Real Answers from Real Pilots

Skywest Partner Selection

As an individual pilot for Skywest do you fly exclusively for one specific partner (United, American etc.?) for the duration of your career? If so, how is it determined and do you have a say in the matter?



At most Regionals which Major you support is determined by your base and the equipment you fly. If you truly wanted to fly for one carrier I suppose you could chase that but in reality it doesn’t matter so why would you?


You don’t have any say in it. Skywest flies trips for United, American, Delta and Alaska. Depending on the base you fly out of and which plane you’re on, that will determine which airlines you do most of your trips for. For example, if you fly out of Chicago, you’ll fly trips for mostly United and some American but hardly any for Alaska.



I have know pilots that flew for Skywest and they tended to fly for one carrier most of the time, but sometimes filled in for other major carriers. Honestly though, it really does not matter as you will be operating under Skywest’s policies and procedures.


Alot of Chris’s in here haha.
I fly for SKW. It works mostly how other mentioned but I’ll go into alittle more detail.

I fly the CRJ out of ORD. Our CRJ partners at ORD are currently American, United & Delta. Because of that I have flight benefits for all 3, but NOT Alaska. My trips break down to about 80% United 200 flying, 18% American 700 flying, and 2% Delta 900 flying.

My Girlfriend flies the E175 for us out of ORD. Our ERJ partners at ORD are currently United & Delta. So she has benefits for United and Delta, but NOT American & Alaska.

I believe we are supposed to start flying American E175 out of ORD soon. If/When that happens my Girlfriend will get those benefits as well because she would be flying for them.

You can NOT bid to only fly for certain carriers, but every month you can bid for a different base, trips & aircraft type (200/700/900) and other ways that usually mean you fly for one carrier or another.

Depending on how Airlines are doing, how SKW is doing, and how senior You are determines your ability to actually get what you want.

Flying for 3 different carriers is 90% awesome, & 10% frustrating. It gives insight into how they each run their operations differently (for better or worse). Overall though, what partner I’m flying for is not that big of a deal. I’d put Credit (pay), QOL, Overnights, and many other things way before what partner I fly for.

Chris F


Very very helpful everybody, thanks for taking the time to respond.

I do like the idea of travel privileges across three different airlines @Cforero7!

Have a great weekend,



As an airline pilot, you yourself have the ability to travel for free on just about any US carrier through use of the cockpit jumpseat. Now this of course only applies to the pilot and not their family, but it is still a really nice tool to get around.


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Do you have to be in full uniform for the jumpseat (even if flying for personal leisure reasons)?



No, but you do need to dress appropriately. That usually means at least business casual. Collared shirt, no sneakers, shorts. Some also require you to be clean shaven if beards aren’t allowed at their airline (which has actually been one positive of this whole mask wearing requirement).