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11 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

Wide body and international flying.  What are your opinions based on experience?

 

Great life if you can get it. Especially great if you're a commuter.  Almost all our trips are commutable and you can cut your commutes to just 2 times a month with our 6 day trips.  If I hadn't been displaced prior to rona, I likely would have stayed WB FO until I could hold the left seat of a WB.  If I were a commuter, I'd definitely stay WB for my career.  

 

11 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

 Obviously you’ll make more money long term. Pros.  Cons.  Has anyone been able to bid this and stayed NB and just done domestic flying ?

 

When rona started, I displaced all the way down to 717 FO so I could be senior.  Many months, I'm working less and make more as a 717 FO than I did as a 330 FO.  The ability to work your schedule as a senior NB FO, allows you to easily close the pay gap if you so choose.  

I chose to stay domestic and bid over to captain, rather than reinstate back to WB FO right now.  Until the world stops losing their minds and restrictions are lifted, I'll hang out domestic.  Also, right now our WB are doing a much of domestic flying which is shit.  The thing that made life on the WB so great was not having to deal with domestic rotations....made reserve life way more predictable.  I'll definitely look at going back to WB FO down the road.  

 

11 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

also, which airlines allow you to drop the entire schedule and build your own to maximize pay?

 

At DAL, as long as there is appropriate reserve staffing (almost always was pre rona...not sure now), then you can drop your scheduled to zero.  I'd drop my entire schedule every month I had a line when I was a WB FO.  Then I'd pick up more efficient trips when I wanted to fly.  Worked the same amount if days as originally schedule but made a lot more money.  Good living while it lasted. 

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4 hours ago, SocialD said:

 

 

 

When rona started, I displaced all the way down to 717 FO so I could be senior.  Many months, I'm working less and make more as a 717 FO than I did as a 330 FO.  The ability to work your schedule as a senior NB FO, allows you to easily close the pay gap if you so choose.  

At DAL, as long as there is appropriate reserve staffing (almost always was pre rona...not sure now), then you can drop your scheduled to zero.  I'd drop my entire schedule every month I had a line when I was a WB FO.  Then I'd pick up more efficient trips when I wanted to fly.  Worked the same amount if days as originally schedule but made a lot more money.  Good living while it lasted. 

How long once Delta keeps hiring at their rate before you can hold WB?  I’m trying to decide between commuting with Delta or living in hub with Southwest. Does Delta have a problem with dropping mil leave, say once a month , to drop a trip?

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17 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

Wide body and international flying.  What are your opinions based on experience?  Obviously you’ll make more money long term. Pros.  Cons.  Has anyone been able to bid this and stayed NB and just done domestic flying ?

 

United new-hires can hold 777 FO. Mid-summer hires from this year can hold 787. I expect they'll sit reserve for years though, and United's reserve rules aren't great. Worse for global reserve (int'l has a different set of rules, mainly they can fly you into your days off, up to 6 total days a month). 

United new-hires can (right now) hold a NB line in the junior bases before the finish IOE. So yeah, lots of good reasons to stay NB. First year pay is all the same, and nobody on the WB is breaking reserve guarantee right now, so you'd make more money on NB. Lots of options for people though.

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AA 777 FO. I've done 767/787/777 international and 727/737/MD80 domestic. Most of your work is done from leaving the gate to level off and then descent back to the gate. Domestically, you are going to do that several times per day over multiple days with shorter layovers. Hotels are hit and miss. Mechanical, weather, hub delays only make your day worse. International trips you fly 2 legs with a longish layover. ETOPS doesn't allow for many open mechanical issues and we usually have a maintainer on standby to get problems solved. Hotels are usually nice. Long layovers means you can explore local history, restaurants, beer. Downsides are time zone/body clock and sleeping issues. Legal flight routing can put you over some barren terrain with few divert options dealing with marginal English speaking controllers. With seniority, a widebody FO can make more than a narrow body CA and work fewer days. 

You need to find what works for you. 

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6 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

How long once Delta keeps hiring at their rate before you can hold WB?  I’m trying to decide between commuting with Delta or living in hub with Southwest. Does Delta have a problem with dropping mil leave, say once a month , to drop a trip?

