regional vs. fractional?

fly26

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Hypothetical Question:

If you had an offer from a solid regional (eg. AWAC, ACA) and an offer from NetJets, which would you take? Why?
 

Dep676

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NetJets for sure. That's just my .02. Less chance of furlough in the future with NetJets. The way the airlines are you can have a job today and be flying your couch at home tomorrow. Nothing is for sure but the Frac's are doing a lot better than the regional's. Good Luck in whatever you choose.
 

JetPilot500

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The question is: What is your ultimate goal? Corporate or Airline

If you want to be a corporate pilot, then you'd probally be better off at Netjets. The experience in corporate aircraft that you obtain will be priceless.

If you want to fly for a Major someday, then your best bet is probally to go to a regional.

Not to say you could never cross-over, but, you should have a goal and go for it. To say that the Fracs are more stable than the Regionals right now is probally something that can't be predicted. There are just too many factors involved here. Just because Netjets has been growing, doesn't mean they will continue to do so. If this economy dips into a second recession here, some of these rich folks may start to reconsider their big toys such as the Frac Jet. I think either opportunity will be good and you don't have a crystal ball, so go with the one you think will get you to where you ultimately want to be.

Choose and then don't look back again. Trust me on that one!

Good Luck,
JetPilot500
 

NJA Capt

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JetPilot500 said:
If you want to fly for a Major someday, then your best bet is probably to go to a regional.
Misconception #1
Back when the majors were hiring, Netjets pilots were found very desirable to many of the major carriers. The majors are very familiar with Netjets’ flight operations, which differ vastly from typical corporate operators, and more closely resemble a FAR121 operation.

To say that the Fracs are more stable than the Regionals right now is probably something that can't be predicted.
Misconception #2
Netjets is one of the most stable things in the industry at the present time. Definitely more stable than some of the majors in the current climate.

Just because Netjets has been growing, doesn't mean they will continue to do so. If this economy dips into a second recession here, some of these rich folks may start to reconsider their big toys such as the Frac Jet.
Now this is sort of ironic. For the last few years, all the frac pilots heard in the FBOs was, "Just wait ‘til the economy goes down and you guys will be out of work." Well, the economy went down and business continued to grow. So now we should wait for a "second recession?"

Choose and then don't look back again. Trust me on that one!
This I do agree with.
Choose your options, do a lot of research, and talk to as many pilots at those companies as possible. I will add that of the few dozen former commuter and major pilots (furloughed) that I have flown with, none plan on leaving Netjets even when things do turn around.

Good luck
NJA Capt
 

Caveman

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NJA Capt wrote:

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
To say that the Fracs are more stable than the Regionals right now is probably something that can't be predicted.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Misconception #2
Netjets is one of the most stable things in the industry at the present time. Definitely more stable than some of the majors in the current climate.

JetPilot opined that saying either one was more stable than the other was probably impossible to predict accurately. Why is that a misconception? Just because you say Netjets is "one of the most stable things in the industry" doesn't automatically make it so. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I dunno, but just because you say so doesn't make him wrong. Give me some stats, maybe some growth projections, balance sheets, something. Inquiring minds want to know.


"Definitely more stable than some of the majors in the current climate."

Apples to oranges. The comparison stated was regional to fractional, not majors to fractional.

What's my point? Don't just say the other guy is wrong and assume that it's a fact. Make your case. Offer an opposing argument and support it with a thesis or some type of rationale. I'm not suggesting that you aren't correct, you just haven't given us anything to consider other than an unsupported blanket statement.

Best wishes.
 

CF34-3B1

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The other thing to think about is what kind of things the job actually entails you doing.

The regionals (at least mine) you pretty much show up, do some paper work, fly the airplane, and go home.

If there's something broken, you write it up and call MX. If something needs to be restocked in the galley, the F/A deals with it. If the lav needs to be dumped, you call Ops on the radio and some un happy guy with a long rubber glove comes over and dumps it for you.

At most fracs, the way I understand it, the crews deal with all this kind of stuff. Which may not be a bad thing, depending on your point of view, it's just one of the many differences in the day to day operations of the jobs.

Another consideration might be base location. I really don't know what the base locations for the fracs are, or what their policy is about living in a city other than your base. At the regionals, you can pretty much commute from where ever you like as long as you show up for work on time.

