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SWA pilot base seniority

dhampton

Just another number
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A recurring question on this board is which bases are most senior or junior at SWA. Recently the order has changed, so folks in the school house now or those who will me coming to us as soon as school starts up again may be surprised. This is the current order as near as I can tell, from senior to junior, with the months it currently takes to land in the desired base.

DAL 15 months
MCO 8
BWI 6
MDW 3
HOU 3
PHX 1-2
OAK 0

Happy Trails!
 

w8n4swa

...in OAK!
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Dec 10, 2001
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Doug,

Thanks for the information. Always glad to see what you guys know from the inside.

Looks like OAK for a base is a must the first time around.

Hope to be in Dallas sometime this year,

W8n4swa
 

KC-10 Driver

Well-known member
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I am surprised to see the above numbers. From what I've been told in the past, the most junior base has historically alternated between OAK, MDW and BWI.

Does anyone know if the change is most likely a temporary anomaly, or does there seem to have been a permanent shift?

In other words, why the change?
 

SWA/FO

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MCO is becoming senior...there is one month left for the "paid Company move". Lots of guys are making the jump.

BWI seems hard to get into these days...

OAK is where every newhire has been going for starters.
 

dhampton

Just another number
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KC-10

It's probably only temporary. More than any other factor it reflects the desire of last year's new hires to be based in MCO, DAL and BWI. As and example of BWI's growing popularity, 30% (7) of my class wants to be based in BWI.
 

CoopDog

SWA Pool Dog Paddler
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BWI to expand big-time

Two of my Southwest buddies have both been saying that BWI is in for a huge expansion within the next year or so. Junior, senior, it won't matter. I listened to the live share-holders web-cast this morning and the SWA spokesman (didn't get his name) said that they still are going ahead with the 436 options from Boeing thru 2012. Let me repeat, FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX. That's about 4800 new hires in the next ten years, excluding age 60 retirements and -200 retirements.

So by 2004-05, take your pick of any base you might want. There will probably 2 or 3 new crew bases by then too.

"East coast, west coast, it don't matter. Southwest fly you there....." Sorry, I just listened to that Delta spoof, and I'm still laughing.
 

Beechball

Member
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Dec 13, 2001
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Commuting east coast to OAK

Does anyone currently commute from the east coast to Oakland? If so, from where and what is the crashpad availability out there?

Great posts on here!! Many thanks to those that are keeping us poolies in the know!!
 

SWA/FO

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No crashpads in OAK.. Most stay at the Ramada, Hampton or Days Inn. Ramada was 44.00 a night, Hampton was 54.00 (I think) and not sure about the Days Inn.

Not bad, money wise if your staying only 4 days a month. But if your on reserve..... bad new$

I use to commute offline from DTW - LAX on NWA then ride SWA up to OAK. Sometimes I rode AWA to Phoenix then SWA. SWA has some 1 stops from BWI to OAK. Its always nice to ride on your own airline... I think the stress factor is lower. However, all the airlines I used were great/ super nice.

SWA / FO
 

Beechball

Member
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Thanks

SWA/FO,

Thanks for the reply and info!! Anyone else with their east/west commute experience?
 

dhampton

Just another number
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Commuting from the East coast is a pain, they tell me. My east coast classmates are extremely happy to be in Houston and MDW for June. SWA is offering an increasing number of non-stops to Oakland from back east now, so the commuting situation may be getting easier. The only problem is the flights are also EXTREMELY popular with our customers.


Re the OAK crashpad situation:

When on reserve, guys from my class try to split a room three or four ways at the aforementioned hotels and the Best Western. Some of the rooms have a fridge and micro. $15 to 20 a night isn't so bad if you can save some dough on food.

I've been toying with the idea of putting a boat/crashpad in one of the many nearby marinas. It won't be cheaper, but you can bet it will be more fun!
 

reepicheep

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Given Sw's large presence in LAX, I'm wondering why no pilot domicile there? Is this something that may be on the horizon?
 

dhampton

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Las Vegas is a more likely west coast pilot base than LAX. Not sure about all the factors, but I know we overnight more aircraft at LAS. LAS is more desirable for tax purposes also.
 

PTinbound

Kool Aid CEO
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Jan 28, 2002
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Just out of curiosity, (for you guys on the line) is there ever any talk of a Nashville base at any point?
Next Question: Regarding Houston, I know it's senior as all get out now. If I move there I'm guessing at least an Eight year upgrade, followed by decades as a bottom feeding captain. Am I right? Or will the demographics of HOU change in say, 10 years?
Any thoughts?
 

dhampton

Just another number
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PT

Dallas and Houston are bound to open up as retirements continue. I don't think it will be much of an issue for you when you upgrade to Captain.
 

