1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Which Regional? (ORD)

Discussion in 'Airline Pilots' started by zVo, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. zVo

    zVo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm an active duty military helicopter pilot that's looking to get hired with a regional to be based out of Chicago (ORD) since it's close to family and seems to be junior everywhere. I have all my prerequisites completed for my ATP, so it's really a matter of which of the following ORD-based airlines have the best overall quality of life:

    - SkyWest
    - Envoy
    - Trans States
    - Republic
    - Air Wisconsin
    - GoJet

    Which would you personally recommend in the current hiring environment and why?
     
  2. Yakob

    Yakob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    388
    Likes Received:
    312
    I'd recommend Envoy, as they pay the most out of all of those, and also have a flow to American (which while it could be cancelled eventually, could also come in handy if you can't get hired at mainline "fair and square", so to speak). You mention you already have the prerequisites completed for the ATP, so I assume you already have a fixed-wing certificate and adequate fixed-wing time but if you don't they have a Rotor Transition Program which may be of interest: https://www.envoyair.com/pilots/rotor-transition-program/

    Republic might not be a bad choice either, they don't pay quite as much as Envoy but then their hourly rates are also higher, they just have smaller bonuses. Republic seems like they have a good chance of being around for a while as they provide feed for American, Delta and United (so they don't have all their eggs in just one nest box). Also they have an all 68-76 seater fleet and a relatively new fleet overall, so their fleet probably won't be retired as soon. 50-seat regional jets may not be profitable to operate if oil prices go up significantly. However as far as I know ORD is not a junior base, although I'm not sure how long it would take to hold it. On the other hand, I believe EWR is fairly junior and many of the ORD-EWR flights (at least on United/ United Express) are operated by Republic, which could help with commuting.

    So I would definitely recommend Envoy first, then Republic.

    Air Wisconsin might not be a bad choice with all the bonuses they are offering, but keep in mind the ORD base isn't open yet, and they also have a relatively old, all 50-seater fleet which means it may be retired sooner. SkyWest doesn't pay as well as the others but they have a very stable history, and for a number of reasons they are likely to be around for a while (they provide feed for 4 different mainline partners, are adding new aircraft and have many outstanding orders for new aircraft, and are the largest regional- meaning there are no regionals that can match their economy of scale, which enables them to undercut much of their competition).

    Best of luck with your job search, and with your entry to the airlines.
     
    zVo likes this.
  3. zVo

    zVo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yakob,

    I appreciate your insight. I've been doing lots of research on the different companies, but it's hard to get objective analysis on which would be the best opportunity.

    I really like the idea of SkyWest because they historically have been run very well, but I think you're right -- Envoy seems like they may be the best overall option right now. I'll have to do more research into Republic, too, because they seem like they have a promising future as well.
     
  4. Zondaracer

    Zondaracer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    367
    SkyWest
    Envoy
    Republic
    Air Wisconsin

    Not in that particular order.

    I work at SkyWest. ORD is our most junior base on the E175 (for both FO and Captain) and our second most junior base for the CRJ.

    Yes, we pay less since we don't have the huge bonuses as the other companies. For comparison sake, at today's pay rate, my gross income on first year pay would have been 50k and second year was 60k. (That's what the pay stub says and it is just pay, bonuses, and per diem and the 401k match). Take it for what it's worth.

    You have a lot of choices in ORD.
     
  5. Rodger Wilco

    Rodger Wilco Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    35
    Professional Pilots of Tomorrow- It is kinda a mentoring thing for up and coming pilots but they have a really nice comparison chart for all the regionals. They also get you in contact with line pilots who are not recruiters, you can ask them specific questions and get a realistic answer.

    +1 for SkyWest here, but then again I am biased. I think that Skywest has the best contract and QOL. Not to mention they have never furloughed a pilot. They have very solid finances. And, they are not wholly owned (wholly dependent) on any one Major Carrier.

    I don't get too excited about flow programs, it is just a carrot at the end of a stick. I am suspicious that very few of the overall pilot group will ever get grasp the carrot.

    ***Whatever you do go to a company that you wouldn't mind being stuck at for a decade or so! Times are good now but we just don't know when the music may stop.***
     
  6. bimmerphile

    bimmerphile Open-Air Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    1,567
    Likes Received:
    2,296
    lol
     
    m77y, bike21, ClarkGriswold and 11 others like this.
  7. RamRise

    RamRise Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    67
    Skywest is not a bad choice. ORD is our largest base and your seniority will accrue rather quickly here, which is the QOL factor that outweighs many of the 'contractual' differences between the airlines. After only 6 months since DOH here I'm bidding near to 70 percent.
    Though E175 ORD FO is the only overstaffed seat in the house, from what I make of it.
     
