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On 5/12/2021 at 11:41 AM, Newb said:

Regarding the posts earlier about camaraderie, do crews hang out or socialize after work on a trip? I’m guessing the norm is to have dinner and a couple drinks in the hotel lobby.

Domestically, I don't find it happens that much, but most likely that is because of me.  

Internationally, we probably do a bit more socializing on long haul since there are 4 pilots on the crew.  

Seeing flight attendants on a layover is incredibly rare, though I am told SWA and AA party like rockstars with their FA's.  

When not on a trip, I don't socialize with anyone I met at the airlines.  

As for food... you're better off skipping the airline meals... using your ~3 day trip to get some fasting in... and looking for healthy alternatives near the layover hotel.  

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Seeing flight attendants on a layover is incredibly rare, though I am told SWA and AA party like rockstars with their FA's.


Not sure who is telling you that. 8 times out of 10, the pilots and FA's at AAL stay at different hotels. We have different hotel contracts. Can't speak for SWA.
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17 minutes ago, Gazmo said:


 

 


Not sure who is telling you that. 8 times out of 10, the pilots and FA's at AAL stay at different hotels. We have different hotel contracts. Can't speak for SWA.

 

Can partially confirm for SWA. The crews that bid PM trips are notoriously fun loving. Things can get real social with FAs… 

One thing I never thought I’d see at work: about 2 years ago a policy came out directing pilots/FAs to stop hugging on the job. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Crazy, I thought that shit was just made up about other airlines not having FAs and pilots staying at the same hotel....definitely not the case at DAL.  It's not like we hang out with the FAs all the time, but Internationally, some captains will invite the entire crew (13 of us) out to dinner.  With the right crew, it can be an absolute blast!  Domestically, we stay at the same hotels but it's not all that often we overnight with the crews we fly with because they usually continue on.   Just prior to covid, we were experimenting with hard pairing pilots and FAs for the entire trip.  A buddy did a few of those trips and said it was absolutely great!  It's nice to have more options of people to hang with, especially if the CA is a slam-clicker.  Of course if you don't care for them, just pass on meeting up. 

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Concerning master degrees, I’ve always heard the “better to have one than not have one” argument.

If the goal is to fly for any airline (regional or legacy) after my initial ADSC, is pursuing a box checker degree worth spending 10-20 hours a week of my free time? 

I’m about a third of the way done, but I still question if the time I’m investing is worth the reward. 

My PIC and total hours are lower than the typical pilot in my year group, so in a way, I’m trying to compensate for the lack of hours and experience. 

 

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Domestically, I don't find it happens that much, but most likely that is because of me.  
Internationally, we probably do a bit more socializing on long haul since there are 4 pilots on the crew.  
Seeing flight attendants on a layover is incredibly rare, though I am told SWA and AA party like rockstars with their FA's.  
When not on a trip, I don't socialize with anyone I met at the airlines.  
As for food... you're better off skipping the airline meals... using your ~3 day trip to get some fasting in... and looking for healthy alternatives near the layover hotel.  
Yes domestically at the U I have probably had a layover with the FAs about 10 times in the past 6 years, of which I have hung out with them 0 times.

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1 hour ago, Newb said:

Concerning master degrees, I’ve always heard the “better to have one than not have one” argument.

If the goal is to fly for any airline (regional or legacy) after my initial ADSC, is pursuing a box checker degree worth spending 10-20 hours a week of my free time? 

I’m about a third of the way done, but I still question if the time I’m investing is worth the reward. 

My PIC and total hours are lower than the typical pilot in my year group, so in a way, I’m trying to compensate for the lack of hours and experience. 

 

I agree with the "better to have it" sentiment.  I know for a fact that Delta gives you points for quality and quantity of education.  I have seen it in writing from both Delta proper and from ALPA, and I have also heard second hand from a pilot who did interviews.  The interview pilot guy said that you get more points for more challenging programs and more points from more reputable educational institutions.  In other words, the engineering degree probably gets more points than the poly sci degree, and the masters from Vanderbilt probably is worth a few more points than the masters from Toro University International University online. 

^^^Delta only.  Not sure about other airlines. 

Also, maybe other airlines look real hard at flight hours, but Delta has put in writing things they look at in their "whole person concept" type framework.  Flight hours is usually down at about 3 or 4 on the list of important things they look at, depending on which thing you read.  It still amazes me how so many people post on all these websites that they have "4K hours, 2K PIC, what are my chances?"  You know, almost everyone has that, and is the guy with 3K hours really 33% more qualified than a guy with 2K hours???  That's why Delta looks at other things like education, type ratings, quality and quantity of flight training programs, other aviation achievements/endeavors like instructor, safety, sim instructor, medals, memberships in aviation organizations, letters of rec, etc. Those all get you points on your application at Delta.

