What do you make as a 121 pilot

How much income per year do you make as a pilot? Only pilot income (not investments or other)


  • Total voters
    104

nimslow

Well-Known Member
It isn't that bad, I'm still enjoying it.


QOL first for me. I’ll be one of those three digit seniority guys bidding WB FO.
I was thinking about bidding back to the right seat on the 777 in DFW, but hanging out on Miami Beach on reserve is turning out to be a pretty sweet deal, I've flown two legs this month. The commute sucks, though. We are seriously considering leaving the jethroplex, and moving down to the beach.
 

L-16B

Well-Known Member
It isn't that bad, I'm still enjoying it.




I was thinking about bidding back to the right seat on the 777 in DFW, but hanging out on Miami Beach on reserve is turning out to be a pretty sweet deal, I've flown two legs this month. The commute sucks, though. We are seriously considering leaving the jethroplex, and moving down to the beach.
You commute from DFW to MIA??? I’ll have to say you are crazy :)

I’d rather sit reserve on the crappiest fleet then commute again.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
I wouldn’t say wanting to make more money as opposed to being home a little bit more is having no common sense.

Some people like money. Some people like time off.

And i know even if the pay rate is lower you can make more money, but that isn’t always the case.
Senior widebody FO was both. I make a little more than I did, finally, on the 330 FO seat, but my days off are much less now.
 
I wouldn’t say wanting to make more money as opposed to being home a little bit more is having no common sense.

Some people like money. Some people like time off.

And i know even if the pay rate is lower you can make more money, but that isn’t always the case.
Senior widebody FO was both. I make a little more than I did, finally, on the 330 FO seat, but my days off are much less now.
Well then there were some extracurriculars going on.

At AA narrowbody captain is around 40/hr more than widebody fo. I’d imagine delta is similar. For guys who are going to be on reserve getting guarantee, like your junior coworkers who we are talking about, then captain is significantly more.

I don’t disagree tho that once you get some seniority and can work premium magic or whatever that widebody fo can be more lucrative and less work.
 

nimslow

Well-Known Member
You commute from DFW to MIA??? I’ll have to say you are crazy :)

I’d rather sit reserve on the crappiest fleet then commute again.
I question my sanity now and again. I was doing DFW-LGA, the commute is easy, but covering three airports royally sucks. I was spending north of $200/month on Lyft/Uber. I haven't been in MIA long, but the Island flying is great, and almost all the International flying is out of MIA. I'm still just shy of 2,000#'s away from the bottom G2 captain in DFW. We may ride it out for a while. But I'm enjoying MIA a lot, and my wife and kids keep begging to move down here. It's a different lifestyle from DFW for sure, but I think I could get used to it. Except for the house prices, they are just stupid expensive south of PBI.
 

L-16B

Well-Known Member
I question my sanity now and again. I was doing DFW-LGA, the commute is easy, but covering three airports royally sucks. I was spending north of $200/month on Lyft/Uber. I haven't been in MIA long, but the Island flying is great, and almost all the International flying is out of MIA. I'm still just shy of 2,000#'s away from the bottom G2 captain in DFW. We may ride it out for a while. But I'm enjoying MIA a lot, and my wife and kids keep begging to move down here. It's a different lifestyle from DFW for sure, but I think I could get used to it. Except for the house prices, they are just stupid expensive south of PBI.
I was doin DFW to PHL before FOS and it wasn’t bad. Once they flipped the switch on FOS I got screwed a few times with the A3 thing. Swore I’d never commute again. So you’re around 12k seniority?
 

AAPalmTree

Well-Known Member
I was doin DFW to PHL before FOS and it wasn’t bad. Once they flipped the switch on FOS I got screwed a few times with the A3 thing. Swore I’d never commute again. So you’re around 12k seniority?
If he’s “bidding back to the right seat 777 DFW” he’s more senior than that.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Well then there were some extracurriculars going on.

At AA narrowbody captain is around 40/hr more than widebody fo. I’d imagine delta is similar. For guys who are going to be on reserve getting guarantee, like your junior coworkers who we are talking about, then captain is significantly more.

