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Airline Internship Questions  
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1148 posts, RR: 1
Posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6198 times:

I am a political science major and I am starting my sophmore year in college. I have started to look at scholarships with airlines and the US State Dept. I am really interested in the WN internship and I saw that they have internships in their flight ops divisions. Does anyone have any idea what that position would be and what the duties are? Do UA, AA, US, DL, etc... have internships like WN? (I know they do, but I was wondering if they were paid, flexible, benefits, etc...) Do airlines look at any particular major for an internship? I want to be a pilot and eventually work my way up the flight ops latter at any airline and I figure this is a great way to get my foot in the door. Has anyone on a.net done any of these internships? Any input and information is greatly appreciated! 

Many thanks in advance  


Я говорю по-русский. :)
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinewomenbeshoppin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6182 times:

get into a union, put in 20 years, and retire to fly around the world. Not even close to j/k.

User currently offlineGA330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5825 times:

I have done an internship at SA)">WN and it was a very good experience. I was not at Flight Ops, so I cannot tell you what it entails, but I can tell you that my friends who interned in that position really enjoyed it. One of them worked on a weather project (he studied meteorology) and another one worked with Tech Ops (runways specs, A/C performance, airport tech studies). They are a great company, with great opportunities after you graduate. About 10-15% of the intern class are offered FT position after they finish their internship.

SA)">UA SA)">AA US SA)">DL all have internships opportunities, the ones that I came across SA)">AA are mostly unpaid for undergraduates. The level of pay for their internships are all comparable, I would think at about $10-$15 range. There might be a couple that will be $20 and above but those don't come by often. Many are unpaid. SA)">AA's flight ops internship, IIRC, are unpaid but comes with travel benefits and Sim time, therefore it might be a good one for pilot candidates even though they are unpaid.

I think all the major airlines gives unlimited space available (SA) flight benefits to their interns, but I am not 100% sure. I know SA)">DL SA)">WN, US, old CO does. They might even have flying benefits for your parents and dependents. I knew a parent of an engineering intern at sCO that had a blast travelling all over Europe a couple months ago. Remember though that if you have SA privilege as an intern, you are usually at a lower priority than their employees.

I do think that all the carriers look at your major and field of studies when considering your internship application, one exception would be SA)">WN. They have a philosophy of hiring the personality, train the skills mindset. I know some people at my department when I interned that studied philosophy and geography, which had nothing to do with what they studied. The others im not so sure. I know some airlines only select interns from certain colleges / universities, because the hiring managers are alumni of those universities.

Your major however, is useful to the airlines legal team. Granted those internships maybe are far and few in between, it is still a possibility.

Look for internships beyond the major airlines. World Airways, Piedmont (US subsidiary), B6 all have internships too, and I have seen a Flight Ops internship as World Airways.

Good luck on your search. I have more information that I can share with you, and you can PM me if you would like.



China Eastern MU586 KLAX - SZPD with B-6055
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9377 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5770 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
Do airlines look at any particular major for an internship?

It depends on what area you are looking at. In general there are certain targeted areas.

Engineering - Mechanical/Aeronautical/Electrical for the various engineering departments and technical operations. This is probably one of the more common internship fields.

Marketing/Business/Accounting/Finance - Business side of the operation internships.

IT - Computer Science/Computer Engineering/etc

In general take a look at websites and see what majors they are looking for. Unfortunately Political Science isn't an area where they hire in large amounts because the departments that you would be involved in with that major are limited. Some are more flexible than others.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1148 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5594 times:

Thanks for all the input!!! I really appreciate it!  


Я говорю по-русский. :)
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2358 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5343 times:

It depends on what you are looking for. I have found that from personal experience you might get more out of an internship at a smaller carrier where you will see many different aspects of an operation than from a big carrier where you will do something very specific in a very specific part of a department and do not get that broader picture of what actually goes on in an airline.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1148 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5177 times:

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 5):

Where did you do yours at? What did you do?



Я говорю по-русский. :)
User currently offlinemodesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2769 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5139 times:

I've completed summer internships at JetBlue (engineering) and Delta (business). Feel free to send me a message for more insight!

User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4650 posts, RR: 50
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 5102 times:

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 5):

It depends on what you are looking for. I have found that from personal experience you might get more out of an internship at a smaller carrier where you will see many different aspects of an operation than from a big carrier where you will do something very specific in a very specific part of a department and do not get that broader picture of what actually goes on in an airline.

I agree, I did two internships with smaller airlines (in Maintenance and Commercial Planning) and found a smaller airline to be a lot better in learning to understand the big picture.



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2358 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5038 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
Where did you do yours at? What did you do?

I did mine at an Austrian regional carrier at the airport for just a couple of weeks. It has been a long time so will not remember everything but it included typical passenger service (i.e. tracking down lost luggage and organizing getting it back to the passengers one way or the other once it arrived at the airport) and operational tasks (handling and doing some initial checks on fuel bills and voyage reports brought back by the crews, preparing duty free carts for the fligths and all of the related paper work, coordinating catering orders etc.).

