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Comair/ACA lines

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Well-known member
Aug 24, 2002
Could someone from Comair and someone from Atlantic Coast post what their company's hard lines are like and how long someone is usually on reserve.

Also, are the lines commutable? Do they have blocks of 3 or 4 days off between trips? How are the trips constructed? What are the high/low and average number of days off?


you're on reserve until 300-400 guys are hired behind you, could take six months could be four years. All kinds of lines are available junior lines are less commutable. Its all about senority, whether at Comair or ACA. Comair has over 300 guys in a hiring pool so it could be a year before you even get a chance to sit reserve.
Right now, Comair has F.O.'s who have only been on reserve for two or three months after finishing I.O.E., prior to being awarded Continuous Duty (High Speed, Stand Up Overnights, Illegals, Naps, whatever your company calls them) lines. It appears that eight months is what it's currently taking to consistently hold a more "normal" line.

Some of the tougher CD lines go junior. The more desirable ones (90+ hours' pay for 16 hours' flying) obviously go more senior.

Comair has everything from one-day trips to five-day trips. Some of the longer trips are more commutable than others. Pilots are able to drop, add, and trade trips as necessary most of the time to enhance their schedule. This month, one relatively junior (7 months with the company) F.O. got a normal line that gave him 15 days off - although this was abnormal for someone that junior.

How long reserve will last depends entirely on attrition (next to none) and how much the company is growing. Comair has hired over 170 pilots so far this year - though the bulk of that was in the first three months. Those who started in January will get lines in less time than those who started in July, unless Comair goes on another hiring binge, and the flying increases dramatically. Remember, the last pilot hired will be on reserve until the airline starts growing or hiring again, which could be a long time for some.

As far as for how many days you can expect to have off between trips, Surplus1 can probably give you a better idea about that, since he's been at Comair longer.

Off the subject a little - I flew an airplane yesterday that had 13.8 hours on the hobbs meter when we left CVG.

Thanks for posting that good info.

Does any one know what a first year FO makes at Comair. A realistic figure would be appreciated.

First year pay is $21.75/hr with a 75hr garauntee for reserve, 82hr garauntee for a line. Per diem is $1.60/hr.

I would make a conservative guess of no less than 18k and prob no more that 25k...the range in between would represent how much you flew.
First year pay at ACA is $21.53/hour with a (I believe) 75 hour guarantee, regardless of type. Someone here was saying that with per diem they made almost $30k the first year without picking up any extra flying. Perhaps someone here who is online can share a typical line. I would certainly be interested as one who is about to start training...
Reserve depends on the number of lines within each domicile. I was on reserve for the first month out of IOE. The next several months I had a line....it was nice. They cut the lines out of LGA, now many of us are back on reserve. It all depends on how they schedule the lines, if they're short on F/O's or CA's etc. It's tough to predict at the regional level because things change so quickly.

As far as starting pay...$30K?...not even close...$1600/month gross. Per diem is about $450 +/- on a good line...if your on reserve, the per diem can suffer a bit.

Trips are typ. 3-4 days with 2-3 days off between trips...usually you get 3 days off. The lines seem commutable...I live in NYC so it's not a factor.

Good luck with training!!!
Yes, its true. I made 28k my first year at ACA. I did pick up some open time but nothing unusual. Maybe 5 trips total throughout the year. I estimated 4k for the year in per diem but i think its more like 5.5k. I was based out of LGA my first year. LGA was a money maker back then, and the lines were ALOT better. I rarely see a line over 80 hours out of LGA nowadays.
Yeah, back in the day, you could earn huge block sitting on the taxiways waiting for your slot. Lines now are more like 70 hours ave. and LGA is more organized than it used to be...thus fewer delays. All the regioanls are almost the same as far as pay is concern...maybe +/- $100-200 per month. $20k-30k is still pathetic in this day and age.

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