Real Answers from Real Pilots

Better to be senior F/O or junior Captain/

I SEE advantages to each.

Would you like your pay to double? The advantage in that alone is clear to me, but I’ll wait for the mods to chime in.

Daniel,

You’re 100% right, there are advantages to both. It comes down to what’s important to YOU. As far as Sergey is concerned, money seems to be the driving factor and that’s fine (although it’s generally not double). For many people it’s more about Quality of Life. If you’re a very senior FO chances are you’re in the top 10% of the seniority list. That means weekends and holidays off and flying the trips you want to fly to the destinations you want to fly to with the people you want to fly with.

Now I was just a mid-seniority FO on the A330 (our biggest and highest paying aircraft). I just upgraded to Capt on the 717 (our junior aircraft). Paywise it’s really going to be a wash. While the 717 Capt seat pays more per hour, I’ll be losing International per diem and trip rigs. I also had a better schedule on the A330 due to my seniority as an FO. So if my schedule didn’t improve and the money’s the same, why do it? Because I was tired of flying long haul trips and enjoy being home all night. Widebody flying was taking a toll on me and I’d rather sleep in my own bed every night than live out of a suitcase. In a couple of years I’ll be able to hold A330 Capt which means ALOT of money. I’m hoping I’m in a position to say no financially because I’m really not a fan. Some pilots love it. Some just chase the money, some need to fly the biggest plane in the fleet, some need to be called Capt. No one is wrong and no one is right. Again it’s what’s most important for you.

Adam

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