Pro and Con fractional vs corporate

flyingdog

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What are the Pro and Con in working for a fractional vs corporate(part 91)? Pay, life style, promotions, future etc.
 

sweptwingz

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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.
 

banned username 2

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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...
 

Jetz

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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.
 

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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...
 

EJA Capt

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OOOOOOOOO. K.

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.
 

SheGaveMeClap

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

Frac Daddy

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Commuting

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.
 

sweptwingz

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vacation

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.
 

GVFlyer

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Corporate versus fractional

The answer is in selecting the right corporation. There are many Fortune 500 companies operating Gulfstreams where pilots retiring today have around 3 million in the bank. One of our pilots is retirement eligible but won't quit because he thinks he can't live without 5 million.

We don't have a pilot who made less than 200k last year. The difference is that in a good corporation they treat you like a company executive. That means there are several things in your compensation package that you won't find at a fractional:

1. A defined pension plan.

2. Annual or bi-annual Stock Options.

3. The ability to defer income or contribute more than 10% in your 401k through an executive savings plan.

4. The ability to purchase company stock at 85% of the lowest annual price.

5. Annual bonuses of 10% or more.

6. Profit sharing.

7. Family vacations in the corporate jet.

Our scheduling is not that rigorous; although it might not be representative of other companies. I flew 3 days last week and will fly 2 this week. We go international about half a dozen times a year and for never longer than a week. Not counting training, I have 5 or 6 overnights a quarter. I presently have my schedule to the end of May. I do not have a pager.

When I go to the annual Gulfstream Workshop at Savannah, I never cease to be amazed at the number of pilots attending who have personal airplanes, large boats (one of the pilots from a large pharmaceutical just bought a 46' Grand Banks), and multiple homes (guys in the mid-west buy 'em in Arizona, in the north-east they buy in Florida).

Good luck with your decision...
 

EJA Capt

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Re: Corporate versus fractional

GVFlyer said:
The answer is in selecting the right corporation. There are many Fortune 500 companies operating Gulfstreams ...

We don't have a pilot who made less than 200k last year.

That means there are several things in your compensation package that you won't find at a fractional:


3. The ability to defer income or contribute more than 10% in your 401k through an executive savings plan.


7. Family vacations in the corporate jet.



-Not more than 500 I would guess. Still not good chances of getting on with one considering the number of flight departments in the US. (Of course getting on at the fracs isn't easy now either)

-You guys seem to be compensated well. But, I'm sure you don't start newhires at 200K do you?

-EJA contributes 50/50 up to 20% to 401K

-You mean they just loan you a GV for the week???????!!!!!
Now that's a perk! (But who pays for gas?)
 

CE650SC

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Are you hiring

GV Flyer,

Are you hiring? I don't think anyone in this forum would turn down a job like that! Too bad they are so hard to come by.
 

GVFlyer

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Re: Re: Corporate versus fractional

EJA Capt said:
-Not more than 500 I would guess. Still not good chances of getting on with one considering the number of flight departments in the US. (Of course getting on at the fracs isn't easy now either)

I don't want to quibble, but that would be 497 more companies than there are large fractionals. Of course the companies are selective in their hiring practices.


-You guys seem to be compensated well. But, I'm sure you don't start newhires at 200K do you?

Matter of fact we do, our hiring policy is to only hire well qualified Captains who have the skill set to be Chief Pilot of an operation. The Chairman feels that although we may loose them when they leave to run their own department, that is the caliber of pilot he wants in the flight department. And no we are not a small corporation, revenues last year were over 22 billion. 3M by comparison was at 16 billion.

-EJA contributes 50/50 up to 20% to 401K


The federal limit is 10% or $11,000, whichever is greater, that may be contributed to a 401k. So do the math. The maximum salary that you could earn and contribute 20% to your 401k would be 55,000. Thus the maximum value of this benefit is 5500 dollars.


-You mean they just loan you a GV for the week???????!!!!!
Now that's a perk! (But who pays for gas?)

Alright, I'll dignify this remark with a response. All companies run this benefit differently. I can schedule my family members on any trip that I am on where their are open seats. The return seats are then guaranteed. If there is a deadhead return from destination and the aircraft is not scheduled we may delay our return to home station. To meet IRS requirements their is appropriate reporting and a company plus-up. In my last company we had the similar dependent travel privileges except we couldn't spend an extra few days at destination prior to a dead head return.






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Something is amiss here...

Ok, Ok... what is going on... something doesn't add up here....

You say .....
And no we are not a small corporation, earnings last year were over 22 billion. 3M by comparison was at 14.4 billion

Well I have a news flash for you, NO Company made $22 Billion profit last year....

Here are the top 10 profit makers, their position on the Fortune 500 and their respective profits (in millions) for FY 2001:

1 Exxon Mobil.........2........$15,320.0
2 Citigroup.............7........$14,126.0
3 General Electric...6........$13,684.0
4 Philip Morris......10.........$8,560.0
5 Pfizer................49.........$7,788.0
6 IBM.....................9.........$7,723.0
7 AT&T.................15.........$7,715.0
8 Microsoft...........72........$7,346.0
9 Merck................24........$7,281.8
10 SBC Comm.....27.........$7,242.0

As you can see... no one made anywhere near $22 Billion Profit....

