedEx pay

To begin with APLA has my vote - period.

FPA gave away our trip rig (4.0 wow! - highest in the industry) and I believe we'll have more political clout with ALPA. ALPA WILL NOT get us a contract (no s**t sherlock) - WE have to get it ourselfves and unify as a crewforce.

Also, if someone wants some information about our salaries I'll help out and pass it on.

Finally, last time I checked we were paid by the hour and not salary employees. Even though it's a small part of our longer list, it's still important in my opinion.

Someone once told me "united we negotioate, divided we beg". Kinda like what happend on our first contract!:cool:
 
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Shem Malmquist
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Did you not go see a road show and listen to George Sees as he explained explained the logic behind the rigs? Here is what he said:

Take 2 rigs, one that nets 8 hrs/day, the other that nets 4 hrs/day. At first glance, it would appear the higher rig (the one that pays 8/day) is a better deal. However, remember that the opimizer will always build trips to the rig. It knows it pays us the same whether we fly 4 hard hours or 8 hard hours with the higher rig, so it builds toward the 8 hrs. This is not what we want, that is too much work. So, what's the solution? You leave the rig at 4 hrs but double the hourly rate, so you get paid the same for less work. Imagine that your block time is 5 hrs for the day. You actually make MORE at the lower rig.

Now, the problem (I'm sure you see this) is that our hourly rate needs to be adjusted way up to make this work properly. So, my opinion is that we leave the rig alone and adjust the hourly rate WAY up!

As to the notion that "ALPA Rig" is higher, that is just silly. There are ALPA carriers out there with NO rig, there are some with the same rig as ours, and some with tighter rigs. APA and AA has a tighter rig, and they're not ALPA. ALPA national does not care what rig you have either. It is up to the pilot group to decide what they'll accept. The contract was ratified and did result in big improvements, but we were in a weak position, less because of what union we had than because this was a first contract.

The biggest thing ALPA will bring is the ability to tell our pilots that "such and such" is a good deal and the larger group trusting ALPA in that. FPA could try to present the same thing and be distrusted by too many of our pilots that really aren't aware what is in other carrier contracts, only aware of bits and pieces.
 

UPS Capt

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12th yr UPS Capts are at 183.60/hr based on a 75 hr guarantee per pay period (there are 13 pay periods per year). That comes out to around $179,000 a year. The guarantee goes to 190.00/hr on 7/13/02 (about $185,000). F/O's and F/E's are paid a percentage of Capt's pay. 12th yr F/O's and F/E's are 67% and 57% respectively.

There is no differential pay for aircraft flown. A B727 Capt makes the same base pay as a B747 Capt. The company pays you for unused sick time at the end of the year which could potentially net another $10-12K a year. Another 15-20K if you're an IOE or Sim instructor.

All in all, freight is a much more stable and secure career. People may be afraid to fly but they'll still send boxes and letters. I fly out of my domicile and usually sleep in my own bed everyday. I don't have to deal with the everyday headaches of a passenger terminal with all the added security hoops to pass through. A career flying pax is too cyclical in nature for my tastes with massive hiring followed a few years later by massive furloughs. It's always been that way and probably always will be.

The down side is that there is a lot of night flying and difficult hours. If you're very senior you can fly day trips out of domicile and sleep in your own bed every night. But then again, as a junior crewmmember at a pax carrier, you'll probably fly your fair share of red-eyes...that's if your still employed after a couple years.
 

oilcanbland

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Are they hiring??

UPS Capt., you said that the frieght way is the more stable type of flying. I was just wondering, are the frieght companies hiring right now after the attacks and all of that stuff?
 
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