Firstly, thank you for the invitation to this forum. I have found many of the topics here to be super informative. My name is Robbie, and I recently became a Flight Attendant with Spirit Airlines. At the age of 30, I made the decision to pursue a career in aviation after years of wondering what life in the skies might be like. I am proud to announce that working as a Flight Attendant has made the last couple of months some of the most exciting in my life.
However, as thrilling as this job is, I can’t help but think about the possibility of becoming a pilot, which has led me here. Every time the flight deck door is open, I cannot stop geeking out. Additionally, during our training, the class that explained how an airplane actually flies was my favorite part of the entire curriculum.
Now, I have a few questions:
1.) Is it possible to remain a Flight Attendant and complete commercial pilot training simultaneously, and would that even be worth it?
2.) Does my seniority as a Flight Attendant carry over if I were to be hired at Spirit?
3.) Does Spirit even consider my experience as a Flight Attendant, and would that give me an advantage in getting hired with them?
I believe this is a good place to start the conversation.
Thanks in advance,
Welcome to the forum. Thank you for the introduction, it helps us to answer your questions.
Yes, you could remain a FA and complete your training, but you would have to train very much part time. This will result in your flight training taking many years longer than it otherwise should, which will cost you significantly more for the flight training itself, plus a huge loss in future potential earnings by not getting into the airlines as soon as possible. Furthermore, there really is no pointing remaining an FA if your goal is to become a pilot. Spirit will undoubtedly appreciate your former service, but at the end of the day, they are looking to hire pilots to fly their airplanes, not FAs.
Your seniority MIGHT carry over for pass travel, but that would be it. Your seniority as a pilot, in regards to bidding, starts the day you are hired as a pilot.
I am sure Spirit will appreciate your time as an FA, but again, by the time they are looking to hire you as a pilot, they will be looking at your qualifications as such.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I was just about arrived at the same conclusion. Ultimately, I think my next move should be to book a discovery flight. From there I’ll be able to determine if that path is one I should take. It should also help me determine at what pace I want to get it done. I have been considering getting a PPL on my own time while working as a FA, and then going from there.
Would you happen to know where should I go to look for scholarships? I’ve been searching and have turned up some results but I want to make sure I’m not missing anything.
There really aren’t any scholarships (in the traditional sense) for flying. The reason is the airlines are reluctant to invest money in a person until they know whether or not they have the ability to fly. While flying isn’t rocket science or brain surgery, it does require a certain level of intelligence and coordination not every has.
What you’ll find is there are many Regionals that will offer you Tuition Reimbursement and bonuses AFTER you’ve completed your training.
Some airlines have programs allowing a leave status for flight attendants to complete flight training and time building with an agreement to return to the airline when reaching the required flight time. This allows you to maintain your benefits and seniority number while completing training. You’ll have to do a little research there to see if Spirit has such a program.