Captain Upgrades

What essentially happens when a FO upgrades to CA at major or regional airline.Do they have to take reserve or do they continue line flying sometimes on captain uniform but on the FO seat?
@Adam @Tory @Chris

Ammi,

Once you are a Captain, that is it, you only fly as a Captain. There was a time when Captains were occasionally asked to fly as FOs, but that seems to have been largely done away with with the latest round of contracts.

As for being a reserve or line holding Captain, that depends on if one upgrades at the first available opportunity, or waits until they have enough seniority to hold a line. I upgraded right away and sat reserve for two years before I held a line.

Chris

Ammi,

As Chris said if you basically have 2 choices, suck it up and be on Reserve or wait until you can hold a line before you upgrade but no you can’t upgrade, decide your schedule stinks and fly as an FO.

Adam

How long does it usually take to upgrade to Captain at a regional airline from first being hired as a first officer?

Imran,

That really depends on the amount of movement in the industry. When the shortage was in full swing pilots were upgrading in under a year. When things are slow I’ve seen it take 7. No way to tell.

Adam

So before the pandemic it would take about a year?

Depends on the airline, the base, the equipment but that was the minimum yes.

Adam

Ok thanks

Imran,

It took me about 2 years. I know some took 1.5. Now? TBD.

Tory

Thanks

Imran,

When I was at ExpressJet, upgrade time was about two years, but I remember that at American Eagle is was around eight years at the time. It really can vary significantly from one airline to another and with whatever the prevailing economic situation is.

Chris

:+1: