What Would You Do ?

CLARKGRSWOLD

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Posts
278
Total Time
9k+
I am currently a 10 year Captain for a large regional. I just turned 31. My wife and I have been discussing options for the upcoming years. Is it worth leaving for a "legacy" ? What would you all do ? I am torn over staying or leaving
 

Sedona16

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Posts
564
Total Time
10,400
If you can get to a legacy in the next five years make the move!
 

General Lee

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 24, 2002
Posts
20,442
Total Time
A lot
I am currently a 10 year Captain for a large regional. I just turned 31. My wife and I have been discussing options for the upcoming years. Is it worth leaving for a "legacy" ? What would you all do ? I am torn over staying or leaving
Getting on in the beginning of a "wave" can really be a windfall down the road. Everyone in your position wonders about flying reserve again, as an FO, taking a paycut, flying weekends, etc. Usually that won't last too long at a legacy. You have options, like going for a larger plane that may make you more money, staying in a narrowbody for a better schedule and QOL, etc. It is all about options---you have choices that can make a difference. You can get out of your comfort zone of knowing every frequency in the area, and actually have a challenge, maybe flying places you have never been to before, and seeing places you have only seen in magazines. And, the pay you made at the regional will be back usually within a few years, and then it usually goes up for the rest of your career (barring any BK procedings, etc). It is a gamble, but can be worth it definitely.

Again, the risks could be furlough, weekend flying for a few years, and lower pay for a couple years. Getting on in the beginning of a wave can help mitigate those somewhat. Retirements over the next 5-10 years will move you up the ladder really quick too.


Bye Bye--General Lee
 
Last edited:

chqflyer

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Posts
536
Total Time
0.0001
Make the move and don't look back. The worst day at a major is better than the best day at any regional. You have over thirty years left to ride out the waves.
 

another cfii

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2002
Posts
540
Total Time
5000+
It's a tough one. During the last hiring at my airline couple years ago, we have all sorts of high time CA from regionals, and some from other majors that had a few years under their belts. We all traded our seniorities and gamble that in the long run it'll be worth it. To each it's own, i suppose. Majors were hiring all sorts of aviator with different background, and chances are you won't be the oldest guy in class if you get on a legacy in the next few years. (Our oldest newhire was in early 40's).

In no way I'm saying staying at a regional is a bad career move, but like most things in life, playing it safe may not maximize your return in the long run. Just think of it this way, would you rather risk it a little at age 30, or when you have your mid-life crisis at 40, and trying to make the same jump as you are right now?

I'm sure whatever you and your wife decide will be for the best of your family. Good luck! Let us know how you shake out when you retire!
 

pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
Total Time
14000
Hiring boom is coming in 2011, get on the front and see what happens, you will know if you made the right move in 5 maybe 10 years. Remember all the guys who went to their career jobs at NJ, ABX, DAL, AAL, etc. Seniority at your present job may have some nice side effects.
 

slapstick

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2002
Posts
173
Total Time
4500
Do it. Life is better and easier in so many ways. Worth the temporary pay cut.
 

bubbers44

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 4, 2005
Posts
468
Total Time
23000
I had a good job with a corporation flying as a Captain on a Jetstar making good money. I was 35 when I quit and went to work for a west coast small airline flying 737's for 700 per month. The fourth month I got furloughed for eight months then came back at the same pay for another 8 months. Everyone thought I was nuts but I wanted to fly large aircraft full of people, not 10 execs to business meetings and golf courses in San Juan etc.

It was the best choice I have made in my life. I retired as a captain flying wide bodies international at MIA 25 years later. Ended up with a good retirement and bought in the Keys when it was cheaper. Getting ready to get in the boat tied to my dock and go enjoy an afternoon at my favorite Tiki bar watching my favorite band. Six years after retirement I have not regretted my decision once, not even when I got furloughed. Do it.
 

Cardinal

Of The Kremlin
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
2,308
Total Time
K's
Make the move and don't look back. The worst day at a major is better than the best day at any regional. You have over thirty years left to ride out the waves.
Truth. On reserve at Frontier I had a better quality of life and made more money than as a top 2% lineholder at my regional.
 

Bad-Andy

waiting.......
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Posts
324
Total Time
11k
I had a good job with a corporation flying as a Captain on a Jetstar making good money. I was 35 when I quit and went to work for a west coast small airline flying 737's for 700 per month. The fourth month I got furloughed for eight months then came back at the same pay for another 8 months. Everyone thought I was nuts but I wanted to fly large aircraft full of people, not 10 execs to business meetings and golf courses in San Juan etc.

It was the best choice I have made in my life. I retired as a captain flying wide bodies international at MIA 25 years later. Ended up with a good retirement and bought in the Keys when it was cheaper. Getting ready to get in the boat tied to my dock and go enjoy an afternoon at my favorite Tiki bar watching my favorite band. Six years after retirement I have not regretted my decision once, not even when I got furloughed. Do it.
Amen...

One word of caution, though -- be careful making a decision based on being at the beginning of a hiring boom. I was hired at the beginning of a "major hiring boom" (due to the wave of impending retirements). Three days into ground school (yes, literally 3 days) age 65 passed and the "boom" ended. Now I'm furloughed, waiting out the old geezers to start to retire (or the two pilot groups to rip each other apart...). Hopefully then the "boom" will come. So, don't count on anything...

