Retirement Benefits for Travel and DMV (after age 65)

Hello. I’m new to this forum, and had just a few questions. I’ve read many of the “am I too old to be a pilot” forums with many great questions and responses–thanks for your responses.

I am 42 and have a Double M.S. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, and am not thinking of a career change to becoming a pilot because of the money (especially since I know there is great variation in salary depending on one’s career path). My dream as a child was to be an astronaut, and although statistically possible, the chances of it happening were quite slim. I always thought if I couldn’t be an astronaut, being a pilot would be an extremely close runner up (no disrespect as I know being a pilot is most individuals on this forum’s 1st dream–just saying for me, it was a very close tie :slight_smile:).

My question, as I get ready to enter the ATP Career Pilot Program, is seeking information in order to take several factors into consideration. I know that I will definitely take a major initial hit on salary, which my wife and I are prepared to do, but I’m also trying to take into considersation some of benefits, and perks after retirement.

Assuming I am lucky/blessed enough to make it to the the “majors”, does anyone know how many years a pilot must fly in order to receive Dental, Medical, Vision (DMV), AND travel perks after the retirement age of 65? Again, I’m 42 (almost 43) so by the time I complete the ATP training with 1,500 hours, I would be a little over 45, so would have a bit under 20 years left before the mandatory retirement age. Also if I’m flying for 3-4 years with a Regional Airline, and am, again, lucky enough to get to the majors, I’d only have potentially 15-16 years of flying with the majors before having to retire–is this enough time to receive post-retirement benefits (DMV), and post-retirement flying perks for my wife and me (as we enter our “golden years”)?

Again, I hope my question was clear and non-offensive–I truly wouldn’t be considering a career change to a pilot if I didn’t KNOW it was an amazing career choice, and I was 100% passionate about being a pilot.

Any and all insight, is greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.


First off that 3-4yrs Regional to Major is a little optimistic, I’d plan on 5-7. That aside the answer to your question varies with by airline and their contracts. I’m with Hawaiian and we get travel for life but our medical after retirement is in the form of a “fund” which will hopefully be sufficient to allow us to cover the cost of purchasing health insurance for the balance of our lives. I believe other Majors provide actual coverage and some actually provide none. Short answer is if that’s something that’s important to you you’ll need to see which Majors have the best after retirement benefits and look to get hired there.



At my airline, I do not believe that retirees receive any sort of benefits other than travel benefits.