Alaska Pilot Hiring Plans

Alaska Flyer

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44 new hire pilots for the current bid with results out Sep. 16. Training for this bid is in October to complete all by March.

The next bid is slated for January to be effective in July, with classes starting in April and continuing through summer. Open positions will include at least 43 new captain positions and 27 FO's, with 60 new hires expected for that bid.

This will achieve a 3.5 percent block hour increase in 2006, and more bids will result from a plan for a 6.7 percent block hour increase in 2007. Growth has been mentioned in relation to this and future bids, as well as covering retirements.

And yes, the first few classes will be filled with pilots from the hiring pool, which has 15 pilots in it now.
 

Sioux115

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When was the last time Alaska interviewed. I flew with a pilot last Oct. who had interviewed 18mos. prior and was hired. I haven't heard if he has started training and I haven't seen any interviews between then and now. So are some poolies going on 2 and half years+ in the pool?
 

flx757

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That sounds about right. The last interviews were in late 2002, I believe.
 

alaskaplt

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Alaska Flyer said:
The next bid is slated for January to be effective in July, with classes starting in April and continuing through summer. Open positions will include at least 43 new captain positions and 27 FO's, with 60 new hires expected for that bid.

This will achieve a 3.5 percent block hour increase in 2006, and more bids will result from a plan for a 6.7 percent block hour increase in 2007. Growth has been mentioned in relation to this and future bids, as well as covering retirements.

And yes, the first few classes will be filled with pilots from the hiring pool, which has 15 pilots in it now.
I will believe that there will be a 2nd bid when I see it. Mgt has a history of not telling the truth. It could just be them trying to make sure we play nice. A carrot.
 

av8instyle

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alaskaplt said:
I will believe that there will be a 2nd bid when I see it. Mgt has a history of not telling the truth. It could just be them trying to make sure we play nice. A carrot.
I doubt they're just "throwing us a carrot". They're way short on crews and I can't remember a recent time where the next estimated bid wasn't fairly accurate. But then again...
 

alaskaplt

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av8instyle said:
I doubt they're just "throwing us a carrot". They're way short on crews and I can't remember a recent time where the next estimated bid wasn't fairly accurate. But then again...
I hope you are right. But I am skeptical of anything coming from this mgt team.
 

Rhino

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in the pool

Yes,

Some of us have been in the Pool since December 2002. I now have webbed feet and I think I noticed what looks like the beginning of gills just under my ears...
 

sf260pilot

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I interviewed there in January 2003 and to my knowlefge they did not hire anyone from the two classes they interviewed. That week they changed the format of the interview process from a two day affair to all happening in one day. It was assumed that they were not going to hrire anyone and that we were just getting a jump on the wait time to re-apply. I was wondering when the last poolie was interviewed, just for reference. When was the last training class of new hires put through, and how many are still swimming and for how long, Thanks!
 

flx757

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I can't say for sure when the last poolie was interviewed, but I think I can take a pretty accurate stab at the other questions.

The last new hire class (of 6) started in March of this year. These were the last few positions of the bid that came out at this time last year. The number I hear that still remain in the pool is 15 (although I have also heard 16).
 
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ratherfish

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help!

I'm in the pool. It's been so long that I've forgotten the interview date. I just opened my email and found a bunch of messages from H.R. asking me to re-do multiple paper applications.

I have questions of my own for Alaska pilots or anyone living in the West:

1.My current employer has dragged out our contract "negotiations" for many years now. When does the current Alaska pilot contract with the new and improved salary become amendable?

2.Make a guess on the date of a new contract?

3.Is the pension gone for new hires? What's still there financially for a fresh-out-of-the-pool guy? How much 401k match, etc.?

4.If you were starting out at the bottom of the pay scale (approx. 30k salary the first year, 50k the second) and had to relocate for the job, which base would you bid? What areas would you look for housing in? Are there places you can recommend to reduce the high cost of West Coast living? I need good public schools.

5.Are daily operations improving yet? i.e. late flights, etc.

6.How long will I be furlough meat?

7.How many hours a month have guys been flying on reserve?

8.How confident are you in the long term viability of Alaska Airlines?

My heart says, "take the dream job you've spent a good portion of your life trying for" but my mind says, "you can't afford it".

Thanks in advance.


 

AK737FO

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A few answers

I'll hit a few of your questions.

Our contract is good for two years - started May 1, 2005. I really doubt we will see a new contract in May of 07, but then again who knows. I think that if the company really wanted to, they could push this contract to about 2009 before the troops started to get militant. I will bet my last dollar that there will never be a pilot strike at Alaska, at least not until "Uncle Ted" Stevens is dead.

All new hires still have a pension and 401K - the arbitrator did not touch our retirement. Pension is years of service x top 5 x 1.90. 401K is a 3% match.

A wise man will live in his base. Commuting stinks, and commuting to reserve is suicidal for a family man. I know nothing about LAX, hopefully someone else can chime in. SEA will ride you hard and put you away wet on reserve - some guys have been flying 85 plus the last few months on reserve! ANC is the way an airline should be run. We take care of each other up here (imagine that, crew sched and pilots are actually friends!), we are properly staffed, reserve flys 5 to 30 hours a month.

