QoL for Corporate vs Airlines

Career preference


  • Total voters
    62

CBurkFly

Well-Known Member
My wife and I are expecting in June. I am looking for a transition with currently less than ATP mins, and many people ask me what I want to do with aviation. Looking at the future I am curious about the Quality of Life (QoL) for the different aviation segments. What is the QoL for the regionals? for the Majors? and Corporate?

Thanks
 

Corporate Pilot

Well-Known Member
I can only tell you about Corporate. It is all over the place on QOL. Early in my career I had one job where we flew all the time. One month I flew every day and a few days on more than one airplane. I was young and building time so it worked for me.


Next job I flew every Friday and Sunday in the spring and fall and most holidays. 3rd job we went out to a small town and sit for 3-5 days usually during the week but did allot of weekend and holiday trips.


On my 4th and current job over a 27 career I hardly ever work weekends or holidays. So far this year I have spent 2 nights on the road and have not worked any weekends. I am scheduled for a trip Sunday for two nights but I am guessing it will only be one.
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Other: It's what you make of it.

Airline: You have a set schedule and it gets better with time. Depending where you go it might be awhile before you can take major holidays off. Easier to get specific events off like birthdays weddings and the like especially if you are allowed to trade. I actually loved my Friday through Tuesday schedule at the 121 I was at. Everyone was working on my days off and made for some great off-peak times at the beach and easy time getting room at a normally packed bar!

Corporate: Can be a crap shoot if you are 91 or 135. I am currently 91 and I am home for all major holidays and work about 350 hours a year. I don't really have a set schedule but if there is a family vacation or the like I'll let them know.
 

esa17

Well-Known Member
I work an average of 4 days a week, fly around 400hrs a year if I push it, overnights aren't the norm and I make more than most regional captains.

The only airlines is work for at this point are Alaska and Southwest. I don't fit in the 121 world anyway.
 

GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
I tried for a few years to find a good corporate gig... If you can find one that has that rare combination of good management, pay, and QOL, you've hit the lottery and have one of the best jobs in the world.

For me, I never could find that combination. I finally gave up on it, and have put all in for an airline career. I feel the odds of me getting on at a legacy are probably better. Although that's not working out too well either, ha ha. Maybe I'm a bad person to ask about his! ;)
 
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JustinS

Well-Known Member
Airlines can be feast or famine in a different way than corporate. For corporate it seems like luck (preparation meeting opportunity) and connections to find that sweet corporate gig. For the airlines it's all about timing as hiring and career progression seems to come in cycles. Right now everyone getting on at the airlines is surfing a rather large wave. It won't always be like that, but it is for now. Choices will be made both good and bad. Some will make out better than others. When the dust settles, we'll know which way was best. Hindsight is 20/20.

I tried for a few years to find a good corporate gig... If you can find one that has that rare combination of good management, pay, and QOL, you've hit the lottery and have one of the best jobs in the world.

For me, I never good find that combination. I finally gave up on it, and have put all in for an airline career. I feel the odds of me getting on at a legacy are probably better. Although that's not working out too well either, ha ha. Maybe I'm a bad person to ask about his! ;)
I think you'll make it soon. We're having guys picked up left and right from our company. It's only a matter of time.
 

Blackhawk

Well-Known Member
As others have pointed out 121 is more predictable. You have a little more say in your schedule as you get senior. You can delay upgrading for the schedule. Bid on different bases, commute to work or not commute.

A good corporate gig can blow away any 121 gig, but those good ones are tough to get, as others have written. Often the positions are not even advertised. As an example, I have a former student who is an executive in a family business that owns everything from a couple 206s to a GV who called me asking if I could recommend a CSEL pilot. They treat their pilots like family. I had another student with a fresh commercial single engine certificate (didn't even have his hard copy), and sent him their way. They eventually paid for this CSEL student to get his MEL and last I heard he had moved to their King Air.

