So after a 3 year break, thinking about returning to the airlines.


'Not a new member'
Some of you old folks might remember me, but those who don't, I wrote a blog of sorts here of my experiences of my flight training at FlightSafety Academy in 2003-2004 and as an First Officer Intern at the Atlanta FlightSafety training center 2005-2006. I was hired by ASA (now Expressjet) as CRJ200 First Officer in 2007 and was based in Atlanta until I resigned in 2014. Ironically the same month I resigned I had just become eligible for a captain upgrade (after 8 years!) but it would have required a base change to Dallas.

Anyhow, without boring you with the details of the non flying work I've done the past 3 years. With all the signing bonuses, pay for 121 experience and quick upgrades, it has got me seriously considering returning to airline flying. I could actually return to flying at a pay rate higher than I left, which is certainly appealing. The idea of being on reserve again isn't appealing but if movement is as fast as I heard, it sounds like I wouldn't be there for long.

Seems the biggest hurdle would be getting my instrument proficiency back, so I am hoping I can find a school to give me an IPC in a simulator. Not that flying a GA aircraft again wouldn't be fun, but I'm not sure how well that would go after flying 4000hrs or so in a jet with 147kt approach speed kind of deal.

Then there's the deal with what airline to apply to, right now SkyWest looks appealing and if I can stay on the CRJ that would be what I am typed in. Sounds like the most junior base for that is Detroit, which would be great because that's a closer commute to me from Philly than to Atlanta was. I heard they no longer the best paying regional but they seem stable, have a lot of base choices and airline partners. Not sure if the non union thing is a good or bad thing. The ALPA areomedical office helped me a ton when I needed to get a waver a while back.

If anyone has insights at the airline they are at or any other tips for returning I'd be happy to hear them :)


'Not a new member'
Well I personally know two people who work there and heard it's a decent place to work. Good training, good pilot base. They got a lot of bases and aircraft and seem to be stable. Plus I heard they are even upgrading people right out of initial training for ATL at the moment. I'm not wagering on that but if nothing else my hope is my time on reserve will be short. As a commuter being on reserve is a royal pain, thankfully I only had to do it for 2 months as a new hire in the past. They used to have the highest pay scale for the CRJ too but I've heard that no longer the case. I want somewhere stable cause I have a feeling by the time I'm in a position to actually apply to a major they won't be hiring anymore and will be sticking around at said airline for a while. Huge signing bonuses and whatnot are fine and all but not worth it if you going somewhere you're going to hate being at. I know they will give you credit for past 121 time and put you on the related pay scale, but that might be common everywhere now. I'm up for suggestions :)


Professional GTA V Pilot
Last month bid didn't have street captains and a few FO'S who had time didn't get awarded upgrade. As a new hire I'd expect ATL/DTW. Pay is definitely slacking compared to the industry, we do have some good QOL stuff but overall we are beginning to decline pretty fast with other airlines rapidly changing for the better. You probably could still upgrade fast I'd imagine.

Being close to Philly I'd imagine a commute to New York on Endeavor wouldn't be tough. I think Republic has some close bases to you as well. Not trying to push you away, my short time of over a year here so far has been great and I'm happy where I'm at. Then again I came here for different reasons and I'm on the West coast now, not in junior domiciles dealing with what they get. You will get credit for the previous years you had at a regional for a max of 10 years (I think). So you will start at 8 year pay scale. Not sure if other airlines do that.

Anyways, good luck on the decision making. A lot of good stuff around there now, take all the advice you get with a grain of salt. Everyone is different, industry changes fast as you know, and one regional might be for you but not the other guy. Whatever suits you!


Well-Known Member
The “industry credit” you can achieve at a few different places so you’d jump in at your 7+year pay. Don’t need to be picky about that. Also most places you’d get a sign on bonus for a type rating and just signing with them. Don’t need to be picky about that. Don’t come to SkyWest. Don’t need to be picky about that...

Our pay is no bueno if that’s why you are deciding to come back to 121.


Fly airplanes, drink beer, never at the same time.
Do I have to be old to remember you?

I wouldn’t worry about flying a CRJ again, I would worry about pay/QOL. I’m not sure which shops offer the longevity pay equal to what you had- but look for that. Also, if you’re back in the game, go somewhere and get current and then hit the job fairs and polish your application and move on up!

Welcome back.


Well-Known Member
Have you looked at anywhere else? I think you can do better than starting from the bottom with your large amount of experience and hours. I know there are fractionals like WheelsUP. Kalitta and Omni Air International both have new TAs. Kalitta's is much better, but you could definitely get on with Omni and commute from wherever pretty easily. There are also the LCCs and with your time I think you could get on with a few of them. The market has changed so much since you were last a part of it and it only gets better with each passing day.


'Not a new member'
Yeah I thought flying cargo 747s could be fun, Kalitta flys in here all the time, although I also heard those guys can be gone for weeks at a time so not really a good deal if you want any sort of home life. I saw Commutair has a base in IAD which is technically driving distance but that doesn't seem like the sort of place you'd want to spend much time at.


Well-Known Member
Kalitta's gotten better with it's TA, but I believe all the days you work are consecutive. I'd love it, but if you have kids and a wife it might be a tough sell.

Have you looked into GoJet as they have an RDU base? I don't know if it would work for you as you're not currently with an airline, but they do have a street captain program where maybe you could get hired on as a captain.

Current and qualified pilots from any scheduled US or international air carrier are eligible for an additional $5,000 bonus. Pilots receiving this bonus may also:

  • Carryover longevity from another carrier at a rate of 1:1 (for example, a pilot with two years of longevity at another carrier would start at GoJet with two years of longevity)
  • Earn up to 6 months early seniority (Come to one day of Indoc training, receive a seniority number, and then be placed on personal leave for a maximum of 180 days)
There's also Ultimate Air Shuttle/Charters. They fly into PDK and do a commutable 8/6 where they pay for your travel to/from and put you up in decent hotels. There's no sitting reserve either and hopefully with your time you could upgrade within a year. It's 45k to start as an FO. Not the best, but their pilot group is happy and their business model is interesting.

Beefy McGee

Well-Known Member
PSA has a PHL base if that’s where you are. All CRJs. We need CAs. You could pretty much be a DEC with an upgrade right after training if not immediate. There is a bonus but not as much as Piedmont or Envoy (the other AA WOs) yet.

That said, with your background and experience, why not get currentthen try for an LCC? Lots of FOs are getting on at the LCCs. Unless you want to build PIC pretty soon at a regional in a CRJ to get that box checked.


Professional GTA V Pilot
I’d recommend Endeavor but they’re slowing down on hiring and classes are full until early fall.
I heard someone (recently interviewed) say you won't touch a new hire class until 2019, unless you had prior 121 time because you guys need captains. Is that true? I really hope not. I already know one who came to my regional because Endeavor wait was too long.


Well-Known Member
I heard someone (recently interviewed) say you won't touch a new hire class until 2019, unless you had prior 121 time because you guys need captains. Is that true? I really hope not. I already know one who came to my regional because Endeavor wait was too long.
Yea that’s what I’ve heard. No classes until 2019. We’re down to one 15 person class a month. We aren’t doing any phone or face to face interviews. We need to push captains through the sims so they’re freeing up sims for them. I’ve been used every day on reserve. Our captains get abused.