Colgan Vs Commutair

superfly

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CommutAir

I don't really know much about Colgan Air except they are bigger and more stable then CommutAir. I worked for CommutAir for 3 years and 7 months and enjoyed it. The people are great, new airplanes and good maintenance. However, management seems to be dog paddling to stay a float in the regional market. Together with an ongoing ESOP lawsuit I'd say things are lookig grim at CommutAir. I left right when they swiitched code shares and I could see the writing on the wall. Ask around but I would think maybe you should think about a third option (Comair?). What do I know, I left over a year ago.

Good Luck!
 

t-ride

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Thanks for the info. With my time those are the only two that will interview me. I have an offer from both and trying to decide which is the lesser of the two evils. Commutair's management scares me but Colgan's pay is terrible.
 

NEDude

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Definately Commutair

I am biased, but I really like Commutair.

Yes there were troubles after the codeshare switch, which led to massive cutbacks. But all signs are that the company has turned the corner and is on the way back. Loads are improving with the new route structure (ALB hub) and a new airplane and destination (Allentown) are coming online in a few weeks.

Commutair will treat you good as well. Great pilot group and great training. After the furloughs I was hired into the 1900 at another (much bigger) carrier and their training paled in comparison to Commutair.

So you have my opinion.
 

I.P. Freley

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Bigger isn't actually bigger. :)

I think you will find that Colgan is NOT larger than CommutAir, and definitely no more stable.

Although the Colgan website claims to have 15 aircraft, the number I heard when I interviewed with them two months ago was more like 12... They dumped half their Saabs after 9/11 and furloughed a bunch of pilots, and many ran away as fast as they could. If I am not mistaken, and I may very well be, CommutAir is running 16 airplanes right now.

I never worked for Colgan, but I'll tell you what, the overall impression I had of the company was far from positive. Subsequent conversations with former Colgan pilots only served to reinforce that impression. They didn't offer me a job, which was fine by me, I wouldn't have gone there even if the pay were better... To say nothing of the prospect of flying ten year-old C-model 1900's, which comprise at least half of their fleet.

CommutAir on the other hand... Well I left there over six months ago, and it was a torturous decision on my part. I didn't really want to leave, but the situation at that time and the offer(s) I had to go elsewhere led me to walk out the door. I can recommend them with the only caveat being that they do have a cloud hanging over their head in the form of a lawsuit brought against them by senior pilots who suspected some fraud in the ESOP program, and if the company LOSES that lawsuit, who KNOWS what would happen? People I know who are still there are doing a lot of flying and say the loads are picking up, so it sounds like the working environment is still pretty good.

All in all, CommutAir was a great place to work and I think they are a MUCH better choice than Colgan. Furthermore, if CommutAir's situation continues to improve, you can probably look forward to a fairly rapid upgrade.
 

captjim

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I really don't know to much about the two companies. I did have a friend that worked there, and from what he said it was a horroble place to work. The lack of true airline work rules were his biggest complant. From his accounts seniority meant nothing as well as they are non-union (there are some great non-union places to work, but this ant one of them). From his experiences with Colgan I would go to Commutair. Good luck!
 

1900cpt

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I was at commutair for a little over a year..it was not all bad. The one thing...if nothing else...NO TRAINING CONTRACT at commutair.

You can leave when you wish and not have to worry about them hunting you down for the money. Like others said....they seem to be turning around and the airplanes and maintenance are EXCELLENT.

hope this helps,

1900cpt
 

superfly

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CommutAir

Sounds to me the censous is go to CommutAir. Say hi to Hannan for me.

I loved working for CommutAir and thought their training was light years ahead of Midway. Management was always happy with status quo, growth seemed stagnant and moral was on the downslide in the end. Sounds to me like they are on the up swing and it may be a good time to fly a Beech ball in this economy. Go there get about 2,500 hours and come over here to EJA.

Later,

Greg
 

chperplt

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Everyone always has bad things to say about Colgan. Most of which have never been employed there. Yea, they furloughed a bunch of people after 9/11.. but so did just about everyone else. And yea, a bunch of the saab drivers went to Shuttle America before they were recalled.. The big difference I see between Colgan and Commutair is that Colgan has a viable codeshare with US Airways while Commutair seems to get the shaft from Continental.

US Air may not be doing very well financially, but we keep getting new routes and filling seats on our airplanes.. Not sure about commutair's loads, but we aren't doing too badly.