  8. Cloud Surfer

    Cloud Surfer Slinger of the Gear

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    485
    I am a SkyWest pilot, but I will be completely honest with you against my own best interests for having you come here by saying that I think that Envoy on paper (I have never worked there, so I can't say what Envoy's QOL is like) offers a much a better deal for anyone wanting an ORD base. We have splendidly lagged behind them for what is being offered to regional airline neophytes nowadays. I would avoid Trans States and GoJet like the plague. Republic is all right, I suppose. Air Wisconsin pays a lot, but they are rebounding from an interval of instability and are somewhat of an unknown for now--but recent regional history shows that rebounding regionals may be a smart move.
     
  9. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    621
    Little bird tells me they are a bit of a gamble right now, but not necessarily in a bad way - worst case - you get what's on paper.

    I'm set where I'm at right now, but if I was looking at regionals and ORD base (and I was), I'd be updating my list of those regionals monthly until employed

    Air Wisconsin if you don't mind gambling a bit and are cool with CRJ200 and the idea that the future is only certain for the next 5 years as the worst case scenario. I would strongly consider this. There are some interesting, if weird af, things being discussed in the mainline.

    Skywest as a "failsafe". Pay situation could be better. 175 seat - guys who know the current situation better please correct me if I'm wrong - but looks like mostly goes to late-mid 30yo.

    Envoy - equipment, flow, upgrade times. With the MIA base imana keep it as plan C for myself.

    Republic - insufficient info, but might not be a bad option too.

    It's kinda hard to predict where the industry randomizer is going to place them all 5 years from now ))
     
  10. zVo

    zVo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    3
    Out of curiosisty, what weird AF things being discussed at the mainline could work to the benefit of, say, Air Wisconsin a few years down the road?
     
    Rodger Wilco likes this.
  11. JordanD

    JordanD Sizeable Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    7,492
    Likes Received:
    6,644
    ORD ERJ at SkyWest is absolutely awesome if you live in Chicago and want to get paid to sit at home. But if you want to upgrade, be prepared to wait/transfer to another base to actually fly while your friends that flew the CRJ upgrade months before you do.
     
    WaterRooster likes this.
  12. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    940
    Likes Received:
    621
    Not at liberty to speculate. As I said in that post - what you see is what you are signing up for because that's what it might stay.
     
  13. BEEF SUPREME

    BEEF SUPREME Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,814
    Likes Received:
    3,252
    I work at SkyWest I fly the ERJ and I was based at ORD. I actually think it is a great place to work. I've had 2 part 91 jobs: one light jet, one large cabin and 2 charter jobs, one as a king air captain and Citation FO and the other as a super mid size FO with an upgrade to captain. While I don't know much about 121 yet, I will say SkyWest has treated me better than any other aviation company I have every worked for in over 12 years of aviation. Also, I have yet to fly with someone I don't like or work with an FA that I didn't like. Everyone I've met in mgmt has been great. Working with people you enjoy being around makes the difference between absolute misery on the road and looking forward to coming back to work.

    The training staff have all been very professional and I have seen first hand the care they put into trainees who are having trouble in ERJ initial. So much so that I got into the spirit of things and helped everyone I could when I was at training. Now I have some new lifelong friends. I'd say it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience so far. So much so that it may have cured my long term aviation burn out from dealing with poor treatment from mgmt and crews at my former places of employment.

    Life in ORD: I started at the beginning of the year. Now I would be in the low 120 seniority number at ORD which would put me well within holding a line as last I checked there were about 150 lines in ORD for FOs. Its really not bad on reserve as well, if you don't want to fly a lot and want to spend time with family. Or you can pick up open time on your days off and make some extra money. I made about 4K in June by sitting reserve and not getting called and picking up LGA turns on my days off. I worked a total of 12 days in June. Not bad for a first year FO.

    While I have had a few disappointments they have been fairly typical of having to go to work. A job is a job as they say. Yes our pay is lagging behind other regional airlines but keep in mind the bonuses may not be around forever and the pay at SkyWest is hard pay.