For what it's worth, I was hired at the beginning of the 2014 hiring wave at DAL with maybe around 2200 or so hours of flight time.  That was on the low end in my new hire class, as there were folks all over the board with hours.  But some thing that EVERYONE in my new hire class had was a lot of "extras."  Regional airline + military, multiple military IQ programs, demo pilots, Air Force 2 pilot, line check airmen, CRM instructors, sim instructors, multiple type ratings, etc.  I really don't think anyone got hired just based on their flight hours, because I personally knew of at least a dozen people who had waaaaay more flight hours than I and never got called. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/9/2021 at 9:25 AM, Ryder1587 said:

If you are apart of an airline can you post which one and the pros/cons associated with it?  I know most of it personal preference but it’s good to hear opinions on why you like / don’t like it as much. 

FedEx.  No reason to inflate or convince anyone to come here.  I'll try to be as objective as I can.  Just think it's worth putting it on your radar if it wasn't.

Cons: 

90 minute call-out on reserve in Memphis.  All other bases it's 3-hours.  There is such thing as R-24 (with 24-hour notice for assignments) but it's a fraction of the reserve lines and they usually assign base hotel standby to R-24s soon after it starts and bring you into base.  None of the "industry common" reserve attributes like long-call, the ability to bypass assignments, aggressive pick-up, etc.  Overall, I'd say the reserve system at FedEx is at best middle of the road in the industry.  On the positive side, reserve usage tends to be low and if you choose to live in domicile and can hold it, you stay home often with pay.

Domestic night flying commits you to day sleeping while you're at work.  If you can't do that consistently, FedEx life will be much harder for you.  If you're okay flying longer trips internationally, your life can be much simpler and the flying is infinitely easier.

Pros: 

Commuter friendly -  I realize the common advice is not to commute.  Impossible to argue with that if you have the life flexibility to move to domicile.  If you're established somewhere and don't want to move to a pax carrier domicile, there is no airline in the US where it's easier to be a commuter.  As someone who has done both, I guarantee the ease of commute at FedEx is difficult to describe to someone who has never experienced it.  The entire operation and system form is set up to fly all the aircraft from the outstations into domicile for the sort and launch 2-3 hours later on the first flight of of a trip.  Getting to base for a trip from a city served by direct FedEx flights is a piece of cake and there are ample contractual protections for the potential missed commute.  Same with the end of a trip.  So there's no mad scramble to block-in and run to a commuter flight to get home.  Lines are constructed to minimize commutes per month.  In 16-years at FedEx, I have never commuted more than twice in a month.

The other unique aspect of the FedEx operation is the regular use of commercial flights to deadhead pilots into position.  This give a huge percentage of the pilot group the option to commute to and from work with positive space tickets purchased with company money.  I have made executive platinum at AA for the last 12 years straight.  While I don't have company passes to travel standby for free, I have been able to use my frequent flyer miles to obtain tickets for my family any time it suits us.

In terms of career earnings, current new hires at FedEx are going to have access to wide-body captain seats much earlier than their peers at pax carriers.  83% of our Captain seats are wide body seats with the potential to hit our highest pay rates.  Run those same numbers on the Captain seats at your typical legacy carrier.  We have pilots hired less than 8-years ago who are now wide-body Captains and will be on our highest pay scales for most of their careers.  There are even some outliers in WB seats at the 6-year point at our HKG and OAK bases.  Based on projected retirements, that trend is going to continue for the next decade at a minimum.  These are the seats and pay rates that many pax carrier pilots only get access to in the few final years of their careers if at all.  Late in career military retirees can opt to chase $$ and get to seats they would never touch somewhere else.  Or they can chase QOL and be in a WB FO seat far sooner, flying long-haul international if that suits them.

No matter which seat or aircraft you end up in, the actual flight hours you spend in the seat are usually a fraction of what you get paid for.  Domestic lines paying 80-90 credit hours have about 30 actual flight hours in them.  Long-haul 777 schedules are probably 50 actual flight hours for 85-100 credit hours of pay.

In my opinion, the threat of single-pilot cargo operations are unrealistic.  That's a much longer conversation, but technological capability on a test-bed vs realistic industry application that actually equates to appropriate savings are not the same thing.  So, if that is steering a current pilot with the quals away from FedEx or UPS, I think you're over-reacting to that potential downside.

Just throwing out the cargo consideration for those who may have written it off.

Edited by JeremiahWeed
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Can someone help me with airline pay math. I hear stories about the pay beating down USAF badly but there must be something I’m missing.

Let’s take a 5th yr Southwest airline F.O. Making $150 an hour.

At 75hrs per month that’s only $147,600 per year.

I make more than that without a bonus.

Do pilots generally fly more, is there hidden pay etc?