Yea, we still have the 1900 C, but starting next week we lose one C and gain one D each week until all the Cs are gone. The 340s are being flown and the few that were sent back are being brought back on-line as summer nears.

You make the decision. Colgan has been around for a long time. They own a lot of their routes and those routes will stay with them regardless who they code share with. They may not pay the best, or be the best, but they aren't a bad start for someone with low time looking for some good experience.
 

bigD

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Curious...

I was looking at the Commutair web site and checked out the applicant minimums and saw this:

"Minimum Requirements: 900 TT, 100 ME. COMM. INST, ME, RTOP, FAA Class 1"


So here's my dumb question - what does RTOP mean?
 

CA1900

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chperplt said:
The big difference I see between Colgan and Commutair is that Colgan has a viable codeshare with US Airways while Commutair seems to get the shaft from Continental.
I think that's probably the key. They would rather put passengers on their own planes than ours (of course!), and they don't do any marketing for us (part of our negotiated agreement for a low codeshare cost), so it's really tough just getting noticed by the flying public. They're generally happy once they're on-board (the planes are clean, and the on-time performance is terrific), but getting them to fly on us the first time is the challenge.

I was at Commutair when we were absolutely thriving as a US Airways affiliate. We regularly had flights OVERbooked -- a concept that seems like a distant memory these days, flying empty airplanes around just to collect our government subsidies. It's quite rare indeed that I fly an airplane with enough people (6, according to the company) to break even.

I've never worked for Colgan, but from this side of the fence, the future looks a lot brighter there than it does at CommutAir. I still have fun with the job, but I fear it isn't going to last much longer the way things are going. Glad to hear things are looking brighter for you guys, at least. Hope some of it will rub off on us. :)
 

t-ride

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Does Commutair have mostly overnights or out and backs?

What are the continental priveledges at Commutair? Does it extend to your spouse and parents?

Does it help you in the long run flying out of big airports with Colgan? Commutair seems to fly out of smaller ones?
 

CA1900

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t-ride said:
Does Commutair have mostly overnights or out and backs?
A little of both... mostly two-day trips, starting and ending in the late morning or early afternoon. Some bases, like Syracuse or Rochester, really aren't commutable. Albany is really the only one that has trips at all friendly to commuters.

What are the continental priveledges at Commutair? Does it extend to your spouse and parents?
We get the same basic travel privileges as Continental employees, which is basically space-available travel for a nominal service fee. Our boarding priority is very low (same as retirees), but if there's space after the other non-revs from Continental and Continental Express, you'll get on. I had no trouble going cross-country last week, although first class was full both ways.

It extends to your spouse, children, and parents.

Does it help you in the long run flying out of big airports with Colgan? Commutair seems to fly out of smaller ones?
Not really, I don't think. We go into LaGuardia and Boston if you want busy airport experience, but not very much activity into either place.
 

t-ride

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Commutair

Is it possible to commute or do you have to live at your domicile?
 

CA1900

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Re: Commutair

t-ride said:
Is it possible to commute or do you have to live at your domicile?
You can live wherever you want; you don't have to live at your domicile. (And since they've closed 8 domiciles in the past 3 years, most of us at CommutAir don't live at our bases anymore. You can only move so many times for a company before you get the hint. :mad: )

The only time you have to "live" near your base is if you're working a reserve day. If you're on reserve, you have two hours from when they first call you to when you have to report at the airport.

Otherwise, you can commute as you see fit; I know we have one guy who commutes from Florida!
 

CA1900

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chperplt said:
Yea, we still have the 1900 C, but starting next week we lose one C and gain one D each week until all the Cs are gone...
I meant to ask earlier: any idea where those D models are coming from?
 

I.P. Freley

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Well...

Commutair did throw some perfectly good, nearly-new D-models back onto the market. :)

Unless... They are still sitting forlornly up there in da Burgh?
 

chperplt

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I meant to ask earlier: any idea where those D models are coming from?
It all depends on where they can find some with 25,000 cycles. That's a prerequisite before they can paste the Colgan name on the side of it.

Actually, I have no idea. We'll see in the coming weeks.
 

Jack Hass

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I've been to 8 airline interviews so far....and Commutair was the only one that paid for my hotel room during the interview process. This was nearly 2 years ago however, I don't know if they still do that.

Really nice laid back people! and a good company to work for :)
 
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