Well, we're down to only 4 bases now, so there aren't too many to shuffle between!
I'd say the most junior are Utica/Syracuse and Rochester. Plattsburgh used to be pretty junior, but with the furlough, that changed; it's mainly the guys who've been here a while and moved up there, with a few exceptions.
Plattsburgh and Utica/Syracuse have nothing but out-and-back day trips. (And with Utica being a 50-mile drive from Syracuse, you'd need a car at that end, too; you're on your own getting between the two cities.) Rochester has one overnight trip, but its report time is 9:40am, making it a real risky commute to do same-day.
Albany's really the ONLY base you can realistically commute to; that's a big reason it's gone so senior these days. It's the only base with lots of overnights; most report around 11am, with one reporting around 230pm.
I have a class date of 4/8 and I was wondering if there are any crashpads in Plattsburgh. I don't want to get a place until I see what base I get and hotels are an expensive way to live, even if you split the cost. Any info would be appreciated.
I was told that we get pay and per diem but hotel expenses were our responsibility. They said the first 2 nights are paid for and then they pair you up. With 2 people in the room the per diem is supposed to be enough to cover the hotel. Things are probably different now compared to previous classes. I just think a crash pad would be a better way to go. Maybe put some extra cash in my pocket to help pay for the hotel in NY for sim training.
I was with CommutAir for just under the past 2 years and in that time they have never picked up the tab for the hotel. Unless something has changed recently you will get paid your guarantee (19 hours/week, $16/hour) and 24 hour per diem ($1.25/hour) while in training with the per diem meant to cover your hotel costs. You stay at the Best Western and, from what I remember, if you pair up with another person it ends up costing maybe $20 a day, which is more than covered by your per diem.
Even if you can save a little money by going the crashpad route I would still advise you to stay in the hotel while in training. You'll have a lot of studying to do and your classmates will be convenient and valuable assets that can help you learn your stuff. They're in the same boat as you. IMHO, staying in a crashpad will not be very conducive to studying and, since training is only 3 weeks, it isn't worth the trouble.
I have to second the Colonel's comments. CommutAir DOES NOT pay for your hotels until you pass your check ride. However, the per diem is enough to cover the 3 weeks in PLB and the one week in LGA. Unless the rates have changed, stay at the Days Inn in Plattsburgh instead of the BW because it's cheaper. It's not a Hilton, but it will get the job done. I had no trouble making ends meet during training. In fact, you will make more during training than you ever will as an FO, so enjoy it!
Definitely do the hotel thing during training and wait until your base assignment to start looking for a pad. Plus, a crashpad in PLB won't really do you any good since it is currently a pretty senior base and only has 9 FO's. However, it may be getting more junior in the near future as most of the senior FO's here will be upgrading and fleeing to ALB.
Here is a third voice about the company NOT picking up the tab during training. They do give you per diem which will pay half of the hotel cost. So if you double up, you are taken care of. I also second the Days Inn, a little bit less expensive than the Best Western. Also they will give you a small refridgerator and micorwave which helps greatly in food costs.
I recommend staying at the hotel and rooming up with someone, it helps you stay focused and studying.
I was told that if you do not get Albany in your first bid, you should get it within the next one or two. They are really trying to build it up and there is a lot of turnover.
Welcome to Commutair, good luck in class, and see you online!
I stand corrected. Everyone is right, they did not pick up the tab, the per diem covered it. I'm sorry for the wrong info. That is what I ment, the new hire does not have to pay for it, it is covered by the per diem.
Thanks for the info on accomodations. I'm really looking forward to getting back to flying. For those of you who are looking for Commutair hiring info you should check out www.aviationinterviews.com. I found some good info on that site. Good luck!
>>>In fact, you will make more during training than you ever will as an FO, so enjoy it! <<<
Huh? You will make more per diem, yes, but you will make just as much, if not more in salary. The pay in training is the same as the regular guarantee... And this assumes that you will not fly anything OVER the guarantee. I averaged about 90hrs/mo of pay when I was there, which more than makes up for the per diem. I know that things may very well be different now, but you won't make any LESS than the guarantee.
Unless things have changed, you will also be getting a $2/hr raise after your first 90 days. This, too, makes up for a lot. Something else people don't often think about is that medical insurance is fully covered, so you can chalk that one up as about an additional $1/hr pay, so in the end it's a pretty good deal.
Also... An often overlooked point about the guarantee is that it's 76hrs per BID. This is NOT the same as 76 hours per MONTH, since CommutAir has 13 "months" per year (each bid is 4 weeks, not one calendar month)... This adds up to 988 hours per year. Compare this to a typical 72hr/mo guarantee totalling 864hrs per year... That's a pretty big difference. Like more than two thousand dollars difference at $18/hr.
Just as a f'rinstance, an FO at a company with a 72hr/mo guarantee and a $22/hr guarantee who has to pay $75/mo for his/her share of health insurance will end up making about 18 grand if they only fly their guarantee (per diem not included). A Commutair FO who only flies their guarantee will make nearly as much in that first year, approximately $17,500 (also no per diem, first three months at $16/hr, last nine months at $18/hr).
Throw in your per diem, and you are over 20 grand in both cases.
This is how you can somehow eke out a living on Commutair pay.
Tough talk from someone who doesn't even work here anymore! Just kidding man.
The "more money in training" I was referring to was salary plus per diem. Yes, when we were going strong with the incentive program I was doing very well. However, nowadays a 90 hr bid is a distant memory. It may start that way again if we put some more planes on line, but for now you'd be hard-pressed to break 76 hrs. PLB F/O's will barely break 60-65 since the trips are very short. I was just looking at my pay stubs from training and I haven't seen a $450 week like that in a long time, so I stand by my statement. How's S.A.?