SkyWest Seniority Domiciles, Line vs Reserve

So I have a couple questions about seniority in general, and I’ve looked to see if my question has already been answered, but it doesn’t seem so.

Domicile Seniority
For the airlines I understand you don’t exactly have your choice of base when you’re new, but which bases are considered junior bases and which ones are considered senior ones? Is there a list somewhere that has the bases in order of seniority?

Line vs Reserve Pilot Seniority
Do you have to work as a reserve pilot for some time before you can work as a line pilot for SkyWest?
I would hope that once I’ve done my hours and completed the cadet program through FLT Academy I would have enough seniority to work a line - since I may not want to move to whichever city my domicile may be located.

My ideal would be SLC or BOI, but I understand those may be for more senior pilots?

Tanner,

  1. Airline Pilot Central lists DTW, MSP and ORD as SWs most junior bases. I don’t know of a full list anywhere but I’m certain if you ask a SkyWest recruiter they can help. Hannah who just left SW might also me able to shed some light on the various base seniorities.

  2. There’s no requirement to fly Reserve before you get a line it’s simply a matter of most people preferring a line so Reserve usually goes junior. Depending on movement within the airline (and the base) that could mean a line immediately or Reserve for months. Honestly it’s anybody’s guess and what is now might be very different when you get there.

What I do think need to be clarified is your statement “I would hope that once I’ve done my hours and completed the cadet program through FLT Academy I would have enough seniority to work a line”. If you read the SW Pathway information they’re clear the ONLY seniority you’ll build is “benefit” seniority (ie, pass travel) and then “seniority in your ground school class” and that is all. If you’re imagining you’re going to show up for newhire training and displace some pilot who’s been on the line out of their base because you’re in the Pathway program I’m afraid you’re in for some disappointment.

Adam

1 Like

Hey, Tanner-

I’m a pilot recruiter for SkyWest. As Adam stated, being a Cadet will start your “company seniority” for things like flight benefits, seniority in class, guaranteed pilot interview, workshops, an interview prep session etc, but you are not building “pilot seniority” which affects your seniority in base for trips, domicile transfers, days off etc… That will only come once you get a job offer and start training.

As for which bases are junior or senior, that’s a very fluid thing and can change from month to month - what is senior today may be junior tomorrow and vice versa. You best option is to check out the link below and look at the seniority tab. The dates listed on there are the dates the most JUNIOR person was hired. The closer the date is to today, the more junior the base is.

Good luck to you!

4 Likes

Tanner,

The link Scott posted above is the best reference you have to current base seniority at the time. One thing to mention, it changes based on the aircraft. If you’re thinking ERJ, the junior bases are sometimes different than for the CRJ. That may affect your choice in aircraft if location is more important to you.

Generally speaking, BOI has been a relatively junior base on the ERJ. Looks like SLC is as well. However, if you look on the CRJ fleet, SLC is pretty senior.

Hannah

2 Likes

Hannah, Scott and Adam - thank you very much for your help! Your responses thoroughly answered my questions.

I’ll be back with more questions soon! I’m excited to get started!

Tanner,

Glad to help! Keep us updated with your progress on getting a start date or if you have any other questions along the way!

Hannah

Hi, Scott. I am interested in SkyWest opportunities. Could you please contact me? I have a lot of questions.

jpthomsonc@gmail.com

Juan Pablo,

@scottman may or may not see this for a little while. He may be off flying or recruiting. Regardless, feel free to drop your questions here. If you post them, others can benefit that may have had the same questions or concerns. I used to fly for and recruit for Skywest as well. What’s on your mind?

Hannah

Thanks, @Hannah. Yes, it’s been a busy flying summer. I’ve actually moved on to another airline, but as Hannah mentioned, please ask away on here as there are many current and former SkyWest pilots who may have the answers, and new visitors who may benefit from the info.

Hannah,
I read through your Bio regarding your time at SkyWest…I was curious about how pay works during training - I’m assuming you’re paid some amount while training for the company but wasn’t sure how that works. Additionally, I know you were a SkyWest cadet and received Tuition Reimbursement (I know we previously talked about how it got wonky because of COVID and you flying for a different company) but I was curious if you recall what kind of terms there were for you to receive that Tuition Reimbursement - did you have to fly a specific number of years with them and do you recall how long that commitment was for? Also, I understand seniority determines basically everything, but I’m just unsure of how that works for base assignments…for instance, I live in Tucson, plan on doing my ATP training from the Tucson location, don’t really plan on moving, etc. - TUS is listed on the domiciles listing and has FO date of May of 23, does that mean it is Junior enough that a new pilot could be assigned there? Does it make a difference if say, no one in the training class wants to go to TUS or does seniority still come in to play? Also from above, I see that being a Cadet starts company seniority, does that relate to your pay?

I totally understand none of this matters until I get into ATP and get the certifications, I’m just trying to get a better understanding. I don’t want anyone thinking I’m trying to put cart before horse, I just have a year before I retire from the Air Force and can begin moving forward with my second career in aviation so trying to gain as much understanding as possible!

Thanks!
-Steve

Stephen,

I’m sure Hannah will chime in with the SkyWest particulars, I just wanted to grab this item because seniority is a difficult concept until you’re living it.

Many people wrongly believe if you’re junior you never get what you want and that’s simply not true. It only means you don’t get what you want IF everyone else wants it too. When I got hired at XJT years ago EWR was the most junior base. Thing was I was from NY and only lived 20min from EWR. Since no one wanted it I got it. Same goes for holidays. EVERYBODY wants Christmas off so only the most senior pilots get it. I’m Jewish so I never cared and getting Yom Kippur off has NEVER been a problem. I’m not that senior at my current airline but I’m a morning guy while most aren’t so getting the early trips is not a problem. I could go on but I think you get the idea.

With the 5/23 date it does seem TUS is a fairly jr base but keep in mind that’s now and things can and do change. Also keep in mind ATP will not guarantee you an instructor position at the location you trained at. Just something to keep in mind.

Adam

1 Like

Thanks Adam,
I appreciate the clarification on the Seniority thing - I kind of thought that might be the case but wasn’t 100% certain. Also tracking on who’s to say what Tucson will look like in a few years when I’ve built my hours but was curious regardless!
I’m tracking on not necessarily being able to CFI at the TUS location - if I’m unable to be a CFI there I’ll work at whatever ATP has available where I can until I’m able to get there or we will make other plans when the time comes - I am so far out from that right now it isn’t necessarily even an issue, just more looking into things. I don’t even know if I’ll continue to look into SkyWest at this point - that’s all a long ways off. Just keeping up on my research!
I appreciate your response!
Take care!
-Steve

1 Like