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Posted (edited)

There’s a lot of “hidden” or soft pay. 

At delta, a 4-day trip pays a minimum of 21 hours. But I may only fly 10-15 hours of actual block. 

some folks like to maximize that soft pay. Some folks want to minimize it (then any delays or changes result in more pay right away). On mans trash ….

 

reference the grid (few posts back) and look at the various rigs (trip, duty, etc). That’s usually where the soft pay comes from. 

Edited by HossHarris
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Plus profit sharing that 10-12 percent. Plus retirement contributions of 12-15%.  Plus per diem. Plus premium time.  It seems like a normal 4-5 year dude is making 200-250k from what I can tell. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, di1630 said:

Can someone help me with airline pay math. I hear stories about the pay beating down USAF badly but there must be something I’m missing.

Let’s take a 5th yr Southwest airline F.O. Making $150 an hour.

At 75hrs per month that’s only $147,600 per year.

I make more than that without a bonus.

Do pilots generally fly more, is there hidden pay etc?


 

Soft pay is your friend!  I'm currently at the lowest pay rate at DAL (717 FO...8th year pay).  For this month, I'll have worked 11 days (well, now only 6 because I called in sick for a 5 day trip), flown less than 30 hours and I'll be paid for 97.5 hours (last month was 132 hours pay).   That works out to be ~$16k for the month...18.5k if you add in company 401k contributions.  I still have 11 day in the month to either pick up normal flying or pick up some overtime trips, that could easily nudge me over the 20k mark.  I enjoy time off more than money so I doubt I'll actually pick anything else up.  I had multiple 30k (plus 401k) months as a Widebody FO while only actually working 12 days (due to vacation, overtime "Greenslip" flying and getting paid on days I didn't actually work due to deviating dh).  Last year, I was only active at DAL (MLOA the rest of the year) for 7 months and I made more than your example above.   A former squadron mate has gotten 150 hours of pay (though not flying much), every month this year.  Lots of schemes to make extra pay for very little effort, especially if you get senior.


The big downside, is Uncle Sam takes a much bigger cut than you're used to.  As a O-4 or O-5 on the bonus, you'll do just as good as a newer airline guy if you look just at straight pay.  However, it's the time off that really wins the day for me (pay per day worked).  

 

1 hour ago, ImNotARobot said:

For those who have it, how do you guys view the profit sharing concept after COVID airline losses? When are you expecting to see profit sharing again?

 

I'm for keeping it as it acts as a natural shock absorber during times like this.  We could monotize them as pay rate or whatever, but the next negotiating cycle, the other airlines will match and we'll be back at square one...just without PS.  I've worked at a place w/o it and now with it, and I think keeping this type of "at risk" pay is great for the motivation of employees.  As long as you're not one of the idiots that COUNT on the PS to keep them afloat, then not having it is not that big of a deal.  Though I don't expect to see pre-covid numbers soon, based on what I'm seeing, I'd expect to see PS in the next year or two.  

Edited by SocialD
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, di1630 said:

Can someone help me with airline pay math. I hear stories about the pay beating down USAF badly but there must be something I’m missing.

Let’s take a 5th yr Southwest airline F.O. Making $150 an hour.

At 75hrs per month that’s only $147,600 per year.

I make more than that without a bonus.

Do pilots generally fly more, is there hidden pay etc?


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Don't forget to add 16% 401k company contributions from your base pay for PAX carriers. That's an extra $23k on top of the number you provided. These numbers are all minimums.

Additionally, you have to approach the income situation holistically. How much money are you making with the AF per hour if you're working at least 40-60 hours per week? At the airlines you might be gone 10-14 days per month, but actual time working (excluding if you're on reserve), is going to be around that 75 hour number you quoted. That's 75 hours of labor for the entire month or an average of 18.75 hours per week based on a 4 week month.

You also need to assess career earnings. Yes, maybe at the beginning of your airline career you would have been making more on AD, but once you're a senior FO or junior captain, your income will drastically eclipse AD pay. Particularly if you do an apples to apples comparison on hourly rate.

Edited by Royal
Didn't see Social D's response; sorry for the redundancy.
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11 hours ago, di1630 said:

Can someone help me with airline pay math. I hear stories about the pay beating down USAF badly but there must be something I’m missing.

Let’s take a 5th yr Southwest airline F.O. Making $150 an hour.

At 75hrs per month that’s only $147,600 per year.

I make more than that without a bonus.

Do pilots generally fly more, is there hidden pay etc?


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

There is a disparity between min guarantee and actual average pay. At SWA even though guarantee is 76 hours, the average credited (when our contract was signed) is 94. I’m going to take a wild guess that the average pilot picks up 1-2 extra days of flying. The rest of the difference is through premium time (time and a half for reroutes, changed show/block-in times, uncovered flying, etc.) or rigs (min guaranteed credit per day or trip no matter how short it is)And then vacation pay effectively credits about 4 hrs/mo on average for a new guy (goes up with a seniority).

