Standing out from the crowd

How do major airlines weed through thousands of applicants? I understand that it takes about 5-8 years at a regional to have a competitive amount of flight time and that the majors require a four-year degree. However, it seems like plenty of regional pilots meet these requirements and nothing would really stand out on their applications. What makes one application stand out over another other than flight time? In other words, when comparing various regional captain’s applications, who tends to wind up getting an interview with the majors?


Good question. There are many things you can do but probably the best is to build relationships in the industry. Aviation is an incredibly small community and everyone knows everyone. Be professional and affable and inevitably you’ll meet people who can help you in the future. On the flip side of that get a bad reputation and you can plan on being a Regional pilot for years. Solid education, union involvement, becoming part of the training dept are all also feathers in your cap.