Advice for moving to a new carrier

I’m drawing close to 1500 hours and am weighing offers from the regionals. Had to survive two layoffs during the pandemic, feels good to have a light at the end of the hour building tunnel.

Thinking back to when you’ve moved on to a new carrier, do you guys have any advice on best practices for leaving your current job? We’ve had a few abrupt departures recently from my carrier that have rubbed people the wrong way… scheduling issues, unfinished items from workgroups they were in, stuff like that.

I’d just as soon leave on good terms with management and my coworkers and minimize any operational disruptions. Any suggestions on things you’ve done or seen?

Thanks guys. Be nice to me if one of you ends up being my instructor or IOE captain. I’ll bring you coffee…


First off I’m not nice to anyone I fly with as a Capt is a “mighty and terrible thing” :wink:

You should always leave any job (aviation or otherwise) on the right foot. But the airline industry is actually pretty small and a bad reputation can follow you. Doing that is actually fairly simple. You need to give your boss (chief pilot) at least 2 weeks notice. Be appreciative and thankful for the opportunity given and maintain your level of professionalism till your last minute on the job. You don’t call in sick, leave them high and dry or do anything else that makes you look irresponsible or unprofessional. Again it’s really pretty easy.


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If you can leave your current employer as gracefully as you entered, that’s the goal. Make sure you give 100% effort to your role all the way until your very last day. Make sure to tie up any loose ends with HR, communicate clearly when your last day will be and see if there is anything you can do to help ease the transition of your role to someone else behind you. Showing gratitude for your time there in the form of a thank you card to your boss or direct management on your last day is always a good way to go…like Adam said, the aviation community is small. You never know when you may need to call on old references. Best to leave your best impression every way you go.

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Welcome back, TX! It’s been a while!

I totally get how you feel about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a good feeling.

What specifically has you so concerned about leaving your current employer?

As the others have said, as long as you communicate with your employer there really shouldn’t be much more for you to do besides maybe transitioning your students over to their new instructor. Even then, there’s many ways that that could be done: email, phone call, text, zoom or face-to-face. Transitioning a student is all about briefing the next instructor on where you left off, but actually if you think about it the student’s logbook would tell the next instructor exactly where the student is.

If you wanted to go above and beyond to make sure that there is no doubt in anyone’s mind about what terms you are leaving your employer on then a personalized thank you card or gift is a safe option.


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Thanks everyone for the suggestions, I appreciate it.

@Tory, to answer your question, no real concerns leaving my current carrier, they’ve been great. I ask because we had another pilot leave a few weeks ago in a way that rubbed the rest of us the wrong way – they banged in sick an hour before their next shift started, and just decided to walk away that day, leaving a lot of us to pick up the slack. That one was an obvious bad move, but it got me thinking about whether there were any particular moves one could make that would make the transition go more easily (or worse).

Good advice here, thanks again everyone.