And here is the Global 500 listing of most profitable for FY 2000 (just incase you aren't listed in the Fortune 500, BUT you keep referring to Fortune 500 so I asssume your company IS listed there, but just in case...). Here are the top 10 profit makers, their position on the Global 500 and their respective profits (in millions) for FY 2000:

1 Exxon Mobil.............1..........$17,720.0
2 Citigroup...............12..........$13,519.0
3 General Electric.......8..........$12,735.0
4 Royal Dutch/Shell....6..........$12,719.0
5 BP...........................7..........$11,870.0
6 Verizon Comm......32...........$11,797.0
7 ING Group............24...........$11,075.2
8 Intel...................110...........$10,535.0
9 Microsoft............201.............$9,421.0
10 Royal Philips.....107............$8,873.8

As you can see... no one in the Global 500 made anywhere near $22 Billion Profit either....

Food for thought
 

Jetz

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Sorry, but

Sorry to be a bit negative, but Company stock is not a perk that I would put too much weight in, especially given the environment we are in now.

There have been MANY large flight departments that have dissolved due to buyouts with the requisite drop in company stock value.

In my experience, here is the bottom line. There are NO guarantees in ANY flying job of a future or a solid retirement. Look at Pan Am, or Eastern. Look at any one of the large flight depts that have closed down ...Nabisco, etc. It is just a matter of making an informed decision, saying a prayer (at least one per day) and enjoying the job you have while it lasts...and then when it fizzles, make your next move. It is a jungle out there.

Some of us are lucky enough to remain on top of the food chain for most or all of our careers.... Most of us will not be that fortunate.
 

EJA Capt

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Re: Re: Re: Corporate versus fractional

GVFlyer said:
I don't want to quibble, but that would be 497 more companies than there are fractionals.

Not exactly true. There are 3 "major" players and dozens of other fractionals. Furthermore, the major fractionals are not fighting for slots on 1 or 2 aircraft. EJI has 45 Gulfstreams of there own.


The federal limit is 10% or $11,000, whichever is greater, that may be contributed to a 401k. So do the math. The maximum salary that you could earn and contribute 20% to your 401k would be 55,000. Thus the maximum value of this benefit is 5500 dollars.


Actually, I have done the math. Although I did mis-speak, our limit is 15% not 20%. The 2002 limit of $11,000 is ONLY the employee contributuion, not the employer's contribution.
If I may:
"The Executive Jet Aviation, Inc. 401(k) Retirement Plan ...The Employer will make matching contributions in an amount equal to 15 %."

From 401K.com:
"The IRS has also set limits on the total amount that may be contributed to your 401(k) account from all sources combined, including any employer matching or profit-sharing contribution, and any employee after-tax contributions. For 2002, the maximum is the lesser of 100% of compensation or $40,000. The $40,000 limit will increase in $1,000 increments based on cost of living adjustments."

"you may become eligible to make salary deferral, pre-tax, catch-up contributions beginning January 1st of the year you turn age 50. These contributions are in addition to your regular deferral contributions. Catch-up contributions start at $1,000 for 2002, and increase by $1,000 a year until they reach $5,000 in 2006."


If there is a deadhead return from destination and the aircraft is not scheduled we may delay our return to home station. [/B]

In the case of dead-heading on empty aircraft, EJA has the same policy for its' employees.
 

GVFlyer

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Re: Something is amiss here...

Falcon Capt said:
Ok, Ok... what is going on... something doesn't add up here....

You say .....

Well I have a news flash for you, NO Company made $22 Billion profit last year....


Food for thought

That kind of research over irrelevent issues may be the product of too much toilet training as a child, but you're right. I mispoke; I should have said "revenues", which were in excess of what I stated, not "earnings".







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GVFlyer

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Corporate versus fractio


Originally posted by EJA Capt


EJI has 45 Gulfstreams of there own.


Yes, I know. I'm qualified and have flown as an EJI Captain at my previous company where we purchased Gulfstream shares for supplemental lift. Those guys have the same 401k as you do, but their direct compensation is quite a bit more.


Actually, I have done the math. Although I did mis-speak, our limit is 15% not 20%. The 2002 limit of $11,000 is ONLY the employee contributuion, not the employer's contribution.

What did you make in math? No matter how you explain it, 50% of $11,000 remains $5500.

In the final analysis EJA non-BBJ Captain pay starts at 37,560 and tops with 14 years seniority at 95,784 on the 17 day schedule and 106,284 for the guys willing to do flex.

BBJ pay starts at 135k and tops at 209k after 13 years seniority with some cola adjustments after that. There is no separate Captain scale in that you do not have union Captains yet.

The rest of what you quoted is appropriate only to those not deemed "highly compensated".


In the case of dead-heading on empty aircraft, EJA has the same policy for its' employees.

What I was trying to suggest to you is that if we place our dependents on an occupied leg and the return from that destination is deadhead, we may remain at that destination with our loved ones for a few days before deadheading home. EJA does not allow family members on occupied customer legs, so no, EJA does not have the same policy for it's employees.








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