Airline Recommendations

Real quick and straight to the point. My dad was a captain at Continental/United and retired at 65. I suppose this could help getting hired, and I am wondering if retired captains recommendations are valid? Or must they be pilots who are still actively on the line?


That will really depend on the people your father knows that are still employed at the airline and how well they connected they are.

There was a time when a recommendation really helped along, it doesn’t seem to help as much now.

As always though, I cannot speak for the hiring department, I can only share my thoughts and observations on the matter.


Appreciate the answer Chris.


As Chris said, it really depends on who your father knew and who’s still around to some extent. At my airline they’ll look at all recommendations but the ones with weight are those from other pilots you’ve actually flown with on the line and supervisors (Check and chief pilots). Chances are your dad is going to say nice things about you.



A general rule of thumb about letters of recommendation is that they should be written by people that aren’t your immediate family or close friends. Like the other mentors have said, that rule doesn’t apply if your Dad is close friends with someone who can pull some strings. If this is not the case, then a good letter of recommendation in this industry should come from people whom you’ve flown with, especially if they already fly for the airline you’re interviewing for.

In case it ever comes up and you have to write your own LOR someday. Google LOR templates. I’ve been asked to write several LOR for former students. The templates are very helpful.