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Well-known member
Dec 11, 2001
I'm currently a captain at a 121 regional. A few of my friends recently got hired at NetJets. I've never thought of pursuing the fractional path, but lately it seems as though NetJets is an increasing option for many regional pilots.

What is so good about NetJets? What is the pay like? Schedules? Is it true a pilot can live anywhere they want? Do pilots get paid for deadhead commuting?

I just want to know what all of the fuss is about. I looked at fracstats.com, but the data on that seems old.
check the fractional part of the board....plenty of posts there on netjets. Should answer all or most of your questions.

To Datafox,

Will just try to give you a general outline of life here at NetJets......

1) The pay......I took a healthy cut to come here from Comair as what would have been my 7th year there as an RJ captain........

As far as I can see, that is the ONLY drawback to my having come to NetJets and I hope that upon ratification of the contract that is currently under negotiations, that I will surpass what I would have been making at Comair.

2) I live in the northeast and was commuting out of MHT to CVG when flying for Comair. Prior to the strike and 911, there were more flights out of MHT than there are now. Getting to work meant a 75 minute drive to MHT, waiting around for a flight (and the associated anxiety of whether I'd get on, or whether it would be weight limited, or weather issues, etc). Then there would be the 2 hour flight to CVG. And the drive to the crash pad and the associated costs with a car out there, the crash pad, etc.. All this commuting was done on my time, BTW.

Now, I drive an hour to Portsmouth, hope on a nice bus and enjoy the ride to BOS where I either, A) Find a Citation X waiting for me or I hop on an airline to wherever they would like me to get one. They pay for the ticket, I get the miles and, oh, did I mention, this is all part of my first day of work. It's on their time, not mine.....

You can live just about anywhere as long as it's within 100 miles or 3 hours of any of the 25 "gateways". That covers a pretty good portion of the US. You can change your gateway by simply giving notice to the company. No "bidding" necessary. Want to live up north in the summer and then go to PBI for winter? No problem. Just tell them in writing and you can move gateways with 30 days notice, I think it is.

Schedules......we are required to have a minimum of 10 hours of rest in every 24. The drawback here is that you can get your "day" shifted from one of the clock to the other but I haven't found this to happen too often. But, it does happen. Sometimes the expectations for how far you can get pushed is a bit much, but as I hear it, calling in fatigued is not an issue with the company at all. I haven't had to do that yet, but I have had some demanding days. I've also had some days sitting by the pool or walking on the beach.

I work the 17 day a month schedule. You can't "bid" specific days off every month, but if you need your kid's birthday, or the anniversary, or whatever you need, you submit a request for a "scheduled day off" and you are likely to get it. You can submit those as far out as you would like. Want next May 4th off? Tell them and you will probably get it.

The schedules come out about 2+ months in advance so you can plan for the next few months without much problem. Just got the projected November schedule yesterday.

There is a 7on/7 off schedule available to more senior pilots. Work every other week and you know that schedule about 4+ months out. There is also a "flex" schedule which is kind of like voluntary reserve, if you will. It pays more (I think about $5k-$6k a year) where you have just 4 "hard" days off per month and can work more than the 17. Some guys like this and enjoy the system. If you're flexible, it can work out well in a lot of ways.

We get $1.60 an hour in per diem but a majority of your meals are catered by the same people who supply the food to the owners.....in other words, it's usually pretty **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**ed good. Order what you want within reason (no lobster tails or smoked salmon, though I've had more than one owner leave platters of that completely untouched to have ourselves a feast) and it shows up for your flight. Grilled chicken strips, steak tips, excellent salads, sandwiches....just about anything you'd like and the quality is usually first rate and is a complete meal with sides, bread, desserts, etc.. So, a lot of per diem goes into your pocket.

While not the rule by any means, if you go out of your way for the pax or the company to get the job done, you just might find them offering to buy you dinner...it happens......not all that often, but it happens and reflects some of the support that I've found here that I sure as hell didn't experience during my time at Comair (pre-strike.......it's significantly better now over there, from what I'm told).

We mostly stay in Hiltons, Marriotts and Hyatts with the occasional Holiday Inn thrown in. You get to keep the points and redeem them for vacations. Plenty of guys go to Hawaii a couple of times a year on their airline miles and Hilton points.......It's one great beny.

The planes are well maintained. Your plane dirty? Call the company and they'll have it detailed overnight for you...Even the wheel wells get cleaned on these things and the leading edges get polished and waxed........I've seen the tires amorall'ed for cryin' out loud.

You will work hard. The "X" and the Ultra work more than some of the other fleets. I did 13 legs and 21+ hours in 4 days where we went overtime for 3 of those 4 days. You get paid for overtime for anything over a 12 hour day. You can also work "extended days" beyond your 17 day schedule....those are worth about $450 per day.

