• NC Software is having a Black Friday Sale Event thru December 4th on Logbook Pro, APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook, Cirrus Elite Binders, and more. Use coupon code BF2020 at checkout to redeem 15% off your purchase. Click here to shop now.
  • NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

Flexjet: One year in

GlorifiedCabbie

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2013
Posts
1,220
Total Time
15+
This is a post from APC. I couldn't have said it better myself.

I just passed my 1 year mark at FJ and I thought I would post what I thought about my employment so far and maybe help answer any questions for those thinking about coming to FJ.

Interview:
The interview is a 3 part process:
-1 Skype interview
-2 Panel interview at HQ in CLE.
For the most part this interview is low key with a little good cop/bad cop sprinkled in. Nothing technical.
During the interview they tell you that you'll make $63K a year and that you get to keep the cash back that you get on purchases made on your company credit card. Both are incorrect.
-3 Sim ride and another interview in DAL with on one or two of the CPs. This is the sniff test and a little less formal. You go into a CL300 sim, do a SID, ILS to a missed, land. Engine failure after rotation, ILS to a full stop landing. You aren't expected to know the callouts or systems. They just want to see your stick and rudder skills.
After about a week you receive a conditional offer.
The company pays for all airfare and hotels although during both of my in person interviews, FJ did not have direct billing set up for the hotels so I ended up paying out of pocket.
For the most part, the interviews are low stress and the company is good at making sure you know what you're getting yourself into. Unless you've done this kind of job before, its hard to know what that entails though.

Indoc is in Dallas and is your garden variety basic indoc.
Ground school is dependent on what a/c you get. As of now and the foreseeable future, all new hires are going into the Phenom. Everyone seems to hate that plane and they can't fill the seats so naturally thats where they stick the new hires.

One thing to keep in mind is you only get paid for 16 days while in training. So you're working for free for over half of your training.

OE is good and is your typical OE. You get 4 hours to see where the fuel cap and paper towels are and then you're off and running.

The Union:
This is a big issue. Being a new hire at FJ is like dating a freshly divorced person. You have to weather all the negative, constant change, bad blood and the dastardly significant other.
The union blames the company. The company uses the excuse of the union and the contract as a reason not to make positive changes to policy and the union issue has split the pilot group like the north and south of the civil war.
KR has vowed to fight the Teamsters to the bitter end and vice versa with the union. Its a big fat mess that is only starting and will get much, much worse.
(For whats its worth, I do think that Flexjet needs a union. Otherwise, you're giving all the power to one guy who can do whatever he wants to his employees. Thats too much power for my taste).
As an example of the bitterness of the union issue, the head of the Red Label program sends out a weekly email. Without question, the email states how we are a big family but then bashes the FO guys and holds no blows when it comes to his opinion about the union. It gets old really fast.

A typical rotation:
The company has a "14 and 10" policy. You work a solid 14 hours and then you have 10 hours of rest. When your duty day starts, you are expected to be at the FBO at your start time regardless of when your flight departs. You get 30 minutes after you land to clean and put away the plane and then your 10 hours of rest starts.
Ex: Your duty day starts 0500 and ends at 18:59. Your rest starts at 1900 and ends at 0500. Even if you have 8 hours of scheduled flight starting at 1100, your are expected to show up at the fbo at 0500 and sit. This policy is exhausting and starting at day 2, you're really feeling it. Its a senseless and dangerous policy which is a disservice to our owners who are expecting and pay for fresh and safe crews.
I have personally been woke up during cruise flight by the other pilot snoring in my ear which happens often.
Unlike an airline where your main duty is the flying, not only do we fly a ton, we clean toilets, cabins, carpets, cupboards, take off and put on freezable stock, put in gear pins and pitot covers, shop for stock, make sure the paxs catering is what they ordered and onboard plus a million other things.
MX seems to be amazing here. Its rare to fly with an open MEL and the company addresses mx issues quickly.
You can order a crew meal for every leg if you want. It doesn't mean you'll get the meal or what you order but they try. You also get one dinner on the company dime at day which is nice if you have the time and energy to use it.
Hotels here suck. Holiday Inn Express is the go to hotel. The company will send you 10 miles out of the way to put you in a dumpy hotel if it saves them a buck.

Red Label:
Ask 5 different guys what RL is and you'll get 5 different answers. As far as I can tell, RL or Non-RL, you do the exact same thing. There is no difference in who you fly and for F/O's, you fly whatever tail they happen to stick you on.
The guys who are on the RL program make a lot more money, make their own schedule and seem to have a better all around qol.
They should do this for all the crews.
RL seems to be a way to reward those pilots who may be more loyal to the company while getting more money out of the owners who get the same basic product as everyone else.

Aside from the super lame 14 and 10 policy, the uniform is my personal pet peeve about my employment. We were told (and it seems true) that KR and his wife, (both who are really into fashion) designed the uniform and it's only function is to be fashionable. The shirt is ok, but being grey, you have to get them from the company source and they're pretty damn cheap. Also, being grey, any kind of moisture, sweat, water, whatever shows until dry.
The pants, the pants are satan's gift to aviation. They are very thin, skinny pants with ZERO space for your bum and junk. If you think about spreading your legs or bending down, the crouch will split. So most guys order their pants 5 sizes too large so they don't rip so easy but then you're pulling your pants up 1000 times a day because the waist is too big. I'm not sure how they do it, but the pants are awesome at untucking your shirt.
I cannot say enough how awful these pants are.

I have to give our Chief Pilots a shoutout. JD seems to be one of the best CPs I've ever had. Most of the other flight managers seem to be good dudes too.

So after a year here, I would give Flexjet 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Pluses for feeding their crews, good mx and paying you on time.
Minuses for the tumultuous union environment, the seriously fatiguing duty and rest policy and the asinine uniform which you spend 14 hours day in.

If I'm being honest, in today's environment, I'm not really sure why anyone would come to FJ or what FJ has to offer over other companies.
Upgrades are crazy long and with the integration of both the Flight Options and Flexjet's seniority lists, the upgrade is forget about it long.
You'll make more money just about anywhere else then here.
At an airline, you just fly the airplane. Here you fly the airplane, clean the toilets, take care of rich people and a hundred other things.
If I was someone looking to change companies, I'd go to a regional or major airline. If the airlines aren't up your alley, I'd go to a place like Travel Management Company, which is a terrible company but at least you'd make more money and upgrade within months.

If anyone has any questions about the interview or life in general, I'll do my best to help you out.
 
Top