Of course there is the other side. When I flew checks I would go into Thomasville, GA M-F. It was not unusual to see the same Part 91 crew sitting around the FBO every day waiting for their boss to finish quail hunting. They checked into a hotel when they got there. They would check out in the morning, then sit around the dinky FBO all day just in case their boss wanted to leave. About 5 PM they would go back to the hotel. These guys thought they had it good, talked about how boring it would be to fly 121. Like sitting around the Thomasville, GA FBO all day is exciting. No thanks.
 

jskibo

Done
These guys thought they had it good, talked about how boring it would be to fly 121. Like sitting around the Thomasville, GA FBO all day is exciting. No thanks.

eee gads, that's almost as bad is sitting in a cube 8 hours a day...... Sigh :)
 

BEEF SUPREME

Well-Known Member
My wife and I are expecting in June. I am looking for a transition with currently less than ATP mins, and many people ask me what I want to do with aviation. Looking at the future I am curious about the Quality of Life (QoL) for the different aviation segments. What is the QoL for the regionals? for the Majors? and Corporate?

Thanks
Well dude. You're better off than I in a way. If you are going to be a family man, choose airlines.

I just left my corporate job, because the BOSS wanted me to sign a training contract. On the 3rd year, but not the year before.

The only difference. My wife is preggos. So you see how these things go in corporate.

Sure someone will bring up the totally awesome operator who "respects families". Well good for you. They are few and far between.


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soyAnarchisto

Well-Known Member
Careful with that. Never want to get too close to the PAX or the BOSS.


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Can you elaborate as to why? It would depend on the boss of course - and the political situation - but it is not hard to understand that a lot of business and networking happens on golf courses, hunting and fishing trips and on the bike rides. I wouldn't invite myself of course but if you want to be treated like family that would be right up there.

You do need to know and accept your place. Be a good soldier as it were.
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
It all depends on who you work for. We get included in some dinners, surfing and staying at one of the bosses houses. I'm very lucky and that is what made me jump back to my first 91 job.
 

BEEF SUPREME

Well-Known Member
Can you elaborate as to why? It would depend on the boss of course - and the political situation - but it is not hard to understand that a lot of business and networking happens on golf courses, hunting and fishing trips and on the bike rides. I wouldn't invite myself of course but if you want to be treated like family that would be right up there.

You do need to know and accept your place. Be a good soldier as it were.
OK example:

The CP where I worked last was literally in love with the boss. They would go fishing, on occasion and these little episodes were followed by very questionable long duty days and red eyes.

Now it was easy to see that the BOSS was manipulating the CP. Once the CP was sure he was going to go to mexico with the BOSS. Fly in their buddies G550 and charter fish. It was obvious to me only that there was no way that the BOSS would really take the CP and of course that is how it turned out.

So why the warning? Well we wound up at the bosses house near Kona. Stuck there for an unknown amount of time. Yeah, preggo wife and no return date. Since the CP and BOSS were "buddies" it was "OK" for us to stay at the bosses house. I didn't want to stay there because I knew it was unprofessional. I put on a good front for the PAX on duty but I'll still rock up in my undies for a coffee in the morning. Alas the Ironman was on, so the hotels were super expensive and it was cheaper* and OK* since we were all friends* to stay at the BOSS' place.

The 3rd or 4th day we were there and the BOSS, the dude who owns the plane is peeping in my windows. I was sitting in my undies so I went outside and said "hey can I help you with something?" The BOSS looked super embarrassed and I went on "Want to go get a beer?" He didn't want to of course. OK "cool if I borrow a golf cart?" Sure. OK later!

Now I'm sitting at the bar because that was super weird right. Now the CP starts txting me: "hey don't go to the house!" Um why? "I'll tell you later." OK

Hey bartender mix up a strong one bro. Gonna be a long night.

CP shows up later tells me that the BOSS accused him of sleeping with his wife and he couldn't find her anywhere after a huge fight. So obviously the BOSS thought I was banging his wife, hence looking in my windows when I was lying in bed at 11AM.

CP goes back to the house before me to make sure everything was OK. I stay at the bar until the barkeep who was cool and felt sorry for me told me he had to go home.