While you are dispatched, you are responsible for checking the weather, fuel loading, customs, loading the baggage, getting the coffee, ice, papers, catering, getting the lav serviced, vacuuming, stocking airplane (these things carry a small convenience store worth of stuff) and being ready all the time on time. Things change all the time....destinations, report times, aircraft, catering, pax loads, etc. so you have to be someone who can be flexible and roll with it.

You go to varying destinations and the scariest thing that I've encountered so far is going into Belmar-Farmingdale Allaire airport in NJ with a ton of light aircraft in the pattern and skydivers coming down at me. Non-towered airfields with a lot of traffic are more of a challenge than LaGuardia when you flew in to it the first time.

Yes, there are problems here.....The pay is low, no doubt. I hope that will change. The company appears to be growing faster than it can keep up and that causes problems in scheduling, communications, maintenance etc sometimes, but for the most part, everyone there that you deal with (with a few exceptions) is trying their best to get the job done. Your phone call will be answered (eventually) and most everyone from the program managers to HR is usually helpful well beyond what I experienced at Comair. I've needed help with the health insurance provider and our HR department has been exceptionally helpful. Phone calls actually get returned and people do care. Overall, (again with some exceptions) the people here great to work with. Friendly, helpful and cooperative. Give them 100% and you'll get it back.

There are instances where a pilot has had an emergency at home where the company has allowed the crew to take the aircraft home to get the affected crewmember home asap. That's more common than you might think. If they can't do that, they usually have an airline scheduled for you before you land at your destination.

They expect 100% honesty. You can screw up and get your butt chewed but good, but if you lie to them, you'll be gone in a heartbeat. They also value your attitude and ability to work with the owners, most of whom are pretty decent folks. They expect you to bust your butt to provide the service that they are selling and they'll generally back you up with anything that you need to provide that service. I know one pilot whose owner wanted chocolate. Well, we don't carry much of that 'cause it melts and makes a mess, but the ca called up the destination FBO and had them run out to Godiva and buy a bunch of chocolate. It put on a platter and waiting for the owner at the bottom of the airstairs upon arrival. That is kind of stuff they just love around here and if you want it for your owner, they'll get it.

We were getting trasnported between cities on the ground via limo services, but in a cost cutting move, that is being phased downwards (not out, just down); however, if you can find your own limo service at a rate comproble to a cab (which most are), you can book it yourself and put it on your expense report.

That's a minor thing, but reflects the high quality of life that is experienced here.

Frankly, I just love the flying......it's varied and I've gone to a bunch of places that I would never have seen at Comair or any other airline. I feel that the overall responsibility is greater than the scheduled airlines in terms of managing your own flight, but we have program managers, dispatch and maintenance on the
other end of the fllight phone if you need support.

With the exception of the money (which I hope changes) and missing the many outstanding pilots and flight attendants that I worked with and my friends at Comair, I have to say that I really do like it here. It's a good place to be, from my perspective.
Thanks abenaki. Good post.
Are you seeing a lot of growth there? All I hear at my company is how they are losing business travelers. I assume they are switching over to the frax just like a lot of the employees are.

Very good and accurate post! However, I do feel that the part about living within 100 miles/three hours of a gateway needs to be clarified. The requirement is to be within 100 miles/three hours at 12:01 AM at the start of a tour. People meet this requirement in various ways, including staying at a hotel, crash pad, etc. the evening before a tour.

That was a wonderful post and I appreciate it very much! I think my resume will be added to the stack NetJet's already has. A couple more questions though. You said one of the only more negative things about NetJet's is the pay (you indicated you made more at Comair). I'm at a Comair "like" regional now, so what can I expect pay wise if I get hired at NetJets? Also, you hinted at your next contract. NetJet's is Teamsters, right? Any idea what the Teamsters may get for you guys in the next contract?

Although they pay may be lower, it looks like NetJets contributes much more to a 401(k) than any regional.

Thanks again.
1) TDVALVE is entirely correct re' the manner in which gateways work and I should have clarified this. You only have to be within 100 miles or 3 hours of your gateway at 12:01 am on the first day of your tour.......Plenty of pilots do, indeed, live farther than that and utilize a crash pad, a friend's apartment, hotel, whatever to make that requirement.

2) Growth......I have no idea how sales are going on a day-to-day basis or even month-to-month. They don't tell us that. Word was that after 911 there was a bit of a spike in sales but that has gone back to "normal" now....I just don't know what "normal" is.

I can tell you this......NJA gets a new aircraft better than once a week. I think it's actually about every 4+1/2 days or something like that. That includes a new Falcon 2000 about every 6 weeks and a new Citation X about every month or so. The Citation Excel is apparently a real hot aircraft right now and I've been told that they'll buy "X''s in perpetuity. We have about 70 "X"'s right now. I THINK the fleet size is about 400 aircraft but I've heard numbers from 350 to 450 but I haven't looked at the list lately.

