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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Chida said:

UPS pays for a move in conjunction with a base closure/opening. There may be other situations, but mainly it is unusual, not for new hires, and should not enter one’s calculus.

The hidden meaning behind some of these attributes or benefits has taken some time for me to dig up and get steered straight. I believe it was the FedEx folks on APC enlightened me that new hires get to training on their own and pay for their accommodations, ground transportation , etc. The stuff I just mentioned was not the eye-opener. What struck me was that if you (not a newbie) were a commuter, you are responsible for getting there, ground transportation and accommodations during required training events every year for the remainder of your career unless corrected in a new contract. It’s the “expectation” that you live in base was the hidden meaning. You definitely get paid enough to do it, but “c’mon Man! 
*If your dream location is at base, you have won the lottery!

*Good to know about United. Thx.

Edited by AirGuardianC141747
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On 4/30/2022 at 2:46 AM, AirGuardianC141747 said:

Just curious, if retiring active duty do you still have a year for the paid for move/final pcs if you will to most anywhere you choose? (Might be based on your initial active duty entry point?) Or was it just having your goods in storage for one year and being able to extend every year up to five years if you submit your request on time?

You're able to request a one year extension on your retirement move entitlement.  I extended twice, and was told that they were cinching down on the extensions and that I probably wouldn't get another.  Worked out; retired in '18, moved the house in '20, about 2.5 years later.

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Whenever I talk to people looking to fly for UPS/FedEx, they say it’s because “boxes don’t b****”.

Are passengers really that painful to deal with? I’ve never encountered any issues being a customer before. 

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2 minutes ago, Newb said:

Whenever I talk to people looking to fly for UPS/FedEx, they say it’s because “boxes don’t b****”.

Are passengers really that painful to deal with? I’ve never encountered any issues being a customer before. 

Not dealing with pax and flight attendants is a godsend. Reason number one is that I can get up, take a leak, and stretch whenever I damn well please. Reason 2: I change into sweats at TOC. Reason 3: I’ve never had to divert because of a sick or unruly box. Reason 4: flight attendants, while potentially fun, know where you work, live, and how much money you make. The list goes on & I’m sure there are lots of good reasons to work for Delta but I wouldn’t trade. 

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Whenever I talk to people looking to fly for UPS/FedEx, they say it’s because “boxes don’t b****”.
Are passengers really that painful to deal with? I’ve never encountered any issues being a customer before. 

Not dealing with pax and flight attendants is a godsend. Reason number one is that I can get up, take a leak, and stretch whenever I damn well please. Reason 2: I change into sweats at TOC. Reason 3: I’ve never had to divert because of a sick or unruly box. Reason 4: flight attendants, while potentially fun, know where you work, live, and how much money you make. The list goes on & I’m sure there are lots of good reasons to work for Delta but I wouldn’t trade. 

Quoted For Truth. Great summary, and Flying cargo is preferable.
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4 hours ago, Prozac said:

Not dealing with pax and flight attendants is a godsend. Reason number one is that I can get up, take a leak, and stretch whenever I damn well please. Reason 2: I change into sweats at TOC. Reason 3: I’ve never had to divert because of a sick or unruly box. Reason 4: flight attendants, while potentially fun, know where you work, live, and how much money you make. The list goes on & I’m sure there are lots of good reasons to work for Delta but I wouldn’t trade. 

Reason 5: No passenger terminals. The jet is typically under a few hundred feet from the car that takes me to/from the hotel. 
Reason 6: Typically fewer legs per day, and if I am flying twice it’s almost always just chilling on the jet while they unload/load freight. No huffing it 69 gates at DFW to a flight that’s late and waiting on you. 

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5 hours ago, Newb said:

Whenever I talk to people looking to fly for UPS/FedEx, they say it’s because “boxes don’t b****”.

Are passengers really that painful to deal with? I’ve never encountered any issues being a customer before. 

Pros/cons to everything. I’ll say it depends more on personal preference but isn’t universally bad.  Personally I’ve never had a bad experience with passengers, and the interactions keep things less mundane. People watching can be fun, especially the Friday night flights to Vegas and Monday morning flights out of there. Cheesy too, but I actually appreciate when kids do things like wave from the terminal or want to check out the cockpit…reminds me of how I decided I wanted to fly in the first place.

Only thing that undoubtedly sucks is having to pay attention to when the seatbelt sign is on or off and (at least in the Guppy) how the weather is in the back… 

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Reason #1 for not going to FedEx/UPS: Commuting

Reason #2: I fly mainly 2-day trips. Mostly trancons. 1 night gone, at least 3 nights home. 16-18 days off a month and usually end up crediting 85-90 hrs. I am away from home about 6 nights per month at AAL. I don't think you could do that at a box hauler.