The next day we left back to the mainland. It was hella weird. Never ever again will I ever go through that.

All because the CP thought he was friends with our crazy BOSS. Who I didn't realize was quite paranoid.

Yep I spent all day at the bar because I had no safe place to stay. 91 is super strange and you want to maintain distance from your PAX. Do not become friends with them. Be nice. Show for events you are invited to. YOU ARE NOT FRIENDS WITH THE PAX. You are their employees at best and at worst, you are their slaves.

Be cool be professional be nice and warm with the PAX. But please do not consider them your friends not just for your sake but for the sake of those who work with you.


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Stone Cold

Well-Known Member
To the OP, as @mikecweb says...91 jobs are the greatest job out there, but 91 jobs are also the worst out there, or something to that effect.

There are horrible jobs out there, and great jobs out there. All it takes is a change of management or change of airplane, and you could be in a world of hurt. Having said that, I've flown for the same owners for over 5 years now based in Moscow on a month on/month off rotation. I get paid very well. I work with the other guy I switch off with if there are any days I need off. Of course, if something falls in the middle of a rotation, there is no way to change it, so within reason, I get what I want off. I have every other Christmas off, and see a lot of very cool sights. I've been skiing in the Swiss Alps and French Alps both, this rotation. I even met the boss on the mountain and had a beer with him before we finished skiing.

As to @BEEF SUPREME and his story, absolutely, there are horror stories out there. Yes, the boss is the boss, and not our friends, for the most part. Especially if you're flying a crazy person, but our boss' I have the utmost respect for. We've had some turbulent times. I still don't know how much longer I will have this job, as it's a very fluid situation in Russia right now, but I've been drinking with the bosses, skiing with the bosses and their families, and never had a problem. Know your limitations and the limitations of your relationship and things will probably work out.

If you want more stability, you're probably going to look towards 121 flying. It's a more set schedule. It, for the most part, has a mostly guaranteed job, but can turn ugly. How many members here have been furloughed, or went through a major merger. How many have quit due to the mergers, furloughs, or other BS that went with it. I can carry my experience with me and demand a higher salary than starting over at a new airline, for the most part. There are definite limitations to this, as there are only a few places paying as much as rich Russians do. Next stop will be Asia if I end up in a bind.

Ultimately, until you hang the wings up and call it a career, nobody knows the right answer. Definitely nobody knows the right answer for you and your situation, except you. There are many paths in this career. I'm about to finally put in an application to an airline just because I can feel the situation and know I have maybe 2 years left here, but I would still rather chance 91 flying and some of the perks because the perks can be great, or they can be a nightmare. Keep my job here, Asia, or the airlines, or who knows...enjoy the journey.

YMMV.
 

BEEF SUPREME

Well-Known Member
To the OP, as @mikecweb says...91 jobs are the greatest job out there, but 91 jobs are also the worst out there, or something to that effect.

There are horrible jobs out there, and great jobs out there. All it takes is a change of management or change of airplane, and you could be in a world of hurt. Having said that, I've flown for the same owners for over 5 years now based in Moscow on a month on/month off rotation. I get paid very well. I work with the other guy I switch off with if there are any days I need off. Of course, if something falls in the middle of a rotation, there is no way to change it, so within reason, I get what I want off. I have every other Christmas off, and see a lot of very cool sights. I've been skiing in the Swiss Alps and French Alps both, this rotation. I even met the boss on the mountain and had a beer with him before we finished skiing.

As to @BEEF SUPREME and his story, absolutely, there are horror stories out there. Yes, the boss is the boss, and not our friends, for the most part. Especially if you're flying a crazy person, but our boss' I have the utmost respect for. We've had some turbulent times. I still don't know how much longer I will have this job, as it's a very fluid situation in Russia right now, but I've been drinking with the bosses, skiing with the bosses and their families, and never had a problem. Know your limitations and the limitations of your relationship and things will probably work out.

