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Reasons For Choosing An Airline Career  
User currently offlineCOIAH99 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 251 posts, RR: 5
Posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 22091 times:

I often wondered what made people choose to be in this industry. With the ever changing environment and day to day struggles of airlines I question sometimes why anyone would want to?
I for one, will defend that this is the greatest job in the world. I have always loved airplanes and believe that this was my "calling." I only have been in the aviation field about 8 years and couldn't imagine doing anything else. What other job can you, if you want, hop on a plane tomorrow and go to London, Paris or anywhere in the world at the drop of a hat. Even though I haven't done a lot of traveling I know I will someday.
So what I'm asking here is what made you decide to get into the aviation field, why have you stuck it out for so long, and if something where to happen to your airline what would you do? Thanks, COIAH99

Work Hard Fly Right
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineSkymileman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 22017 times:

There are a number of reasons to choose this industry:
1.) Decent wages
2.) The opportunity to see the world
3.) A volitile but very friendly industry. Everyone has something in common.
4.) Every day is different. If you don't like looking at the same four walls daily.
5.) A pure love of flight.

Please excuse my spelling. I hope this helped.  Smile

User currently offlineCOIAH99 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 251 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 21976 times:

I'll give you some more reasons to choose this career.

1. No homework...When I'm done at work I'm done!
2. Flight benefits
3. Flexibility in working hours (daytrades, etc)
4. Great people to work for or with on a daily basis
5. To emphasize the number 1 reason...The work doesn't follow me home.
6. The satisfaction of getting flights ontime and the people where they want to go without any hassles.
7. The ever changing environment
8. Nothing is the same day in and day out.

Work Hard Fly Right
User currently offlineSkymileman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 21966 times:

I couldn't have put it better myself. It is just a great industry to be a part of. It is very unique.

User currently offlineFA4UA From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 812 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 21902 times:

The flight benefits!

The flexibility!

The fact that even though I work for a large and seemingly impersonal carrier with 80,000 employees, it still feels like everyone has some sort of bond.

The planes.

The smell of jet fuel.

The sound of a plane taking off.

The sound of reverse thrusters at landing.

The choreography of a plane taxiing to the gate and all the different staff changing everything out.

The logic involved to running an operation this large... just baffles me sometimes!

Just when you think you've seen how large my particular carrier is, it's even larger then you thought!

If you call in sick, the place won't shut down tomorrow... the beat moves on.

there is ALWAYS something to talk about! This biz is full of DRAMA!


The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 22859 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (12 years 4 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 21868 times:

Because you don't get this kind of view from your office in any other profession:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © TriplET
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © TriplET

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Javier Guerrero
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Anders Presterud

Which is why I am pursuing a career as a pilot.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineBobb From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 21756 times:

OK, some counterpoints for balance...

Nice pictures, but don't you get tired of lobsters if you had to eat it everyday? Sure I like the high-pay, relatively secured job of a union'ed pilot, but from what I hear, going to school on your own is kinda expensive. Doesn't airlines prefer pilots with military experience? (Correct if I am wrong). And the hemorrhoid ouch! I don't know how you guys can stand cooked up there in that small cabin for hours at a time...

Other than if you really like the smell of jet fuel and.....

I used to like airports, but after having worked in one for over a year, I can't stand them now.

If you are one of the ground crew:

Dealing with passenger's bags day-in-day-out wastes your brain and body away.

Constantly have to deal with dumb questions, and frankly dumb passengers (they are in the minority for sure). I love to help, but some passengers are genuinely helpless, they have to even ask you where the bathroom is (right behind you ma'dam!). I am not talking about the elderly, the very young, but adults, who looks normal enough, but just can't do anything by themselves. They go through a very busy airport impervious of the people around/behind him, taking his time, asking questions very slowly, and expects my full attention for a full interview while there is a long line behind him waiting for my assistance. OK if this is your first time flying in 20 years, do come in early, and come up to ask anything you want when I am not busy, not when I am trying to board 200 other passengers on time. grrrrhhhh.

Chance to see the world?

OK, I used to be a field tech, that let me travel to LOTS of destinations, on company's expense, I mean lodging, meal, and of course the air fare. Flying on airline's standby is too stressful. And Since airlines take attendance very strickly, you are stressed to come back home on time. Really, I don't want to see the world that way, rushed, stressed. If you want to see the world, sign up with the Peace Corp, or try the field tech thing.....

Granted, once you leave work, yer done, that's a REALLY good reason, unless you are the Customer Service Manager/Supervisor and stay up late wondering how to get through the non-cooperative TSA, how to get through the airport management to install a simple sign...

The flexibility... hmmmmmm.