Which brings up the other big difference; non rev travel and J/S. Most regional pilots can jumpseat on anyone, but most frac guys can not, due to them not having a recip agreement. Also, at most regionals, you and your family get non rev benifits on not only your airline, but usually whatever major your airline codeshares with.

I'm not saying one route is better than the other, they both have + and -

I wouldn't leave my regional job to go to a frac, but I have friends at several different fracs, most of whom are ex regional guys, and they're all very happy they made the switch.
 

CCDiscoB

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Jetpilot 500 wrote:
If you want to be a corporate pilot, then you'd probally be better off at Netjets.


I find it interesting that you consider Netjets a "stepping stone" type job. I was thinking that if I was hired by NetJets, I could make a career with them. But it appears that for the career minded one would need to find a desirable corporate operation. Is that what you're saying?
 

NJA Capt

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Caveman said:
Just because you say Netjets is "one of the most stable things in the industry" doesn't automatically make it so. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I dunno, but just because you say so doesn't make him wrong. Give me some stats, maybe some growth projections, balance sheets, something. Inquiring minds want to know.
Stats? For goodness sake man....Pick up any Pro Pilot, B&CA, AIN, Flying or AOPA magazine for the last 4 years or your latest Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders' report.
350+ jets with 700 more on order.
Never stopped hiring, even after 9/11
Never slowed jet deliveries, even after 9/11
1700 pilots with three newhire classes per month.
Hiring projections consistent for the next 5 years.

Please note, I didn't ask him to believe me. I recommended he do some legwork to verify "my opinion."


"Definitely more stable than some of the majors in the current climate."

Apples to oranges. The comparison stated was regional to fractional, not majors to fractional.
True, but I was drawing the conclusion that not even the majors are the most stable place to be. Much less some of the commuters.

I'm not suggesting that you aren't correct, you just haven't given us anything to consider other than an unsupported blanket statement.
Again, I recommended personal research to verify my claim.
 

Caveman

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NJA Capt wrote:

"350+ jets with 700 more on order.
Never stopped hiring, even after 9/11
Never slowed jet deliveries, even after 9/11
1700 pilots with three newhire classes per month.
Hiring projections consistent for the next 5 years."

Now that I have something to work with I can see that your claim appears to have some merit. Remember, I never said you were incorrect. I just didn't have any info to evaluate your statement. At this point if I have some doubts it's my responsibility to verify your data.

If you were to state that Hank Aaron was the greatest homerun hitter of all time and I wasn't a baseball fan I would say, "Oh yeah, why?"

If you said that Hank Aaron was the greatest homerun hitter of all time because he hit more than anybody else I would say, "Oh, that makes sense."

Same with fractionals vs regional airlines. I don't know that much about fractionals so when you state that they are very stable I say, "Oh yeah, why?". Now I know. Thanks.
 

NJA Capt

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CF34-3B1 said:
The regionals (at least mine) you pretty much show up, do some paper work, fly the airplane, and go home.
Same at NetJets.

If there's something broken, you write it up and call MX. If something needs to be restocked in the galley, the F/A deals with it. If the lav needs to be dumped, … some unhappy guy with a long rubber glove comes over and dumps it for you.
Same at NetJets.

Another consideration might be base location. I really don't know what the base locations for the fracs are, or what their policy is about living in a city other than your base. At the regionals, you can pretty much commute from where ever you like as long as you show up for work on time.
Same at NetJets.
With crew bases (gateways) at the following airports with more expected in the future. Columbus, OH; Bradley, CT; Teterboro, NJ; Washington Dulles; Atlanta, GA; Orlando, FL; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Denver, CO; Dallas, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Boston, MA; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; Midway, IL; Pittsburgh, PA; West Palm Beach, FL; St. Louis, MO; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; New Orleans, LA; Charlotte, NC; Jacksonville, FL; Detroit, MI; Phoenix, AZ.

Which brings up the other big difference; non rev travel and J/S. Most regional pilots can jumpseat on anyone, but most frac guys can not, due to them not having a recip agreement. Also, at most regionals, you and your family get non rev benefits on not only your airline, but usually whatever major your airline codeshares with.
Misconception #3
Netjets DOES have jumpseat agreements. Although on limited carriers. But, they do exist.

Jumpseat travel is not necessary because the company pays for "real" tickets to position crews for duty. As part of our the duty day I might add.

We use frequent flyer points to travel space positive in lieu of non-rev. In my opinion, much more dependable than wondering if you will make it to or from your family vacation. We average 50+ airline segments per year. Which leaves a person with quite an abundance of points.

