Bad Reviews at every ATP location?


I am trying to pick a location for flight school and ATP was, well still is reluctantly, one of my top choices for schooling. The problem I am having is all the bad reviews I keep reading all over google about every single ATP location across America. I am aware that people don’t typically get out of their way to give out good reviews but they certainly do so for bad ones. So I am certain that there are plenty of satisfied customers out there. However I can’t help but be reluctant after reading about all the people being kicked out of the program for vague reasons and with over $30.000 in loans, people being told they don’t have what it takes to become a pilot then they go to a different school and get their solo within days and finish their training soon after, people not getting their flight hours in, greedy and poorly managed company, horrible and rude managers at some locations, uninterested and lazy instructors that text during flights and don’t actually instruct, etc. etc. This is a cause for concern in my book yet I know if the company was not successful then it wouldn’t be so big, airlines wouldn’t want to partner with it. How can I wrap my head around all those reviews? Thank you


Head over to the “Student Experiences” section of this website. We started that section a few months ago as a way for students to talk about their experience with ATP. We do not edit or delete anything in that section. You will notice that the vast majority of people posting there have very positive experiences. The one or two that had problems found that their issues were quickly resolved once they brought it to management’s attention.

In my experience, I have found that the bulk of the people who are dissatisfied with ATP (or just about any other company) really lacked the determination and drive to be pilots and instead partied or slacked their way through flight school, only to later fail or quit the program. Now I am by no means saying that this is everybody, some people just do not have the natural ability to fly, much like I will never be a painter.

However, keep in mind that 90% of students that start from zero time, complete the program. This is a very high percentage when you consider that ATP has a rather liberal admissions policy as they want to give everybody the chance to fulfill their dreams and not just weed people out by some arbitrary test.

The internet can be a very negative place, for the flip side, check out our forum or even better, schedule a tour at an ATP location and talk to the students that are actively in the program.



I definitely agree with Chris. Before starting intoured 4 locations and found them all to be great. And like the mentors say all are built to offer the same experience. The training center managers are extremely helpful. The instructors are top notch. And even the management is really helpful and interested in your success when you cross paths with them. So if you can try to visit a couple locations and talk to some students while you’re there. I feel that will definitely help your mind outweigh all the negative responses you find online.

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As you state in your post, ALL the bad reviews are from people who were unsuccessful in the program. No one wants to hear they don’t have what it takes but the reality is that not everyone with $65k can or should be a pilot. ATP definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s a no-nonsense training program strictly for people that want to be airline pilots. If you notice you can’t just go to ATP and get your PPL. The fact is given enough time most people can get their license BUT if it takes you a year you will not be successful at the airlines.

The internet is a wonderful resource but it gives everyone a voice and the opportunity to give their opinion regardless how skewed or biased. As the others have said I encourage you to visit the Student Experience section or visit a location and talk to actual students yourself.



Hey man,

I was in your shoes about 3 months ago. Did a lot of looking around and reading reviews about ATP and different flight schools. I saw the same bad reviews you are seeing and was trying to figure out how the school was growing and doing so well despite this seemingly mass amount of people complaining and saying how bad ATP was.

Now maybe there are some differences in the different ATP locations, but I can tell you this for sure, if you are driven, not lazy, and are willing to devote your time and energy to the program, I do not see how you could not make it through. The people who struggle are the ones who do not study, take a long long time to get their written tests done, and are, quite frankly, lazy. I would say that majority of people who say that they were kicked out for “vague” reasons probably failed multiple checkrides and written tests and are just too ashamed to admit it. Now obviously there are probably some exceptions, but ATP wants you to do well and succeed. The instructors are professional and will normally gladly spend extra time with students who may be having difficulty. Another thing, the instructors do not like having their students fail checkrides because it makes it look like they are not doing a good job. So the instructors are very motivated to make sure that their students are doing well.

Based on what I’ve seen, ATP has a very, very small tolerance for their instructors doing stupid stuff. So just know that if there is a problem that comes to management’s attention, it is dealt with very swiftly.

I am currently working on the commercial multi part of the program, I started in June and have no complaints. I am at the Atlanta (FFC) location, all of our instructors are great, and our training center manager is always very professional and keeps a good eye on all of the Atlanta locations.




Thanks for sharing your insight on this, I am glad to hear that you are pleased with the program.


