I agree with Flyf15. Seeing as you are a future regional pilot, look at it this way...
You get that long awaited interview at an airline like Colgan Air or Commute Air (not bashing just using them as examples). You wait in anticipation for the call back. You eventually get it and your on your way to an airline career. Can you guess what aircraft you will be flying? That's right the B1900.
So a couple weeks into your new job your on top of the world. Meanwhile Skywest or AirWisconsin, to name a couple, are pondering over your resume. They decide to call you in for an interview. You oblige, and a few weeks later while sitting around the pilot's lounge awaiting your next exciting flight in the B1900, your cell phone rings. It's Skywest or AWAC (pick one for this example). You've been offered a job in the right seat.
Hmmm. The right seat of an aircraft that will leave you with the hearing of an eighty year old man in a few years or the right seat of a jet. Which one would you choose? Now, granted at Skywest you may sit in front of a EMB-120 for awhile but the potential for a jet upgrade and more pay could be a possibility.
This may seem like a completely different situation than what you described, but it's really not. If your guess is correct and they were leaving for another airline for more money more power to them. They're out to further their career. If you still don't feel my fictional story is similar, take a look at the pay scales for Colgan or Commute, then look at the scales for Skywest EMB pilots or AWAC's CRJs.
At least in the beginning, the "Catch Me If You Can" lifestyle of a pilot is no longer reality. A pilots gotta do what a pilots gotta do to make ends meet. The aviation industry is not the glamorous lifestyle that the non-flying public believes it is.
I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the current regional F/O's who are keeping the seats warm until the next group of newhires can take them over and inherit the struggles of being a newbe.
[Edited 2004-05-24 04:52:46]
Right rudder....Right rudder...Come on, more right rudder....Right rudder......Aw forget it, I quit!!