I don’t disagree tho that once you get some seniority and can work premium magic or whatever that widebody fo can be more lucrative and less work.
If by extracurricular, you mean "office work", I wasn't doing any of that when I was copilot.

Well, again, it's contract. Like sometimes I'd have a 12 day trip that I'd get bought off of to train another pilot. So I'd still get paid the full amount and I'd just take the time off or pick something else up and "double dip". Generally I'd work 12 straight days (two 6-day back to backs or 1 12-day toward the front end of the month, then for the next month, block my flying together towards the end so I generally had blocks of 21+ days off.

It's been wrecked for the 2018 tax year, and per diem is not compensation but I'm about $7K to $9Kin meal expense (IRS 2105, line 5) domestically whereas that number was over $20K most of my years as 7ER and 330 copilot.

Between trip efficiencies (in my eyes, probably not the companies), higher per diem amounts, lower expenses and the ability to pick up time, if I wanted when trips were dropped, plus "seniority shaq-foo" even making significantly more, hourly, as 320 CA compared to my stint as 330FO and especially 7ER FO, the difference in pay was negative, at first, relatively even then somewhat noticably higher a couple years after the upgrade. The ability to work big blocks got heavily modified under FAR117, however.

Pay Rates + Work Rules + Flexibility of Seniority is the name of the game at my shop. But I'll certainly gather that someone like @ClarkGriswold is overall out earning and under-working the average captain his similar seniority.
 

nimslow

Well-Known Member
I was doin DFW to PHL before FOS and it wasn’t bad. Once they flipped the switch on FOS I got screwed a few times with the A3 thing. Swore I’d never commute again. So you’re around 12k seniority?
I'm low 10's, if this bid goes like the last couple, 777 fo in DFW will probably go junior to me. I was getting an ok schedule as a bus fo in DFW, but with only 15 years left, I couldn't pass on the pay. What we are looking at now, is since DFW is so senior, if I come back it will be a long time before I can hold a decent schedule, or summer vacation. The reserves in DFW tend to fly more, than in some of the other bases as well. May be better to finish out my time living in a more junior base.


3XP shows bottom 737 DFW CA as 99XX. Could be a CP or whatever but I don’t know how to tell.
He is a check airman. It's around 8K for the bottom 73 ca, and 9 or so for the bus in DFW.
 
Well then there were some extracurriculars going on.

At AA narrowbody captain is around 40/hr more than widebody fo. I’d imagine delta is similar. For guys who are going to be on reserve getting guarantee, like your junior coworkers who we are talking about, then captain is significantly more.

I don’t disagree tho that once you get some seniority and can work premium magic or whatever that widebody fo can be more lucrative and less work.
If by extracurricular, you mean "office work", I wasn't doing any of that when I was copilot.

Well, again, it's contract. Like sometimes I'd have a 12 day trip that I'd get bought off of to train another pilot. So I'd still get paid the full amount and I'd just take the time off or pick something else up and "double dip". Generally I'd work 12 straight days (two 6-day back to backs or 1 12-day toward the front end of the month, then for the next month, block my flying together towards the end so I generally had blocks of 21+ days off.

It's been wrecked for the 2018 tax year, and per diem is not compensation but I'm about $7K to $9Kin meal expense (IRS 2105, line 5) domestically whereas that number was over $20K most of my years as 7ER and 330 copilot.

Between trip efficiencies (in my eyes, probably not the companies), higher per diem amounts, lower expenses and the ability to pick up time, if I wanted when trips were dropped, plus "seniority shaq-foo" even making significantly more, hourly, as 320 CA compared to my stint as 330FO and especially 7ER FO, the difference in pay was negative, at first, relatively even then somewhat noticably higher a couple years after the upgrade. The ability to work big blocks got heavily modified under FAR117, however.

