Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

SWA Hiring Info wanted!

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


Well-known member
Mar 24, 2002
I have read a lot of the threads and have
learned a great deal but am hungry for
more info. I submitted my app. in late
Oct. 2001, recieived a letter saying something like "we have your stuff and
will call for interviews when the time comes." or something to that effect. I
do not have a B737 type YET and have
only recently started flying 135 again.
I have a year and a half of commuter
experience from 1995 but have only
been flying part 91 since. I do not have a college degree. I have been running my own flight school and doing contract flying for the past 5 years and would reallly love to be a part of the SWA family. I have a LOR from a SWA
Here are my questions to any of you
insiders or anyone who cares to reply.
What are my chances of ever hearing
back from SWA?
Do they let you know if they review your resume and decline to call you,
or do you just never hear from them?
If they really do plan on calling me, how long should I expect to wait
before I would hear something?
I don't plan on ever applying to another airline, so should I take the
plunge to get my 737 type or would it
not be a wise investment at this point?
And the big one! What are my over all
chances with my back ground?
Thanks to everyone and good luck to
all of you guys that are in the pool waiting for news!
I am just a caveman, but I will try to answer your questions, those with more/better knowledge will surely follow and correct me:

What are my chances of ever hearing
back from SWA?

100 percent - eventually

Do they let you know if they review your resume and decline to call you, or do you just never hear from them?

If you meet the mins you will get called.

If they really do plan on calling me, how long should I expect to wait before I would hear something?

Now that it is no longer first in first out, you probably have a pretty long wait (I will explain why later).

I don't plan on ever applying to another airline, so should I take the plunge to get my 737 type or would it not be a wise investment at this point?

NO. Finish college first. That is really going to hurt you, and it will hurt you to get an interview and (I think) to get hired. Do the type last! They interview and even hire people without the type.

And the big one! What are my over all chances with my back ground?

100 percent in the long run. If SWA is where you want to be and you are willing to go the distance, you'll get there. In the short run, it depends, and I see two big weaknesses. The good news they are both correctable. The bad news is it may not be easy.
- Lack of four year degree
-- No, it is not a requirement, but they bother to list it as preferred, so it must mean something to them. I can guarentee almost everyone else they see is going to have it.
- Lack of recent 121/135 PIC experience. SWA hires Airline Captains, upgrade time is fast and once, again, your competetion is going to be current and qualifed 121, 135, military CAPTAINS. There will be no copilots interviewing.

As I stated I think you will not be top of the pile for an interview right now beacuse of these two items. But that may be good news, because it may buy you time to "tidy up" these details. IMHO you could go to the interview right now, kick butt, have great referances, but lose the job. I am sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but I could be wrong, and even if I am not, this is all easily fixable. In the mean time, make yourself more qualified every day. Do save your money for now and make the type rating the icing on the cake AFTER you've taken care of the meat and potatoes (education and experience).

BTW if I am wrong and you get called for an interview, assume everything else I told you is wrong - win them over and join us in the pool!
Agreed, you've got to get the degree in these new times of stiff competition. Guys might have been hired in the past without but SWA is not the same place to pilots, anymore. It is and will be one of the most desirable places to apply and work and the lack of degree will just make it near impossible to compete.

Good Luck!

The questions you ask can be better viewed if you think of it as a score card..

If you meet mins..And thats all of the mins..You will get a call for an interview..
The one thing that will effect how quickly you will get that call is if you have the type when you submit the app..No type = a much longer time for the call to come..

The idea is to be as competitive as you can be at the time of the app..Then all you really have to do is be well prepared for the interview..
Now lets look at what you might need..

Type rating..In this market i pretty much think its a must have..

4 year degree..SWA doesnt really care about it to a point..If you have all the major points met you dont need it..If your other points are weak then it can bring up your over all score..

Part 135..Are you current 135..Shows you have been thru a training program of some kind and taken a check ride..

Part 121..Big points..Means you have been thru a major training program and had to have on several occasions taken check rides..

Ever been a part 135/121 check airman or IOE captain..Big points..

Ever been a PIC of a jet?Does a Caravan really count?

Ever been a PIC of a jet working with another crew member or large crew?
Ever been a flight instructor?

How much real IFR experience do you have..?

Have you flown a Boeing of any kind?

Have you flown a Boeing 737?

Are you current on a Boeing 737?Really current!

Are you currently flying for a 121 carrier operating a Boeing 737?Really big points..

Now..If you cant answer very many of these questions in the positive then you need to do everything you can to raise your "score"..

The interview process is very important and needs to be given a great deal of time and consideration..A good interview will make up for a lot of short comings..And there is nothing that will make up for a poor interview..

At this point i think you can just about answer your own questions..

For myself..Im too old..too tall...too fat...no 4 year..didnt have the type..
But i spent alot of time and money on learning everything i could about the process and i had alot of flying related points in my favor..
I think it came down to the fact that i was current part 121 on a Boeing 737-700 and i did great on the interview..

I had been a 135 check airman/IOE captain,flight instructor,been to Boeing school in SEA,had lots of real PIC jet time in the IFR system,a total of four type ratings and PIC time in each,had been going to Flight Safety for years,and last but not least..I had a clean records check..

The bottom line is when the DB sits down and looks at your file..What are they trying to figure out..?

I feel its three basic things..

Are you and have you been a a$$hole..?

Will you survive the training program and make it past probation?

Will you fit into the SWA culture/family?

Be well..Let me know if i can help..


I can answer "yes" to all but 1 of those questions and I have a Masters Degree. I was turned down last week.

Go figure! In the long run I think they did me a favor.
Little Duece

In most cases the reason a highly qualified person is turned down is either something in their background or the interview didnt go well..
I would like to ask you two questions..I know this is still a little fresh and i dont mean to rub in salt..But how much interview prep did you get and was there something in your background that wasnt well explained?


one last input

I have gotten some input that I may have overemphasised the 4 year degree. So let me rephrase that point...

It is important, they list it as "preferred" and most of the other candidates WILL have it. On the otherhand, if it was required for employment, they would require it for the interview. You may interview/get hired before I get on property, but there are things you can be doing to be a stronger candidtate right now. Here is what I think you should prioritize (but do as many simultaneously as possible):

Before they call:
- Current/qualified ME tunbine PIC (121/135 if possible)
- 4 year degree
- 737 type rating ONLY after the other two

Yes, I still think the degree is more important than the type, but maybe somebody at SWA could ask the People department what they think - any takers?

After they call:
- new, professional looking suit
- interview prep

I think too many people think SWA is an easy interview because it is freindly and laid back. Yes, you can get away with some individuality in terms of attire, and yes they are REALLY nice to you. But they still only hire 1 in 3. Spend the time and money to look your best, and get some quality interview prep. This is the superbowl of your career: you need a coach who knows the game!
All just my opinion. Especially the degree part, if you get the chance to talk to someone in the People department I' d ask them if the degree or the type are more important.

Best of luck!!
I just had to add to this post.
After my SWA interview, on my way back to the airport, I ran into a SWA pilot who was still in training. We sparked up a conversation and he told me he had interviewed with SWA 5 ( yes 5!) times before getting picked up. I asked what he thought had happened. He wasnt really sure but it might have been the interview and his experience level each time. He also said he was VERY happy he had kept his motivation up and kept trying. Keep hope alive and dont give up. We have all paid our dues...I swear, I dont think that people pay dues like this any other career field. sometimes it just takes a little longer and a liitle more due paying. Good luck to all.

Latest resources