Quick question for you current airline pilots. How do the pay scales work as far as the years go? Say I become a regional airline pilot, after 3 years I upgrade to captain. Will I then be making year 1 captain pay, or year 3 captain pay?
99% of time all pay scales are by date of hire.
You will receive Year 3 Captain pay unless otherwise noted at your airline. I haven’t heard different at any of the airlines that I interviewed at.
The only time it would be different that I can think of is when an airline offers longevity match to experienced new-hires.
Basically if you have 2 years at OO airline you can be hired by PSA airline at their 2 year pay bracket. Seniority would still be by DOH though so you’ll be the plug for a long time.
This is pretty rare but a few regional airlines are offering it currently.
Think of it as your date of hire being the constant, and the seat or airplane the variable that determines the rate. So first year, second year, third year… pretty simple. Then any changes, either captain upgrade or airframe change you simply slide over to that scale at the same year of service.
Thanks y’all! One other thing I was curious about as it pertains to narrowbody vs widebody. Are there separate seniority for each or is it more senior pilots tend to go widebody over narrowbody? Also, is there really any difference to flying a NB vs a WB other than WB has longer trips? I’ve seen in other forums that some new hire classes are getting the option out of training to be in a WB so I was curious as to the differences.
There’s actually 2 types of seniority. There’s your “system” or airline seniority which never changes and is your actual seniority at the airline based on your date of hire. Then there’s your “relative” seniority which pertains to your seniority within your base and on the airplane you fly. As a rule WB planes are more senior because the pay is higher (this is the norm at virtually all airlines except UPS who pay strickly based on your seniority).
Take my airline Hawaiian. I’m currently a fairly senior 717 Capt. I could be a mid seniority 321 Capt or a very low seniority 330 Capt. I remain on the 717 because my quality of life is better on the 717 with my higher seniority which is more important to me than make more money. Others of course feel and therefore bid differently. I could even choose to down grade to FO and have even greater relative seniority but this is a good balance for me (plus I get to fly with my favorite Capt every day, ME! ). At other airlines with multiple bases that’s another component that factors in. Right now at Delta pilots are upgrading to Capt in a year but that’s only in their NY base because that base is so junior. In all these examples the relative seniority is simply based on pilots preferences. If most pilots all want the same thing, that thing becomes senior. Make sense?
As far as flying goes, no, there’s really no difference flying a WB vs a NB. The 757 and 767 are perfect examples of this. One is a WB, the other is a NB but they share the same type rating meaning you need no additional training to fly either and can swap between the 2.
Awesome and detailed response Adam! I appreciate it! You helped me understand that beautifully.