Regionals to break in with?

Armyguywill

New Member
I’m still new here, and seen the posting about new pay charts/openings coming up. I was hoping to get some insight from everyone. My question is are there different tiers of regionals?

What I mean by that is, working at PSA/Endeavor/Envoy better than working at a Mesa or Horizon for example? (basically kinda looking for a 1-whatever ranking if possible, and maybe some pro-cons if possible).

Also, what are the benefits of staying at a regional long term vs switching over to a legacy?

PS- I’m not trying to step on toes, or rub anyone the wrong way, but just trying to gather as much information as possible for me to make better informed and long term decisions.
 

DogwoodLynx

Well-Known Member
Don’t forget about Silver Airways in Fort Lauderdale FL. Don’t know if they are still hiring though.

They are small but making good company business strides.

They are a former employer of mine. Solid group of OCC personnel. Lots of good training to be had there.
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
Some people stay at regional airlines long-term because they like the area they are located in. Some of those locations have a fairly low cost of living so a topped-out dispatcher there can have a decent lifestyle even if the pay doesn't seem to be that great (Appleton, WI and St. George, Utah come to mind for Air Wisconsin and SkyWest.) You also lose seniority when you start at another airline, so a senior regional dispatcher might go from having a schedule with weekends off and being able to get vacation over the holidays every year to being at the bottom of a long list and not having a regular schedule for some time. Other people try to "move up" and never get hired by a major for whatever reason - there is a fair bit of competition for those jobs. I personally think it's better to try and get on with a national carrier such as JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, etc. rather than stay at a regional long-term as the top-out pay is quite a bit better and the experience on bigger jets will look better for getting hired at a major. (It is certainly possible also to go directly from a regional to a major, though....many people here have done it.) As far as different types of regionals go, I would say in general it's better to get jet experience than turboprop experience if you can, but when applying for your first job with no experience it can be challenging to get hired - so if an all-turboprop operation offers you a gig and you have a good feeling about the company/management/office then go for it.
 

flynryan692

Well-Known Member
It really all depends on what you want out of your career and where you want to work. Purely dispatch experience wise, SkyWest is probably the best because you're working the entire country like a major would. You'll deal with flow in SFO, thunderstorms in the southeast, whatever mess Chicago decides to create, and everything in between all at the same time. SkyWest has had Dispatchers in every major hiring class the last year or two, something other airlines can't say. If you're set on a certain major or a certain area of the country there are places to consider. If you really want to live in the PNW, Horizon is probably best and a good path to Alaska Airlines. If you want to live in Texas give Envoy a shot, that's a good path to American Airlines. If Delta is a place you really want to work one day, give Endeavor a go (assuming Daddy Delta doesn't slam the door in their face again). If Florida is your thing, then Silver Airways and an eventual move to Spirit would be good. Of course, nothing is guaranteed and making it to these majors is difficult, there are just examples and it may work out differently for you.

If you don't care about location or what major you make it to, SkyWest, Endeavor, or Republic are solid options. I knew somebody at Compass once upon a time and he seemed to like it up there.

Unless you have a family you don't want to move, have a desire to advance into management, or got a dispatch job in a town you like, I don't recommend staying at a regional long term. There is really no benefit to it, you'll spend 15 years getting to the starting pay of ULLC's like Frontier, Spirit, and Allegiant. You could land a gig at any of those after 2-3 years.

Some of those locations have a fairly low cost of living so a topped-out dispatcher there can have a decent lifestyle even if the pay doesn't seem to be that great (Appleton, WI and St. George, Utah come to mind for Air Wisconsin and SkyWest.)
The cost of living in St George is increasing rapidly and it's been a topic of discussion for a while now.
 

bbmikej

Well-Known Member
CommutAir was a pretty good place. Sky west is good because you get to dispatch over the entire country as with all three majors. As far as wholly owned goes, Endeavor is petty good and Envoy is excellent if you want to go to American. Envoy is essentially a baby American because they use the same systems and have the save flight benefits. From what I have heard, Trans States and GoJet can be iffy on dispatch and Republic is essentially a glorified flight follower position.

To be honest though, go with whoever offers you the job. It's much easier to get a dispatch job of you already have one. While some experience may be better than others, no dispatch experience is wasted.
 