My seniority number is around the thousand mark and I've been here about 15 months. The last seniority list that I saw which was fairly recent had nearly 1750 pilots. I've heard that hiring is either through for this year or has slowed appreciably but I also hear that they'll be hiring several hundred more next year.

3) The 401K....the company matches at $.50 on the dollar up to 15% of your salary. I expect to see a total contribution of to my account of about $10k this year (and maybe a little more) which is 5 months of year one and 7 months of year two salary.

4) Teamsters and the contract........ Yes, it is a Teamster property.
I have no idea what to expect from the negotiations but being the lowest paid in the business, I would hope that we would see some major improvements in salary. The "average" Citation "X" captain (according to those magazine surveys) is making between $90K and $120K. I dearly hope that we will see those numbers and more in the next contract.

The contract is loaded more towards the senior pilots at the moment. This year (again, 5 months of year one pay and 7 months of year two pay all at the captain rate), I expect to make something in the lower to mid-$40's. The second to third year pay takes a decent jump of about $7500 or so and I expect that next year I'll see $50K plus.

My raise at Comair from pre-strike to post-strike and also increasing a year with longevity was going to be something less than $8 per hour. If I remember correctly, I was at $55.55 an hour and would have gone to about $63 an hour post-strike with
a year jump in longevity. So, no doubt that I'm down a good bit, but will be catching up here as time goes and I hope to surge well ahead of what I would have been making over there after this contract is settled. When will that be? Beats me. It took 3 years and an 89 day strike at Comair so I've stopped speculationg on that kind of thing. I'm also not paying for a crash pad, airport car and all the associated expenses of commuting. So, that eats into that difference a little bit....a few thousand a year or so depending up your circumstances.

Upgrade time. You can get the left seat in an Ultra right out of the box. Some guys bid the upgrade the first day of indoc and get it in just about everthing except the Falcon and BBJ. I'm not sure that's the best idea in that you do need time to fighure out how things work around here but plenty of guys do it and make out just fine.

But, probation is probation here and you don't want to put too much pressure on yourself. They can and do let people go but its usually with darned good reason. Attitude can be a big killer around here. Like I said earlier, give them 100% and there won't be an issue even if you make a mistake.

BTW, instead of busting butt for 80-90 hours a month over at a regional/commuter, we're flying more like 50-60 hours a month. And no worries about how much block time you flew this month or any of that. Salary isn't such a bad thing.

I think that covers all the questions, but ask more if you need something clarified......

Take care......
I guess I forgot about the "business" "siphoning" that NJA is doing......

Let me give you an example of how the service contrasts with the airlines. I'll use my own experience as representative....

I get airlined home from Denver to Boston fairly regularly and then I take the bus to Portsmouth and get my truck to go home.

Let's say you're a NJA owner and want to do the same trip Denver to Portsmouth......

OK, I have to allow 30 minutes to get to DIA from the area where we stay in Denver next to Centennial Airport. Then there's the two hour wait time at the airport. Add that to the 4 hour or so flight. Another 20 minutes to get off the plane and get the bags. Have to then get into a car and drive to Portsmouth. Call that an hour on a good day without much traffic.

Total time is then a conservative 8 hours or so from the hotel in Denver to Portsmouth, N.H.......I think it actually took me more than that using the bus the other day and late afternoon traffic, but let's stick with the 8 hours to keep it simple.

Now, let's say the NJA owner is at the same hotel as I was in Denver. A 5 minute ride to Centennial. Don't have to use the big airports with GA aircraft. We can usually have the engines started and be ready to taxi within about 5-8 minutes of the passengers arrival at the airport. The "X" will do Denver to Portsmouth (PSM) in about 3+1/2 hours, I think (hey, I don't have an FMS in front of me!....If you've got a mileage calculator, plug in a TAS of 520 knots and add, say, a 60 knot tailwind west to east).

Anyway, call it about 4 hours total.......And that's between cities with airline service. Try it from smaller towns and the gap gets wider.

And THAT, is what these people pay for, folks.......No hassles, no wait time, no lost baggage, outstanding catered meals, movies on the DVD/VCR, CD's, big leather seats, a clean lav with all the stuff you'd ever need, bring your dog(s) if you like---they can ride in the cabin, too, on-board uplinks with stocks quotes, sports, etc., no waiting for your bags at the other end.........
Thanks for the good info! I just started with NJA recently, and I'm more than impressed with the quality of the company. The training at FSI was top-notch and the instructors there really want you to succeed. I've worked for three different regionals and quite frankly they're all the same. I'm glad I made the decsion to come here.

Take care, Jetprop

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