Time VS Money & ATP’s new program

My question is mostly from a time vs money angle. I may have some financial backing for part of my tuition that May atleast be an interest free loan situation.

The ATP program, for a few different reasons looks to be my best options.

The Airline Career Pilot Program is $91,995. They have now added an additional program called the Airline Direct Track that costs $169,995

The two programs combined turn the standard program/tract from about 24-25 months to start in the regionals to 16 months. Saving roughly 8-9 months total.

My question is to those of you who are now experiencing the realities of the seniority system, is there a cost benefit to paying the additional $170,000 to save 8-9 months, or would you suggest sticking with the Airline Pilot Program ONLY ($91,995)?


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Although some atp students do go from zero to 1500 in 20-22 months if your willing to put in the work.

Renting a plane and flying at night, or using a friends, whatever the case may be. I’ve talked to several different atp students that have finished in the 20 month range. It ain’t the normal, but it is possible without having to spend 170k for another program. Which will only get you a few more months of seniority.


Its your money to spend and I applaud ATP for creating a new opportunity for people who don’t want to flight instruct or simply are in a hurry.

That said I think paying that amount of money is insane to save a few months. Further there’s something called “paying your dues”. Many years ago, long before the pilot shortage when there was actually a pilot job shortage, there were places you could pay for hours. Those pilots were very much looked down upon by many in the industry and many had trouble getting hired after they built their time. Now the situation has changed and I’m certain the Regionals will grab you however you build your time. The problem will come from your peers. EVERYONE is well aware of the shortage and the fact that jobs are plentiful so why didn’t (couldn’t?) you get one? Bust too many checkrides or did people just not like you when your interview? Or maybe you’re just an impatient spoiled brat who bought themselves an airline job? (Not my words). Regardless, newhire training is tough enough without people putting you under the microscope.

Your call.


Very helpful Keaton. I really appreciate it. Thanks!

Great perspective Adam. As this would be my second career, I can appreciate the peer element and putting in your dues insight. Thanks!

It looks like it’s only offered at select locations as well, which I guess makes sense considering the resources they probably have to put into it. Steep price tag though!
Also if I am understanding this correctly, the price doesn’t include the ACPP since it’s an “add-on”, which means it’d cost you the 170k+the 92k?



This new program is very cool, further expediting getting to the airlines. In my mind, I see it similar to the 100 hr multi program. It’s a great option for certain people with specific goals. However it’s not necessary for everyone.

The price tag is a big pill to swallow. Most students come in with existing college loans, car loans, etc. The $92k is already a big financial risk. The redeeming part for most, it’s only 7 months of unemployment and then income starts to flow in again working as a CFI as well as tuition reimbursement programs. The principal is getting paid down and you’re no longer going backwards each week on living expenses. With this time building program, not only do you not have income flowing in, you’re paying by the hour instead of getting paid by the hour. Even with tuition reimbursement paying by the hour, you’ve added $169k to your loan, so it’s not necessarily working in the right direction yet.

Not everyone should be a CFI. If you’re one of those people, no worries. There are other ways to build quality time. The difference is simply paying for each hour vs getting paid for the hours.

If money is a non-issue, it could be a great way to cut the timeline down. The cross-country crew experience would be quality time building and a good step towards building CRM skills airlines like to see. If your financial status is average or even slightly above average, I don’t think the extra price tag is worth the few months. You can hustle and fly maximum hours and get close to that timeline while getting paid for each of those hours.



I have to look more in-depth at what the program is overall as others have mentioned, it is new and seems like a cool opportunity. Overall, what it comes down to is if you’re not worried about the money and want to cut down the timeline a few months, have at it. Again, I haven’t gotten too in-depth with this program to know the majority of it.

If money is concerning or you want to take more of the traditional route, becoming a CFI and not only building time, but being paid to fly is another option. Once you’re a CFI, you build your own schedule with the student load that you have, if you want weekends off - expect your timeline to building time to increase. I was someone that was constantly at the training center flying, building time and took me 13 months of instructing to reach 1,500 hours… in fact most airlines will take you at lesser hours because they can account for FFS time towards your ATP.

After looking at the map and knowing ATP’s foundation, the locations it is offered is Maintenance bases. I would assume with the crew experience; this would help serve good purpose for ATP to assist in reposition planes for maintenance and availability.