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Regional Airlines Versus Airlines(better To Work 4  
User currently offlineJETBLUEATASW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4676 times:

I was recently told that most airlines prefer a bachelor of science in order to qualify for employment for position of First officer. Now i havent been to college, and im not really great in math. I plan to begin flight training in April or May in Long island. I didnt plan on attending college either, so does that mean i will have to stay in a regional airline? Or can I go into Delta without a Degree. A fellow Airliner.net forum poster mentioned a good regional airline is Comair, which is a smaller part of Delta. I would like to start out with them and possibly move on into Delta themselves.

Question, what are some benefits Pilots get? I believe Comair pilots get travel priviledges on Delta, but does Delta make them pay a small service charge like American and American Eagle does?

Question 2. I have seen Comair go straight from LGA or JFK to places like MCO or ATL. Would a pilot assigned to a NY Domicile get to go that far or probably not?

Question 3, If i did have to stay in a regional due to the fact Delta wouldnt hire me due to lack of degree, is it possible to live off of Regional airline captain pay? of course after many years of being a first officer..... I know American Eagle pays the least, but its been said that their captains can reach salaries of over 100,000 after several years. Can I do that if i stayed with Comair?

Thank you in advance again for your help.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineStillageek From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4613 times:

American Eagle does NOT pay the least. Check airlinepilotcentral.com they have a pay scales and an easy slide tool to see just how much you can make. I have never heard of airlines caring about BS or BA. I have a BA and hope to join American Eagle this fall when I meet the mins. I would get a degree before going to the airlines though, not just to go to a major, but also what will happen WHEN (not if) you get furloughed?

User currently offlineDoug_Or From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4585 times:

Having a degree will certainly make things easier, particularly for more competitive (i.e. mainline jobs). If you can get a job without one, go for it, there are plenty of ways to get a degree through part time courses and remote learning once you are at a regional.

Almost all airline pilots are able to jumpseat on domestic carriers for free. All airlines have some sort of travel privledges, though they vary greatly (Eagle sucks in this regard, while Piedmont and PSA offer excellent travel bennies to you and your family).

If Delta is your goal there is no particular reason to get there from Comair. I don't know how great of a place to work Comair is anymore. Upgrades are slow, and after their recent concessions, pay is not great. If you want to live in NYC, it might not be bad place to work, but you should also consider other airlines with domiciles there (Eagle, Chautaugua, Piedmont).

I know plenty of people who plan to retire from the regionals. Some of them got into it too late to make the transition to the majors and get established there. Others enjoy living in their outstation domicile where no major airlines base pilots. I know that Comair captains could top out well over 100k under the old contract but not sure with the new one (if not it would be close). 80K in 2007 dollars should be easily achievable at any half decent regional.

User currently offlineHigherflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4525 times:

I would work on getting your degree. In general, the regionals aren't going to require a degree to be hired. The majors/legacies/LCC's on the other hand, have their pick of pilots out there today and can (and often do) use it as a screening tool. That is not to say that you won't be able to get a job at the majors without one, but the companies may decide that they won't look at you without one.

You should be able to have a reasonable lifestyle as a captain at most of the regionals but understand that end of the market doesn't lend itself well to a long stable career. There are forces at play pitting one against the other in the pursuit of new and continued business and the 'players' of today may be the Comair's of tomorrow (not a swipe against Comair-- a statement of management's using the BK process to force concessions and at the same time watch the flying being peeled away). Today, Skywest is doing well, Republic Airways Holdings (RP, S5 and RW) is doing well, and Mesa is doing well and adding business and growing. Tomorrow, that could change. Look at Atlantic Coast 5 years ago. WHere are they today? Look at Air Whiskey 5 years ago. Totally different bases (do you want to move?) and new partner.

I am not saying the majors are stable-- look at the turmoil and tumult over the last 5 years. The difference is that the majors control their own flying and aren't forced to bid for their partners flying every few years.

Your questions about Comair:

1. Travel benefits: you will get them on Delta. They are pretty good.

2. Yes, you would be able to fly pretty much any of the routes through their route network.

3. See above. Get the degree-- it doesn't necessarily matter in what. Just get it and don't let them use your not having one as a screening criteria.

Good Luck!

User currently offlineDoug_Or From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4503 times:

Quoting Higherflyer (Reply 3):
Mesa is doing well and adding business and growing

Where? Not doubting you, just didn't know they were adding any flying.

User currently offlineFutureFO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4466 times:

But they are one of the worst companies to work for as is Trans States and GoJets. And latetly ASA is getting that way as well. But a college degree is not required.

User currently offlineDrewwright From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4430 times:

Delta does require a four year degree, as do most of the majors. If you know someone there, though, that can get you around it. Working for Comair will not help you get in at Delta, by the way. It doesn't seem to matter where you work or what kind of experience you have anymore...at the majors, it is all about who you know. Just ask the guys that got hired at United with 300 hours in the late 90s.

As far as college goes, lots of younger guys are getting into the regionals out of high school and doing their degrees online. Why not go to a university such as Purdue or UND and get your flight training as well as a degree?

Whatever the case, I have a feeling a hiring boom is just around the corner so get started on your training and get while the getting is good. You may not even have to instruct (though I highly recommend that!).
Pretty much all regionals suck so just go to the one that hires you first, get your time, then move on.

User currently offlineCOERJ145 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4400 times:

Horizon Air pays the best of any regional. I'd recommend Pinnacle, Express Jet, Air Wisconson or Republic in terms of pay. Whatever you do, don't go with Mesa, Great Lakes, (and as mentioned), GoJet and Trans States. However, as mentioned, get a degree at a college like Embry-Riddle or University of North Dakota.

User currently offlineDoug_Or From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4380 times:

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 7):
get a degree at a college like Embry-Riddle or University of North Dakota.


User currently offlineNoBoeingNoGoin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4300 times:

Why would would someone want to get a degree from Embry-Riddle or the U of ND?
Aviation degrees are pretty much worthless when the aviation industry is in turmoil.

Get a degree in whatever you like, just in case you lose your airline job.

All express pay and flying is sub par. As PSA, FO's can expect 5 year service time before being upgraded. FO pay is awful, so find a regional which would let you upgrade quickly.
A typical PSA pilot trip for a TYS based crew is as follows:

Lots of legs, lots of duty time with little block time.

User currently offlineHigherflyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4252 times:

Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 4):
Quoting Higherflyer (Reply 3):
Mesa is doing well and adding business and growing

Where? Not doubting you, just didn't know they were adding any flying.

Certainly not trying to make this a Mesa vs. the world thread and certainly not defending how they operate or their pay/work rules, but check out the link below....


We all hear stories about poor performance and then this comes out. Go figure!

Again, to reiterate my point above... Get a degree. Don't let the airlines use a lack of a degree to screen you out the hiring pool.

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