We have some big retirement numbers coming up in the next few years. Anyone hired now will ride the wave up. I don't see any furloughs - not unless we get a dirty bomb given to us in LAX or some other huge disaster.

I will say this though - if you are young enough and smart enough, you might want to consider a different profession. This use to be a well paid profession, now it is still a fun thing to do, but it is more like a job. You will be away from home 200 to 300 hours a month, and you will get paid very little for it. You will always be subject to the ebb and flow of this crazy industry, good times and bad, like some gut wretching roller coaster. Why not be a dentist, or own a tire store, or invent a new and improved gadget - if you can be in control of your own life rather than dependant on some "senior management" team - you will live a better life for it.
 

ratherfish

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AK737FO,

Outstanding post...just the kind of info. I need but have a tough time finding. I hope others chime in too.

Unfortunately, I am neither young enough or smart enough.

Thanks

 

alaskaplt

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Sea MD reserves probably average 45hr mo. Not so bad. There are places arounf SEA that are not that expensive to live either. Also, 4 of the top 10 public high schools in the country were in the SEA area.
 

Baze

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Thanks for all the great info everyone. I, too, am not too young or smart. I'm sick of commuting for my current job and would like nothing better than getting a SEA base.
 

Delville

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The schools in SEA are like anywhere else: the good ones are generally in nicer areas with a higher cost of living. I've never heard that four of the top 10 public high schools were in the Seattle area. However, three of the top 100 are. They are Interlake (#24), Newport (#32), and Bellevue (#41) according to a May ranking published by Newsweek magazine. Surprisingly, Mercer Island did not make the list. It is often the top-ranked school district in the state. It's worth noting that the cost of living, especially for housing, is high in the areas around each of those schools.
 

Ih8AFYesmen

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Lax

Here's MHO of LAX. If you are a SoCal dude like myself, then this would be a primo location. Lots to do and see-beaches, mountains, and the desert. It's also the land of both beautiful people and a$$holes. Traffic bites, but then again SEA isn't ay better. The cost of homes and living in general are higher down here than the two other bases. I never figured out why we don't get COLA like the ANC boys, hmmm..... Alot of the pilots live in the "inland empire" (ie. San Bernarnandino and Riverside counties). Some pilots drive all the way from Temecula, 100 miles away from LAX. The schools in these areas are hit and miss like anywhere else. Schools in Orange County (OC) tend to be the preferred schools, therefore, homes are generally more expensive. In OC, a very basic home goes for over $600k. You can always opt for a condo, and even those are not cheap. If you drive about 50+ miles east out towards Corona, Fontana, and Moreno valley, there are some decent homes in the $500k's. Generally speaking, schools tend to be nicer in newer neighborhoods in these areas. There are alot of new master planned communities (schools, pools, parks,shopping, etc. built into the community) in the "Inland Empire". Unless you are loaded, looking into the Inland is not a bad choice, unless you don't mind renting. Another option is to commute, although I would never commute myself especially if you are on reserve. Many of the dudes commute from Phoenix. I've heard it's very doable.
As for flying, we have a small pilot base with about 107 captains and 91 FOs. With this new bid, I think we'll get the co-terminal back. If that happens, your choice of where you want to live gets better since you only have to live within 2 hours of any one of the co-terminal bases (LAX, BUR, ONT, SNA, LGB). On reserve, the FOs are averaging about 35 hours/month. It's been a little higher since 5/1. The captains are are flying alot more; yes.... we are short on captains down here too.
As for me, I still enjoy going to work. The few times I'm pissed off are on the 5th and the 20th (pay days), and when screw scheduling lies and treats me like a child. I do miss having our own crew schedulers in L.A. I think I'm too old to change careers, but if I had to do it all over again, I would choose a career where I am my own boss, make a crap load of $$$ and buy my own airplane.
I really don't know what to make of our management, but I can say one thing about them.... they are not leaders by any means. But then again, that's why they're called "management".
Hope this helps. BTW, did you look into SWA, FedEx, and UPS?
 

akairman702

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For Seattle based 737 F.O.'s on reserve we're flying between 40 and 70 hours a month. I'm one of the dumb, happy ones albeit I am single as well so the financial part of it has probably affected me less than the family guys. I love Seattle as a city, and I may never leave my neighborhood in West Seattle. I could be holding a line in the MD, but considering the retirements coming up in the next several years and the 737-800 orders that will arrive in 06, I figure (hope) it might not be too long before all of us start moving up the base sen. list quickly.

The flying is a lot of fun, the airplane is awesome. The pay isn't what it used to be - hopefully that will change eventually - and being on reserve is what it is, personally I don't mind it. If I had it to do over again I would make the same decision. If you hate reserve, expensive cities and don't like the time away from home or large swings in pay and benefits as the other guy mentioned, maybe a career change is in order. I think most of us knew that was the deal when we signed up though. It ain't all bad.
 

psysicx

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If you want a house in Socal buy a piece of dirt and build your dream house. Way cheaper and you get what you want.
 
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