Hi, Good morning, or afternoon, depending on your area.

I am a high achiever, if I become a pilot, I want to aim for the majors, that seniority and the salary and the perks really excites me. Now, I am becoming a pilot because I love flying, but dont we all want the extra “goodies”, that come with doing what we love? If I start ATP school at the age of 21, in May 2021, what are the odds/chances I will land a job at the majors? Is getting selected at the majors inevitable, if you have been flying for years? If I become a pilot at age 25 and fly for 25 years, can I 100% expect a job at the majors by 50? Is being a captain at the major something that eventually comes or are there many qualified pilots that never make it even though they are very good at their job? Please clear my confusion. Thanks.


Flying for a Major is the pinnacle of our career and most if not all pilots aspire for a place there. While the pilot shortage has made the route somewhat easier the fact is no, there’s not 100% chance of anything in this industry. Further I know many excellent pilots who for one reason or another never got the call.

Your next question will probably be why? There are many answers, poor decisions (DUIs, arrests), being a bad employee or poor performer, checkride or training issues, accident or incident, bad at interviews, simply being a person that others don’t like or maybe just bad luck.

All you can do is be the best pilot you can, keep your nose clean, build good relationships and hope for the best. Also know that if you don’t you’ve still got a pretty good gig at a Regional.



No, you can never expect to have a 100% guaranteed job at the majors, nobody can. Being a captain at a major airline is the height of the profession, not everybody makes it to that point, although most try to. Now if you have an excellent record, a college education and tons of flying experience, you should have as good of a shot as anybody else does.