ATP not accepting former students?

I finished my PPL at ATP in 2019, passed my check ride and written on the first attempt each and earlier than scheduled in the program. I left the program due to being offered a high paying national sales manager position in the industry I had left to start at ATP. But after covid everyone was let go, so I decided to re apply to ATP a couple years later. I did my first flight at 14 and always loved flying but got roped into the business career path. Now trying to return and finish my ratings ATP said they aren’t accepting former students and couldn’t provide a reason. I never had any disciplinary action from ATP, didn’t fail any part of the program so it doesn’t make much sense. Has anyone else encountered this?


This is a question for admin as these are commercial decisions made by mgmt. While Im not certain, I can of course speculate.

While you may have been a fine student, ATP doesn’t offer a stand alone PPL course. When you enrolled in the program ATP allocated resources (instructors, DPEs, aircraft, etc) for the entire program. While many people walk away from high paying careers and businesses to pursue their dreams, you did the opposite and only decided to return when things got really good on the pilot side. That of course can change and to use a very old saying “once bitten twice shy” ATP may very well be concerned you’ll cut and run again.

This industry is experiencing a boom like we’ve never seen but you made the decision to walk away. Your choice to make but I can understand while ATP would place you at the back of line and let others get their shot.



Thank you for the reply, Adam, you’re very right in a lot of ways. However, these student loans add up quick, I completely paid off my PPL loan balance in March and it costed an extra 14K in interest on just 1/4 of the program cost. At the time the regionals were only paying in the 30s hourly, when doing the math back then on the total cost of the program I had no idea how I was going to be able to afford that loan payment with regional pay and live. ATP shouldn’t fault someone for doing what’s best for them financially for one, secondly when parting ways everyone at ATP said if you ever want to come back, you’re more than welcome and wished me well. Then when I try to go back that’s not the case. So, it doesn’t really compute to me why accepting new students who could potentially struggle over one that performed well. That’s like taking a rookie quarterback in the draft over signing one that’s proven they can win. Either way I’m going to complete my flight training, unless ATP changes their policy it just won’t be there unfortunately. I’ve already scheduled an October start date elsewhere, but I did love my time at ATP-FXE location. I wish they changed that policy.

Nor should somebody fault ATP for doing what is best for them. ATP has record enrollment, they need to focus their resources on people that will actually complete their training.


You must have missed the part where I said “either way I’m going to finish”. Thank you for the motivation though.


We wish you the best of luck completing the rest of your training. The ATP program trains future airline pilots and expects students full commitment. Instructors, managers and DPE’s all show up every day to get the student though the program on time and on budget.

If you decide the program isn’t for you, ATP will let you step away and even reimburse the money you didn’t use in flight time. However, it’s not a revolving door to come and go as you please. It would be the same as dropping out of your regional airline ground school. I guarantee you that airline won’t invite you back.

Honoring your commitments is a good character attribute but also something airlines want to see in the professional aviators they hire.


I recently reached out to them and got the same response. They are getting the continued influx of fresh students so they are not in a position to accept people that withdrew. I had just completed my cross country phase but had things change in my personal life. There are several other similar programs out there or a local place to complete your ratings. Like Adam said they are going to look out for ATPs best interest. I was slightly disappointed but understood. Time to pivot and continue to attain your goal.

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