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Isn’t Va health care like tricare? If you live far enough away they will just pay for a local provider?

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Depending on the airline, healthcare can be rather spendy!  Like 6-9 hundred a month for a family with large copays and out of pocket. 

 

Anything you can do to offset that cost will help!

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On 1/27/2019 at 9:20 AM, Guardian said:

Which airline allows you to maximize your pay and work the least? What would your answer be?

Widebody reserve F/O living in base. You could realistically block less than 100 hours of hard time in a year and earn 250k.

Personally, I blocked around 340 and credited 850, and only dropped about 20 days of military leave last year on a narrowbody. Not making huge bucks, but I'm not working very hard either.

 

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...blocked around 340 and credited 850...

 

 

I’m dumb. Can you please explain what this means? Heard this in a similar convo and was just as clueless. Thanks for the help.

 

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His logbook shows 340 hours of "time".  However, he was paid for the equivalent of 850 hours..  So he made 510 hours of credit without actually flying.  

I have a friend that sits reserve at home on wide bodies.  Last year, he worked around 23 days.  So he probably logged about 100 hours of actual flying time (probably less).

However, he makes a minimum of 75-ish hours a month as a guaranteed minimum, per the contract with his company.  So he made around 900 hours of flight pay (credit) last year, while only actually flying 100 hours.  

There are a lot of permutations and ways to get "credit hours" but hopefully you get the idea.  For example, deadheading:  when the company needs to send you somewhere to go fly a plane, you are in the back as a passenger on a company ticket,... but you are paid like you actually flew the jet.  Two weeks ago, I deadheaded from SFO to Honolulu.  Sat in 1st class, worked on my computer, and slept for almost 3 hours.  It was almost a 6 hour flight.  When we arrived, I got in the cockpit and flew the jet back.  That was about a 5 hour flight.  So I logged 5 hours of time... but was paid for 11 hours of time for a single day out-and-back.  

The contract between the pilot and the company is a very important legal document.  It defines how you will get paid, and for what.  And vacation, number of hours per day guaranteed, reserve rules, et...

I know corporate pilots that make bank.  Big bank.  However, the actual dollars that show up in to your account are only one piece of the puzzle.  The contract defines all of those pieces.  

In the military, I was proud to be the guy at the top of the 30-60-90 day flying time sheet posted in Ops.

In the airlines, it's the complete opposite.  

Edited by HuggyU2
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340 of actual FAR write-it-in-the-green-logbook aircraft moving flight time.  

Paid for 850 hours = 510 hours of “soft time” which might be deadhead, premium trip/overtime pay, min day guarantees, reserve pilot guarantees (like a salary for reserve months), etc.  

Only chumps get paid for just their block time.  The real money in the airline world is in getting paid to not fly.

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2 hours ago, AlphaMikeFoxtrot said:

 

I’m dumb. Can you please explain what this means? Heard this in a similar convo and was just as clueless. Thanks for the help.

Airline pilots aren’t always paid for the hours they actually fly. Some sit reserve and don’t fly, earning “credit hours” for their days on call. It’s very common to have some trips pay based on how long they are i.e.  “time away from base” (TAFB). The TAFB is used to calculate a ratio of hours away to hours of pay (called trip rig). At FedEx we use 3.75 to 1. I get one hour of pay for every 3.75 hours I’m gone. This helps to compensate pilots on long layovers that aren’t flying every day or who only fly very short legs each day. If a pilot was only paid for flight hours, his company could build a trip with a 9 hour flight to Paris, a 3-day layover and a 10 hour flight back.  19 hours pay for 5 days of work. With trip rig, that 5 day trip would pay about 35 “credit hours” with 19 hours of actual block (aka flight time).

Of course, if actual flight time exceeds trip rig, you get the higher.  Regardless of whether an hour is actual flight time or credit, the pay rate for either hour is the same. 

Edited by JeremiahWeed
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Sitting wide body reserve, I went for 105 days without flying at 76 hours paid per month although I normally averaged 1 trip per month.  This month, I'm working 12 days (4 trips) for 91 hours.  Just depends on what you want to do.