 

Way too many variables to know how long to a WB.  When I was hired I figured it would take 10 years to hold a WB...I ended up getting it at 2 years.  Right now, I think it's sitting closer to 4 or 5 years, but it could go way junior (or senior) on the next bid.  In the current environment, anything is possible...whacky times.   I can't really tell you what to do about the SWA vs DAL decision.  On one hand, I never want to commute (I left another legacy to not have a commute), on the other hand, I'm not sure I'd want to do the type of flying SWA does for an entire career. 

 

Delta can't do much about your MLOA, they have to honor it  Dropping a trip a month isn't really something that would even get a second look.  How long do you have left in the military?  Are you planning on staying put?  Personally, I wouldn't make a career decision based on a mil commitment, especially if I only had a handful of years left.  Plenty of jobs available all over the U.S, especially if you're willing to stop flying and just get across the 20 year line.  I talked to another FO today that was doing a non-flying CAP gig to finish his 20.  I know a few others that hung up the G-suit to do RCO and AOC gigs.  I hate being full time in the guard, so I'm always looking for minimal commitment on that front, so this may not be what you're looking for lol.  

 

Edit:  Also, what Tree said!

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45 minutes ago, SocialD said:

 

Way too many variables to know how long to a WB.  When I was hired I figured it would take 10 years to hold a WB...I ended up getting it at 2 years.  Right now, I think it's sitting closer to 4 or 5 years, but it could go way junior (or senior) on the next bid.  In the current environment, anything is possible...whacky times.   I can't really tell you what to do about the SWA vs DAL decision.  On one hand, I never want to commute (I left another legacy to not have a commute), on the other hand, I'm not sure I'd want to do the type of flying SWA does for an entire career. 

 

Delta can't do much about your MLOA, they have to honor it  Dropping a trip a month isn't really something that would even get a second look.  How long do you have left in the military?  Are you planning on staying put?  Personally, I wouldn't make a career decision based on a mil commitment, especially if I only had a handful of years left.  Plenty of jobs available all over the U.S, especially if you're willing to stop flying and just get across the 20 year line.  I talked to another FO today that was doing a non-flying CAP gig to finish his 20.  I know a few others that hung up the G-suit to do RCO and AOC gigs.  I hate being full time in the guard, so I'm always looking for minimal commitment on that front, so this may not be what you're looking for lol.  

 

Edit:  Also, what Tree said!

I have 7 years left and only really doing it because I found a great part time flying gig. Not so much for the retirement.  How does Delta differ from SW if you were flying domestic NB?  Is it just less hops with longer layovers ?   Thanks for the info.  

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On 10/28/2021 at 10:08 AM, Ryder1587 said:

Does Delta have a problem with dropping mil leave... ?

Play by the rules of the USERRA law and tell Delta Airlines to kiss your ass.  

https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/VETS/legacy/files/USERRA_Private.pdf

In other news...

I'll have 28+ years at United when I retire, and I will not be able to hold a widebody leftseat based on current projections.  

When I was hired, we had 5 year Captains on narrowbody.  But after bankruptcies, mergers, 9/11, 2008 economy down-turn, china-virus, and a plethora of other events... I've learned that the question of "when can I upgrade..." is an unanswerable question.  Who knows?  The variables are entirely unpredictable.  

A bud of mine was in the first UAL class after things shut down for a year (May 2021).  Pilots hired a year later will be 2000 numbers junior to him.  

To put that in perspective, those pilots currently 2000 numbers junior to me were hired 15 years after I was.  And I'm not even going to discuss the ramifications of those who were Continental pilots during the merger. 

If you do not understand the significance of my statistic, then you need to talk to someone who does.  The whole "where will I be?" is a stupid question.  If you want to dress up and play airline pilot, then get ready for a fucked up career.  

Edited by HuggyU2
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2 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

How does Delta differ from SW if you were flying domestic NB?  Is it just less hops with longer layovers?