Pay Rates + Work Rules + Flexibility of Seniority is the name of the game at my shop. But I'll certainly gather that someone like @ClarkGriswold is overall out earning and under-working the average captain his similar seniority.
No by extracurriculars i meant playing the bid with a check airman game, getting bought off trips or picking up premium.

The context of my comment was in reference to your new FOs wanting to bid captain and you saying they don’t have any damned common sense.

All of those things you mentioned are not available to someone bidding a category at 100%, which is what a new fo will be as a captain or a widebody fo.

So, for the same amount of work days since you’re on reserve a new guy will 100% make more money as a reserve captain vs reserve widebody fo since the hourly rate is so much higher.

Getting bought off trips and bidding with check airman only happens if you can hold a line, which new guys will not be able to in those categories for a long time.
 
Last edited:

Dexter

Hop off there, Blonde Ambition Tour
No by extracurriculars i meant playing the bid with a check airman game, getting bought off trips or picking up premium.

The context of my comment was in reference to your new FOs wanting to bid captain and you saying they don’t have any damned common sense.

All of those things you mentioned are not available to someone bidding a category at 100%, which is what a new fo will be as a captain or a widebody fo.

So, for the same amount of work days since you’re on reserve a new guy will 100% make more money as a reserve captain vs reserve widebody fo since the hourly rate is so much higher.

Getting bought off trips and bidding with check airman only happens if you can hold a line, which new guys will not be able to in those categories for a long time.
That being said, lines go to the plug on some widebodies because RSV is so senior.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Nah, I never played that game at all. Too much work and far too much heartbreak when you weren't the senior FO and then you're spending days on end with a student full of book learnin' and LCA "technique" and giving weird statements like "I assure you, the ATM will give you Kroner, yes I know we get paid in dollars, but Lira will come out of the ATM, no I'm not 100% sure where we're going accepts credit cards and if they do they're not splitting the bill"

I basically just bid a couple avoids, pattern, and maybe a couple positives like decent layovers in good cities. My domestic PBS is like the scripting code for "Angry Birds".

I think you're making this harder just to trust me on this, but I don't know the AMR (I presume) contract.
 

ClarkGriswold

Non Nutritive Cereal Varnish Engineer
I just flew with the number 2, formerly number 1 FO in my category. Dude was on a 7 day green slip (70 hours of pay roughly) and pretty much available the rest of the month for another. He's also so crafty at bidding that his line award for April was 75 hours with 24 days off. He basically flies a regular line but at double pay the whole month, or he just cherry picks the 5 day LIH or OGG overnights if he doesn't want to green slip. Senior FO is a sweet gig, I plan on upgrading once I can hold something in SEA but I can see why guys retire as an FO... sometimes...

If you can play the game it can be sweet, gotta have the work rules though. I lucked out last august and worked 11 days but got paid 145 hours for the month. Rolling thunder is sweet, when it works.
 

ClarkGriswold

Non Nutritive Cereal Varnish Engineer
If by extracurricular, you mean "office work", I wasn't doing any of that when I was copilot.

Well, again, it's contract. Like sometimes I'd have a 12 day trip that I'd get bought off of to train another pilot. So I'd still get paid the full amount and I'd just take the time off or pick something else up and "double dip". Generally I'd work 12 straight days (two 6-day back to backs or 1 12-day toward the front end of the month, then for the next month, block my flying together towards the end so I generally had blocks of 21+ days off.

It's been wrecked for the 2018 tax year, and per diem is not compensation but I'm about $7K to $9Kin meal expense (IRS 2105, line 5) domestically whereas that number was over $20K most of my years as 7ER and 330 copilot.

Between trip efficiencies (in my eyes, probably not the companies), higher per diem amounts, lower expenses and the ability to pick up time, if I wanted when trips were dropped, plus "seniority shaq-foo" even making significantly more, hourly, as 320 CA compared to my stint as 330FO and especially 7ER FO, the difference in pay was negative, at first, relatively even then somewhat noticably higher a couple years after the upgrade. The ability to work big blocks got heavily modified under FAR117, however.

