• NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

AirTran or Continental

Pulp Fiction

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Posts
5
Total Time
3000
I was blessed enough to be offered jobs at both AirTran and Continental within days of each other. I have been an admirer of this board for a while and have read every thread out there on both airlines. I will be living in Dallas and trying to do Military reserves in Dallas as well if they will have me. Just looking for some input to see what the folks out there think. Thanks in advance for the replies.
 

GVEtrucker

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Posts
20
Total Time
12,000
Hey Pulp,

What a nice dilemma! I am not going to help you much since it’s you decision to make and you can weigh the known pros and cons on your own.

Continental is the traditional airline with European flying, 777s, lots of pilots retiring and an ALPA contract. Airtran has a growth rate in excess of 20% and you’ll have 20% of the seniority list behind you by this time next year. DFW may be a crew base by next year too.

What ever decision you make, there are some things that you MUST do to insure you have a stable life (notice I didn’t say stable career)

1. Stay married to the same person. A FedEx guy I met recently said he was working on his retirement ‘A’ fund. I asked him what was that? He said, “staying married to my first wife!”

2. Stay in the reserves. No matter how much money you think you’ll make in your airline career, having the part time job with your Uncle can benefit you in so many ways. It’s the closest thing to a guaranteed retirement out there. Plus the medical benefits in retirement (A huge thing for an aging populace) and a great support group/job networking system if the airline thing hiccups.

3. Live well below your means early in you career. Again, being married to right person is key.

4. Start reading about how to become well off. The Rich Dad Poor Dad series by Robert Kiyosaki is a good place to start.


You are embarking on the best temporary career you’ll ever have. Treat it this way and you’ll never be disappointed.

GVE
 

BSkin

GATORS
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
796
Total Time
>8000
GVEtrucker, some of the best advice I've ever heard on here!

Saw this post earlier and really didn't know what to say. Being at AirTran, I hope to never leave. However, given the choice prior to coming here, would have been tough, to say the least.

Pulp, you are blessed, many thousands of professional pilots would love to be in your position. Life at AirTran is pretty good. I started 16 months ago and am 175 of 384 (and growing) of FO's. FO's right now are spending 3-4 months on reserve. Wish you the best on your decision. I know going to a legacy like Continental is hard to pass up.

GVE, to your points,

1. agree, I'm lucky to have a wife that understands this business, and have heard that advice before.

2. agree, wish I had.

3. agree

4. agree, my dad just gave me one of them a few days ago, a must read, he says.
 

Heavy Set

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2002
Posts
2,277
Total Time
15,000
Continental if you are interested in any international travel and flying heavy iron. If that doesn't interest you, it is a toss up because you can always bid the 737 and sit on it at CO as well. I have heard nothing but positives about AirTran so that wouldn't be a bad choice either. The commute might be easier with CO if you can bid IAH early...


Let us know what you decide.
 

Ty Webb

Hostage to Fortune
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Posts
6,525
Total Time
11000+
BSkin said:
I started 16 months ago and am 175 of 384 (and growing) of FO's. FO's right now are spending 3-4 months on reserve.

Before anyone who reads this gets confused about the number of pilots here, he is saying that he is bidding #175 out of 384 B717 FO's who are eligible to bid. That number does not include all of the people currently in training, those on the 737, those on Mil leave or Sick or Family leave, or working in the Training Center.

As for which one to take, well, I have been very happy at AirTran, but if I were a newhire looking at both, I would have to give CAL strong consideration. I would want to know the time on reserve at CAL, quality of life for reserve pilots and junior pilots, ease of commute form where you want to live, and the number of years you have left to fly, but CAL looks pretty good, with its fleet, international flying, frugal management, and upcoming retirements.

Whichever you decide, good luck!
 
Last edited:

AlbieF15

F15 Ret/FDX/InterviewPrep
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
1,764
Total Time
6000
Look at how both companies handled last post 9/11 downturn. CAL furloughed 20% ASAP. Airtran employees agreed to temporary wage concessions and kept everyone on property.

How optimistic are you about getting enough seniority to dodge the next furlough?

If airlines do well for next 4-5 years, CAL will seem like a good investment. If the market stutters and staggers along, you might well have wished you had gone somewhere that didn't blink when it axed 20% of its workforce. I'm not knocking CAL--as a business it is doing well and as a place to work (if you are working) the equipment and routes seem exciting. In a downturn, however, know you are cannon fodder.
 

BSkin

GATORS
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
796
Total Time
>8000
Ty Webb said:
Before anyone who reads this gets confused about the number of pilots here, he is saying that he is bidding #175 out of 384 B717 FO's who are eligible to bid.

That means he is bidding in the middle of the list (which is great after 16 months), but the number of total FO's is much higher than that number suggests.

Very true Ty, my bad for not saying of 717 FO's, not total FO's. Guess I've got more to learn before upgrading:)
 

str8upflyrght

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Posts
80
Total Time
3000+
Pulp, you're finally on the board. BMW got me addicted. I would go w/ CAL (probably an easier commute to Houston when you get it), but Albie has some really good points. We'll talk off-line. Holla!
 

-9Capt

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,046
Total Time
48.3yr
Unless you have a crystal ball, Go with your gut.
 

