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Why the Majors?

cletislj04

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What makes you guys want to fly for a major airline? What is it about it, big planes, big money? Why do you guys want to fly for a major, and not fly for other people? (corporate, frieght, etc.) Thanks

Tyler:rolleyes:
 

bigsky

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First I must admit there are some excellent corporate jobs that I surely wouldnt turn down! However on average pay rates , quality of life, equipment and priviledges like jumpseating and travel benefits are just hard to beat. As far as freight is concerned, unless you are working for a Major like UPS or Fedex you are probably flying beat up equipment, dont get paid a whole lot and just dont have the job security because most outfits do contracts that are renewable every year or two-- so one year life is good and the next is anyones guess. The smaller outfits tend to be very cut throat and every one is outbidding everyone else to the point no one is making money- Just my two cents-- Not that there is no life beyond a major as I love my job and go places that most never hear of.. But who wouldnt want the financial strength of UPS in their corner
 

Boz

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Well this is a question that can be answered many ways. The obvious answer is probably the money, quality of life, equipment, and retirement benefits just to get started.

I have had the good fortune of flying both military, corporate and the airlines. All I can say is that out of all the jobs I have had nothing comes close to the major airline job I have.
Any of you that know any major airline pilots can attest that the life simply can't be beat.

The control over your life is great. Off course it comes at a price, as the present day climate has shown us. Our most junior new hires at the majors are getting furloughed at an alarming rate. Something our industry has not seen to this extent before. But, I am certain that like all good things, this horrible period will be behind us in the comiung years. I will not want to speculate just when, but what I can tell you is that the life is absolutley amazing.

Lets starts with the equipment. It is only the majors that are interested in the newest and most technologically advanced wide body aircraft on the market. Unfortunately the biggest corporate types use a few 757, or the BBJ.

Second, the pay! Look at the recent contracts that have been signed. All pilots love to fly but when you get the top hourly pay based on your aircraft. Life is good, who would not want to make top dollar.

Third, the quality of life is unreal. Yeah you have to serve your time doing the reserve deal, but when you get senior the lines are yours to chose from, and with that goes some great flying. i.e LAX-SYD, ORD-LHR, etc....
Again, talk to your friends or if you have jumpseated on the majors just to see a schedule. You will most likely see some grins and some great flight schedules and stories.

Fourth, the retirement is great! just imagine making great pay after you hit age 60. It is awesome to see what some of the FAE (final avg. earnings) can net you. Take a look at the B funds of many of the majors, and you will see what I mean. This is something not all corparations will do for you. I am talking about pilots making $15-18 million over a 30 year career.

Anyway, the bottom line is that there are a great deal of good flying jobs to have. I know this life is not for everyone, as I have debated it between military, corporate and airline buddies. What you need to do is make your own dream list, and then go and seek the companies that offer what you are looking for.

Please keep in mind I am not knocking any type of flying but simply answering your question as to "Why the majors?" I hope I have given you some perspective on it, and hope that other major airlines pilots will respond as to what they love about this job.
 

F/O

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Fly Chicaga

While flying an airliner is fun, I'd personally take the view from 500 AGL or 1000 AGL or even 10,000 AGL over that from FL370 anyday...

There might even be some guys here who would agree with me...
 

AAsRedHeadedbro

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I agree with just about all of the above posts. I want retirement above all else. Second is job security (is there such a thing any more?). Third is pay. Fourth is quality schedules. As far as State of the art widebodies...yea...for bragging rights, I suppose. But that would wear off in a short while. Most of the new jets out there are pretty similar in what they are equiped with in terms of avionics and how they perform. There's not much of a difference between M.84 and M.78. I've got "all glass" and dual FMS's in my EMB 145 so I don't think I'll be all that impressed with the 777 if and when I get into it. That doesn't mean I won't like flying it, however.

As far as the view...I like FL 370 when the weather is bad. However, the view IS better at low altitude. ;)
 

banned username 2

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Boz said:
Lets starts with the equipment. It is only the majors that are interested in the newest and most technologically advanced wide body aircraft on the market. Unfortunately the biggest corporate types use a few 757, or the BBJ.

