What would you choose?

I haven’t started my flight training yet so I know this situation is way down the road, but I was just wondering what y’all would do in this situation. My dream is to fly for either United or Delta. After gaining the needed PIC hours at a regional, you would likely start applying to the bigger carriers. United/Delta/American are the most competitive passenger carriers, so your resume must look good to get an interview. If my ultimate goal is to fly for either United or Delta, but I got accepted by a smaller carrier like Alaska or Southwest, would you guys take the job or continue to gain PIC hours at a regional hoping to go straight to a legacy carrier?

I guess another side question is would remaining a captain at a regional, or FO at a major carrier like Southwest put me in a better situation to make it to my dream of United or Delta? I know you guys don’t deal with hiring, but I’m sure you still have good opinions.


First off I actually I do deal with hiring. Second I think you’re confused, it’s just as hard getting hired at SouthWest (some would argue harder) as it is United, Delta or American and Alaska is no cakewalk either. For many pilots SouthWest and Alaska are just as desirable as UA and Delta are to you and few pilots leave once they’re hired there. In fact I know quite a few pilots who passed on UA, Delta and AA to go to SWA. Regardless neither airline is a stepping stone.

Your question therefore is a situation that probably would never happen but if it did I’d take the Regional Capt over the SWA FO. I’d question why they were leaving SWA? Why they wasted SWA’s time and money? and I’d be suspicious they had a problem there.



IF SWA pays more than the Regionals? While ALL are welcome to post I suggest you do some research and gain some knowledge before offering advice.

And btw, SWA IS a Major airline.



I think the question os more like what if one was at a regional, but got hired at a mid-tier airline like JetBlue or Allegiant. In that case, I would recommend going to the mid tier. You will fly larger airplanes and gain better experience than at the regional. That being said, turbine PIC time is important, so it is probably a wash in the end. I personally would just never pass on an opportunity for advancement.



I have to side more with Adam on this one. Don’t waste a major airline’s time/money/resources while you wait for Delta or United to call. That’s frowned upon in the aviaiation industry. Recruiters and interview panels try their best to weed through those kinds of applicants to find the one’s that ACTUALLY want to be there.