MLBWINGBORN

Freedom Fighter
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Nov 27, 2001
Posts
476
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Alot.
My comute to both OAK and PHX has been pretty much a no brainer except for the fact it can take all day and about half the time you end up on the fourth or up front on the JS..

The planes are over booked going east to west almost every flight..But..they still find a way to help you get to work..

The stats on the bases are going to be changing somewhat do to trying to even out the reserve usage..
Right now the spread of FO reserve usage is a low 0f 43% to a high of 96%..They would like to see around 60% or so across the board..Those bases that are light on reserves will see an increase in staffing..those that are fat will be harder and take longer to get unless the expansion happens as planed..

As for BWI..Ive talked with several folks up there and they are going to be going to a 300 per flight schedule starting in June..That plus the new gates and terminal will equal lots of movement and growth in the northeast..

The rumor mill has BWI as being the largest base in the company in the next few years..

Mike
MLBWINGBORN
 

ultrapilot

Senior Member
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Hate Commuting!

"Try not to commute if you can help it!" Those words have been spoken more times than I can count, but that does not stop the fact that some people have to do it. When your wife has a good job and you have kids entrenched in High and Middle School, commuting is the only option.

I am a new hire at SWA that lives in ATL and commutes to OAK. Luckily there is a direct flight on Delta twice a day out of ATL and OAK that helps get me to and from work. The first problem is that it is a 5 hour and 15 minute flight west bound and a 4 hour and 35 minute flight eastbound. The second problem is that whether you are flying AM's or PM's you are probably going to need at least one hotel room before or after your trip due to the flight schedule. That also means that your four days off is now two or your three days off are now one because of the commute.

But thankfully, because of the 101 new pilots below me now, I am being based in PHX in June. That should cut over an hour off my commute each way and and make it easier to come home for my three days off. There are seven flights each way out of ATL on Delta and more with America West. That increases my opportunities to get to work on time but does not protect me under the "commuter policy". If I am lucky I will get MDW or HOU for July and shave even more time off my commute and have more airlines and flights to choose from to get to and from work.

Eventually we will probably move. Besides, who knows where the new domicles will be in the next few years, but I'am willing to bet there will be some.
 

generaltso

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ultrapilot:
Wouldn't MCO or BWI be your best bet out of ATL? Delta has a lot of flights to both from ATL.
 

RightBettor

Betting "Don't" these day
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Hey Ultrapilot:

I used to live in the ATL area... I hear ATL-MCO is a real bi+ch for commuting 'cause of all the DL folks that do the commute. Plus those flights reaaallly tend to fill up with pax... they're all headed to the Mouse Factory down there.

I used to commute from ATL to MDW and the "Citrus" folks always made the commute very easy. Plus the second airport option (ORD w/ a ride on the "L") helps reduce the stress a bit.

RightBettor
 

RamRise

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Additional options

Don't forget about the freighters for jumpseating - late night, but, always an option.

Bank Air 800-622-9004

Airnet 800-824-6058

US Jets - I don't have their number with me, but, they have direct flights to Chicago from Atlanta. Either Bank Air or Airnet should have their number.
 

ultrapilot

Senior Member
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Nov 27, 2001
Posts
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Commuting!

You guys are right. BWI and MCO are closer. I only mentioned HOU and MDW because I should be able to get to one of those by July. I would rather have BWI or MCO as my domicle but those bases are months down the road so I am only thinking short term right now.

I did finish the month of April at MCO after IOE with two trips and would love to be based there. Great people, nice new facility, and a short hour and ten minute commute. Like RightBettor said, the problem is that the flights are full. I am not talking a little full, I am talking overbooking by Delta and Airtran on every flight. I could usually get there on the first flight I jumped on but I could not get home.

After I finished a three day trip I got back to MCO and every flight to ATL for the next eight hours and the next morning was overbooked. Twice I ended up flying to another city beyond ATL so that I could fly back to ATL. It took seven or eight hours to finally get to ATL flying and I could have driven it in seven hours. Options are to move to Mouse Land (not an option - see above post), drive over two hours to BHM and catch an SWA flight (increases commute to three and a half hours), drive directly to MCO everytime, or check into jumping on freighters as RamRise mentioned.

BWI, MDW, or HOU would be my best base choices due to the fact that I can be to any one of them within two hours max and one jump. BWI seems to be the natural choice because of the shorter flight time and if they keep building it up I would not stay on reserve long after arriving.

One other note: OAK is a huge FEDEX base that has potenital for commuters.
 
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