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mid 30's

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Dec 17, 2002
Does anyone have any good/bad stories of getting or not getting hired at/after age 35. Do airlines shy away from hiring mid 30 somethings?
mid 30s


I didn't start flying until I was 27. Started flight instruction at 30. Cargo at 33. Made it to a regional at 34. If anything I think age might bring maturity and professionalism that the airlines will find desirable.

I advise anyone who is concerned about age to jump in. It is a fun job that beats real labor any day.

Downside: starting pay the first few years is liveable if you are debt free, live with your parents, and like cutting coupons. Otherwise have a back-up financial game plan.

Good luck,

I was 35 when I got my CFI, 37 when I started flying freight. Now I'm 39 and flying for a regional. Kinda like Keith said, you can't do it for the money, but if you love it, you can pay the bills and make a comfortable living after a few years.

Good luck.
Also, keep in mind that I started this whole process just before 9/11. It won't be nearly as difficult for you to get hired at your 'next' flying job because the industry is currently in an upswing. When the planes hit the WTC, I thought seriously about my decsion to go into aviation...for about 5 minutes. As much as my accountant thought I was nuts, I continued because I love it.

Every sunset I see from FL330 over Glacier National Park confirms that I did the right thing.
I was a new CFI at 32. If this is what you have always wanted to do, then do it and don't listen to the negative people.
A buddy of mine was 45 when he got hired on at Mesaba for the AVRO. He spent one year on the AVRO and applied to FedEx and was hired on there as a 727 FE at 47. He's now an FO on something or other.
I was 40 when I was hired at F9. Half the class was older than me. One guy was 56.
I was just about to apply to the regionals when 9/11 happened. Now I am 39, and just can't seem to justify flying full time due to the pay.

Here are my job offers since 9/11:

Lear 25/35/55 FO - 19,000
Lear 31 FO - 38,000
Lear 35 FO - 24,000
SAAB 340 FO - 18000

My grocery expense for my family was $12K in 2004.
I was offered a job with Comair in the summer of 2001. I believe they went on strike and then the events of 9/11 transpired. Again I may have the dates wrong, anyway I turned the job down and am now Captain in a Citation 560XL. I changed careers at the age of 41, now I am 46. I took a $30,000 pay cut my first year leaving the electrical field and moving into aviation. It was not easy, but I survived the initial digress of wages. Good luck Hemispheres.

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