They liked me a lot and a year later brought me back to help the owners rewrite a business plan for another airline they had set-up and pretty much hired me on the spot. Then did everything from marketing/business development/staff training/selecting and implementing a new res/inventory system, network planning etc. etc. in a small team with just one of the owners, the CFO and one other colleague running the commercial side of the airline before more people arrived. That was hands on and all over the place but as Jurgen said as well, stuff like this helps you to really understand the business beginning to end.

I often meet people in the industry with many more years of senior management experience than I have, that seem to not understand some of the basics of how airlines are commercially set up because they spent all their careers doing very specific things for large carriers (the majority is not that way, but it is surprising how often you encounter these types of people in our industry). You will definitely not get the same experience when you do an internship with a very large organization even though everything will most probably be much better organized for you, you might paid better etc.



Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4650 posts, RR: 50
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5012 times:

Just to give you an example, one of my classmates did his internship with KLM Engineering & Maintenance where he spent 5 months (in the Netherlands it is part of the curriculum) on maintenance planning. It was all arranged well, but he only knows about maintenance planning. I did my internship in a maintenance department with 7 people where I was tasked with setting up the Maintenance software for the wheels & brakes division. On my initiative that was changed to improving the spare parts logistics flows to outstations, but at the same time I did some planning work, did engineering reports, sat in on daily and AOG meetings. I didn't get the same pay, it was a lot more work for me (yes, I did overtime! Free dinner!) but I am more than happy I chose the smaller company as I learned so much more!


For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlineKPWMSpotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 412 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4994 times:

I'm just finishing a Co-Op with Delta TechOps. Delta typically hires 15-20 Engineering students per semester in Atlanta. Most departments like their Co-Ops to stay on for two or three semesters (rotating between semesters of school and work). I've been working in composites repair engineering, but there are plenty of positions available here for various disciplines.

Delta has positions available in Flights Ops, Demand Planning, various administration departments...basically every department here in Atlanta has some sort of intern or Co-Op opportunity available. You just have to be lucky and find an open position posted. Many positions never make it onto Delta's hiring website, as they are often filled at local job fairs at Georgia Tech or elsewhere.

Delta's pay varies depending on the department and depending on educational level. Some single semester interns are un-paid, while Engineering co-op pay is between $1800-$3000/month depending on how far along you are in school. Delta offers standby flight benefits to all internships (30 "flight days" of domestic travel and 18 international per calendar year), and these flight benefits remain active as long as you have a commitment to return to Delta (i.e. I was able to travel non-rev during the semesters I was back at school).

Other airlines have similar programs. UA, WN, and B6 tend to offer single-semester internships (both paid an unpaid), AA and US have hired interns in the past, but may or may not exist anymore. Even the regionals offer some flight ops internships, but I've heard that some of those positions are "photocopier and coffee pot specialist" type jobs. As a polysci major your best bet is to look for administrative type positions. Most flight ops positions require at least a commercial certificate and a valid medical.

Best of luck to you, let me know if you have any other questions.



I reject your reality and substitute my own...
User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4467 times:

TWA772LR,

Private message me your email address.. I work for United in Flight Operations here in Chicago and am more than happy to discuss the issue. Please give me more info on what you ultimately want to do and how this internship will help you. I'm always willing to help a person who is determined!


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4457 times:

Seems like you've already gotten some pretty good hits. I myself did a Flight OPS internship 2 summers in a row with SA)">EV (old ASA not ExpressJet). It was pretty fun. At the time, they were doing a lot of hiring so I was involved in the hiring process which really opened my eyes to a lot of things. I mean I wasn't there giving interviews but gathering paperwork, making notations about the log books (they told me what to look for), preparing temporary badges, etc. Nothing too heavy. When I wasn't dealing with the hiring, which they did all summer, I worked out of the CP's office. I worked alongside a very nice lady that dealt issues that were happening on the line. I also helped out with the implementation of ACARS but that was my second summer and I did that pretty much the whole time. Mostly data gathering and testing. Working with SA)">EV's below wing tower crew, etc to make sure that the system was talking to SA)">DL's flight tracking.

As far as benefits it was unpaid although for juniors/seniors we received a modest stipend at the end which helped for books or what have you. Unlimited SA travel on all DCI carriers and big Delta. Unlimited jumpseat access on SA)">EV a/c only. And I was behind all the pilots and OAL pilots but never had a problem getting to ride up front.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 1148 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3922 times:

Everyone, thanks for all the information. It is greatly appreciated!  


Я говорю по-русский. :)
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 15, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3883 times:

Quoting Thomas_Jaeger (Reply 9):
I often meet people in the industry with many more years of senior management experience than I have, that seem to not understand some of the basics of how airlines are commercially set up because they spent all their careers doing very specific things for large carriers (the majority is not that way, but it is surprising how often you encounter these types of people in our industry).

Not unique to your industry. This happens everywhere. Often, people who have started in smaller offices where they can see the whole process have a much better grasp of the big picture than those who started in large offices and worked just one silo. Important note to managers: rotate people and crosstrain!



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
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