Pros and cons with Mesa


I appreciate any feedback in advance. I know there has been similar posts about this in the past but with the ever changing industry I was hoping for some up to date information. I am in a similar situation of other posters in the past. I have a class date for Skywest in May and one in February for Mesa. Both have Houston bases which is where I live. I just have heard such a negative reputation about Mesa in the past that I am not sure how to proceed. I know seniority is everything but also do not want to get into a bad situation. I was just hoping for some input from somebody that may know a little better than me. I am extremely blessed to be in this situation where I have multiple offers but I just want to make the right choice. Thanks Again.



It’s always good to have choices. While it’s true Mesa had a bad reputation for many years, I’ve heard they’ve improved greatly over the past few years. The fact that so many Regionals have folded and they’re still going strong is a testament to that.

If it we me I’d visit Airline Pilot Central and go to their Mesa forum, read some threads and ask some questions (Mesa Airlines - Airline Pilot Central Forums). Keep in mind most pilots on forums LOVE to complain but it might be helpful to hear what they’re complaining about.

Whichever way you decide, congrats and good luck!


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Hi Joshua! Welcome back!

I haven’t heard anything negative about Mesa for at least 5 years now. I know that’s not very specific, but actually there’s something to be said about that. If things were/are bad at an airline word spreads quickly. We’d all know if something was going on.

I second Adam’s recommendation to ask Mesa pilots on APC. His disclaimer about APC being a place where pilots love to complain is spot on. Take whatever you read with a grain of salt, like you would for a Yelp or Amazon review.


I do not personally know someone at Mesa.

LTPs and most Regional Pilots still talk bad about Mesa.

I’ve stayed at the same hotels as some of their crews and they seem just like the rest of us. I know their straight pay is less than SKW but pre covid they were getting 300% trips so more than me. Plus they had bonuses.

Don’t quote me on exact details here, it’s from memory.
They had problems renewing their contract with American the other year and lost a dozen or so planes. Seemed like MX kept them from fulfilling their contract duties.
I believe many 700s they then leased to GoJet as 550s.
They do have 1 737 with DHL.
Had some other cargo contracts.
And some other unique contracts.

People knock their training record due to incidents like the Atlas pilot who crashed a 767 after failing training events @ Mesa and AW (I think). Not really Mesas’ fault IMO.

I look at Mesa and see a company that focuses heavily on diversification and lower bidding contracts as their niche. They survived Covid, which says a lot. It’s worked well for them and their pilots get hired at Majors.

It wasn’t one of my choices, but that was mostly because I wanted East Coast base or SkyWest. SkyWest had fastest class date.

Chris F


From my understanding, Mesa has really turned things around in the last several years and are much better than they used to be. I would encourage you to reach out to pilots at both Mesa and SkyWest and ask them about their experiences directly.


Hello Chris,

Thanks for the response. Can you give some insight to how many days a week you typically work at Skywest once you hold a line. Also do you have any opinions on CRJ vs ERJ?




I would say 17-19 days a month is the average line, usually 80-95hrs pay. You can fly more or less based on how you bid and what you can pickup/drop.
While JR, Expect to work more weekends than weekdays (unless you pick for weekday trips that don’t pay well). When I started I worked mostly 4day trips. At 2.5yrs, next month I work 2 3days and 10 locals.


  • I’d say Base is more important, living in base is huge for QOL and working efficiently (no unpaid commuting).
  • Seniority: CRJ is still more JR (usually better QOL, less reserve, & faster upgrade). My friend Jess on the ERJ started 1.5months before me. Her seniority is 65% on ERJ, mine is 33% on the CRJ in ORD. (Upgrade time is getting closer together between fleets).
  • Pay: The ERJ has longer flights &more efficient trips, so you get paid more per day. Usually means working less days per month.
  • Atmosphere: Generally speaking, the CRJ focuses on pilot skills and the ERJ on automation management. They’re different airplanes with different mindsets, both have their pros and cons.

Chris F

Thanks a lot to everybody that responded to my questions. I really appreciate the input.

Hey Christ thanks a lot! Also one more question, what do you mean by 10 locals? Sorry still not up with all the lingo. Thanks again.

All good. Locals mean one day trips just like a regular job. Most of these trips I start at 7 AM and I’m home by 5:30 PM. I picked ones that are pretty busy so a lot of legs but they pay 5 1/2 to 7 hours which is great.

Thanks! Great help

I recently completed training at Skywest on the CRJ and have friends currently going through training on the ERJ. I was asked my preference during the interview and my answer was “first available class date.” I was slightly joking but still very glad to be on the CRJ fleet. Every captain I talked to told me to initially take the CRJ not only because it’s more junior (faster seniority so better QOL) but also because it will make you in to a much better stick and rudder pilot. There’s still quite a bit of flying to do with not nearly as much automation than the ERJ. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely plane but you’re “more of a button pusher than a pilot”. Plus you have the rest of your career to advance to highly automated aircrafts.
Plus something else I wanted to add… the CRJ training curriculum just recently got revamped (just a few months ago) to reflect the same training footprint most majors use. The ERJ is still on the original training program but rumored to be changing in the future as well. Maybe by the time you’re hitting class it will be the new one. Just something to think about…


I would not get hung up at all on which airplane is better, they are both fine aircraft. At this point I have flown five different types of jets, they all have theirs pros and cons and at the end of the day, you are still getting paid to fly a jet, regardless of which one you are in.