AirTran Training

usaf2airtran

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I am a military pilot separating from the AF and have been hired by AirTran. I have no previous 121 experience. I am looking for any advice/recommendations/insight from AirTran pilots (especially new-hires who have recently went through initial training or former military pilots who have already made the transition) as what to expect or what I can be doing now to best prepare for training/my upcoming new career.



Also, I have a family of 5. Any idea approx what health ins is running a month? Approx how many credit hours are new-hires getting a month?



I feel blessed to have the job...can't wait to start...and I look forward to meeting you all.
 

Dangerkitty

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usaf2airtran said:
I am a military pilot separating from the AF and have been hired by AirTran. I have no previous 121 experience. I am looking for any advice/recommendations/insight from AirTran pilots (especially new-hires who have recently went through initial training or former military pilots who have already made the transition) as what to expect or what I can be doing now to best prepare for training/my upcoming new career.



Also, I have a family of 5. Any idea approx what health ins is running a month? Approx how many credit hours are new-hires getting a month?



I feel blessed to have the job...can't wait to start...and I look forward to meeting you all.
usaf2airtrain,

If you dont mind I will give you my 2 cents even though I am not an Airtran pilot. I was however in a new hire class at AA that was filled with ex-Military types with no part 121 experience.

Since it looks like you flew a C-17 or C-5 I dont think you will have much of a problem. You are used to flying in a Crew Environment and basically know the drill. I found at AA that the guys that had the hardest time during training were the Fighter Guys that had never flown as a crew. It was just a foreign concept to them as they were used to doing everything themselves. It wasn't that the couldn't do it. They just had too drink a little longer from that Firehose called Initial Pilot Training. All the guys in my class made it through training. One guy busted his ride the first time but made it through the second. This was in a class of 54 newhires.

Just do what the intructors tell you and study your a$$ off. I have found that if you have a really good attitude the instructors and check airmen will bend over backwards to help you get through the program. Come in with an attitude and no one will do you any favors.

As far as the health insurance goes: Most Company offered health insurance has three categories. Insuring only you. Insuring you and your spouse. Insuring you, your spouse, and your children. From all the companies I have worked for it doesn't matter how many dependents that you have. If you have one spouse and 10 kids you would be charged the exact same as if you had a spouse and only one child.

I would imagine that the most comprehensive health insurance plan at Airtran would probably cost you around $300 a month. Maybe a little bit less.

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT sign up for a HMO if they offer one. HMO's are really really good until you get sick and need it. Trust me on this one. I am a Life and Health Insurance agent as well as being a pilot. I have seen people time and time again screwed over by HMO's.
 
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TV9Driver

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Congratulations on the job. I started about 4 months ago and am having a great time. I'm not ex-military, but here are some observations.....

As far as classroom stuff goes, ex-military pilots usually are weaker on the FARs and Indoc type stuff. I would say start reading Part 121 operations regulations, exemption 3585, stuff like that. The systems training will be a piece of cake for you.

Now, about medical insurance... that was my biggest shock and dissappointment at AirTran. I have a wife and 2 kids and it costs me $550 a month - and that's not even the best plan available. Supposedly this is one of the issues the union is working to improve on the next contract, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Other than the insurance, and a somewhat "old school" mentality here, this is a great place to work. Hope you enjoy it as much as I am..
 

Phaedrus

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USAF2:
I'm currently in training, retired USAF (last 5 years in the Jayhawk). The training is very organized, logical, and prepares you very well for the oral and sim check. The instructors are quite good.
I wouldn't sweat studying anything until you get here. I don't mean to sound arrogant or lazy, but I was told before I came (and my experience bears it out) that I simply wouldn't need to.
Once you get here there will be about 2 weeks of Basic Indoc. You'll have plenty of free time and at least a vector once you kind of see how things are laid out. It's a good time to start getting a jump on aircraft specific study because once Indoc is over the shiite hits the rotors.
Like TV9 said, the insurance is crazy expensive.
Things you might want to think about are: crash pads/hotels; transportation; etc.
Congrats!
 

CRJDog

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Don't sweat it guys, study hard and you will be fine. Good luck and congrats. I just wish they would call me!!
 

Stewie

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I also recently got hired and live in Chicago. Class starts Aug 11th for me. I plan to commute to ATL after I get online and I don't have a car. Does anybody have some good suggestions on where to stay while training that has good transportation that is also cheap.

Thanks
 

billjohnson321

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550 a month for health insurance thats outrageous.i don't think any air tran guy can put a positive spin on that.
 

TV9Driver

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Stewie, congrats on the job! Commuting out of MDW shouldn't be to bad since we have a hundred flights a day out of there. As far as training goes, i'd definitely bring a car down for that otherwise you will have to stay in a hotel for two months and that gets real expensive.