????

My Falcon 900EX has All Glass, Auto-Throttles, Triple FMS, Triple IRS, Dual GPS, HUD (Heads-Up Display), EGPWS, TCAS II, EICAS, Digital RTU's, Dual HF's, SAT-COM, SAT-AFIS, ... There is a VERY small percentage of airliners that have this kind of equipment (I haven't heard of any 777's with a HUD yet)... On top of all this I can fly from Chicago to Munich non-stop and only need 5,000 ft of runway to do it... we can cruise at speeds up to Mach 0.87 and go as high as FL510 (have yet to see an airliner above FL410...) All this and no waiting in lines for security, no taking off my shoes for a metal detector and no terrorists in the back plotting my demise.... and as far as security is concerned, I know all my passengers on a first name basis... no "unknowns" get on our aircraft.... ever...

And as far as pay, when I retire I will be making about $200,000/yr IN retirement PLUS have a lump sum somewhere around $7 Million... I think I can live pretty comfortably on that...

and the schedule... I work 4 days next month... and no I am not taking vacation... that leaves me 27 days off.... I still get full pay... I average 10-12 days of work per month with an average of 2-4 RON's... Which means a lot of sleeping in my own bed... and tucking my daughter in at night...

There are a lot of great airline jobs out there, but there are also a lot of great Corporate jobs out there... it just all depends on the type of job you want to do...

Fly Safe!
 
Last edited:

JetPilot500

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YEAH! What he said!
 

TWA Dude

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F/O said:
While flying an airliner is fun, I'd personally take the view from 500 AGL or 1000 AGL or even 10,000 AGL over that from FL370 anyday...

I agree whole-heartedly -- that's why I still fly light aircraft as often as I can. Someday I hope to be the proud owner of a Citabria or other purely fun airplane. I've flown with a lot of burnouts, guys who lost their love for flying years ago but still show up for work. The biggest difference between them and me is that they never had any interest in personal flying. To each his own, but I definitely enjoy clicking off the A/P and autothrottles and flight director and just flying the thing -- pitch + power = performance still works real good in an MD80.

If you're not having fun in your flying job then you're doing it wrong.

BTW, here's hoping for recalls soon -- not to mention no further furloughs.
 

CCDiscoB

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You guys forgot one of the most important things!!

Lets not forget about the food.
 

bigD

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My Falcon 900EX has All Glass, Auto-Throttles, Triple FMS, Triple IRS, Dual GPS, HUD (Heads-Up Display), EGPWS, TCAS II, EICAS, Digital RTU's, Dual HF's, SAT-COM, SAT-AFIS, ...

Hey Falcon Capt - do you need a copilot, man? I may be low on hours, but I can fly the hell out of a Duchess! :D
 

banned username 2

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Hehehe... I have about 500 hours in a Duchess... fun airplane....

Well if you have 5,000 TT / 2,500+ Multi / 1,500+ Turbine / 1,000+ Jet you might just qualify..... At least thats my companies minimums.... (They aren't my idea!)
 

bigD

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Heh heh! Knock a couple of zero's off those numbers and I'd be all set! Look for my resume in about 5 years! :p
 

DAL737FO

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Falcon Cpt,

I would love to know what flight department you work for. This is not being sarcastic at all either. It sounds like you have a great job and love it. (And that is what counts) I have flown military, fractional, part time corporate and airline. So far, up until furlough of course, the best job I had quality of life wise was the airline job. While flying for EJA we would augment some of the best/premier flight departments out there and I have never found one that has the retirement benefits that you just described. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are lucky but not the norm for corporate aviation. People ask if I would give up my seniority number for a job right now. I say yes and describe the job you just laid out but they are few and far between and usually you almost have to have the slot given to you in a will or something.

DAL737FO
 

bigD

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In response to the original thread - it's the planes, man. Not the money - gimme enough to support myself and a future family and I'm set. But I remember walking around Santa Monica airport with my parents when I was 5, and wanting to fly every d*mned plane on the ramp.