When I had a salaried job, I go eat when I am hungry, I leave early if that's a slow day, and stay late if I am in the middle of something, 'cuz if I stop, then it takes longer to re-start tomorrow, very natural, and in my control. The freedom! This union'ed airline job... assigned meal time, assigned break time, and the boredom to have to stay around even when it's slow just kills me. I guess depends what other jobs/options you have.

Mechanics sound pretty good, but then you are candidate for outsourcing, just like what's happening with reservation people now.

Flight crew:

if you think dumb passengers on the terminal is bad, wait until you are cooked up with them inside a narrow can for 4 hours. Of course you will be away from home days at a time (out for parents with small kids), and work with different crewmates all the time (kinda hard learning your workmate's habits or striking friends).

Don't frame, just another point of view. Love to hear if I got things wrong.

User currently offlineCOIAH99 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 251 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (12 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 21745 times:

I think you made some really good points. I especially agree with the travel part of it. Yes it can get extremely stressful when your traveling. My last trip was a nightmare. (punched in to work 15min before I started! Right off the plane and right to work. Up over 24 hours.)
Since I don't belong to a union we do have that flexibility, but CO (field services) is one of the few that does not have union representation.
Even though I'm not on the ramp anymore, I miss the smell of jet fuel!!

Work Hard Fly Right
User currently offlineAv8rDAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 474 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (12 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 21713 times:

  • Great salaries (after decades of seniority building)

  • Lots of days off (after many days away from home)

  • Work for a world-renowned company (after instructing at your local FBO)

  • See the world and get paid well (after flying commuters between hubs and pin-pot towns to pay next month's rent)

  • Drive $40M jets (after flying C-172s)...

  • Above all, fly for the sake of flying. It's a tough and in many cases unforgiving industry, but still enjoying some of the simpler things from pushing four throttles to the firewall to pulling them back to full reverse probably make it all worth it for a lot of pilots, even in the face of furloughs, bankruptcies, TSA and passenger idiocy, and other things out of one's control. It would for me...

    [Edited 2004-01-25 07:45:28]

    [Edited 2004-01-25 07:46:06]

    Maintain thine airspeed, lest the Earth rise up and smite thee.
    User currently offlineCospn From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Oct 2001, 1928 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 9, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 21644 times:

    Travel...If you don't should look for another Job..By the way Feb is a great month to Non-rev so Hit the air and go some where new..Pay is OK GUM/SPN CO agents members of IBT...better than on our own in bad times...and Travel not many folks could swing Internantional BusinessFirst working at WalMart or get a week off from the Office to go somewhere..

    User currently offlineAirdude66 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 187 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 10, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 21626 times:



    Then there is the fact that this is the most customer friendly, stress free work environment.

    User currently offlineAcidradio From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1880 posts, RR: 10
    Reply 11, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 21568 times:

    - When most people go to work, they go to an office. When I go to work, my work takes up literally a whole city to itself. It occupies many square miles, has its own post office (with two ZIP codes!), fire dept., police dept., many phone prefixes, like a typical city.

    - I get to work with machines that cost more than lots of other people's houses together and more than the average person makes in a lifetime.

    - Have opportunities to see the world on a much more modest budget than most of the rest of the population, and with more flexibility. Sometimes even hitching a ride in F-class, and all I do is load airplanes.

    - Some people have to gaze at afar or find pictures of their favorite airplanes, I can walk up to them and look at them personall and take my own pictures.

    - The joys of getting people where they need to be, for the millions of reasons that they are going. The fact that we can make it work and do our part in saving the day for some of these people. We get the suits to their blockbuster multi-million dollar contract signings, the grandparents to the grandchildren for their first hello, the grandkids to the grandparents for their last goodbye, the people who somehow got the week off of military duty in a strange foreign land to go be in their sister's wedding (and make sure the bridesmaid's dress doesn't get crinkled by anything in the cargo bin), the people going to start a new life somewhere, the people coming back to their old life from somewhere else...

    - All those badges around my neck add character and muscle tone  Big grin

    Ich haben zwei Platzspielen und ein Microphone
    User currently offlineJaydavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 14
    Reply 12, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 21525 times:

    Because we are SICK !!

    ha ha, just kidding.........I've been in the travel/airline industry almost exclusively since 1979 and can't imagine doing anything differently. Each and every day is different and that to me, is the best part. I'd end up going "postal" and killing lots of people if I had to work on an assembly line or be in a boring job. My job is exciting (to me, at least) and rewarding. I get to meet so many interesting people of various backgrounds and cultures.

    Yes, also the flight benefits are great too, no doubt. I love to fly and would fly in a Cessna just for the thrill of flying. I still continue to think it is so cool to hop on a plane at DFW and in about 8 hours later, I am in a different part of the world.

    I am involved in passenger sales and it is a rewarding career to see how you can grow your territory through the years and build relationships. This is what is most important to me. Even though some of my closest friends are also my competition, when all is said and done at the end of the day, we are friends !!

