I will try to keep this as concise as possible, given that I tend to provide all available information just in case it’s relevant!
My name is Freddie and I’m currenly a flight attendant with United. I had the pleasure of flying with Chris last month and thanks to him I am a member of this blog and seek any useful advise based on members’ expertise.
It took me a while to finally begin a thread with some questions because I was trying to do some investigation on my own first and make sure I don’t ask you to repeat something you’ve probably answered a million times.
I am 39 years old and I know I should have a sense of urgency to hurry up if I am to return to a major airline as is my ambition. I have also overwhelmingly been advised as I’ve asked pilots along the way recently that if I am sure of this decision (which I am), the best advise is to go ahead and do it all as fast as possible. I like this approach anyway since I AM a workhorse and can put in long hours and limited break days are needed.
The only reason I don’t drop everything and start at ATP right NOW is for a couple of reasons:
As mentioned, I am currently a flight attendant, I will be with the company for 5 years next month. Only after my 5 year mark am I vested with any retirement contributions I’ve made over 5 years so it makes perfect sense to wait out the 5 year anniversary.
This is not a great excuse but I have two weddings to attend this year. These are close family members and I am almost expected to be there and family IS very important to me. One is in June which doesn’t provide a big problem, but the second is not until November. Being an employee with UAL gives me a great benefit of getting myself and my mother to the wedding destination, but this is just money and time is also money…especially for me as time is of the essence while trying to get back to a major airline and, being in the airline industry already, I know how important seniority also play a role. Even a few months makes a huge difference. In my research, however, I have considered certain compromises:
I have heard ATP as the place to go to most frequently than any other school as far as flight school. They are efficient. They’ll get you from zero to commercial pilot in the most quick and efficient way is what I’ve concluded. Here is my first question:
???? Is the program at ATP a start to finish, no break program??
I ask because if I can arrange a break for the November wedding, then I can commit to ATP very soon after my five years with my current position.
If a “break” is not possible, as I have investigated with other local flight schools, I could a head start and perhaps obtain my PPL locally while I complete this year’s “commitments” and begin at ATP in an advanced stage. Does ATP allow for that or are they strictly a beginning to end curriculum? If this is not a possibility with ATP, any other strong programs that you can recommend that you know would allow for this?
I have more questions but I should wait for responses on this so that I don’t put my entire flow chart diagram here depending on answers.
I will lastly only mention more of my own current resume. I do have a 4 year degree. I have a BA in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics. I worked for 5 years in a NASA facility before getting my wanderlust and began traveling an changing addresses. I began in the airline industry on the ramp for DGS (Delta Global Services). I then became a Customer Service Agent with United in a small station where we worked the entire operation: Ramp, Ticket Counter, Boarding Gate, Baggage. Finally I became a Flight Attendant with United just under 5 years ago. I don’t know if any of this is relevant in any way. Perhaps when the time comes to be considered with a major airline? In any case, for what it’s worth, there it is.
I apologize for the length, I will try to keep the questions more concise in the future!
Thank you very much in advance.