Let’s get to your questions, then I have a few thoughts on this.
ATP gets you about 250 hours and the licenses to earn the rest via flight instructing (guaranteed position with ATP) or various other forms of flying. To my knowledge there is not a program out there that has 1,500 hours of flight time as that would cost several hundred thousand dollars. Every program around involves flight instructing or some other form of flying to build flight time towards the 1,500 hours.
I would strongly disagree with this. ATP was founded by airline pilots and is still run by them. The flight school trains pilots just like the airlines do and is very efficient in doing so. There is not a lot of hand holding at ATP, but there isn’t at the airlines either. You will be expected to study hard, know the material and have a good work ethic. To succeed in a highly condensed program like ATP’s you really have to be willing to work hard. As for the instructors, there are always some bad apples in any bunch, but the company tries very hard to eliminate them as soon as any issues arise. I have found that the vast majority of the instructors I have spoken with are incredibly concerned with their student’s success and really want to do a good job, I know that I certainly did.
There are literally hundreds of flight schools in the US. I recommend printing out this list: https://airlinepilot.life/t/questions-for-any-prospective-flight-school/ and asking those questions to any school that you talk to.
I would strongly encourage you to check out the “Student Experiences” section of this website. We do not edit that section at all and while the vast majority of the posts are compliments, there are a few complaints there. I would ask you to read further though and see how by bringing a complaint to my attention, I was able to engage ATP management and have it resolved very quickly, every time. So many people simply complain and never bring the issue to management, when that is exactly what they should be doing.
I also find that the vast majority of complaints from people online are from those who did not work hard and then of course did poorly in the program. It is so easy to go complain on the internet, it is a lot harder to look inside and see what really happened. Hopefully some current students will chime in on this thread.