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QXDX

Well-Known Member
I’m still new here, and seen the posting about new pay charts/openings coming up. I was hoping to get some insight from everyone. My question is are there different tiers of regionals?

What I mean by that is, working at PSA/Endeavor/Envoy better than working at a Mesa or Horizon for example? (basically kinda looking for a 1-whatever ranking if possible, and maybe some pro-cons if possible).

Also, what are the benefits of staying at a regional long term vs switching over to a legacy?

PS- I’m not trying to step on toes, or rub anyone the wrong way, but just trying to gather as much information as possible for me to make better informed and long term decisions.
The short answer is no. A regional is a regional. Give or take a buck or two an hour, they all pay the same. The benefits are the same. The work schedule is the same. Yes, there are minor variances between them, but if a company is leading the industry in one area, it will be trailing the industry in another.

The only real difference between them is reputation and location. Working for a regional that has a good reputation may prove beneficial in advancing your career. However, location is a huge factor in overall quality of life. You’re going to make $15-$16 an hour regardless, so do you want to make that in Seattle, where an apartment is $1900 a month, or in Indianapolis, where it’s $800?
 

A1TAPE

Well-Known Member
CommutAir was a pretty good place. Sky west is good because you get to dispatch over the entire country as with all three majors. As far as wholly owned goes, Endeavor is petty good and Envoy is excellent if you want to go to American. Envoy is essentially a baby American because they use the same systems and have the save flight benefits. From what I have heard, Trans States and GoJet can be iffy on dispatch and Republic is essentially a glorified flight follower position.

To be honest though, go with whoever offers you the job. It's much easier to get a dispatch job of you already have one. While some experience may be better than others, no dispatch experience is wasted.
How is republic a glorified flight follower position? Its a 121 not a 135.
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
My knowledge is second hand. That is how I have had it described to me by other people.
I have a friend working at RP that likes it and says it's a good office to work in - and he's not a newbie to the industry either. However, we've never had an in-depth discussion to what his workday is like.
 

LX Sport

Well-Known Member
The regional that hires you, is the correct one to break in with. Only reason you might want to be picky is location...but then you're really limiting yourself. If you're serious about making a career out of dispatch, apply everywhere.

Or spend some time looking at old threads where people talk about how long it took them to get that first job. The longer you take to get hired, the harder it may end up being.
 

TF39

Well-Known Member
Republic is essentially a glorified flight follower position.
I don't mean to pile on, but for the sake of accuracy, I'll add my $0.02 (adjusted for inflation, that's gotta be worth, like, a whole $1.00--tops). Anyway, I can definitively say 121 PIC-Dispatcher operational control at RPA works without exception like it does at any other 121 airline. I can also say a decent number of their dispatchers recently have been picked up by some of the majors, and several others have been able to at least get interviews with other majors, so RPA's reputation can't be quite as bad as rumored. Of course, it's still a regional airline with the usual regional airline problems, but it's an excellent place for a freshly minted dispatcher to get his or her start in the industry. Plus, there's some interesting (albeit limited) int'l and flag flying to go along with the job. With more aircraft coming online over the next several years, there will be plenty of opportunity for hiring.

The biggest complaints I've heard is that there isn't much to do in IND.
Depends on what you're into for fun. Sure, it's not ATL, ORD, or DFW in terms of entertainment/food choices, but there's something for everyone. ORD is a relatively short drive away, and IND has a decent selection of flights to choose from when it's time to travel.

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But in the end, all regionals lie somewhere on the suck spectrum (mainly in terms of salary). I got my start at a small bottom-tier 121 regional, and I will say I still gained some very valuable experience before moving on, such as: dealing with old, perpetually busted planes that resembled flying scrap heaps; learning what to do when the entire east coast is LIFR and the planes are CAT I only and the RNAV system is MEL'd yet again (and all the VORs are, of course, U/S); working magic with very tight payload restrictions; and just generally making chicken salad out of chicken **** with very limited operational resources. And several of the grizzled regional "lifers" I've worked with along the way are good people who are full of valuable knowledge that can be passed along to a new dispatcher. So no matter where you get your start, make the best of the experience, learn as much as you can (even beyond what is taught during classroom time/OJT), and just generally don't be a d-bag, because your professional reputation--good or bad--will travel far and wide in this industry. Hiring managers will ask your former coworkers what kind of person you were.

So begins your exciting journey down the winding road to perdition. :)
 
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