No. You're a cost item to the company.  You're costing them and not making them money if you're not in the seat.  They're going to use you to the full extent of the law and your contract.  Domestic NB is many legs (very rarely less than 3-5) and short layovers (11-12 hours), wherever you go unless you play one of the many, many schedule enhancement games. Those games differ for each carrier but they are where you make your money and tilt the scales in your favor away from the company using and abusing you.  Unfortunately as an outsider there's no way for you to fully appreciate those games so don't even try to consider them in your "which airline" decision. 

Unless you are sure you want WB, don't commute for DAL.

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6 hours ago, Ryder1587 said:

I have 7 years left and only really doing it because I found a great part time flying gig. Not so much for the retirement.  How does Delta differ from SW if you were flying domestic NB?  Is it just less hops with longer layovers ?   Thanks for the info.  

Some really good posts recently and a huge reason I’ve enjoyed following this thread since I was applying 5 years ago. Now that I’ve picked my poison I enjoy learning the details of life at the other carriers.

One of the frequent things I heard in my Guard unit was how SWA flew regional schedules in the Guppy, i.e. 6 legs per day with min overnights in between. There have been some occasions I’ve done 5 legs (never seen 6), but just as many I’ve done 1. My logbook says I average 2-3 legs per day. Talking to guys from the other majors I’ve concluded that it’s really not any different than NB domestic elsewhere. Everyone’s got unique work rules, some better, some worse, but it really just averages out to be about the same (including earning potential). 
The bigger knock on SWA is obviously the lack of opportunity to mix it up, see different destinations while making more efficient pay in WBs, etc. SWA flying’s been the easiest thing in the world but still interesting enough to keep me entertained…but will I still feel that way in 20 years? Doesn’t matter, I’m stuck anyways!

So really the question is do you prefer to drive to work for your career or commute to be able to keep the door open for what could be more fulfilling opportunities down the line? It’s a good dilemma to have.

 

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On 10/27/2021 at 7:50 PM, Ryder1587 said:

Wide body and international flying.  What are your opinions based on experience?  Obviously you’ll make more money long term. Pros.  Cons.  Has anyone been able to bid this and stayed NB and just done domestic flying ?

You really limit your options with SWA vs DAL.  I tried international for 2 years, ie 4 ocean crossings in 6 days with no augmentation (old days) and could never get enough sleep. Others loved it and I probably would have too if I got a 2 hr rest break.  As for narrow body pay, how hard do want to work?  I have stated it elsewhere, my bro-in-law retired last Jan from DAL as a 320CA and worked the system (green slips).  In his last 3 yrs made $500K, $500K, $602K.

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3 hours ago, Springer said:

Gees, I see Kit Darby's name in the line up.  He's been in that business since '78 I believe when he founded FAPA (Future Airline Pilot Association).  

He was actually reviewing resumes for free. I had him look at mine and he definitely had a more nuanced approach than the prep companies there doing the same. He said he used to be a Capt for Delta and United I think. 

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10 minutes ago, FLEA said:

He was actually reviewing resumes for free. I had him look at mine and he definitely had a more nuanced approach than the prep companies there doing the same. He said he used to be a Capt for Delta and United I think. 

I did the CTP course with Kit in 2016, nice guy.  Reviewed my resume and provided some good inputs. 

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Just finished indoc at American. They are definitely hooking up the mil guys who had CJOs & class dates that got COVID'd. To my surprise, we are getting full benefits...so I now have a seniority date, pay date, travel benefits, and hacked my 401k clock. So now when I get off AD I'll start at AAL with damn near year 3 seniority and pay. I'm pinching myself.

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On 10/28/2021 at 10:26 PM, HuggyU2 said:

  If you want dress up and play airline pilot, then get ready for a ed up career.  

Nominee for Top 10 Baseops quotes of all-time.

Can confirm.

Reference point:  21 yrs AD/21 yrs airline

Cheers!

 

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Idk man, everyone is talking about flying 2-3 legs a day, commuting, or how to maximize their pay. Seems like a lot of work. Easier to just move to a junior base, sit reserve, and join a nearby guard unit.