It's like a curse - if it goes by, I want some PIC in it. A 777 rolls by - I want to fly it. A Falcon - I want to fly it. An Ercoupe - I want to fly it. Doesn't matter how big it is, or how well it's equipped. I just can't watch a plane go by without wanting to spend some time at the controls. Lord knows I spent loads of time dreaming about flying the Connies while training at CMA!

If someone puts a 737 or Citation X on leaseback at my local FBO - I might rethink my career plans. But until then.... ;)
 

banned username 2

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DAL737FO said:
Falcon Cpt,

I would love to know what flight department you work for. This is not being sarcastic at all either. It sounds like you have a great job and love it. (And that is what counts) I have flown military, fractional, part time corporate and airline. So far, up until furlough of course, the best job I had quality of life wise was the airline job. While flying for EJA we would augment some of the best/premier flight departments out there and I have never found one that has the retirement benefits that you just described. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are lucky but not the norm for corporate aviation. People ask if I would give up my seniority number for a job right now. I say yes and describe the job you just laid out but they are few and far between and usually you almost have to have the slot given to you in a will or something.

DAL737FO

DAL737FO....

While I won't give out my employer online, I will tell you it is a Fortune 100 Company.... I was hired at 29 (I am 34 now), and have a Pension, Profit Sharing and 401k plan (which the company also contributes to quite nicely) My retirement numbers are projected out to 60, I can (as of now) work to 65 if I want, but I am elgible for retirement with full benefits at 52 (my pension will be smaller of course, but still pretty heafty).. I plan to stay until 60 which will dramatically bump up my Pension and FAE (Final Average Earnings) not to mention my 401k...

I plan to retire here, I will be very comfortable in retirement (financially)... There are a lot of good Corporate Jobs out there... but usually you only hear about the really crappy ones (bad news spreads faster than good news can ever hope to)

What I am trying to say is everyone stereo-types a Corporate Pilot as being married to his pager, making peanuts, flying junk equipment and having no life.... With some jobs, that is 100% accurate, with a lot of other jobs, it is the furthest thing from the truth...

I don't have the perfect job, I doubt anyone does... I have a job that suits me, my desires, my lifestyles and my career aspirations... I am having a blast doing it, and life has been pretty good the last 5 1/2 years... I can't complain, they don't beat me up too bad.... There are guys in the Corporate world making a lot more than I am... there are guys making less....

The key (in my mind) is finding the career route you want to take, getting on it and never wavering from it... if you jump back and forth you are always starting over at the bottom and are going nowhere, fast... I chose Corporate, and stuck to it... So far it has done well for me....

Just like not all airline jobs are the same (there are good and bad) not all Corporate Jobs are the same (there are good and bad here also).. The key is work for a large company that has the financial ability to do things right... stay away from the small operators and especially the Private Owners (TYPICALLY these jobs are the worst, but before someone flames me, there are exceptions, hense I said "TYPICALLY")

I merely posted to give a counter view of the gentleman who implied that only the airlines fly nice equipment, pay well and offer a good lifestyle... Which is not true... and before someone says "Yeah, but when times get tough, the Corporate Jet is the first thing to go" We laid off more than 45,000 employees in the last 18 months... the Flight Department has remained untouched... for our global business it is a necessary business tool... even more so after 9/11...

Fly Safe and Good Luck!
 

KingAirGuy

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F/O said:
Fly Chicaga

While flying an airliner is fun, I'd personally take the view from 500 AGL or 1000 AGL or even 10,000 AGL over that from FL370 anyday...

There might even be some guys here who would agree with me...

What ever happened to 25' AHO? Now there is a view!
 

PTinbound

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Above Highest Obstacle, dude.
Right on, King Air Guy.
Plus, never forget:
Confucious say "It is far better to work for a company that has money because of the airplanes than the other way around."

Think about it.
 

OakRBust

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25 feet AHO also applies directly to PTinbound


It is the amount of feet that PT has been floating

Above
Height
Of

the company we work for ever since he found out he made the pool for SWA!!!


OAK

It is a lot higher then he ever got in the HELO!!!!!
 
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