    I have ALWAYS been in love with aviation and the airlines and will continue to do so until I am pushing up daisies..............


    User currently offlineZona8 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 128 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 13, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 21452 times:

    What are some possible entry level jobs at airlines for a college/grad school graduate. Not counting FA or Pilot

    User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 51
    Reply 14, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 21439 times:

    Ever think about the Navy???


    But then again, I'm a little biased.  Big thumbs up


    Crye me a river
    User currently offlineJaydavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 14
    Reply 15, posted (12 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 21379 times:

    As for entry level jobs, you could think about being a ramp agent or a provisioning agent with Southwest without any formal training needed. You could also work as a ticket agent, a reservations agent, but those might require some previous training, just not sure. The best bet would also to be working for a commuter carrier to start with, in my opinion, if possible. They don't pay much, but you get your training.


    User currently offlineJumpseat70 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 16, posted (12 years 4 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 21321 times:

    My fiance died in Viet Nam when I was 20. I left UCLA, not wanting to go on with life the way it was. The next thing I knew I was standing in a line at LAX Airport picking up an application for the job of TWA hostess. (the 747's had just been deployed and they were hiring big time, worldwide.) I had only flown once before on United as a passenger and that was from LAX to SEA to bury my beloved.

    TWA hired me. I loved every single moment of the twenty year experience. I have been based all over the world. Trained hostesses in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong. The demise of TWA was one of the most painful experiences of my life.

    I have been reborn at Delta. I too, love the smell of jet fuel in the morning and I love the knowledge that 35 years in the airline industry provides.

    In the end, I most love the camaraderie and social interaction that only airline people exhibit. I admire the ability of a crew to hang in there when a flight has been diverted. I also admire gate agents who stand for 12 hours rerouting passengers during ice storms as we did for the last two days in the Midwest.

    A better job description might be found, but I question if better people could.

    User currently offlineAloha717200 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4557 posts, RR: 14
    Reply 17, posted (12 years 4 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 21267 times:

    Excellent topic. I dont work in the airline industry but I've thought about it since I was a kid, and in recent years the passion for the idea of working in this industry has begun to die out for me. So I'm looking for reasons to press on and give it a try.

    Been watching Airline on A&E and the job of CSAs seems like hell on earth. When you have so many angry people every day how can you enjoy your job?

    I always wanted to be a pilot though, but as mentioned before, the problems with being away from your family (leading to divorce often sadly  Sad ), the long hours, the stress, and above all the standards, make it hard for one to believe that working in that career would be enjoyable or even attainable. I'm not a perfect person, i make mistakes. Not sure i could get away with that being a pilot. I'm not sure that I'm allowed to be myself as an airline employee, but rather transform into a much more tough and rigid person, someone "by the book" rather than just friendly.

    Or the simple answer is that I'm scared of failing if i were to try and so I'm not sure if I'm going to try at all. But a topic like this lends the view from people who've been there and done that.

    But didnt any of you have some very very serious doubts about the industry before you joined it? Felt like you wouldnt meet the standards or wouldn't be good enough, or that you'd have to change who you were to become a professional, be less personal...or feel like the stress of the job would do you in?

    An office job seems much more reachable.  Sad

    User currently offlineCOIAH99 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 251 posts, RR: 5
    Reply 18, posted (12 years 4 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 21233 times:

    Aloha717200...I personally did not have any doubts about doing this sort of work (career). When I got hired on at CO they were at the top. Meaning everything was going good. As were all the airlines at the time. Of course in the last few years things have changed. Even today you still have to be concerned of what might happen to your airline. The job security just isn't' there as it was a few years ago. If I had to decide now if I want to do this sort of thing I would definitely have second doubts. Don't get me wrong I still love my job and can't imagine doing anything else. With the flexibility of my job I really don't think I could do the 9-5. I have a schedule where I might have 4 or 5 days off in a row, kind of a mini vacation. That for me would be tough to give up. I just hope everyone in the airline industry can tough it out a little bit longer. If all the airlines can get through this year (04) I think we all will be all right. Thanks. IAHCO99

    Work Hard Fly Right
    User currently offlineBobb From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 246 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 19, posted (12 years 4 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 21189 times:


    if you had to compare this job to Walmart(!!!), well, then we know what kind of standard we got.


    If you are under 40, why not try it out, different people need different things. If you are over 40 and are looking for something stable (income wise), any union job maybe just the thing.


    GLAMOUR!??? - waitdaminute, OK, that was like 30 years ago with those very memorable PAM AM commercials, but just fly a few LCC and submit yourself to a few cattle calls and pay $29 and it all seem like an over-glorified bus trip to me. HEY YOU, give your blubbering toddler away from me!

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