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There’s always 1 or 2 workaholics in every squadrons, they usually become SQ/CC and promote their likeness.

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I’ve been sitting reserve  oct 18 through present. I’ve worked zero actual hours. I’ve been paid about 360ish hours. So about $62k gross with zero actual work. Zero. 

We’re currently overmanned on my plane in my seat. I’m on year 2.

Its been wonderful. 

My effective hourly rate for actual work performed in 2018 is up around widebody captain. 

The grass is greener. 

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1 hour ago, HossHarris said:

I’ve been sitting reserve  oct 18 through present. I’ve worked zero actual hours. I’ve been paid about 360ish hours. So about $62k gross with zero actual work. Zero. 

We’re currently overmanned on my plane in my seat. I’m on year 2.

Its been wonderful. 

My effective hourly rate for actual work performed in 2018 is up around widebody captain. 

The grass is greener. 

Damn, right now it seems the AD guy that...

 

Edited by Swizzle

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I've read Jason's articles regarding Airline vs. Military pay on aviationbull.com. I was wondering, does it make financial sense to stay in the reserves if you're flying for a major airline? Would the time spent being a traditional reservist be better spent taking an extra trip a month for an airline?

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At delta, and I think other majors are very similar, you start losing money around year 2 and it’s real money in year 3. 

That being said, from a purely pragmatic standpoint, it is a powerful tool for managing your airline schedule. 

In the olden days, folks would stay in the reserves forever to have that scheduling power. With the seniority movement these days it may not make as much sense to lose that money. 

And there are the intangibles. Continuing to serve means a lot to some. 

Edited by HossHarris

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I've read Jason's articles regarding Airline vs. Military pay on aviationbull.com. I was wondering, does it make financial sense to stay in the reserves if you're flying for a major airline? Would the time spent being a traditional reservist be better spent taking an extra trip a month for an airline?
You do it for the retirement. I'm my opinion, there's a big chance that 20 years from now we have some sort of Medicare-for-all or other nationalized medicine disaster. In that case, I expect the military medical retirement to be largely irrelevant, leaving only the check of the month club. It's still money, but it only takes a few months in the airlines to learn that there's always another dollar to make, and some people will kill themselves chasing it.

For me, the airline compensation is enough. But I also would need 10 more years to retire.

And if you are doing it because you enjoy the military, obviously that's a different story, and a perfectly valid reason.

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2 hours ago, Newb said:

I've read Jason's articles regarding Airline vs. Military pay on aviationbull.com. I was wondering, does it make financial sense to stay in the reserves if you're flying for a major airline? Would the time spent being a traditional reservist be better spent taking an extra trip a month for an airline?

Man, that's a loaded question with lots of twists and turns for lots of different circumstances as far as your goals at the airline and military and finances. 

I am an IMA in the Reserves, so I usually do my military in two, 2-weeek chunks per year, with a few single days peppered throughout the rest of the year for readiness items.  On my first trip I lose a little money but I make a little money on the second trip due to knocking out so many double-drill periods in a row (narrowbody pay).  I assume I would really lose money either way if I were widebody and definitely if captain. 

And, of course there are the guys who just fly their full schedule at the airline and work the drill and a few flying days in addition to the airline, as opposed to dropping an airline trip.  So they make more money, but work a lot more.  Day for day, even at year 2 narrowbody pay, you still lose money for each day of a trip that you drop to be replaced with a military day. 

 

Other factors to incentivize people to stay in the military, other than total maximization of finances at the airline:

- camaraderie is basically nil at the airline, so the Reserves keeps up a network of regular friends to shoot the shit with

- military flying breaks up the boredom of airline flying

- ^^^as mentioned, retirement pay and healthcare

- having a good backup plan is a good idea.  I had 4 friends hired in 2000 who were very grateful that they had the military to fall back on for full time jobs while furloughed

- healthcare costs are relatively high (at least at Delta) compared to the guys buying into Tricare Reserve Select.  I think the civilians pay about $400-600 more in premiums per month, and from the horror stories I have heard, they pay anywhere from $2K-$10K more out of pocket then a typical TRS medical plan reserve guy does. 