At this point in my life, I'm basically just a stay at home dad that either goes to play dress up at the airport a few days a month (if that) as a 3rd year WB F/O, or I go play dress up at the squadron, drink beers, and bullshit with the boys during the mil leave periods I utilized to avoid having to fly.

This shit is checkers, it ain't chess.

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On 10/28/2021 at 9:26 PM, HuggyU2 said:

I'll have 28+ years at United when I retire, and I will not be able to hold a widebody leftseat based on current projections.  

...

If you want to dress up and play airline pilot, then get ready for a fucked up career.  

Any long-term cargo dudes want to chime in?  From what I can see, it sounds like cargo and pax are two completely different worlds right now.

edit: I'm just now starting at Brown.  I've read the APC side, but I have a different respect for the views expressed here.

Edited by FourFans130
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I know several AA dudes who live in DFW/based there...their QOL and pay is awesome. If you are hard set on living in DFW area forever, then I'd switch to AA. If you can be cool with living in a major DAL base, then I'd move and stick with DAL. I also know a few guys who were +1 year at airline X and switched to live in base (including leaving DAL for AA, and vice versa); they are all very happy with the switch. But remember, there are tons of opinions out there, only you know how important it is to live in location X...and I would choose living in base over commuting every day (I'm fucked on that, but you don't have to be!)

Edited by brabus
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1 hour ago, FourFans130 said:

Any long-term cargo dudes want to chime in?  From what I can see, it sounds like cargo and pax are two completely different worlds right now.

edit: I'm just now starting at Brown.  I've read the APC side, but I have a different respect for the views expressed here.

Normally, I've flown pax at AA but in September I had 3 cargo flights DFW to LHR with 50 hour layovers. No passengers causing boarding issues, no leaving the cockpit door locked, and no taking 45 minutes going through security with flight attendants with 5 bags containing grocery items they bought in London/Paris/Madrid because we don't have butter/olive oil/yogurt in the U.S, apparently. For peace and serenity, cargo might have the upper hand. I was seriously enjoying those trips. 

If you like travel, non-rev flying can be hit and miss but I've taken the wife to France, Spain, Ireland, Chile, and Australia plus a huge number of places domestically that I've also taken my kids. So, I'd give passenger flying the edge in that regard. 

The grass always appears greener somewhere else. Don't worry about that and you'll be fine. 

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Any long-term cargo dudes want to chime in?  From what I can see, it sounds like cargo and pax are two completely different worlds right now.
edit: I'm just now starting at Brown.  I've read the APC side, but I have a different respect for the views expressed here.

I have had a pretty good time so far. I have no ragrets. I am an alumnus of Kalitta and Atlas. Currently UPS FO bout to start yr 5. Moved to SDF after yr 1. Upgrade appears to be as soon as 2023, but I’m not holding my breath. I did long haul (747) 2015-2020. Currently doing A300. It’s a change of pace and I like it fine. Living in base is a good thing and SDF is ok (similar to LIT).
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Living in domicile trumps all commuting (at pax airlines.)

Life is especially good at DFW if you qualify for specific military plates (Air Medal…) and get permanent Princess Parking. 
 

AAs problem is a CEO hellbent on a minimum viable product and our CBAs Scheduling language combined with some seriously near sighted individuals on the company’s side of Crew Scheduling and Strategy. Eventually they will be fixed, but not gonna lie, it can be painful. In the mean time, I trade/drop most of my trips and rebuild with a lot of soft time (free money), which is quite nice. 
 

Still significantly better than Active Duty though, by miles. 

Edited by xaarman
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6 hours ago, BashiChuni said:

alright for the brain trust...WWYD...stay at DAL (1st year) and commute (living in DFW)

or

go to AA and eventually live in base at DFW?

good problems to have!

I'm heavily biased toward Delta for obvious reasons (and have had more than one AA guy tell me that they felt Delta was a better place to work).  But I would have to cast my vote for living in domicile vs working for a preferred company.  I hear that 1 year is the rule of thumb for the latest to hit the reset button and start over on a new seniority list.  But being there in domicile would be worth it, in my opinion. 

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