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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
Need some opinions. I currently work for air wisconsin, however I live in Florida and don't really want to move anywhere out of the South East. Unfortunately we don't fly anywhere near where I live and my commute is getting to be a pain. I have been tossing around the idea of applying to either ASA, ACA, or Comair. My question is would you give up your seniority, of which I have a year and a half, and start over at an airline that has a much bigger presence in the southeastern U.S. Also to Comair guys just how senior is the orlando domicile, and are any of the aforementioned carriers even hiring now. I feel that if I am going to make a move I need to do it now rather than later. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Dairy Air

I'd analyze it in terms of seniority. How quickly could you regain the seniority you have now at a new company? What would you be giving up if you resign your number and start fresh elsewhere? What about probation?

For what it's worth, I'd keep my number for the time being and tough it out while building the experience needed to apply to a major. In the meantime, your number might improve to where you can bid lines that might make commuting more palatable, if that's possible. Once you get on with a major, you'll have more options.

Good luck with your decision.
I wouldn't take the mindset of basing your career on where you live. Airlines change/close domiciles and reduce flying on the whims of the economy and marketing. What if they cut the flying back and you get bumped out of your dream domicile? Being a new hire, you'd now be commuting to reserve somewhere else.

Besides, you'll eventually may want to move on to a major who does not have a base near your residence.

Second, with the economy and job market as it is, any seniority in a tolerable company is worth it's weight in gold.
If I worked for Air Wisconsin, I'd probably keep the number,and hold on. Maybe get on with someone who won't force you to resign the number. Maybe do some instructing, or offer basic airline type training to qualified individuals: flows, callouts, 121 procedures. Be creative.

As stated above, all things can change. Be ready, if you can.
About the Comair Orlando domicile, forget about it. We don't have one. There are a few Brazillia pilots still based there, but they are all seat-locked, and can't leave if they wanted to. The ones who want to stay can't do that either, as they are slowly being jr-manned to the jet in CVG. In other words, the current Orlando base is closed. Also, we have about 200 pilots that commute from Orlando. You can do it, but I personally wouldn't try it. Other locations to commute from are better, as we have a lot of guys living in Chattanooga and Knoxville.

We keep hearing rumors of an Orlando base, and possibly a Dallas base as well, but the Dallas one may be just the 70 seater. I'm not sure if working at Comair would help your commute or not, but I would do a bit more research if I were you. As far as leaving your senority, I think I would only do that if I thought you were at a bad airline now.

Now, to the root of the problem, moving. I personally have moved six times for this career, and I wouldn't look back. I am happy to take the jobs that others don't want simply because they refuse to leave their parents, girlfriend, significant other, or don't wish to commute. This is just my opinion, but if you have some place that you MUST live, you are either in the wrong profession, or you will have to suck it up and commute. This is of course unless you live in your dream airline's largest crew-base, and your father works for them now and can get you an interview when you are ready. Then, they may get purchased by another airline and the crew base will go away anyway.

Well, hope this helps, and good luck in your decision.
Also, personally, I lived in Florida and if I have a choice, I will never live there again. Perhaps you might even like some place better, and you can always non-rev home to see the family if you like. Of course, I hate commuting. Good luck.
Any particular reason you didn't like living in Florida? I've always felt very "alive" when passing through, such as this past week when I went down to Boca to bring back a client in his Lear. Was it because you were commuting from there?

I would consider carefully the pros and cons of staying in a particular locale v. forging your career. I moved something like nine times during all the time I've worked since leaving college, with four moves happening during my last 2½ years in aviation. I remember leaving a couple of places and not looking back. In other places, I felt genuine regret that I had to leave. Home is where you hang your hat.

I lived in Florida for a year and two months. It had its pros and cons, but, overall, it really wasn't for me. As Skydiverdriver said, you might find a place that you like better. Unless you have strong family or personal reasons for living in a particular place, keep your options open until you're in a position where you can say "no" to moving.

Just a little more food for thought.

You're at one of the best regional airlines when a lot of other pilots are on the street that would take your job in a heartbeat. I know the grass is always greener but You've already got the proverbial bird in the hand.


600' AGL Autopilot on.


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