TV9Driver

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
who's?
Reserves are running 1 month at AirTran right now. Also, you will make around 45-50K first year at AirTran - I think it's around 25-30k at CO. (i could be wrong) Of course first year pay doesn't make a career. I used to work for COEX back when CO owned them - they ran a good business and treated us very well. I'm at AirTran now and i'm looking to upgrade in about 3 years - but you don't get treated quite as well. This is a tough call. Good luck - you'll be happy either way!
 

ForgedBlade

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2002
Posts
302
Total Time
10000+
Continental!
 

calfo

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Posts
204
Total Time
13.5K
TV9Driver said:
Also, you will make around 45-50K first year at AirTran - I think it's around 25-30k at CO.

AirTran first year pay = $43 per hour. That'd be quite a stretch to get $45K in a year.
 

BluDevAv8r

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
985
Total Time
Enough
calfo said:
AirTran first year pay = $43 per hour. That'd be quite a stretch to get $45K in a year.

Not true...they have significant soft time built into their contract. Their trip/duty rig system is the best in the industry.

-Neal
 

aa73

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2004
Posts
2,075
Total Time
10K
AlbieF15 said:
Look at how both companies handled last post 9/11 downturn. CAL furloughed 20% ASAP. Airtran employees agreed to temporary wage concessions and kept everyone on property.

How optimistic are you about getting enough seniority to dodge the next furlough?

If airlines do well for next 4-5 years, CAL will seem like a good investment. If the market stutters and staggers along, you might well have wished you had gone somewhere that didn't blink when it axed 20% of its workforce. I'm not knocking CAL--as a business it is doing well and as a place to work (if you are working) the equipment and routes seem exciting. In a downturn, however, know you are cannon fodder.

True, but what's to stop Airtran from furloughing pilots in the next downturn you speak of. They may very well not agree to another concession. You can't base furloughs on the way the airline handled just one evnt.

Go to the airline where you will acquire seniority the fastest. Right now I'd put my money on CAL, they are growing much faster than Airtran, and not only that, there is much more attrition with retirements.

Goodn luck w/ your decision.
 

Pulp Fiction

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Posts
5
Total Time
3000
Thanks for all the good advice. I have a good woman at home who will support me in anything I do. The international flying isn't a factor in my decsion, because I will get that in the military and have already had my fair share of it.
 

BSkin

GATORS
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
796
Total Time
>8000
TV9Driver said:
Reserves are running 1 month at AirTran right now.

This is not true on the 717 side, 3-4 months as I previously stated. Things may have changed in the last two months as I've been out with a blown knee, but most people are still getting the 717. Again, good luck on the decision!
 
Last edited:

AMRCostUnit

Back on the 737
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Posts
274
Total Time
12,000
Pulp Fiction said:
Thanks for all the good advice. I have a good woman at home who will support me in anything I do. The international flying isn't a factor in my decsion, because I will get that in the military and have already had my fair share of it.

Don't count out 121 international flying. Much easier than in the military. Bus picked us up at the bottom of the jetbridge and dropped us off there too. 10 minutes to flight plan. Plus 3 man over 8 hours (4 over 12) and with the longer block times you get more days off in between. I LOVED the 767/777 out of ORD east and west. Lots of time off, except around the holidays as I was junior on reserve. I miss it greatly but on the domestic -800 in MIA I am much more senior get to spend the important days at home for a change.

I'd look hard a CO. The best place on the list is to be pulled from the top with retirements and pushed from the bottom with new hires. We have CASS and lots more flights out of DFW to EWR/LGA/JFK than we do to ATL if you need to commute.

In the long run I wish I had done the Reserves, mostly for the medical. That will be a big expense to cover on an uncertain retirement picture. I am looking at starting some kind of business to help with the cashflow and tax deductions. Read RDPD and go buy some rentals in the DFW area. I think prices have been fairly flat over the past few years and there will be some room for appreciation. You won't get rich flying jets anymore but make enough to leverage some cash into other ventures.

Not trying to hijack the thread but anyone Optioneering out there? www.optioneer.com I did ok last year but have suspend trading this year. Anyone getting any good trades?

Unit
ORD International Refugee
 

AMRCostUnit

Back on the 737
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Posts
274
Total Time
12,000
BSkin said:
I've been out with a blown knee...

Owwwwch...been there several times, once on a layover. No surgery as of yet. Takes me about 30 days to get back on my feet. Take her slow...

Unit
Bum Knee Club Member
 

BSkin

GATORS
Joined
Apr 28, 2002
Posts
796
Total Time
>8000
AMRCostUnit said:
Owwwwch...been there several times, once on a layover. No surgery as of yet. Takes me about 30 days to get back on my feet. Take her slow...

Unit
Bum Knee Club Member

Four hour surgery (more complicated than MRI indicated) -- ACL replacement w/ 2/3 of a torn meniscus. How much are the dues for the BKC club 'cause after seeing my first bill with insurance, homey can't afford much until back on the job! Glad I didn't see the bill before being able to donate to the red cross, and I hope all that read this either have, or will.
 

Ty Webb

Hostage to Fortune
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Posts
6,525
Total Time
11000+
BSkin said:
I hope all that read this either have, or will.

My wife raised $4400. for hurricane victims this week, and still wrote a check from our account for $250. to the fund . . . . go figure.
 
Top