Is it time to give up senority?

RichardFitzwell

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I am one of many pilots on furlough from a major airline. It has been eight months since my last trip and I am trying to stay positive that I will one day return to my airline. Therefore, I refuse to give up my senority number. If my airline doesn't return, then I will never return to fly for the airlines.

I am curious though as to how many, if any, pilots have given up their senority number for greener pastures. Has anyone given up a number at a major airline for a regional? Anyone left a regional for corporate? Also, have you been satisfied with your decision?
 
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English

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I was a captain on the Saab for a regional carrier and was furloughed. When I was recalled I declined and resigned my seniority. I'm now flying corporate (actually fractional) and it's the best flying job I've ever had. I always thought that the airlines were the way to go because that was the mentality I was around when I was a flight instructor. I enjoyed the airline life, but this job I have now is so much better! No regrets except I wish I would have figured it out sooner before my personal life suffered so much (away from home five days at a time while working for the regional, commuting across country, small paychecks....)
 

Boeingman

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Rich:

I think you're are making a good move by hanging on to a number.

You have to look at where you'll be at 60, not present day.
 

skydiverdriver

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English,
So, how are the schedules at your fractional? I have been considering them, but some friends of mine who left felt that they were away from home MORE, not less. How did you make it better?
 

bigr

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Take a good long look at your airlines financial situation. Take a look at your age. Take a look at your passion for flying.

My father was chief pilot for a major corporation. He did hire a furloughed American pilot back in the 70's. Eventually AA called him back in about 2-3 years. He went back and everything worked out in the long run.

One thing about working for a quality corporate outfit (and i emphasize QUALITY), is you work normal business hours during the week. Not all of your trips are multiple days away from home. I.E. a short hop from San Jose to Portland or Oakland to Boise and back in a day.

The growth in aviation seems to be in corporate and fractional. Airlines have and will go out of business (Eastern, Pan AM were once mighty airlines).

Its best to ride a rising tide, not a falling one.

My .02 cents

good luck
 

English

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skydiverdriver,

I work for a small fractional that is very much like a corporate position. I work two or three days per week, all day trips. I'm home every night.
 

surplus1

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Richard,

Take a look at your contract and review the duration of your recall rights. If you think your airline has a reasonable chance of recovering (even from bankruptcy) within that time frame and, if what YOU really want to do with your life is fly for a major airline, then find a way to fly somewhere else without giving up your number.

That assumes, among other things, that you are young enough to wait out the estimated time. If you're not young enough, then give up the number and get on with life at some other airline. If airline flying isn't really the ONE THING you want most to do, then get out of it and find, as they say, a "real" job with less risk.

Best wishes, whatever your decision.
 

ShawnC

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Give up your number no way, I was told about a guy who after getting furloughed from Pam Am, went to got a non-aviation job, about 2-3 years latter Pam Am called him back again. The rest, well is history.
 

English

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Just for clarification...I thought the question was, who has given up their seniority numbers? Richard already stated he isn't giving up the number.
 

RichardFitzwell

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Yeah, I'm at CAL with 28 years left before retirement. There is no way I'm giving that up (though I thought about SW briefly). This is the second major airline I have flown for and I was happy with it prior to getting furloughed in Oct. I am left seat in a King Air flying corporate now and didn't have to give up CAL's senority number. Many places I spoke with though (ex: flight options, net jets, etc.) wanted a full commitment giving up all recall rights to the airlines.

As I faced the dilemma of finding new employment after 9/11, I realized I am not qualified to do anything but fly. A degree in management means nothing to companies without experience. Entry level jobs are available but they don't pay much. I figured finding a non-flying job making good money would be a no brainer but I was very wrong.

Without prospects for decent employment, my future would look completely different. Had I not been convinced my airline would return or I was not satisfied with this type of flying, I would have been more tempted to resign my senority.

With so many pilots faced with similar decisions, I figured there had to be some people that took the sure thing and either left aviation or went with an immediate flight position at another airline, thus giving up their number.

At this point, there seems to be a lot of luck involved.:)
 
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hyper

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....."look where you'll be at 60" was a quote from someone above. Well at a fractional, you'll still have a job and won't be forced out of the seat because of a birthday. Sure, you can always move into the corporate world after, but you'll be at the bottom of the seniority pole again.

One more thing, you're not as exposed to unemployment every time the economy hiccups as you are at an airline.
 

TurboS7

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Better to be here wishing you were up there with a number than to be up there wishing you were down here with no number.
 
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