If you want more stability, you're probably going to look towards 121 flying. It's a more set schedule. It, for the most part, has a mostly guaranteed job, but can turn ugly. How many members here have been furloughed, or went through a major merger. How many have quit due to the mergers, furloughs, or other BS that went with it. I can carry my experience with me and demand a higher salary than starting over at a new airline, for the most part. There are definite limitations to this, as there are only a few places paying as much as rich Russians do. Next stop will be Asia if I end up in a bind.

Ultimately, until you hang the wings up and call it a career, nobody knows the right answer. Definitely nobody knows the right answer for you and your situation, except you. There are many paths in this career. I'm about to finally put in an application to an airline just because I can feel the situation and know I have maybe 2 years left here, but I would still rather chance 91 flying and some of the perks because the perks can be great, or they can be a nightmare. Keep my job here, Asia, or the airlines, or who knows...enjoy the journey.

YMMV.
Hoping guys reading this thread become the CP and when they do they keep in mind the decisions and way they deal with an aircraft owner affects not just them but everyone in the flight department.

Thanks for adding a bit of balance and generally good way of looking at QOL and dealing with people that own private jets.


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GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
OK example:

The CP where I worked last was literally in love with the boss. They would go fishing, on occasion and these little episodes were followed by very questionable long duty days and red eyes.

Now it was easy to see that the BOSS was manipulating the CP. Once the CP was sure he was going to go to mexico with the BOSS. Fly in their buddies G550 and charter fish. It was obvious to me only that there was no way that the BOSS would really take the CP and of course that is how it turned out.

So why the warning? Well we wound up at the bosses house near Kona. Stuck there for an unknown amount of time. Yeah, preggo wife and no return date. Since the CP and BOSS were "buddies" it was "OK" for us to stay at the bosses house. I didn't want to stay there because I knew it was unprofessional. I put on a good front for the PAX on duty but I'll still rock up in my undies for a coffee in the morning. Alas the Ironman was on, so the hotels were super expensive and it was cheaper* and OK* since we were all friends* to stay at the BOSS' place.

The 3rd or 4th day we were there and the BOSS, the dude who owns the plane is peeping in my windows. I was sitting in my undies so I went outside and said "hey can I help you with something?" The BOSS looked super embarrassed and I went on "Want to go get a beer?" He didn't want to of course. OK "cool if I borrow a golf cart?" Sure. OK later!

Now I'm sitting at the bar because that was super weird right. Now the CP starts txting me: "hey don't go to the house!" Um why? "I'll tell you later." OK

Hey bartender mix up a strong one bro. Gonna be a long night.

CP shows up later tells me that the BOSS accused him of sleeping with his wife and he couldn't find her anywhere after a huge fight. So obviously the BOSS thought I was banging his wife, hence looking in my windows when I was lying in bed at 11AM.

CP goes back to the house before me to make sure everything was OK. I stay at the bar until the barkeep who was cool and felt sorry for me told me he had to go home.

The next day we left back to the mainland. It was hella weird. Never ever again will I ever go through that.

All because the CP thought he was friends with our crazy BOSS. Who I didn't realize was quite paranoid.

Yep I spent all day at the bar because I had no safe place to stay. 91 is super strange and you want to maintain distance from your PAX. Do not become friends with them. Be nice. Show for events you are invited to. YOU ARE NOT FRIENDS WITH THE PAX. You are their employees at best and at worst, you are their slaves.

Be cool be professional be nice and warm with the PAX. But please do not consider them your friends not just for your sake but for the sake of those who work with you.


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This is a great post.

My last gig, I worked for a family. Everybody was very nice and welcoming, but we kept it 100% professional. The boss did invite us to the occasional concert and that sort of thing, which was cool. But we ALWAYS kept distance, particularly with overnight accomodations. I can't tell you how many times I've had people argue with me about their "exception" and how they're buddies with the boss, only to be looking for a new gig a year later.

Yes, you may end up in that slight minority that ends up being friends with your boss that is worth at least several hundred million dollars more than you and is in an entirely different social class. That's great. But that is EXTRMELY unusual. Be professional, keep it seperated.
 

