L'il J.Seinfeld said:I categorized the airline into four groups. UPS, Fed EX and SWA are the top tier because they have great pay, great QOL, growth and are the best bet for a secure future. Air Tran, Jet Blue, Continental, Frontier, Alaska are second tier because their futures look good, but their is still substantial risk involved. Group three IMO are Atlas, Gemini, and World. Good pay and better than USAF QOL but uncertain futures. Group four are the bottom feeders CAT, Airnet, all the fracs and regionals.
semperfido said:The tiers tend to change over time. i can remember when UPS and Fedex were tier 4 and SWA wasn't even on a map.
Aviator 737 said:Here's my take: In Jan 99 I put sep papers (for Nov 99) in and applied to the airlines. During the next several months a lot happened. The squadron CC floated possible assignments by me that would help me change my mind...NWA called for an interview (which I did not go to)...and then the AF offered that second tier bonus for the first time. With an assignment of choice (T-1/I had small kids and wanted to be home) and the 25K bonus to 20 years of Aviation Service, I pulled my separation papers (Aug '99) and stayed in. In CY2000 I was seriously bummed - I thought I made a HUGE mistake as everyone was getting hired and life for them was great. I could barely stand AETC (missed the trips, etc.). Then 9/11 and I re-adjusted my perspective. It was a huge score in that context. I stayed in for the flying jobs - I am at 20 years of Aviation Service in May '06 and have had a fly-only career. So, not too bad in hind-sight on my "gamble." Now, however, I'm at that same point - I need a job (kids are still in elementary school) to make ends meet and starting the app process again. That bridge is always there to cross sooner or later. Any FedEx pilots out there that can tell me how far out they interview? I applied in Sep for a Jan '07 availability...thanks for any help. 20 years goes by fast believe it or not.
fly4unclesam said:I just took the FY 05 bonus. I am a Maj who just finished my pilot training ADSC (late rated). I had actually decided to separate from the AF but still had some time remaining on another ADSC (beyond my pilot training one). I taked to AFPC to see if they would waive it under Force Shaping and they indicated that they would. Withy that, I interviewed with a major and was hired. Of course, in typical fashon, once my paperwork flowed, they turned me down and sent me to a staff job (luckily, the airline was very understanding and understands how the personnel weenies like to play tricks). Once this happened, it was a no-brainer...since I would have 16 years in before I would eligible to get out again.
I must admit, the money is nice and more and more the thought of a government pension/health care for life is appealing. Unfortuantley, I have not had the fly-only career that Aviator 737 has had...4 years non-rated and now a 3 year staff tour. Luckily, I have not completed my 2nd gate so I am pretty much assured to return to the cockpit for my last tour.
Also like Aviator 737, I often sit back and wonder what life on the other side would be like...although deep inside I think it worked out for the best. So, I just have to suck it up for a few more years, get back into the cockpit, and retire at 42 years old.
All you can do is make the best decision you can with the information that you have at the time (which is always incomplete) while also considering the level of risk that you are willing to accept. With a wife who is a stay home mom of three young kids, I was very risk-adverse and only put in to get out once I had something else lined up.