Hey just wanted to add my two cents. I did the same research and had the same concern. I can only speak for my location in Texas but I can tell you that if you are willing to put in the work then the negative reviews are just like you have been told mostly from people who are bitter or were lazy. If you ask for help studying or advice or just reach out at my location there are at least 5 VERY good instructors ready to answer any question and help. The catch is they arent going to come bug you while your sitting there studying and ask if you need help. You have to do self study its just how it is. There is alot of information to cover and everyone is at a different point so if you dont let your instructor know you are needing help or if you arent getting it and arent at the training center to study or ask for help then how can you expect the instructors to know and read your mind? From what I have experienced and read most of the negative comes from people who wanted hand holding and things done for them. Thats not the way it is in the airline industry. If your determined and self motivated then ATP will WITHOUT a doubt give you all you need to prepare and succeed in the program.


Thank you all for your input. It certainly makes me feel quite a bit better.

Aerogaurd flight training schools in AZ and CA has an accelerated flight training program for airline pilot as well, similar model to ATP (PPL through CFII ratings, instruct for the school to build your hours, guaranteed interview with SkyWest, tuition reimbursement and employment offer if accepted. This school works a lot with international students, and have some excellent senior flight instructors retired from airlines.

Good luck

Isn’t Aeroguard the former Transpac? Google search for “transpac ntsb” are pretty enlightening.


Thank you for sharing

I was looking for a flight school similar to ATP and this one looks so .

Thank you again

I do not know single pilot who has gone to Aeroguard. It bothers me that they do not put their prices on their website, but that is just me.

Why would I want a school “similar” to ATP that has modeled themselves after ATP when you can go to ATP?

Further EVERYBODY and their uncle has an agreement with SkyWest. It was ATP that established these relationships when no one did.


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SkyWest and Aeroguard are a little closer than you might imagine. Which is why the tuition reimbursement for their instructors is higher than at any other flight school. I had quite a bit of interaction with them when I did interviewing for SkyWest and was always very impressed by the quality of their CFIs. That being said, I know they mostly focus on international contracts. The SkyWest pathway they have set up for domestic is a good deal. I know details but am probably not enough up to date on all of it. I’d still chose ATP every time though.

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Cheeky!! (sorry I’ve worked with an Irishman for 6 years) but I enjoy people that can do a quick google search for counter points!!

It does seem like the Transpac days are behind them with the new owners after seeing some CFI reviews on Glassdoor but it does put the bug in the ear and something people should always be on the look out for.

Just to clarify - I do not know Aerogaurd in and out, this person can look into it as they were looking for international students, especially, they can research and compare the options. I believe Aerogaurd’s program is new, new management, it is a smaller school but updated fleet, growing rapidly (no surprise), Skywest partnership (ok, as everyone has, still a plus if you are looking for a formal airline partnership, which this person was), I cannot vouch for its curriculum quality, just wanted to put the name out there as I know Aerogaurd works especially with international students and offers help with visas (they have agreements with Chinese and Korean airlines to train pilots, and so extra support is available for international students). They have some ‘legit’ retired airline pilots on board as flight instructors, that’s as far as I know.

My younger brother will do his PPL there this spring, will learn more of its quality after he starts.

I spoke with Aeroguard when I was researching flight schools about a month ago. Their zero-to-hero is $87,500 and it’ll take ~10 months. CFIs there are paid a fixed salary regardless of hours flown but with benefits like health/vision etc. because they’re considered Aeroguard employees (W2 not 1099). Another “pros” they advertise is how you start accruing seniority with SkyWest from day one, before you even start learning your PPL, and are assigned a SkyWest pilot mentor throughout your training.

One of the most common concerns their CFIs cited online is the sheer amount of international students they teach (~5-600/year) and the sometimes very limited English proficiency of the students.


Aeroguard students might start accruing seniority for pass travel, but I am sure it is not pilot seniority, which is a very different thing.

I would point out that we provide three mentors (not just one) without having to pay a single dollar. :slight_smile:




So are you saying you believe that if you started, without your PPL, at Aeroguard today and I was actually hired at SkyWest next week you’d have a higher seniority than me? Trust me if that were the case SkyWest wouldn’t be able to hire any pilots.


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Adam, Chris,

It did seem too good/unrealistic to be true, and now I know there are different types of seniority that can be accrued (pass seniority vs. actual pilot seniority), so thank you for the insight!

I didn’t bother researching further because the price tag compared to ATP + the curriculum being brand new + comments I’ve gathered about the school online made it a no-brainer that I wasn’t going to go with them. The fact that I couldn’t see their price online until I called and set up an appointment with their admissions rep. also signaled general lack of transparency for me.

As you guys have mentioned, virtually every flight school has partnerships with regionals nowadays. As always, I appreciate your time commenting here.