 

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5 hours ago, Newb said:

I've read Jason's articles regarding Airline vs. Military pay on aviationbull.com. I was wondering, does it make financial sense to stay in the reserves if you're flying for a major airline? Would the time spent being a traditional reservist be better spent taking an extra trip a month for an airline?

Things are changing rapidly. The cost control measures of the Guard/Res resulting in an increased complexity in getting paid while relying on technology that doesn't work makes it difficult to get paid as often, and as reliably as you could just a couple years ago. I would say it would take some serious spreadsheet calculations, but there has to be a specific number of years of your military service where it does actually make sense to stay in and finish your 20, but it seems that break even point is sliding to the right toward 20 years as the pay disparity between military pay and airline pay widens with each new round of contracts. 

As Hoss said, the Guard/Res can be a great way to manage your quality of life as well as reap lots of intangibles, but the opportunity cost of dropping mil leave is getting higher and higher while the reward is shrinking.

I'm over 20 and recently did the math for my situation. After 20 mil and over 10 airline years, it's not even close to being worth it. I found I'm basically taking a massive hit every year just to fly around the flagpole and have lunch with the bros. I'd estimate if you have less than 15 years of service, it's not worth it to finish out your 20 from a purely financial standpoint depending on airline/unit/etc. If you're between 15-20....?

Edited by torqued

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I think this is a really tough question to answer primarily because of the unknown future of health care in the U.S.  IF (big IF) that remained status quo until the guy considering this question flew west, then I think pursuing a G/R retirement would be worth it, hands down.  The Tricare option as you near and surpass retirement age is worth far more than hoping to grab some extra bucks on trip when you can.  Maybe using the extra cash to fund some kind of long term health care policy might make it a wash, but I'm not sure such a policy exists.  Unfortunately, what the mil retirement medical care might look like along with the changing landscape of US healthcare makes any assumption well down the road tough to make. 

That said, I think anyone considering pulling the handles on AD needs to strongly consider a G/R job at least for the first few transition years.  Things are all unicorns and ice cream cones right now in the airline biz, but that can change quickly.  Yes, I understand it's not 2001 again, but there have been many other periods of prosperity and "we all hit the lottery" attitudes immediately preceding a large downturn in the industry with large furloughs, pay-cuts and bankruptcy contracts.  Don't get caught up in the euphoria that comes with massive hiring and record industry profits.  It will stop again, it always does.  You can always decide to cut the cord later, but it's much harder to get back in that door after you've let it shut behind you.  If the party continues a few years from now and you really think you're out of furlough range, the Tricare isn't going to be worth it, the spreadsheet shows losses that outweigh the intangibles and mil leave options, then make the call then.

But early on as you transition, it's more than just a math problem and still goes way beyond simple dollars and cents, in my opinion.  Consider the source of those dollars and the potential volatility of them.  I'll always remember my furlough and the relief I had knowing I could fall back on my guard unit or maybe return to AD with relative ease.  Think hard before you make that choice.

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I am an O-4 nearing the 16.5 yr mark in the old retirement system with 4,500+ points toward a guard retirement and I am on first year pay with one of the Big 3, so for me, it is worth doing another 3.5 to get to 20. However, once I get into the 2nd year pay, I'll be looking for a nonflying job in the ANG or Reserves, maybe even points only.

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8 hours ago, torqued said:

I'm over 20 and recently did the math for my situation. After 20 mil and over 10 airline years, it's not even close to being worth it. I found I'm basically taking a massive hit every year just to fly around the flagpole and have lunch with the bros. I'd estimate if you have less than 15 years of service, it's not worth it to finish out your 20 from a purely financial standpoint depending on airline/unit/etc. If you're between 15-20....?

