W2 and Quality of life at Southwest

HHH

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Can any SWA pilots please provide some up to date information for the following questions. Thank you.

What do SWA pilots typically make per year (W2), particularly First Officers? I've seen the pay tables but understand that hourly pay rates are not always an accurate indicator of W2 pay. Also, I have heard that 1st year FO's can make 2nd year pay by picking up trips. Is this true? If so, how likely is it?

What are the junior bases (as of Sept. 2008)? How likely is it for a new hire/reserve to be able to pick up/trade for out of base trips? How long are most trips (2,3,4 days)?

How long does it take to get called for an interview (once application has been submitted)?

Do SWA pilots have their own website forums?

Any other information about the quality of life and compensation of SWA pilots is much appreciated.
 
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Tanker Clown

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They do better than anyone else from what I see. But, they may take a reduction in hours, pay, or even a furlough coming up here in January. Still probably better than anywhere else.

Looks like Oakland is junior. Followed by Las Vegas and PHX.
 

RedDogC130

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tanker Quit Posting $hit You Have No Clue About It Is Getting Old.
 

amF16

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They do better than anyone else from what I see. But, they may take a reduction in hours, pay, or even a furlough coming up here in January. Still probably better than anywhere else.

Looks like Oakland is junior. Followed by Las Vegas and PHX.
Nice flame bait
 

amF16

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Can any SWA pilots please provide some up to date information for the following questions. Thank you.

What do SWA pilots typically make per year (W2), particularly First Officers? I've seen the pay tables but understand that hourly pay rates are not always an accurate indicator of W2 pay. Also, I have heard that 1st year FO's can make 2nd year pay by picking up trips. Is this true? If so, how likely is it?

What are the junior bases (as of Sept. 2008)? How likely is it for a new hire/reserve to be able to pick up/trade for out of base trips? How long are most trips (2,3,4 days)?

How long does it take to get called for an interview (once application has been submitted)?

Do SWA pilots have their own website forums?

Any other information about the quality of life and compensation of SWA pilots is much appreciated.
Yes new hire F/Os get second year pay for picking up trips on their days off. Most first year F/Os probably may around 60K - 80K. By the 4th year its around 120K - 140K. Though I have heard of some senior F/Os making as much as 200k.
 

FBN0223

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This message is hidden because Tanker Clown is on your ignore list.
 

Tanker Clown

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Sorry Red Dog,

If you pull your head out of the sand, maybe this will sound better: Hiring should pick up so guys can be out on the line when 190 flight/day are cancelled and the WestJet code share goes into effect. The contract will be signed by then with a 30% pay increase for junior FOs. SWA will get oil hedged at $23/bbl though 2059 while oil hits a super spike of $200/bbl. In other news, hell will also freeze over.
 

HHH

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OAK, PHX and then LAS.
Thank you. Is it possible to drop most of your trips and fly out of base (i.e. HOU)? How does flying out of base while on reserve work?

Thanks again.
 

4 Fan Trashcan

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HHH. I recommend you put Tanker Clown on your ignore list ASAP. You will notice very very quickly that he luvs to hate SW for some reason.

I got called for an interview 10 days after I submitted my app. FWIW, I was typed.
 

GuppyWN

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You can drop and pick up from ANY base system wide. Problem is if you're on reserve I'd be surprised to see anybody pick up your reserve block.

There's always a big push of guys based out west trying to move east. I see the music slowing down or stopping with minimal opportunity of movement in the next few months because of the announced reduction.

Gup
 

HHH

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HHH. I recommend you put Tanker Clown on your ignore list ASAP. You will notice very very quickly that he luvs to hate SW for some reason.

I got called for an interview 10 days after I submitted my app. FWIW, I was typed.
Yes, I have the type and about 400 hrs in type. Did you have someone walk your resume in? (Tanker Clown is now on the ignore list.)

Thanks to all for the info. Any actual W2's for the first few years as an FO?

One more question. How do vacation privileges work? At one of my old airlines if your vacation touched any of your trips then the trip was dropped. You could turn 7 days into 21 days and still maintain min. guarantee.

Obviously, I am hoping to get called by SWA. I am trying to be as informed as possible. Aside from southwestairlines.com, are there any other sources for the type of information that I am looking for?
 

RedDogC130

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I live in domicle so guys on reserve like me. I traded a 3 day trip for a guys 4 day reserve block. I flew the first 3 days and I was off today at home and they released me by 2pm so I can have a beer at dinner.

As for pay you will make over $100K your 2nd year and still have 14 days off a month. You just have to be flexible and be able to handle wierd days off schedules. sometimes it is 4 on 1-2 off then a 2 day followed by 5 off, etc.... but you can make good money and still have great time off.
 

MOCO

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I am a six year FO and am on track to make between 170-175k. Yes I do fly quite a bit more than the average line but it is my choice. 1st year FO's can cwing about 65k and the second year being 100K.
SWA is a great place to work.
 

Fly-diver

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Can any SWA pilots please provide some up to date information for the following questions. Thank you.
What do SWA pilots typically make per year (W2), particularly First Officers? I've seen the pay tables but understand that hourly pay rates are not always an accurate indicator of W2 pay.

