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Pro and Con fractional vs corporate

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Active member
Nov 29, 2001
What are the Pro and Con in working for a fractional vs corporate(part 91)? Pay, life style, promotions, future etc.
You asked...

A grizzled, old, Part 91 corporate driver once told me : "that you should
never hitch yourself to any corporate flight department that doesn't have
at least 5 aircraft. If they have less, it shows a lack of commitment to their
flight department, and their planes, as well as the pilot jobs, are expendable."

I have worked for several flight operations that went out of business,
including a Part 91 law firm with 2 aircraft that just "went away" when times
got tough. I wanted STABILITY. Many (not all) fractionals provide that.

I may not make as much as a fortune 100 driver.....but my job is about
as stable as it gets. Can most corporate drivers say that about THEIR
companies? My company is STILL hiring.....is yours?

I also dig a solid, 7 days on, 7 days, off schedule, and 62 days of vacation
per year.

Are there corporate outfits that treat their pilots better than EJA? Sure.
Would I leave EJA to go to one of them? I rather doubt it.
TYPICALLY Part 91 Corporate you will work less and make more money than a Fractional... You might not have as rigid schedule as a Fractional, but will more likely spend more days at home than you would a Fractional... At a Fractional, when you are on your 7 days "ON" you are NOT at home, plus you are ALWAYS commuting from and to the airplane you get dispatched too.... If you don't like commuting that could be a big problem...

Generally if you are going to go Corporate you want to try and get on with a Fortune 500 company that uses the airplanes as business tools, not a perk... My company flies 98% business trips and about 2% personal... They truely use the airplanes as business tools to get the job done more efficiently...

Hope this helps...
Be careful with "Always and Never"

Well, Mr. Falcon Pilot, your comments are true for the most part...

At my fractional, we dont always airline to our aircraft... actually I rarely do...probably because I am based in the NY area.

Also, you said in your 7 days on you are not home...NOT TRUE for me on some of my tours...there have been many "bonus" days back at base just because that is how the sched works out.

I am also an ex corporate driver who wanted the stability of flying for several hundred rich dudes rather than just one. Been there and done that too many times...it is always a crap shoot.
When I was referring to "Fractionals" I was mainly talking about ExecJet / Flight Options / FlexJets... not Citation Shares or the other smaller start-ups...

And I also stated that "Corporate" was referring to Fortune 500, not "Some rich dude".... Most of the time the "rich dude" jobs suck, everyone knows that....

So relax Mr Jetz and fly safe... no one is knocking your job... he asked and we replied... Sorry you had a crappy Part 91 job... Hope you are happier at Citation Shares or wherever...

Back to the original question...

Fractional Con: Being gone from home for a week at a time.

Corporate Con: You may be gone for 2 or 3 weeks at a time. (But usually home every night.)

Fractional Pro: Not tied to a pager. My week off, the company cannot touch me.

Not like most corp jobs when the company calls and says, "Sorry to interrupt your day off, but a trip has come up."

Fractional pro: Not sitting in an FBO all day waiting for the boss to return.

As far as the reference above to commuting to the airplane each week, what's the big deal. That's the way airline guys get to their airplane. I may have a plane at my gateway, I may not. I rack up a trillion airline miles to use on my nine weeks of vacation every year ;)

I realize these are just generalizations about fracs and corp flight departments. There are some good (Fort. 500 etc...) flight departments in the US, I myself am familiar with several. However, those jobs are a scarce few in the ocean of 10,000+ flight departments. Not very good odds in my opinion.

I am shocked that there are so many misconceptions about fractional flying. Especially about EJA. Every tour, I hear at least one story from a corporate pilot that says, "I thought about going to EJA but...(choose an answer, I don't like being tied to a pager, I don't like waiting in the FBO all day, I can't live on 27K....). While waiting on MX one day (for a few hours) a corporate guy asked, if EJA is so good, why are you guys in the FBO? OUR company would give us a day room to rest, and we would continue the trip when the plane was fixed.....on and on. When I told him if we went to a hotel, we would be DONE (10 hrs min rest) for the rest of the day, he couldn't believe it. "What do you mean they (EJA) can't disturb you?!?"

Do some research, talk to current frac and corp and see how things are. Pay no attention to frac pilots that have been off the scene for 3-5 years. The frac world is not the same as it was then.

I've been happy with my decision. Good luck.
Glad to be here.
But here's the million dollar question? How are you guys at EJA getting 62 days of vacation per year? That's excellent!!

I want to add to the comments regarding commuting.

Another misconception is that we (frac pilots)are commuting "like airline pilots." Not exactly true. At the former and RTA and now Optoins, if you show up at your domicile on time, you are at work. Airline flight is canceled or delayed; not your problem. Airline pilots, however, are commuting on their time and are not at work until they get to their destination. Airlining to work is also duty time at the Options.

I am sure all of the above is true at Options.

SheGaveMeClap said:
But here's the million dollar question? How are you guys at EJA getting 62 days of vacation per year? That's excellent!!

If you are senior enough to hold the 7 on, 7 off, schedule at EJA, you
can split your two weeks of vacation for two sections per year. Then,
you bid the 7/7 that mates with your week of scheduled vacation so
that you have two, 21 day off blocks off per year. If you have over 6
years with the company, you can do that THREE times per year which
actually gives you 63 days off, in 3, 21 days off blocks of vacation. Quite
a nice gig.

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