If you live in an area where both your mil job and civ job are located, then IMO it can be a pretty good deal to stay in the reserves. In a situation where a guy who got out might stay in a narrowbody to maintain their QoL with relative seniority, a DSG/TR can maintain a similar QoL while bidding up to a higher paying seat.

 

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Health insurance should not be a consideration. If your airline’s health insurance costs $800 per mo, TRS costs ~$300. That’s a savings of only $500 per mo. The airlines I have worked for I’ve had premiums of less than $100, and one reimbursed me for TRS so that was effectively $0.

 

I’d like to retire from my civilian job at age 60, so having free Tricare age 60-65 will be nice as I won’t need to pay $1000 per mo retiree premiums from my company.

 

Tricare for Life will be nice since I won’t need to pay for medigap or medicare advantage.

 

BLIM (Bottom line in the middle): health insurance is not a factor for my continued service—it’s merely nice.

 

The factor for me is the retirement and the RCSBP. If I die in the grey area my wife will immediately get an annuity.

 

RBLAB (Rock bottom line at the bottom): Tricare is pretty darn good, but there are more important motivating factors in my opinion.

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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8 hours ago, joe1234 said:

If you live in an area where both your mil job and civ job are located, then IMO it can be a pretty good deal to stay in the reserves. In a situation where a guy who got out might stay in a narrowbody to maintain their QoL with relative seniority, a DSG/TR can maintain a similar QoL while bidding up to a higher paying seat.

True, but he asked about the value of doing both from a purely financial perspective. I suppose he could just bid a higher paying seat and fly the full schedule and do the G/R job on the days off.  In rare cases, one could sit reserve while logging pay periods at the unit.  Yours is a more reasonable perspective because (in most cases), it doesn't make any sense to separate compensation and quality of life in a hypothetical when you can't separate the two in actuality.

It seems when many people mention "Quality of Life", they actually mean "Quantity of Time Home". I live a short drive from my Guard unit and commute to my airline job. For me, if my time at home is spoiled by the workload, stress, and frustration of a G/R job that pays less than half, I'll choose to commute a full airline schedule and be a better person spending "quality" time with the family and other interests on my days off. I realize there are some nice G/R gigs where the flying is easy and the stress is low, I'm just not in one of them.

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In rare cases, one could sit reserve while logging pay periods at the unit.


I’m relatively sure this is a good way to get in trouble if caught.

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14 minutes ago, ThreeHoler said:

 


I’m relatively sure this is a good way to get in trouble if caught.

 

Nope - it’s normal and happens quite regularly.  

Siiting long call at your airline while logging a Ground Training Period or even sometimes a Flight Training Period is normal if you’re lucky enough to have both your domicile and unit close enough to each other.  

Edited by Tank
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17 hours ago, Gazmo said:

I am an O-4 nearing the 16.5 yr mark in the old retirement system with 4,500+ points toward a guard retirement and I am on first year pay with one of the Big 3, so for me, it is worth doing another 3.5 to get to 20. However, once I get into the 2nd year pay, I'll be looking for a nonflying job in the ANG or Reserves, maybe even points only.

This is exactly what I have seen in AFRC the last couple of years. Once guys hit 2nd year airline pay, the reserve job becomes a money loser - if you drop an airline trip for mil duty. If you do your mil job around your airline trips, sure you make that extra reserve money, but most guys would rather just have the time off.

Plus, the general ass-pain of the reserve job wears on folks. Little things, like - logging into a computer: Insert CAC, wait 10 to 15 secs for the computer to recognize it. Enter PIN, wait 69 seconds. Here comes the stupid pop up, oh, here is another, and, another. Finally, after 5 minutes, there is the desktop screen, click on Outlook, it opens, updates mailbox, 3 minutes later you can read email, blah, blah, and on and on. Oh yeah! Don’t forget the self aid buddy care, fire extinguisher training, trafficking in human persons, unexploded ordnance, etc, the same exact BS briefings you have sat through over and over and over and....

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