If you fly your 1st year line only you should gross about 45-50K. Working a little harder you can gross 60-75K. It's possible to make quite a bit more, depending on how hard you want to work and how much uncovered flying the company has.

Also, I have heard that 1st year FO's can make 2nd year pay by picking up trips. Is this true? If so, how likely is it?

Second year pay is paid for picking up open flying from the company. It's fairly easy to get one or two days a month at second year pay. The real trick is to trade away your first year trips which opens up your schedule for picking up open flying. Easier said than done, but sometimes you can trade/give away trips.

What are the junior bases (as of Sept. 2008)?

New hires are getting OAK right out of training. LAS is probably next junior base.

How likely is it for a new hire/reserve to be able to pick up/trade for out of base trips?

You can try anything. If you're legal you can pick up flying in any domicile, but you only get 2nd year pay for uncovered company flying (not for trips traded with another pilot).

How long are most trips (2,3,4 days)?

Most are 3 days, but 4 days are not uncommon. 2 day trips and turns (1 day) are also in the schedule. Most reserves lines will have one or more 4 days per month.

How long does it take to get called for an interview (once application has been submitted)?

Depends on how fast we are hiring. You compete with all the other applicants against the criteria the company is looking for (very few people know what that criteria is). Having a type rating helps, but is no guarantee of an early interview. Keep your app updated monthly - shows the People Dept you are active and interested.

Do SWA pilots have their own website forums?

Our union, SWAPA, hosts a website with a forum (members only).

Any other information about the quality of life and compensation of SWA pilots is much appreciated.

QOL is pretty decentk, especially if you live in domicile. Expect to work 15-16 days a month. Growth determines your line quality as an FO. As you get more senior you bidding power increases fast on the FO side.

Growth has been very good for several years, but may slow to a crawl next year (we heard the same prediction for 2008, but we ended up hiring 500+/-).

Compensation is good, but could be better. No defined benefit plan for retirement, each pilot must contribute to his/her retirement (401(k) match is 7.3%, and we have profit sharing and employee stock purchase program). Medical/dental are good also, and inexpensive, comparatively.

One more question. How do vacation privileges work? At one of my old airlines if your vacation touched any of your trips then the trip was dropped. You could turn 7 days into 21 days and still maintain min. guarantee.

About the same as your old company. You can drop any flying that touches your vacation at no pay. The company will pull (with pay) some days outside your vacation week if they can't get you home to start your vacation. Same concept for trips touching the end of your vacation week.
 
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TriStar_drvr

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Thank you. Is it possible to drop most of your trips and fly out of base (i.e. HOU)? How does flying out of base while on reserve work?

Thanks again.
Is it possible? Yes. Probable? Not likely. You can drop only the trips someone else is willing to pick up. Doesn't happen very much at the junior bases.

As for flying out of base while on reserve, yes you can. If you commute to sit reserve and then fly a trip on your days off, you won't have much time at home. Also legalities come into play. A 4 day block of reserve is considered 20 hours of flying while a block of 3 or less is considered 6 hours of flying per day. 30 hours of block in 7 day limits reserve pickup.

Yes, SWA is a good place to work. One can make some money here, but you earn it. I feel for any new guy coming on now who doesn't live out west or isn't willing to move there. If you spend your off days commuting and/or working extra trips, you'll burn yourself out soon. IMHO if you have a family you care about, it's not worth it.
 

HHH

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Wow! Thank you all for taking the time to respond! I really appreciate the answers. Another question - how senior is HOU?

FYI My priority is to spend as much time with my family as I can. My question about pay and out of base pick up may have been misleading. If I am to be based (out west for example) but allowed to fly from home (HOU) it was make life that much better! I understand I have to do my time and I am not asking about ways to circumvent the system. I am simply trying to find out what the impact will be on my family.

Don't take this the wrong way - but I just want to make sure that this move is worth it for my family (in the short term and long run).
 

328dude

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As a HOU slug myself, I think you can hold it after about 6-7 months. Seems to fluctuate with the system wide bid month to month.

80% of the pilots live in Clearlake. The rest seem to live in places ending in "wood".:D
 
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Alcatraz

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Yes, SWA is a good place to work. One can make some money here, but you earn it. I feel for any new guy coming on now who doesn't live out west or isn't willing to move there. If you spend your off days commuting and/or working extra trips, you'll burn yourself out soon. IMHO if you have a family you care about, it's not worth it.
I feel for the new guys, too... I've done the whole commute halfway across the country for another airline, and know that kills any schedule. But I think SWA is worth it even if you live on the east coast... if you can accept the fact that you'll commute for 8 months or more and won't have time to pick up extra flying (so will only make $40k or $50k the first year). I don't think there will be much open time to pick up after Nov or Dec, so while first year guys might be able to give away they won't be able to pick up much. However, if you have patience for the long term, it's a great investment.

Ya just gotta remember this industry sucks right now, and this may even include some junior people at SWA. I feel for ya... I've been there, done that.
 
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