Pay Rates + Work Rules + Flexibility of Seniority is the name of the game at my shop. But I'll certainly gather that someone like @ClarkGriswold is overall out earning and under-working the average captain his similar seniority.
It seems like @Dexter keeps getting bought off lately for training. He will do well this year if he keeps that up.
 

Trip7

Well-Known Member
Widebody FO seems to be a highly desired and cushy job. Spoke with many coworkers that say they will retire off it. Seems like if you play your cards right, it's as close to residual income as you can get with a W2 job.
 
Nah, I never played that game at all. Too much work and far too much heartbreak when you weren't the senior FO and then you're spending days on end with a student full of book learnin' and LCA "technique" and giving weird statements like "I assure you, the ATM will give you Kroner, yes I know we get paid in dollars, but Lira will come out of the ATM, no I'm not 100% sure where we're going accepts credit cards and if they do they're not splitting the bill"

I basically just bid a couple avoids, pattern, and maybe a couple positives like decent layovers in good cities. My domestic PBS is like the scripting code for "Angry Birds".

I think you're making this harder just to trust me on this, but I don't know the AMR (I presume) contract.
Lol I’m not trying to be difficult. But for a junior person 100% captain is much more money than 100% widebody fo. And that’s probably why your junior coworkers want to bid captain.

76 (reserve guarantee)x $252 (3rd year AA captain) is much more than 76x$192 (3rd year widebody fo). And i know there are no 3rd year group 2 captains at AA.

Point I’m making is your coworkers aren’t crazy or misinformed on the awesomeness of widebody fo, it just doesn’t apply to them.
 

nimslow

Well-Known Member
Lol I’m not trying to be difficult. But for a junior person 100% captain is much more money than 100% widebody fo. And that’s probably why your junior coworkers want to bid captain.

76 (reserve guarantee)x $252 (3rd year AA captain) is much more than 76x$192 (3rd year widebody fo). And i know there are no 3rd year group 2 captains at AA.

Point I’m making is your coworkers aren’t crazy or misinformed on the awesomeness of widebody fo, it just doesn’t apply to them.

This is right where I'm at. Right now I'm commuting to reserve either as a NB captain, or a WB first officer. Reserve 73 Captain pay is $4K/mo more than 85 hours of 76 fo pay, but only $3.3K/mo more than 777/787/330 fo pay. And for everyone that asks why I'd commute to reserve, my pay is $5K/month more than 85 hours as a bus/73 fo, thats just too much to leave on the table. I'd probably take the pay hit to sit reserve at home on the 777, but since I'm commuting either way, I'll take the bigger check. Thats straight pay, the 16% 401 contributions make the difference bigger.

If you could pick up an over guarantee trip on reserve as a WB fo, you will probably make up the difference. Thats not real easy, depending on base, as the senior people scoop up trips, at straight time.

I'd love the WB fo life, but the #1 777 fo in DFW is sen 600ish, out of 15,000, over half the list could be line holding 737/320 captains, so we junior pukes have a long way to go.
 

L-16B

Well-Known Member
This is right where I'm at. Right now I'm commuting to reserve either as a NB captain, or a WB first officer. Reserve 73 Captain pay is $4K/mo more than 85 hours of 76 fo pay, but only $3.3K/mo more than 777/787/330 fo pay. And for everyone that asks why I'd commute to reserve, my pay is $5K/month more than 85 hours as a bus/73 fo, thats just too much to leave on the table. I'd probably take the pay hit to sit reserve at home on the 777, but since I'm commuting either way, I'll take the bigger check. Thats straight pay, the 16% 401 contributions make the difference bigger.

If you could pick up an over guarantee trip on reserve as a WB fo, you will probably make up the difference. Thats not real easy, depending on base, as the senior people scoop up trips, at straight time.

I'd love the WB fo life, but the #1 777 fo in DFW is sen 600ish, out of 15,000, over half the list could be line holding 737/320 captains, so we junior pukes have a long way to go.
I’ve decided to set random fires all over trophy club and flush out these senior widebody FO’s :)
 
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