    As I said before I don't know much about 121 so I can't say anything about other regional airlines. I did jumpseat on an Envoy aircraft with 2 very happy and fun pilots. The FO was looking forward to his no interview class date at AA. Which seemed very nice but I realize that these things don't always work out in the end. I was happy for both of those pilots and wish them well but I feel secure working for a growing regional that is managed well. If things go bad economically those bonuses and flow through agreements could vanish overnight. I'd say work where you feel you would be happy and work as hard as you can to move to the majors.
     
  14. Nark

    Nark Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,821
    Likes Received:
    3,032
    An otherwise positive post, I take exception to the bold, underlined, italic part:
    Could you drink a beer on the other 18 days? A reserve period not called, is still a day of work.

    I've heard some really poopy QOL as of late with Skywest.

    Is it true, that you can be awarded a schedule, only to have it erased and replaced with the "company needs" schedule, before your bid is finalized?
     
    Skåning likes this.
  15. BEEF SUPREME

    BEEF SUPREME Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,814
    Likes Received:
    3,252
    Well please keep in mind I'm comparing all of this to my horrible charter and part 91 past. So yeah 18 days of not being able to drink a beer until 4pm. I see your point, but my point is: it's not that bad. I waited until 4 and went to the pizza place on my block that had a happy hour. I wouldn't say this was difficult. Or even unusual but I do understand that I wasn't free to go sailing, for example. I had to be ready to be at the airport.

    Also with FOs being pushed into ORD at all times ORD is a lot better for FO reserve than other bases but since the OP lives in ORD well, it seemed like a good thing to mention my experience in ORD.

    I think a lot of the scheduling shenanigans you mentioned are happening on the CRJ side. If SkyWest adds more flying it will likely get worse. In the charter world we called it growing pains. It sucks and it is done on the backs of employees and I don't like it. However, I haven't experienced it anywhere near the level I used to.
     
    Nark likes this.
  16. JordanD

    JordanD Sizeable Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    7,492
    Likes Received:
    6,644
    Depends on the airframe/base. Things seem generally ok on the Embraer, but I know the CRJ guys get worked pretty hard and don't have nearly the reserve staffing. CRJ people would have to comment on the whole CN thing, I've yet to have it happen so I don't really know the details of it.
     
  17. word302

    word302 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    129
    CNs are mostly caused by people not understanding the PBS software or how to bid for their seniority.
     
    PropDriver and Rodger Wilco like this.
  18. podrick

    podrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    5
    I fly for envoy on the 145 based out of ORD. As a newhire you can get ORD right away if thats what you want here. Overall QOL as an FO in ORD is good, I've only been at the company going on 8 months now and hold a line with 14 days off and every weekend off. Theres a good amount of movement on the FO side in ORD so reserve is not very long. Very easy to pick up day trips as OT on your days off for 150% or 200% pay depending on the month and staffing. On the 145 we have a good amount of variety between trips in that we fly all over our system (ORD, LGA, MIA, sometimes DFW).

    A buddy of mine started at Skywest at about the same time I started at envoy, both based out of ORD so it's been cool to compare the differences between our experiences. I'll try and give you a fair side by side comparison based on that, skywest guys feel free to correct me if anything I say is incorrect:

    At the end of the day they're both regionals, don't let anyone convince you otherwise. Our hourly pay is the same ($38 at envoy, $37 at skywest) only difference is sign on bonus ($22,100). We spent about the same amount of time on reserve before we were able to hold a line. Upgrade times are about the same now. From our experiences we get treated similarly by the company. There are a few differences regarding rules we have in our contract versus whats in their "contract", but nothing substantial enough that I'd base your decision off of.

    Biggest difference I've noticed is it at least seems like theres better morale at skywest, and I'd say thats mostly just because pilots at envoy that have been around longer than 1 year have been through a lot of rough times in the past few years. Envoy also of course has the flow, theres lots of speculation about the flow, but at the very least it means there will be movement above you. Theres a few cultural differences, for example white shirt and black tie on day one at skywest, versus jeans and a collared shirt at envoy, again small differences that may or may not matter to some.

    Either way I think they're both a solid choice, if you have any envoy specific questions don't hesitate to ask. Personally I would interview at any regional you're interested in and see what company feels like the right fit. Good luck!
     
    Skåning and zVo like this.
  19. Ayork62493

    Ayork62493 GBR

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Messages:
    951
    Likes Received:
    371
    I have 13 off with 93 credit this month on the CRJ in Denver. I'd consider this a good schedule. 91 hours of credit was the minimum line value, and it keeps rising.
     
  20. wheelsup

    wheelsup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,572
    Likes Received:
    2,334
    Probably not a good thing
     

Share This Page