I was wondering what are some of the things that influenced your decisions in choosing which airline to apply for? I know the obvious things like starting pay, upgrade time, and location, but what are other factors that you considered before applying that maybe I haven’t thought of. I know serveral airlines offer mentorship programs now, I was wondering if anyone has any feedback about these options as well? I am about to start school with ATP and currently have my PPL but I want to be as proactive as possible.
I applied to all of the regionals, ExpressJet and Piedmont called me first. That being said, my primary focus would be on finding a healthy company that has reasonable times to upgrade to Captain as that will get you the all important turbine PIC time that the majors are looking for. Of course nobody has a crystal ball, but beginning your career at a healthy company is certainly a good starting point.
I would also look at their domiciles and see if they were places that I was interested in living. It seems like you have a pretty good handle on this.
Like you said location and pay are the first thing that comes to most pilots minds. Some also look at equipment and relationships (flow-thru’s) with the Major partners. I was very fortunate in that when I instructed at ATP (before all the ATP license rule changes) they had a very popular ATP written course and we had FOs very every Regional come in and take it. It gave me the opportunity to get a lot of info regarding the pros and cons of all the airlines. That made it much easier to cut my choices down. While it might not be as easy as far as access I encourage you to talk to pilots you meet at the airport or check out some of the forums. It’s really more than just high pay and location.
There is a lot more to choosing a regional than just those 3 parameters, but I personally wouldn’t worry about it too much at this point if I were you. As you progress towards 1500hrs, you will gather a lot of information about what to look for at a regional, and it will also make much more sense to you.
ATP partners up with a lot of the carrier’s recruitment departments and brings them in to the training centers for presentations and Q&As. That is were I gathered most of my info.
If you want to sniff around a little bit in the mean time, check out APC.com forums.
Great information, thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts. I’m sure I’ll have more questions along this journey.
Anytime, please come back and ask us any more questions that you think of.