I don't mind PAX and walking through airports. It's all part of the "exitement". FA's are whatever. Some are cool, some aren't. If you can manage to fight the urge to get unprofessional, there should be nothing to worry about. It is very rare we hang out with FA's and if we do it is usually with the old-school ones that aren't looking for trouble anyway.


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5 hours ago, TheNewGazmo said:

Reason #1 for not going to FedEx/UPS: Commuting

Reason #2: I fly mainly 2-day trips. Mostly transons. 1 night gone, at least 3 nights home. 16-18 days off a month and usually end up crediting 85-90 hrs. I am away from home about 6 nights per month at AAL. I don't think you could do that at a box hauler.

I don't mind PAX and walking through airports. It's all part of the "exitement". FA's are whatever. Some are cool, some aren't. If you can manage to fight the urge to get unprofessional, there should be nothing to worry about. It is very rare we hang out with FA's and if we do it is usually with the old-school ones that aren't looking for trouble anyway.

How long have you been there? Doesn't sound bad at all

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How long have you been there? Doesn't sound bad at all
Just under 4 years. Live in base out of Philadelphia on the AB. Movement has been pretty insane on the FO side the past 6 months. I've moved about 25%.
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1 hour ago, TheNewGazmo said:
2 hours ago, icohftb said:
How long have you been there? Doesn't sound bad at all

Live in base out of Philadelphia on the AB.

That's the real reason you can have the awesome life you have.  Living in base for ANY airline, regardless of what's in the back, trumps all if you want a good home life.  That's coming from a box-hauler currently sitting in my Domicile that is WAY far away from my home.

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That's the real reason you can have the awesome life you have.  Living in base for ANY airline, regardless of what's in the back, trumps all if you want a good home life.  That's coming from a box-hauler currently sitting in my Domicile that is WAY far away from my home.
But unless you bid domestic equipment (A300, 757/767, etc), can you have a similar schedule living in-base with FedEx or UPS?
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5 hours ago, TheNewGazmo said:

But unless you bid domestic equipment (A300, 757/767, etc), can you have a similar schedule living in-base with FedEx or UPS?

Yes you can have a similar schedule living in base...by bidding domestic equipment (A300, 757/767) and living in base.

The domestic hub-turn critters typically have week-on/week-off types of schedules, but I've also heard of dudes rolling with 5 on/2-3 off as well.  One guy I know consistantly does sort runs Mon-Thur/Fri, home on the weekends.  We've got all kinds of schedules.  The MD-11s live somewhere in between international and domestic (sounds like they're going more domestic these days though). We find a niche and get happy.

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On 5/3/2022 at 3:43 PM, Newb said:

Whenever I talk to people looking to fly for UPS/FedEx, they say it’s because “boxes don’t b****”.

Are passengers really that painful to deal with? I’ve never encountered any issues being a customer before. 

Allow me to put another spin on this. I prefer flying with pax. Never had to divert for a sick person, but you're on company time and pay protected for the trip anyway, and honestly I'd rather be the guy in the chain of events who helped saved a dude's life.

I also like having kids come up on a preflight, sitting in the seat, and giving them the little plastic wings. I like chatting with FA's in the cockpit during bathroom breaks because some of them are really cool and from all different walks of life, and a not-insignificant amount of them are curious about aviation. Hell, most of them are locals and so we talk about local stuff too.

IMO most of the people who say boxes don't bitch tend to be rather misanthropic anyway. I actually enjoy human interaction, but to each their own.

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On the topic of pax/cargo — 

As someone who’s separating w/in <2hr drive of SFO & staying local United’s been #1 on the list, but with FedEx’s move into OAK, I feel like this conversation is now more pertinent.  Anyone have any insight or helpful anecdotes?
 

Go with whoever calls — but given the chance at both, any gouge on these two particular domiciles? 

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1 hour ago, eindecker said:

On the topic of pax/cargo — 

As someone who’s separating w/in <2hr drive of SFO & staying local United’s been #1 on the list, but with FedEx’s move into OAK, I feel like this conversation is now more pertinent.  Anyone have any insight or helpful anecdotes?
 

Go with whoever calls — but given the chance at both, any gouge on these two particular domiciles? 

Depending on which side of the Bay you’re on, getting in/out of OAK is a heck of a lot easier drive than crossing any of the bridges (I drive from Sac). It’s not a massive difference on Waze, but it is when you find yourself doing it multiple times monthly, and traffic variability is much lower at OAK. Also on the last day of your trip you generally won’t get flow delays flying into OAK, whereas they’re pretty common at SFO. Not that the SFO drive is BAD…plenty of people do it. Just relatively speaking if you have both CJOs and haven’t otherwise found a tiebreaker then it’s something to consider. Oh, and all the above is predicated on not actually having to stop or stay at a hotel (no nice areas or hotels near OAK). Good luck with both!

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3 hours ago, joe1234 said:

IMO most of the people who say boxes don't bitch tend to be rather misanthropic anyway. I actually enjoy human interaction, but to each their own.

Misanthropic? What the hell does that even mean? I swear, I don’t even want to leave my remote cabin anymore if I’m going to constantly be surrounded by all these high and mighty pax pilots who can’t even speak damned plain English. 

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9 hours ago, TheNewGazmo said:

But unless you bid domestic equipment (A300, 757/767, etc), can you have a similar schedule living in-base with FedEx or UPS?

Depends on the base. Some bases (ONT, most of the non super-senior MIA schedules) are domestic only so the choice is made for you. Others you get to choose which is one of the things I really like. You might spend a decade at a legacy pax outfit before you have a chance at wide body international flying. Not so in cargo. At Brown it’s a single payscale (no difference for widebody flying) so everyone finds their niche and no one is stepping over each other for better pay. That said, I really do believe domicile is a more important consideration than pax vs cargo flying. I just advised a neighbor to stick with his current, just started gig at Delta vs going to FedEx (we’re in the Seattle area). I stand by my “reasons cargo is better” statement but none of that stuff trumps living in base when we’re talking about any of the majors/Fdx/UPS. 

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6 hours ago, eindecker said:

On the topic of pax/cargo — 

As someone who’s separating w/in <2hr drive of SFO & staying local United’s been #1 on the list, but with FedEx’s move into OAK, I feel like this conversation is now more pertinent.  Anyone have any insight or helpful anecdotes?
 

Go with whoever calls — but given the chance at both, any gouge on these two particular domiciles? 

With either job, you would get a pay raise just by moving out of CA. 

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People get too wrapped up about the pax/box issue.  In 10+ years of airline flying, my "dealing with the pax," has amounted to a single divert for a heart attack (got more pay for that day) and kicking off one (1) drunk dude at the gate while still pushing on time.  Even with that, homie don't do "dealing with pax."  We have people who are specially trained to do that, so I have the FO call them out to "deal with the pax."  Meanwhile, I'll be in the cockpit flipping through baseops.net, wondering how many minds have been changed on the abortion thread.  

 

What really matters is how long it takes you to get from your home, to work and back.  This single item will have the biggest impact of your QOL in an airline career.  As an example, I'm typing away while drinking my morning coffee at 0500 (I've become my old man who can't sleep past 0500).  Here in about an hour, I'll drive 55 minutes (about 60 miles) to the airport.  I'll fly a 2-leg turn that is 2.2 hours of block.  I'll block in before noon and be back in my car, headed home about 15 minutes later (Westin Valet will have my car waiting at the curb).  If I don't stop at a squadron mates house for a beer, I should be home by 1300.  I often bid reserve because I can sit short call from my house...hell I've flown my plane around on short call before (just stay ~500 feet to keep a cell signal).  My days on long call are often spent flying my plane/hanging out at the hangar, tooling around the house, visiting family or drinking coffee/beer with current/former squadron mates who live within a mile or two of my house.  Being able to do all of this, if infinitely more valuable than "not dealing with pax."  So I'd recommend going to wherever allows you to do this the most.  

 

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On 5/3/2022 at 5:43 PM, Newb said:

Are passengers really that painful to deal with? I’ve never encountered any issues being a customer before. 

No. I rarely interact with them. Unlike the flight attendants, we don't need to be on the plane before they board / after they deplane. I was most surprised by how easy the entire airport process is. You almost never wait in line for security, passengers dive out of the way when they see you coming, and the cockpit door filters out most of the nonsense. Definitely something I didn't appreciate until working at a passenger carrier.

 

But boxes are obviously much, much, much less hassle.

 

The advantage of the pax carriers is volume of flying. More planes and more pilots and more flights means more permutations for schedule construction and manipulation. We also have dramatically less night flying.

 

My first choice was UPS and my second choice was FedEx. I was already in training at American Airlines when UPS called, and by that time it had been clear that both my job and my wife's job we're going to take us to Dallas. That was enough for me to turn down the interviews and stick with American, because as I believed then (and know for sure now), my strategy only works well when you live in base. 

 

You really have to figure out what type of person you are, and that's going to determine what type of flying your best suited for. There are mission hackers, crew dogs, sightseers, people pleasers, authoritarians, loopholers, managers, unionists, teachers, etc. Each airline offers different opportunities for those types of people.

 

I spend a lot of time at my airline teaching people my method (maximum ratio of pay:hours flown). It's a process and it takes time, and in many cases by the time I'm done explaining it, they are so put off from the idea that they seem pathologically compelled to explain to me why my system isn't actually that good. It's a curious response, but a lot of these guys unknowingly weight any work that isn't sitting in the cockpit as many, many times more onerous than actually flying. So while I usually only fly between 30 to 50% of what a regular line pilot flies in a month, because I spend 10 to 15 hours per month (in 1-5 minute blocks) working the various trading platforms, they view that 15 hours as much worse than the additional 50 hours they spend flying. And usually I'm making somewhere between 15-40% more pay.