I wouldn't leave my regional job to go to a frac, but I have friends at several different fracs, most of whom are ex regional guys, and they're all very happy they made the switch.
No problem. Some guys are happy at the Regionals, some are happy at the fracs. I have talked to several frac pilots who only went to a commuter to gain time to apply to NetJets. Can you believe that? using a commuter as a stepping stone to a fractional. That speaks volumes.

Originally posted by CCDiscoB
I find it interesting that you consider Netjets a "stepping stone" type job. I was thinking that if I was hired by NetJets, I could make a career with them. But it appears that for the career minded one would need to find a desirable corporate operation. Is that what you're saying?
You may absolutely use NetJets as a career destination. More and more people are realizing that everyday. As I posted above to Caveman, I have talked to several frac pilots who only went to a commuter to gain time, in order to work for NetJets. There are plenty of "quality" corporate operator out there, and would still make an excellent career. However, the fractionals in most cases will offer more rapid upgrade and more choices of types of aircraft and flight profiles.
 
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NJA Capt

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Caveman said:
If you were to state that Hank Aaron was the greatest homerun hitter of all time and I wasn't a baseball fan I would say, "Oh yeah, why?"
I understand completely. I was trying to keep posts short and to the point, but I'll add the necessary details from now on. I realize some people are new to this board and may not have followed this side of the industry as long as others.

Regards,
NJA Capt
 

Frac Daddy

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My .02

I used to work at Travel Air and now I work at Flight Options. Here is my .02:

Regarding going to the majors: The NetJet pilot is right. Majors do hire fractional pilots. A lot of them. (That is, if and when they ever hire.) For some strange reason, my friends who are at the regionals don't want to believe this. But it is true; you can go from frax to majors fairly easily. Jet PIC is Jet PIC.

Regarding base location: Flight Options policy is that you can live whereever you want as long as you are one hour from an airport that is served by three airlines that have six flights a day. So, in addition to the major airports, you can chose domiciles like El Paso, TX, Fresno, CA, and WIchita, KS. Get the picture? Pretty sweet deal.

As far as leaving a regional to go to a frac: If you are a captain at a good regional(Skywest, Comair, Horizon, etc.) DON'T GO TO A FRAX. You would give up too much coming here. However if you work for a dog-meat regional(Lakes) or, are a decade away from upgrade(Eagle), then come on down!! We have plenty of ex-Lakes, ex-Eagle and ex-Mesa on our staff. They all seem to be pretty happy to not be at their regional anymore.

Regarding jumpseat: Options has, I believe, an agreement with AirTran. I have never tried it as I live west of the Mississippi. But, so what! You don't need a jumpseat to get to work. The company pays for your airline ticket to get to and from work. Jumpseat to go on vacation? Don't need it. In two years, I have accrued enough miles that I have redeemed them for six round trip tickets to Hawaii plus two round trip tickets on domestic flights.

Downside of frax: Guaranteed to be gone half the year.

I apologize if I have repeated anything that was previously mentiioned. fly26, if you any questioins re: Flight Options, PM me. Take care. :cool:
 

Ty Webb

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There are a lot of misconceptions at 121 operators about fractionals, 135 jet operators, and part 91 flight departments.

I remember being asked at an airline interview, "Here at ____ Airline, we utilize something called CRM. Do you have any crew experience?", needless to say, I nearly burst out laughing.

I felt like telling them the truth- that I was far more familiar with CRM than they were, since it was an absolute necessity while shooting circling approaches into unfamiliar, non-air carrier airports without the benefit of Runway Analysis, Dispatchers, etc . . . . and that our SOP's were actually more detailed than their 121 SOP's- but, needless to say, I simply told them that I was PIC in an aircraft that was type-certificated for two pilots, and that I attended recurrent training at FSI every six months, and that CRM was a regular part of our curriculum . . . . (I was offered the job, but turned it down).

Other misconceptions- that you can't go to a major from the left seat of a corporate jet (dozens of my friends have!) and that all corporate jobs are being tied to a pager, and/or flying some "rich dude around" . . . . they would be surprised to find that I didn't have a pager, and that the airplane was operated as a tool, not as a toy.

BTW, those hotel points come in real handy- I never paid for a hotel or crashpad all throughout 4 weeks of training- I spent a week at the Hilton, a week at Embassy Suites, a week a Holiday Inn, etc, using up hotel points, and I still have 100,000 Hilton points left!
 

