Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flow through

I’ve read more than a couple posts now regarding flow through, and some of the negative aspects of it.

Can you explain the advantages and disadvantages of flow through agreements like Envoys. I see it as a nice securtity blanket, but I could be wrong. What does the process look like without flow through? What’s the difference between flow through and a tuition assistance agreement with ATP?

Thanks guys.
Rich

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Richard,

Tuition Reimbursement has nothing to do with Flow-thrus and visa versa. Tuition Reimbursement is available to FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS who will sign a conditional agreement of employment with a Regional airline while they’re still working as an Instructor. Flow-thru agreements are for REGIONAL AIRLINE pilots as a means of FLOWING-THROUGH to a Major. While this may sound like a wonderful short cut (and I wouldn’t not go to a Regional that had one) I just wouldn’t count on it. The idea is that a Major is required to take a certain percentage of their new pilots from the Regional with the flow-thru. First off there are no guarantees and flow-thrus can be cancelled at any time. You also have to keep in mind that the Regional in question is supporting the Major so if that Regional is already short on pilots and the Major starts taking the ones they have they’re actually making their own situation worse which they’re not going to do. Since that’s the case “based on staffing” they can lower the percentage and hire more pilots off the street. Often if there’s a flow-thru there may also be a flow-back. In that case if things get back the Major, rather than furloughing their own pilots can let them flow-back to the Regional and furlough the Regional guys first.

Without a flow-thru things get done they way they always have. You apply to a Major and based on your merits hopefully get an interview and get hired. The fact is most pilots move up to the Majors without a flow-thru.

Adam

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Thomas,

My understanding is that if you are part of the Envoy flow through, you do not need to interview again or have a college degree. Now for United it is different, pilots do interview again and do need degrees.

Chris

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Do you guys recommend flows through airlines if you have one in particular or. If your a person like me who doesn’t care which top 3 I get hired. You really shouldn’t have a problem getting an interview. If that makes sense

Melek,

You may have a problem getting an interview, you may not. Flow-thrus also have ALOT of fine print and there are plenty of guys at airlines with flow-thrus who are waiting to flow. Bottomline is relax and don’t worry about it. While it’s good to have a plan the airline that’s on top today may not be tomorrow, the flow-thru could cancel or a million other things could happen between now and the time that you’re ready (which you’re nowhere near). Study hard, do well in training and make the best decisions you can based on the most current information at the time, not something that may or may not happen years from now.

Adam

Thomas,

I have friends at American’s wholly owned regionals (all three) and have met one of American’s chief pilot. The flow throughs is definitely a way to get to AA without another interview (or a degree). Sounds cool and all, but consider this…

  1. Flows could freeze when the economy takes a hit.
  2. The current flow is at 6-8 years. Maybe longer, maybe not. All my friends are using the flow as a “Plan B” and not as a “Plan A”.
  3. You can also “flow back” instead of getting furloughed. This is great because you might not lose your job. Bad because you’ll get regional pay again.

At the end of the day, most guys use it as a backup plan. Like Adam said, I wouldn’t worry about it right now. The industry will be very different in a couple of years. Hope this helps a bit.

Yuran D.

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Thanks Adam, for the advice, that recalls from a pilot that I met, he spunt 16 years at a regional which was a flow through which was mesaba, then pinnacle, then endeavor. Must have been tough, but im pretty sure he is happy, flying for major airline. And your right im way too young to be predicting the future

All,
I spoke with an Envoy recruiter a couple months ago, and received some great information. One interesting bit that pertains to this thread is that being part of a flow through, at least at Envoy, does not preclude you from the ability to apply to AA the traditional route, nor does it affect your flow in any way. He did re-iterate that there is NO second interview with AA, although since Envoy is wholly owned they really are one in the same.
I highly recommend contacting the regional recruiting offices. everyone I have spoken with has been very kind, informative, and timely. Nothing but praises from me!
Rich

Rich,

Thanks for adding that info, much appreciated.

Chris

Thomas,

I’m not really sure what you’re asking but know this, ALL the Regionals are short on pilots and NONE of the Majors are going to cannibalize their own Regional partners. The key words in all your research is “MINIMUM”. There’s not a single reference (nor will you find one) to any guarantee of firm time frame. I literally had a lunch today with a friend who’s “stuck” at their Regional going on 10yrs. They’ve got a ton of PIC, a clean record, a degree and their airline has a “Pathway Program” in place. They actually interviewed and were offered a position at a different Major but don’t want to relocate and commute so they’re waiting. They’re certain they’ll get called but it will when the Major and Regional partner can afford to cut them loose and not a day sooner.

What I can also tell you Tomcat is all this is academic and only matters when you’re ready to make that move.

Adam

Definitely not. Most airlines (Regional or Major) will allow you to interview multiple times however there’s often a waiting period before you can reapply.

Adam

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