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From Flight Attendant To Pilot  
User currently offlineSushka From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 4784 posts, RR: 15
Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5615 times:

A few months ago I saw that Delta Airlines was hiring Russian and Ukrainian speaking flight attendants. Since I speak both, I applied. A few weeks ago I had my interview and was offered a training date this month. Well here is my problem... I am about half way done with my CFI training and do plan on being a pro-pilot. I was just interested in this job for a few reasons only
1. to get "in" with the airlines
2. the pay
3. to practice Russian and Ukrainian

But now I am in a dilemma sort of. I have spoken with lots of people and some say I should do it some say I shouldn't. One said that chief pilots would never hire an ex flight attendant. Is it rare for a flight attendant to also be a CFI at the same time and then move on to a pilot job? I plan on working the minimum which is 45 hours per month I believe. Also I have another interview with ASA very soon and that airline has a hub in my city.
I'd like to hear your advice
-sushka

[Edited 2006-06-03 21:19:33]


Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAogdesk From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 935 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5607 times:

I'm not in Flight Ops HR, but it seems to me that to be told that you're in some way jeopardizing your future by starting out on the ground floor so to speak is ludricous.
I'm always amazed at people who simply send a resume and hope that theirs will stand out from the tens of thousands of other resumes, I ALWAYS encourage people to get their foot in the door some other way that REALLY makes you stand out. IMHO, your strategy sounds like a success story from the get go.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5603 times:

Quoting Sushka (Thread starter):
One said that chief pilots would never hire an ex flight attendant.

I've worked with any number of pilots who used to be a flight attendant. Some times they got on with the same airline, some times they had to move to another, but that was only a matter of the other airline hiring at the moment when their own was not.

I don't know of any airline with any policy that would make it difficult. Nor do I know of any that make it easier than from 'the outside' so at very least you'd know people and you'd know the corporate culture.

Knowing people can go either way. If there is just one person who takes a dislike to you, or is envious of your opportunity or any such thing it can prevent your being hired as a pilot. I had a friend who drove the crew bus at one airline while he got his ATP and built up the needed flight hours. They never did hire him. Almost everyone liked him - he is a really nice guy, but some anonymous person there apparently blacklisted him over something. He eventually got hired by a different airline and fared better in the merger history so you never can tell.

In general I'd say you could think of getting hired as a pilot as a career move competely removed from your flight attendant career. No pilot is ever a 'legacy' even if their daddy is the chief pilot. All have to fill all the required squares, pass the tests, master the training and so forth. But there are advantages you can gain, nevertheless, from being 'on the property' already.

Best of luck with this.

Oh! And don't forget to have your personality removed before trying to become a pilot. It is a hard step to take but completely necessary. Smile



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5593 times:

When Delta has openings for pilots they do post internally however you need a 4 year degree and I think the last time I saw a posting it said (don't quote me on it) you need a minimum of 2000 hours PIC and 500 hours turbine. These are minimums and I believe the average non-military new hire pilot has something closer to 5000 hours PIC and 2000 hours turbine. One other thing is that your FA company time will not count at all toward your company time as a pilot. You start over in all aspects, pay, seniority, vacation, etc. Also Delta hasn't hired pilots in several years and the future is uncertain. I'm not trying to dissuade you rather I'm trying to give you a clearer picture of the procedure at Delta. It is possible and likely well worth it. But based on what I've told you I think becoming a FA at Delta will not give you much of a "foot in the door" even if you are a solid employee. It's possible that you could forge a relationship with someone (your "in") that could make it happen for you. Backdoor deals happen all the time around here, it's just the exception, not the rule and usually involves a lot of brown-nosing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that at Delta (and I say that because Delta is all I know - it's probably no different at other airlines) you probably won't help yourself get to a pilot position by being an FA but you could possibly preclude yourself from consideration if you have any adverse comments in your FA employment file.

Good luck with your decision and I hope to see you in one of our planes either in the back or the front.

DL757Md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5581 times:

I think that becoming an FA for an airline like DL will give you a leg up. While I find it hard for you to become an actual pilot for DL in their mainline operations I think the expierance could only be a plus for you. If you are able to manage both working and accumulating hours then I say do it. Understand that taking on such a workload will take a hit to your hours down the road but I feel an understanding for the job, aircraft commonality, and just an overall time in in the industry can't hurt you.

My  twocents 

Matt



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5542 times:

Quoting UA777222 (Reply 4):
While I find it hard for you to become an actual pilot for DL in their mainline operations

On what do you base this statement?



Position and hold
User currently offlineTurnit56N From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5526 times:

Many pilots started out as FAs. Being a FA for an airline is similar to being a dispatcher, scheduler, etc. If you do a good job and prove yourself to be a solid and dependable employee, it will probably be a great advantage when you interview for a pilot position. You'll have demonstrated to people within the company that you have dedication and company loyalty. Of course, you probably won't be able to go straight from FA to DL pilot. You'll still need the minimums to get into a regional airline, corporate flight department, or other traditional stepping stone position. Your experience as a FA certainly isn't going to hurt in a regional airline interview, though. When you have the time to apply to mainline, having previous experience with them in an inflight position will probably give you an interviewing advantage.

The flip side is that if you have a problem as a dispatcher, scheduler, FA, etc. it's going to follow you into the interview. In that case, it may end up being a liability. From what I've heard and observed, that's fortunately not common.

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons. Many people have successfully made this transition and every one of them I know has said they're glad for the experience they recieved as FAs.


User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5287 times:

I agree with others but why would you waste time as an FA? Just get on with the airlines as soon as you can and get that seniority. And as far as Delta forget about it, they won't be hiring anytime soon, your grand children might have a chance.

User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5262 times:

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 5):
On what do you base this statement?

DL is not in a state to be hiring new pilots. Even so, when upper management is sitting at their desks looking down thinking about pulling pensions and such, it might not be the best environment to be working in.

Thanks,

Matt



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineSushka From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 4784 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5175 times:

Thanks for the replies. It looks like its a no-go. My CFI is moving along quite well And I don't want to continue at a slower rate. Bad timing I guess.


Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
User currently offlineAogdesk From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 935 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5168 times:

Don't let anything you see here discourage you. GO FOR IT!

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