Best Regional to Work For??

n9088d

New Member
Guys and gals-

What is the best regional airline to fly for? SkyWest seems like a good one, but then again I don't really know what I'm talking about. I live in Kansas City and am not willing to relocate, however I AM willing to commute anywhere in the country for work. I'm not looking for horror stories about low pay and longs hours. I've already heard them all. I know regional flying can be tough, but I'd like to know which airline is the best.

I'm a CFII with 500+ hours. I DO NOT yet have my multi, but I'll be getting it within a week or two. However, I will not have any multi time other than probably 5-7 hours from the training/checkride. I am very well aware this could be a problem as many regionals require 50-100 hours multi, but I've also heard of plenty of people applying and getting hired that had far less than that. Any opinions on this?

Thanks everyone.
 

Stone Cold

Well-Known Member
You're about 1 year late to the musical chairs. :( I don't really keep up with the regionals any more, but I think quite a few are considering furloughs or are furloughing now. Not sure if Skywest is still hiring, but I would think their competitive minimums are up there right now with all of the out of work pilots.

Good luck. Find yourself a seat at the party, whether it's CFI'ing, or some other job to build the experience and hang on for the ride...:panic:
 

Trip7

Well-Known Member
Build some experience instructing and in the mean time find a way to get some multi-time along the way. I have heard of people getting hired with low multi time but that was during the hiring spree and regionals couldn't find a monkey to fly their plane:D You wouldn't stand a chance in the current environment with less than 50 ME
 

wrxpilot

New Member
No offense, but have you lost contact with the outside world? I think we have another flame bait post here!
 

amorris311

Well-Known Member
horizon wouldnt be a bad place. you need to build the total time up a little and get some multi time. either way work hard dont rush learn as much as you can and continue to keep plugging away.
 

wrxpilot

New Member
horizon wouldnt be a bad place. you need to build the total time up a little and get some multi time. either way work hard dont rush learn as much as you can and continue to keep plugging away.
Horizon has pilots on furlough, and they're in some bizarre campaign with the FAA to fire pilots that videotaped their landings for YouTube. I guess if they fire enough of their pilots there will be some openings - sounds like a great place to work!
 

aloft

New Member
There is no single answer to "What's the best regional to work for?"

It depends on many factors. Where you live, where a company's domiciles are located, what their time-to-upgrade is, pay, work rules, union/non-union, etc. That said, there is a short list of "better" regionals most everyone will agree on: Horizon, ExpressJet, SkyWest, American Eagle, Comair, Republic/Chautauqua/Shuttle America and perhaps ASA. But none of the "better" regionals are hiring right now, and when they start, the competitive minimums will be 2-3 times the hours you now have, plus at least 100 hrs multiengine.
 

n9088d

New Member
Thank you for your replies, everyone. It's extremely helpful, and I appreciate the honest information. I'm not the kind of person that wants a sugarcoated tale of how it's going to be, only to get there and be in hell. So, if anyone else has an opinion, please be brutal. :D

I haven't committed to this yet. I've been instructing <VERY> part-time for a couple years while working other jobs full-time. I just got done reading tons of posts in another forum about how incredibly unstable the work situation is for regional pilots, not to mention the humorously low pay and other downsides of the job. I knew of most of these already, but getting overwhelming confirmation is always helpful.

Well crap. I guess this is what you call an impass. I want to fly jets, but it just ain't gonna happen right now. :rolleyes:
 

dc3flyer

Well-Known Member
I want to fly jets, but it just ain't gonna happen right now. :rolleyes:

Everybody wants to fly jets!!!! Keep working at it. I didn't choose the regional airline route, but when I got my first jet job I had over 2000 hours with 1200 multi-engine. There are other jobs out there that are fun and that can give you wonderful experience flying things other than jets. To be completely honest with you, jets are boring compared to other things. I guess I agree with amorris, DON'T RUSH IT!!! Have fun flying!!!
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Everybody wants to fly jets!!!! Keep working at it. I didn't choose the regional airline route, but when I got my first jet job I had over 2000 hours with 1200 multi-engine. There are other jobs out there that are fun and that can give you wonderful experience flying things other than jets. To be completely honest with you, jets are boring compared to other things. I guess I agree with amorris, DON'T RUSH IT!!! Have fun flying!!!
:yeahthat:

Fly cargo, fly hard, and learn a lot. Or come up to alaska when you break 1000TT, fly the bush, get paid good, and learn what an Oosik is, and why "Anyaraq" is posted over all the doors. More fun - more better.
 

SurferLucas

Southern Gentleman
The question that you have to ask yourself is "Where do I want to be in the next 5-10 years?"

If you want to go to a regional strictly as a springboard to the Majors (get in and build PIC time), then I would say Horizon would be a bad choice. Horizon currently has a upgrade time pushing 8 to 9 years (now that we've furloughed). Horizon is also not an easily commutable airline as far as schedules go, esp for new hires. It took over a year to hold a line in Portland for me. Horizon has Airport Reserve lines (430am-1230pm, and 1230pm-830pm) lines and Home Reserve lines (430am-630pm and 1030am-1145pm). Call outs in Portland are 1.5 hours and 2 hours in Seattle. Typical schedule is 5 on and 2 off when on reserve. With a line, it varies...I could usually build a line by swapping/dropping/moving trips to get 6 days on and 3-5 days off.

The reverse side of that is, if you were local or wanting to relocate to Portland or Seattle and remain there for your career or for the next 10 years or so...then Horizon would be a great place to work.

I will say that in the almost 2 years that I've been with Horizon, I've had alot more good times than bad. Sure there are some issues, but you have those at ANY company you work for. The people at Horizon are some of the best in the airline industry. The airplanes are top notch and are getting better with some new technology. The FAA is paying Horizon to upgrade the FMS in the Q400 in order to be certified for WAAS approaches, we already do RNP approaches in the sim, and don't forget about the CAT IIIA Heads Up Displays.

Horizon has a great pay scale for those that come and stay with the company. Where else can you go and top out at $118/hour to fly a Q400? Horizon also has great benefits; fully paid insurance (health, dental, and vision), and a dollar for dollar matching on the 401 (k), up to 10%.

Personally, I chose Horizon, after 3 years of instructing, because my career aspirations didn't have me wanting to go somewhere to get a quick upgrade. I chose Horizon because I knew that they had a good reputation, they had great people, I could fly a plane that none of my friends were flying (the Q400), and I could build some really good experience flying in snow, ice, rain, fog/low ceilings (sometimes all in the same approach) and flying in a part of the country that this "Southern boy" had never seen before.

I'm glad that I had the opportunity to fly for Horizon and I've got some great memories of flying here. In the past 10 months or so, I've been doing somewhat of a commute back and forth to Atlanta...and going to the bottom of the list didn't really sound that appealing to me, so I took a year leave.

In the end, you have to do what is going to make you happy and what's going to get you where you want to eventually be in life.

My own personal opinion is:
Good/Great Regionals: Horizon, SkyWest, RAH (Republic, Shuttle America, Chautauqua), ExpressJet

Bad/Poor Regionals: GoJets, Mesa, etc...

Everyone else fits in Fair/OK

Hope that helps you out with alittle insight...
 

Blip16

Well-Known Member
Everybody wants to fly jets!!!! Keep working at it. I didn't choose the regional airline route, but when I got my first jet job I had over 2000 hours with 1200 multi-engine. There are other jobs out there that are fun and that can give you wonderful experience flying things other than jets. To be completely honest with you, jets are boring compared to other things. I guess I agree with amorris, DON'T RUSH IT!!! Have fun flying!!!
jets would be sweet, but so would flying a Twin Otter on floats. i guess it is what ever floats your boat (or plane?) i am probably one of the few on this site that doesn't care what i fly as long as 1. it is a safe operation, and 2. the pay is acceptable for the type of operation and enough to live on comfortably (i don't need 100K to live comfortably)

stay instrucing for a while, and build some more time. the airlines are not the industry to get into with the economy going to ####
 

n9088d

New Member
The question that you have to ask yourself is "Where do I want to be in the next 5-10 years?"

If you want to go to a regional strictly as a springboard to the Majors (get in and build PIC time), then I would say Horizon would be a bad choice. Horizon currently has a upgrade time pushing 8 to 9 years (now that we've furloughed). Horizon is also not an easily commutable airline as far as schedules go, esp for new hires. It took over a year to hold a line in Portland for me. Horizon has Airport Reserve lines (430am-1230pm, and 1230pm-830pm) lines and Home Reserve lines (430am-630pm and 1030am-1145pm). Call outs in Portland are 1.5 hours and 2 hours in Seattle. Typical schedule is 5 on and 2 off when on reserve. With a line, it varies...I could usually build a line by swapping/dropping/moving trips to get 6 days on and 3-5 days off.

The reverse side of that is, if you were local or wanting to relocate to Portland or Seattle and remain there for your career or for the next 10 years or so...then Horizon would be a great place to work.

I will say that in the almost 2 years that I've been with Horizon, I've had alot more good times than bad. Sure there are some issues, but you have those at ANY company you work for. The people at Horizon are some of the best in the airline industry. The airplanes are top notch and are getting better with some new technology. The FAA is paying Horizon to upgrade the FMS in the Q400 in order to be certified for WAAS approaches, we already do RNP approaches in the sim, and don't forget about the CAT IIIA Heads Up Displays.

Horizon has a great pay scale for those that come and stay with the company. Where else can you go and top out at $118/hour to fly a Q400? Horizon also has great benefits; fully paid insurance (health, dental, and vision), and a dollar for dollar matching on the 401 (k), up to 10%.

Personally, I chose Horizon, after 3 years of instructing, because my career aspirations didn't have me wanting to go somewhere to get a quick upgrade. I chose Horizon because I knew that they had a good reputation, they had great people, I could fly a plane that none of my friends were flying (the Q400), and I could build some really good experience flying in snow, ice, rain, fog/low ceilings (sometimes all in the same approach) and flying in a part of the country that this "Southern boy" had never seen before.

I'm glad that I had the opportunity to fly for Horizon and I've got some great memories of flying here. In the past 10 months or so, I've been doing somewhat of a commute back and forth to Atlanta...and going to the bottom of the list didn't really sound that appealing to me, so I took a year leave.

In the end, you have to do what is going to make you happy and what's going to get you where you want to eventually be in life.

My own personal opinion is:
Good/Great Regionals: Horizon, SkyWest, RAH (Republic, Shuttle America, Chautauqua), ExpressJet

Bad/Poor Regionals: GoJets, Mesa, etc...

Everyone else fits in Fair/OK

Hope that helps you out with alittle insight...
That's very helpful information. Thank you for your reply. My only question is... is Horizon hiring? And if they are, how competitive is it right now? I'm assuming you saw my stats for TT and multi (or lack thereof right now), and I've got 2 years of college (no degree). Plus I'm not willing to relocate. Horizon sounds like a great place to work, especially in comparison to some of the others I've been learning about. And I'd love to get experience in the Q400. But spending a year on reserve because I'd have to commute doesn't sound too appealing. And that's if I could even get hired.

ppragman: I've thought about flying cargo as well. Where would you recommend, and do I have nearly enough TT, etc?

Thanks everyone.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
If you're deadset on staying in Kansas City, you'll have to use that as your starting point. A bad commute can make even the best regional hell on Earth (right JTrain?). Whereas a cake commute can make one of the worse regionals better. I live in base, and while most people wouldn't go to Pinnacle to save their lives, it's not that bad for me. I had the chance to go to XJT, but I would have lost $$$ and days off b/c of the commute.
 

joliet

New Member
That's very helpful information. Thank you for your reply. My only question is... is Horizon hiring? And if they are, how competitive is it right now? I'm assuming you saw my stats for TT and multi (or lack thereof right now), and I've got 2 years of college (no degree). Plus I'm not willing to relocate. Horizon sounds like a great place to work, especially in comparison to some of the others I've been learning about. And I'd love to get experience in the Q400. But spending a year on reserve because I'd have to commute doesn't sound too appealing. And that's if I could even get hired.

ppragman: I've thought about flying cargo as well. Where would you recommend, and do I have nearly enough TT, etc?

Thanks everyone.

Who else wants to box his ears.

Horizon is furloughing. FURLOUGH, Ffffffffffffff Furloughing.
 

n9088d

New Member
Who else wants to box his ears.

Horizon is furloughing. FURLOUGH, Ffffffffffffff Furloughing.
Ah, I figured. I can't say I'm surprised. I guess I'll stick to the ATC route for now and keep instructing on the side. Gotta tell you though, I'd rather be flying.

kellwolf- Yes, I'm deadset on staying in KC. When my time comes I guess I'll just have to deal with commuting.
 

WacoFan

Bigly
Why are you dead set against moving from KC? Lots of better places than Kansas City in many ways - cheaper places, real cities (lots of neat stuff to do) and more vibrant economies. Just curious.
 

subpilot

Squawking 7600
You will forever be at a handicap in this industry if you refuse to move. As for your aspirations to go to a regional/cargo gig... you need more time. You need 1200TT to fly pt135 cargo and you will need minimum 1000TT to get a job at a pt121 regional. Get a CFI job and enjoy the journey.
 

skydog

New Member
The "best" regional to work for is an entirely subjective question, and one only you can answer. Do you live in Dallas? Do you not want to commute? Do you not care if the upgrade is several years? Then American Eagle is probably the "best" regional for youto work for.

Alternatively, if you live want a quick upgrade, don't care about money, and don't mind a commute, then Great Lakes Airlines may be the "best" for you.

Keep in mind that nothing stays the same. Several years ago, United and Delta was where it was at, and no one wanted Air Tran or JetBlue. Now the majors are furloughing, and AT amd JB are "the place to be."

In my opinion, the "best" airlines are Southwest, UPS, and Fedex, because they are the only ones making money.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Were, I think. I think Air Tran let some go and most guys with recall rights to DL returned.
 
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