That said, knowing what I know now, I still would have taken the job, furlough and all. And, I hope to go back to the job at some point. (Seeing the family every 2-3 months is starting to suck...).
 

GogglesPisano

Pawn, in game of life
Joined
Oct 20, 2003
Posts
3,939
Total Time
enough
The worst day at a legacy beats the best day at a regional -- or an ACMI carrier for that matter.

I was a few years older than you and still made the move without a second thought.

The cruelest words you could say to yourself when you hit 65 is, "If only I had made the move."
 

pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
Total Time
14000
as opposed to

The cruelest words you could say to yourself when you hit 65 is, "If only I had made the move."
as opposed to the second cruelest words you could say to yourself when you hit 65 is, "If only I had not made that move"
 

instructordude

Playing with Fire
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Posts
975
Total Time
3800
Go with a legacy and you won't be disapointed. You'll have more options of planes to fly and places to fly to. Remember, you can't fly a 777/747 at the regional level or have Paris overnights. Go with a legacy and don't look back.
 

Full of LUV

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Posts
1,021
Total Time
5100
This is a Major forum.....

Go with a legacy and you won't be disapointed. You'll have more options of planes to fly and places to fly to. Remember, you can't fly a 777/747 at the regional level or have Paris overnights. Go with a legacy and don't look back.
This is the Major's forum, I think you'll have to post in the regional forum if you want advice from the Lifers...... They have made their decision and will justify it, Legacy pilots have made theirs, and although they bitch about everything, apparently don't regret the decision.
 

IBNAV8R

Stand-up Philosopher
Joined
Jul 3, 2008
Posts
843
Total Time
9:30
Depends on the regional. I talk to a LOT of my former colleagues. Most of these guys regret making the move - even after 15 years at the "legacy". I'm glad I stayed. Blame whomever or whatever you want but the fact remains that legacies aren't what they used to be - neither are regionals. If I do make the move, it will most likely be out of the airlines.

Age 31 leaves a lot of options and opportunities. Good luck.
 

sstearns2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
596
Total Time
9000
I am currently a 10 year Captain for a large regional. I just turned 31. My wife and I have been discussing options for the upcoming years. Is it worth leaving for a "legacy" ? What would you all do ? I am torn over staying or leaving
I think you're in a great place. I'm in a similar situation to yours. Relax, nothings going to happen for a couple years. Take a couple cheap Hawaii/Caribbean trips with your wife, keep you nose clean and be ready when the old guys finally start peeling off.

Cheers,
Scott
 

DrunkIrishman

Cocaine is a helluva drug
Joined
Nov 27, 2002
Posts
519
Total Time
2much
Why ask this question right now? Do you really need years to make this decision...cuz that's how long it will take for you to be able to act on it.

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Each individual has to make his or her own decision. The way that it works out after that is out of our control...no matter how much we pilots like to control things in our lives.
 

Sedona16

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Posts
564
Total Time
10,400
Depends on the regional. I talk to a LOT of my former colleagues. Most of these guys regret making the move - even after 15 years at the "legacy". I'm glad I stayed. Blame whomever or whatever you want but the fact remains that legacies aren't what they used to be - neither are regionals. If I do make the move, it will most likely be out of the airlines.

Age 31 leaves a lot of options and opportunities. Good luck.
A little word of advice....when you hear regional guys chatting among themselves saying things like "So I ran into Joe the other day, he says he misses what he had here....sounded regretful he made the move." Take this with a grain of salt.

Many guys who went to a Major are decent enough to not come back strutting it around, bragging about the reality of how much better working for a Major is. This would be being a Jack Ass. Heck many times I find myself, when asked from a friend who still works at a regional what the majors are like, saying "you guys got a good thing going there....your schedules and seniority....you are in a good position....who knows with the way things are going in a couple years I might be out of a job." I think you get the idea....its nice to not rub in the fact you moved on to greener pastures. So again these stories of guys regretting moving on get overblown and oft times are not 100% accurate. Food for thought.
 

STL717

CL-215 Lake James, NC
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Posts
251
Total Time
lots
If you can tell me what the economy will do for the next few years I can tell you what to do.

Congress is attempting to pass bills that will affect all of us and the airlines we work for. The healthcare and carbon tax bills will cost families and the economy dearly. I don’t expect much hiring until airlines determine the effect of new taxes congress is creating and how those taxes will affect the economy.

If the economy is headed for an extended recession or depression you need to stay where you are. Your seniority could protect you from being furloughed.

If we are recovering from the current recession and the economy will continue to recover than its time to get that better job. You will be the first of many hired during the economic expansion and when the next recession arrives years down the road you could have enough seniority to protect you from furlough.

If you are hired at the end of an economic expansion you are junior enough to be furloughed.

If you are hired at the beginning of an economic expansion you should have enough seniority to prevent you from being furloughed during the next recession.
 
Last edited:

texman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Posts
1,334
Total Time
69
I am currently a 10 year Captain for a large regional. I just turned 31. My wife and I have been discussing options for the upcoming years. Is it worth leaving for a "legacy" ? What would you all do ? I am torn over staying or leaving
Do it man, was in the same shoes, family good money, at 29 but working for a fractional. you will have 30 yrs.
 
Top