9guy

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Regional v. Fractional

I have worked for both an excellent regional (Atlantic Coast) and the leading fractional (NetJets). Although this was not my path, I only know of senior captains at ACA leaving for NetJets. I do not know of anyone at NetJets who ever left to fly for a regional.

My assessment of the differences is that you will work about as hard at both jobs generally, althoug the effort is spent on different things. At ACA, most of my effort as a Captain was spent arguing with underqualified dispatchers trying to send me into unsafe conditions and schedulers who did not know our contract demanding that I fly illegal trips. At NetJets, there is a bit more involvement in aircraft care and paperwork. To me, the effort is a wash, and I'd much rather spend my time doing something positive (preparing the aircraft for a trip) than negative (arguing with people who are supposed to be on my team).

Career options? Truthfully, I could not have spent a career at ACA. The stress of dealing with ops day to day was incredible. I have only been at NetJets 5 months, but can definitely see it as a career option IF the pay goes up.

If your goal is the majors, either road is fine. I have been a captain in both environments. Turbine PIC is turbine PIC. Period.

Cheers, and good luck.
 

rufus

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Frac daddy said,

If you are at a good regional like Comair as a captain do not leave. Well I would expext nothing less from a about to go bankrupt flight options pilot. Sorry had to bash a flight options guy.

I was a five year RJ captain at Comair and the job SUCKED. I hope you like small loser cities for layovers, cause even though they go to most of the big cities, they do not stay there, or they stay, at the airport days inn.

Gee, there is the food, hotels and places you get to go here at netjets also. The pay sucks, but I am earning 6th year captain pay here also with a little overtime in the second year and that does not include my free stek dinners. That is about 8k in salary alone in a years time.

As far as the majors go, none will be hiring for a lomg time, expect frieght. I am being offered a interview with one one the big frieght dogs right now and it cause of guys I meet here at netjets. You meet a lot of the who knows who here compared at the regional level. I am very happy here and want to stay as long as the pay goes up, which I believe it will.

I am not knocking on any regional pilot, as I enjoyed many at Comair and their flying skills, but the grass is greener on this side of the fence.
 

CCDiscoB

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I see writing skills are not required NetJets. That was the second worst post I've read on this board. The first was the guy commenting why an education wasn't required to be a pilot. Rufus, just what on earth are you saying?

The way I read it is your leaving the Frac industry. Are you? What's this 6th year Capt pay in your 2nd year with overtime? Are you saying if I work 365, then I could make 20 year Capt pay? It's either your 2nd year or your 6th year. Don't include overtime. What's the free "stek" dinner that's worth 8k a year? A $20 dinner 365 isn't even 8k? Are you saying NetJets' passengers buy you dinner every night?? I know they don't, but that's how it comes across.
 

wackford

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LOL…….. I have to agree with CCDiscoB. Your post was so poorly written that it was funny.
:D
 

infoman

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To answer the question. Fracs or regional?
I have worked at both. I left Eagle to join Netjets 6 years ago.
I make better money than Eagle,and I enjoy the life style much more. For those who say not. OK . I will not argue, but the contract I left in 96 did not offer much of a future, but with Netjets I at least had potential,and I took the gamble.
Does this mean I would not recommend a regional. No. The life style just did not fit my personality.
I enjoy my 7/7 (takes some getting use to) and my 3 weeks vacation. The pay is low when compared to other fracs and corporate pilots. This is under current contract talks just as Southwest pilot are talking to thier managment.
Enough of my ramble,and I guess the simple answer to the millon dollar question is ?????
If you are looking for exact numbers of pay and beneies just look at our web for netjet pilots.
www.ejapilots.com
P.S. I do not have any of the other fracs handy.
 

NJA Capt

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infoman said:
If you are looking for exact numbers of pay and beneies just look at our web for netjet pilots.
www.ejapilots.com
infoman,
The NJA pilots' website has been updated and the areas you referenced are now on the secure side of the site. The only things public now are the links and hiring info.

For those looking for other details you can continue to ask questions on this board or try fracstats.com. The site is being remodeled but some of the top menus still work.

For the record, I have been here four years and have loved every minute of it. I am hearing more and more people say they used the commuters as a stepping stone to get to NetJets.

Glad to be here,
NJA Capt


PS...Rufus,
Your post made no sense.
 

infoman

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NJA CAPT
Thanks for heads up.
I guess if people want to know specifics they
will have to ask on this board.
 
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