Flight attendant turned pilot

Hi! So I’ve been a southwest flight attendant for 7 years now. Love flying, love the industry, would REALLY love to get paid 4X more for working the same amount of hours :slight_smile:

Weighing all the options and ATP is looking like the best path but I have a couple questions,…

  1. 0-CF1 in 6 months seems super fast, which is great, but is there any cushion built in to that timeframe for weather? I’m sure in some cities that’s not an issue but I live in Denver…

  2. The guaranteed CF1 position… I’m hoping there’s no fine print that says something like “if there is an open position” Is that ever an issue?

  3. With the financing, you start paying it back 6mo after. Generally, how much is the minimum they asking you to pay back monthly?

  4. Any pilots here that are moms with young kids? Tell me how you deal. Is there a mommy pilots support group because that would be fantastic.

I appreciate any and all insight you have to offer.


Hi Laura,

I know plenty of FAs who have made the move to the front office and they all are glad they did. You’ve got some good questions so let’s dive right in.

  1. 6 months is fast but guess what? Pilots fly in all kinds of weather and yes you will be done within the alloted time barring any major winter events. Personally I’d consider doing my training in a warmer climate but your call.

  2. There is actually a small amount of fine print and it says a) ATP will try and get you to your choice of location but there are no guarantees on that so you may have to instruct at an open location until your’s is available and b) of you’re a poor student (ie, multiple failed checkrides or poor attendence) you will not be offered a position.

  3. Payments begin when you’re done training but can be deferred. Beyond that you really need to talk to the finance folks at ATP.

  4. I don’t think we have any pilots on here with small children but I do know many pilots who do. I will tell you most had there kids after they were done training since you’ll be an absentee mom for up to 2 yrs. I’m sure there are some forums out there that may focus on that. I’d do some Googling.

Hope that helps some?


Just to add while I was looking at loan options, starting with my private, so a $60k loan, deffered for 6 months was then $600 monthly payments, but when talking with ATP and looking at the tuition reimbursemnt and pay and all the other incentives it appears to be totally doable.
Keep in mind your interest rate and loan amount may be different but that is just a ballpark :stuck_out_tongue: