Career change from F/A to Pilot?

DLwannabe

New Member
Hey guys I am a F/A for a legacy airline. starts with a D and ends with an A. I am considering going to a flight school, get my ratings and time and start flying for a career. The money would all ocme from loans and parents/grandparents...I am 23 right now with no time. The quesiton I have is...would I be able to keep my current job as a F/A and fly for some small cargo/regional company once I get enough hours? What are the regulations on both beings that they are both regulated by FARs etc...???
Has anyone done what I did...or tried to????

Any advice is welcome!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Howdy fellow co-worker. Just so you know, there are three flight attendants that I know that have made "the jump" from the cabin to the cockpit. One is even assistant chief pilot or ops manager or something like that here in the Northeast.
 

DLwannabe

New Member
Ok, so how did they do it? Are you allowed to work for some tiny cargo company in the middle of nowhere USA and still be a F/A on your days off...yes I know its alot of work and not much play time...but you have to make sacrifices and I am willing to pay the price!
 

Cptnchia

Dissatisfied Customer
Ok, so how did they do it? Are you allowed to work for some tiny cargo company in the middle of nowhere USA and still be a F/A on your days off...yes I know its alot of work and not much play time...but you have to make sacrifices and I am willing to pay the price!
Hey Coworker! The two I know of, one of your former comrades, and one from AA, both quit and went to a flightschool fulltime to get their ratings. They both did the CFI and regional gig and finally made it back to the carrier they left as a pilot, but it was a long road. The same that everyone else takes. The one thing you have going for you is a demonstrated worker profile, and we do like to hire former employees who come back as pilots. Good luck and keep in mind, that Dough's little funshack here is a good resource for you.
 

WacoFan

Bigly
Can anyone give any insight aas to how much working for an airline in a non-pilot role will help being hired as a pilot? Assumes a clean work record of course. as a follow up, what airlines are most friendly to this type of move?
 

sopdan

Well-Known Member
I've flown with a CA who used to be a FA, but I don't know how she went about doing it. But it can be done. :)
 

Velocipede

New Member
I know three for sure. One is currently a Captain at my airline. He started out as Continental F/A. The other started as an Alaska F/A. Got her tickets, CFIed for a while, flew night checks and got on with Horizon. Don't know if she's still there or not.

The third started as an Alaska F/A, married one of our Captains, he taught her to fly his planes. She worked for Horizon for a while and is now at United.
 

jhugz

#lighttwin Mafia
From one F/A to another that is about to switch (working on the cfi) do it on the side. There plenty of time off on the job you can use for flight training. Then cfi on the side until you can hop on with a regional or 135 op.

Good Luck,

Jhugz
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
Are you able to keep your current job and fly on the side with either a regional or a small cargo operator???
Very doubtful.

Check your employee handbook very carefully, there may be wording in there about being employed by another air carrier while employed by Delta. Some companies say an absolute NO to be employed by any other air carrier (in any position), and you also have the scheduling issues. Do you really think it would be possible to sit reserve as a new-hire regional F/O, and still "be" a Delta F/A? The scheduling would be berserk! Sure, you'd have swaps and drops, but I would think the stress of juggling the schedules would be incredible.

Also, if its that you don't want to leave and lose your "hire date" at Delta, keep in mind it's going to take years to gain enough hours to meet the min qualifications to submit a pilot app at Delta. You'll start at the bottom of the Delta Pilot's senority list regardless of prior DL employment, so you won't get a better schedule or pay for being a current (or former) DL employee. You'll still be a "new hire" pilot, even if you've been with the company for 10 years.

Many years ago I tried to start my pilot training while I was a F/A at Eagle. The scheduling was murder. I was working 4 days a week, but it seemed like my days off were never right for flight training! The weather sucked, or my CFI's schedule and mine didn't match up, it just wasn't working. I went over to mainline AA, and put my flying on hold, and I didn't end up getting my PPL until I got furloughed from AA in 2001.

Personally, I recommend taking a few lessons while you're still a F/A, make sure it's something you REALLY want to do, and once you made that decision then quit and go all out and get it done. If you can swap/drop trips so you don't have to work much, you could probably keep working and do it, but if I had it to do all over again I'd put in for a leave at Eagle and just go get it done. :)

Good luck to you :)
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
So is there a better chance of getting hired at mainline if one has worked there a few years?
I think so. Most of the flight attendants that I know working for Delta now are either former Delta F/A's or ASA F/A's.
 

DLwannabe

New Member
Here at DL I work pretty much whenever I want. I usually get 3 3day trips on pretty much the days I want. At the most...I will get 4 3day trips....so 12 days of work...and 18 days of flying time at the least...I also hold pretty good and therefore its easy for someone to pickup my trips.
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
I have a question for the airline guys. Does a former/current employee have any highering preferences compared to some guy off the street? Let's say a current employee has 1200 TT, 40 ME, and thier ATP, and a guy off the street has 2000TT, 1000ME, would the current employee based on loyalty have any preferential treatment?
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Basically, from what I've been told by the 'powers that were' in pilot selection, meeting the minimum qualifications and internal recommendations will get you through the door.

Then the slate is figuratively wiped clean before the interview process continues.

Once you're through the door, the candidate that has the best interview skills and best matches the personality profile of what they're looking for will get the job.

This is from the last (circa 2000) cadre, but I'm not exactly sure exactly how they rolled during the last hiring cycle.
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
Thanks Doug, just helps give me some information and background for when I'm hiring folks.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Did you like the part about "powers that were" as opposed to "be"? :) Considering we're not hiring right now? ;)
 
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