Real Answers from Real Pilots

Base

Once I get to a major airline, how easy is it to select where I am based out of? If I wanted to go for, say Southwest, how easy is it to become based out of Phoenix?
Is it based on seniority as well as the needs of the airlines?

Eric,

Well first I’d be more concerned with getting to a Major since that’s no simple task. After that the answer is yes and yes. You will be sent where the airline needs you which is in most cases the most junior base. As you gain seniority you can bid for the base of your choice but depending on many factors that may take some time. Generally the older an airline is the more their pilots get more and more dug in to certain bases. In some cases it can be almost impossible to get where you want in others its easy. Again I’d be more concerned with getting hired at a Major at all, actually I’d be more concerned with finishing my training, building my hours and getting hired at a Regional before I’d be too concerned about what may or may not be an issue 10 yrs from now.

Adam

Thanks! I’m really looking forward to get my training started.

Eric,

When I was hired at Continental, I wanted to be based in EWR and was immediately awarded such as it is a junior base. For those pilots who wanted Houston, I believe it took a year or so. But this varies so much from one airline to the next, what the intended base is, and whether or not the airline is hiring. It is impossible to give an exact number, or really even a range, in answer to your question.

Chris

Thanks guys.
I have my intro flight scheduled and will begin my lessons, probably two a week until my wife and I can switch full-time/part-time work schedules.
I can’t wait!