BEEF SUPREME

Well-Known Member
This is a great post.

My last gig, I worked for a family. Everybody was very nice and welcoming, but we kept it 100% professional. The boss did invite us to the occasional concert and that sort of thing, which was cool. But we ALWAYS kept distance, particularly with overnight accomodations. I can't tell you how many times I've had people argue with me about their "exception" and how they're buddies with the boss, only to be looking for a new gig a year later.

Yes, you may end up in that slight minority that ends up being friends with your boss that is worth at least several hundred million dollars more than you and is in an entirely different social class. That's great. But that is EXTRMELY unusual. Be professional, keep it seperated.
Thanks. I sincerely hope that no one can find out who I used to work for. I only posted this in hopes that someone will learn from it.

People love to show off for rich people and please them. At least in general this is true. It is extremely true of those who grew up in a challenging circumstance or did not have exposure to wealth during their lifetime.

I've discovered that it is best to be very reserved, keep ones opinion to yourself and always be respectful even when saying no. It goes a long way but one should never go looking for friends.

You wouldn't go looking for friends on the public bus would you? Or riding the train or at the airport? Why try and make friends with an employer?

Yes on occasion you can be "treated like a member of the family." But I've been told that I was being "treated like a member of the family" at my last job. Like Stone Cold says YMMV


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GypsyPilot

Well-Known Member
Thanks. I sincerely hope that no one can find out who I used to work for. I only posted this in hopes that someone will learn from it.

People love to show off for rich people and please them. At least in general this is true. It is extremely true of those who grew up in a challenging circumstance or did not have exposure to wealth during their lifetime.

I've discovered that it is best to be very reserved, keep ones opinion to yourself and always be respectful even when saying no. It goes a long way but one should never go looking for friends.

You wouldn't go looking for friends on the public bus would you? Or riding the train or at the airport? Why try and make friends with an employer?

Yes on occasion you can be "treated like a member of the family." But I've been told that I was being "treated like a member of the family" at my last job. Like Stone Cold says YMMV


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Yep. My last gig, the first CP was defintely "buddy's" with the owner. They loved him, and they always hung out... Then things went south and he was gone immediately. The new CP saw this happen, and more importantly just wasn't a dumbass. Him and I kept the distance and never had a problem.

I do have to say regarding your other point... I grew up at best lower middle class, to somtimes very much poor. I have no desire to suck up whatsoever to higher classes. I am very respectful, but that's it.
 

Max Power

Well-Known Member
If you can find a great 91 gig, that's great, but I always question the stability there. Plus, you have little regulatory fallback in terms of rest rules or weather. A guy I knew flew for Ganassi Racing and his schedule was erratically steady. He was gone a lot, especially during race season.

135 is all over the place, unless you're doing "121 Lite" like Netjets, Flight Options,etc. I did 135 on demand for 3 years in a Citation. I eventually had to, uh, leave, due to the big boss not liking me. And he didn't like me for reasons made up in his head, nothing I actually did. And this was a successful company, Citation II to G650. Successful in spite of him. Sadly, the more 135 folks you talk to, that his type is the norm, not the exception. The only way I'd do 135 again would be for a company like Netjets.

I'm at a regional as a Captain and I prefer it to 135, even as an FO I preferred it over 135. Reserve sucks because you never know what you're going to do, but once you hold a line, you go to work for x days and then you're done. You get seniority and you get a better schedule. I enjoyed the varied flying and destinations for 135, but sitting in an FBO for 8 hours can be boring. Especially when that 8 turns into 10 because the client "decided they wanted to go to dinner". I get it, that's why they chartered an airplane. But the nice thing about 121 is that on most days, when you operate the 3:50p to wherever, you're leaving at 3:50 or earlier.

As a family guy, I prefer 121, even a regional. So does my wife. I finish a four day tomorrow and have 7 days off after just by shrewd bidding. I had 15 days off a month before I bid captain upgrade. Sometimes I'd have 10 in a row. The rest of the month sucked, but no one can complain about 10 days off and not using vacation to get it.
 
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