Personal example, in 2019 (last “normal” year) I only ever dropped flying and averaged 46 block hours per month, but my W-2 pay ended up just slightly below what it would have been by doing the hourly rate x min guarantee math.

When I made the switch, my apples to apples comparison was how many days are spent on duty for the pay…20 (or 30?) in the AF vs the contractually protected 13-16 depending on the airline. The airline won’t stop me from working 5 days/week (and adding 50% to my salary) if I wanted…well, as long as I’m legal. Alternatively, we all know how it’d go trying to score 3-day work weeks in the AF. 

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6 hours ago, SocialD said:

 I had multiple 30k (plus 401k) months as a Widebody FO while only actually working 12 days (due to vacation, overtime "Greenslip" flying and getting paid on days I didn't actually work due to deviating dh).  

As an example of an extreme $$$ hog, my bro-inlaw at DAL flew almost nothing but "Greenslips."  As a senior narrow body A320CA he made $500K, $500K, $602K in the last three years.  He went on LTS last May and was making $44K/mth due to the look back clause until he retired (65) in Jan '21.

I early retired 11 yrs ago and bet I outlive him and his mansion on the lake in DAL's ATL base housing.

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The highest paid pilot at DAL for a few years was a narrowbody FO.  That is until 2019 when they couldn't compete with the 7-figure 350 captains.  Let's just say you won't miss the AF's paycheck if you land at any major airline.  We might be singing a different tune during COVID 2.0, but short of that, you'll be ok on the outside.

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Posted (edited)

Keep in mind the beauty of the airline life is you can generally work as much or as little as you want.  I tend to give away a lot of my trips and work far less than most of my bros.  But let's say for one month I want to work my ass off just to make up some of the difference.  Here at SWA I can easily pick up extra trips and make over $20K a month as a 2nd year FO if I play my cards right.  Then go right back to sitting on my ass and not thinking about an airplane until a few weeks later.

And to hit on an earlier subject, as a SWA PMer, I'd say we go out as a crew (pilots and FAs) about 98.69% of the time.  The only time it doesn't happen is if the FAs have an early show and want to get some sleep.  They don't have the same crew rest requirements so they get hosed sometimes when it comes to ground time.

Edited by BADFNZ
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7 hours ago, Springer said:

I early retired 11 yrs ago and bet I outlive him and his mansion on the lake in DAL's ATL base housing.

Winning!  

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Springer said:

As an example of an extreme $$$ hog, my bro-inlaw at DAL flew almost nothing but "Greenslips."  As a senior narrow body A320CA he made $500K, $500K, $602K in the last three years.  He went on LTS last May and was making $44K/mth due to the look back clause until he retired (65) in Jan '21.

I early retired 11 yrs ago and bet I outlive him and his mansion on the lake in DAL's ATL base housing.

Are greenslips a type of premium flying?

Edited by Newb
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On 5/18/2021 at 6:24 PM, Springer said:

As an example of an extreme $$$ hog, my bro-inlaw at DAL flew almost nothing but "Greenslips."  As a senior narrow body A320CA he made $500K, $500K, $602K in the last three years.  He went on LTS last May and was making $44K/mth due to the look back clause until he retired (65) in Jan '21.

I early retired 11 yrs ago and bet I outlive him and his mansion on the lake in DAL's ATL base housing.

 

Ya, that's working way too damn hard.  As someone who often bids reserve, I love people like that.  I much prefer that they fly those trips and I stay home.  Hoping to follow in your foot steps and retire early...hopefully around the same time I'll start collecting my Guard retirement (circa 57 years old).  May stay longer if I still have the ability to drop my entire schedule and just fly what I want.  That's the hope/plan for now anyway.  

 

10 hours ago, di1630 said:

Where is the place to look for app windows to open?

 

Airlinepilotforums, airlineapps, pilotcredentials, FDX/UPS websites, The Pilot Network on FB.

 

7 hours ago, Newb said:

Are greenslips a type of premium flying?

 

Double pay for line holders.  For reserve pilots, every day flown on an off day is pay above reserve guarantee, then you get the same number of days of reserve dropped later in the month.  That's what you'll hear DAL bros refer to as "rolling thunder."     

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53 minutes ago, SocialD said:

Double pay for line holders.  For reserve pilots, every day flown on an off day is pay above reserve guarantee, then you get the same number of days of reserve dropped later in the month.  That's what you'll hear DAL bros refer to as "rolling thunder."     

Hold up.  So reserve pilots not currently sitting reserve can't pick up premium as extra fly?  Ouch.

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