 

I mention all that to highlight the concept. Their personality is to do the job they're told to do, not spend years learning the nuances of their contract so that they can exploit it. So what type of military pilot were you? You can probably use that information as the third criteria in selecting an airline

 

1. Who offered you a job

2. Where can you live without commuting

3. What flying job fits your personality?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lord Ratner said:

No. I rarely interact with them. Unlike the flight attendants, we don't need to be on the plane before they board / after they deplane. I was most surprised by how easy the entire airport process is. You almost never wait in line for security, passengers dive out of the way when they see you coming, and the cockpit door filters out most of the nonsense. Definitely something I didn't appreciate until working at a passenger carrier.

 

But boxes are obviously much, much, much less hassle.

 

The advantage of the pax carriers is volume of flying. More planes and more pilots and more flights means more permutations for schedule construction and manipulation. We also have dramatically less night flying.

 

My first choice was UPS and my second choice was FedEx. I was already in training at American Airlines when UPS called, and by that time it had been clear that both my job and my wife's job we're going to take us to Dallas. That was enough for me to turn down the interviews and stick with American, because as I believed then (and know for sure now), my strategy only works well when you live in base. 

 

You really have to figure out what type of person you are, and that's going to determine what type of flying your best suited for. There are mission hackers, crew dogs, sightseers, people pleasers, authoritarians, loopholers, managers, unionists, teachers, etc. Each airline offers different opportunities for those types of people.

 

I spend a lot of time at my airline teaching people my method (maximum ratio of pay:hours flown). It's a process and it takes time, and in many cases by the time I'm done explaining it, they are so put off from the idea that they seem pathologically compelled to explain to me why my system isn't actually that good. It's a curious response, but a lot of these guys unknowingly weight any work that isn't sitting in the cockpit as many, many times more onerous than actually flying. So while I usually only fly between 30 to 50% of what a regular line pilot flies in a month, because I spend 10 to 15 hours per month (in 1-5 minute blocks) working the various trading platforms, they view that 15 hours as much worse than the additional 50 hours they spend flying. And usually I'm making somewhere between 15-40% more pay.

 

I mention all that to highlight the concept. Their personality is to do the job they're told to do, not spend years learning the nuances of their contract so that they can exploit it. So what type of military pilot were you? You can probably use that information as the third criteria in selecting an airline

 

1. Who offered you a job

2. Where can you live without commuting

3. What flying job fits your personality?

These days, there is quite a bit of premium being handed out.  A lot of them are trips that pop up last minute they don't have the short-call coverage for (because they're ripping through their reserve list like crazy). The closer you live, the more opportunities you have to pick this stuff up in open time, if you so choose.  Some of them are day turns; one leg out and one back for almost 8 hours of pay on premium.  That's almost $1,300 for me for a pretty easy, enjoyable day at work.   The pilots who commute by air or even commute 1.5-2 hrs by car don't always get to take advantage of some of these trips because of their inability to pick these up with minimum notification time.

 

On the flipside, if you don't want to work on your days off, but live close, you can bid those 1-day/2-day trips that commuters don't want and most likely get them even if you are on the junior side.  They'd rather get the 3-day/4-day trips to maximize their time at work and minimize their commuting.  4-day trips can be exhausting if you get one with a lot of legs and early sign-in's.  2-day trips for me are great especially if I can grab them with long layovers (in nice places).  A transcon to LAX with 20+ hours in Redondo Beach doesn't suck (followed by 3-4 days off).  By the time I'm ready to divorce my wife and/or beat my children, I'm packing for another trip....  I keed... I keed...

Edited by TheNewGazmo
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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure I completely agree with Hugo, but his inputs are worth considering.  

I live NE of Sacramento, exactly 125 miles from the SFO employee lot. 

Especially since Covid, things have not been too bad.  Last Friday, I crossed the Bay Bridge at 0710 (without extra pax, so no HOV) and only waited about 10-15 min at the toll booths.  That was the only traffic I hit.  

I leave home ~4 hours to show and it's comfortable.  That includes the 25 minutes to leisurely find a good parking spot, change into my shirt, and walk to Ops.  

I don't recall having any flow delays going into SFO over the past 6 years that affected my return.  

Driving from SFO up I-80 to greater Sac can be longer if you are leaving SFO after around 1530 on a weekday.  

And for heaven's sake, don't try to drive to Oakland or SFO on a Sunday afternoon most of the year.  Everyone is coming down the mountain and I-80 is a mess.  

Edited by HuggyU2
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