I had my car down there for training and got a crashpad for two months. After training I brought my car home and got rid of my crashpad. I stay in hotels that will give you a ride to the airport. I've been used every day on reserve, so I haven't needed that many hotels - it's actually been cheaper than if I had a crash pad. Also, there are crashpads near hotels, so you don't need a car - just hop a ride on a hotel shuttle. As far as cheap hotels..... The Quality Inn near the training center is the cheapest at $32, then the Howard Johnson at $35 and then the Wellesley at $41.

Good luck in training! Don't forget to have some fun!
 

BigEasy

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I started at Airtran back in Feb. of this year and I must say I am impressed with many things. Don't brand me a kool-aid drinker but I think they (company) are running a good ship.

As far as health insurance goes, yeah, big shock for me too. I pay just shy of $500 for my family (only one child). It surprises me that a comany the size of AirTan cannot get a better health plan cost. Oh, by the way, it is the worst plan I have ever had also.

Who would of thought that when I worked for a regional my health insurance would be the best and least expensive. Does it really work that way?

Anyhow, you will be able to make some money after training. I have averaged about 85 hours of pay credit since being on line. You will survive the first year pay. This month is 86 credit hours with 15 days off, typical.

Let me get back to the training issue. Each month that goes by the training gets better and better, so I've heard. Don't stress over it, all airline training programs are firehose type. Bring your laptop if you have it, they will give you a disc that has just about everything you need. Once again, don't sweat it.

Welcome aboard.
 

Stewie

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Thanks for the info TV9Driver. Maybe it's time to break down and buy a crash pad car for training.
 

CapnVegetto

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Quick question: A couple of guys here said that they had no previous 121 experience. I thought AirTran required at least 500 121 Turbine PIC as a minimum? That they wouldn't take anyone that hasn't been a 121 captain at some point? Has this changed? Or is there some kind of 'military exemption'?
 

HoursHore

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It hasn't changed. The requirement has always been 500 hours 121 or mil equivilant.
 

mnboyev

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Health Care... Me and the two kids only... PPO Platinum. (I believe) in network.

PPO Platinum 131.69 x 2

Dental Platinum 15.65 x 2

Put the wife on her own plan if you can.

Life insurance and ADD extra $$ Not too bad...
 

I Hate Freight

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500 hours 121 PIC?

HoursHore said:
It hasn't changed. The requirement has always been 500 hours 121 or mil equivilant.
What is the reason for this requirement? The only difference in what I do as an f/o and what the captain does is that he signs the manifest and dispatch release. One would think that 6000 total and 2500 hours 121 SIC, all jet, would make a nice pilot for Air Tran.

IHF
 

CapnVegetto

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I Hate Freight said:
What is the reason for this requirement? The only difference in what I do as an f/o and what the captain does is that he signs the manifest and dispatch release. One would think that 6000 total and 2500 hours 121 SIC, all jet, would make a nice pilot for Air Tran.

IHF
Same reason they seem to think 5000 PIC hours in a Boeing Business jet is worthless unless it's under part 121. Because it's a dumb requirement.
 

Phaedrus

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"Dumb" all depends on your perspective I suppose. Many consider SWA's type rating at your own expense "dumb", but I'd bet SWA management doesn't think so.
The 500 hours of 121 or mil equivalent probably has a reason behind it that only some know about.
 

usaf2airtran

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Thanks for the inputs

All,

Thanks for all the inputs and advice so far. I have been reading up on Part 121, reviewing Part 91, and studying Jepp charts (since we don't use them much in the AF).

$500 for health ins does seem high based on what other airline pilots have told me that they pay. Hopefully this will change in the future.
 

jimcav

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There is a big difference between what the capt does and what the fo does. Once you've been a capt you will appreciate this difference. It may seem like the same job on the surface, but when the sh*t hits the fan it is usually the experience of the person in the left seat that makes the difference. Decision making is not always easy, and that is why we hire captains, not copilots. That being said I wish we would change our policy to include biz jet capts. There are many out there who are more than qualified.
 

j41driver

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mnboyev said:
Health Care... Me and the two kids only... PPO Platinum. (I believe) in network.

PPO Platinum 131.69 x 2

Dental Platinum 15.65 x 2

Put the wife on her own plan if you can.

Life insurance and ADD extra $$ Not too bad...
How much extra would your wife be to add on your insurance?
 

-9Capt

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I have the Silver HMO option, $100 per paycheck ($200/month) for me and my wife. Contrary to what someone said, I think the coverage is pretty good ($10 co-pays, 100% hospitalization, etc) premiums are high.

Our contract allows for a 15% annual increase in employee contribution and the company has been sticking it to us.
 
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