Real Answers from Real Pilots

Starting at a Regional and moving to a Major

Hi there! Brand new here and looking at going to ATP next year. I have a four year degree, but assume I would need to start at a Regional once I obtained all my hours. Is that correct?

Also, I was recently told by a pilot to find a Regional that you are able to carry your seniority with you to the Major should you be hired there (such as Envoy for AA and Delta connection for Delta). In your experience, does that happen? And if so, would it be likely/possible to get hired with those out of the gate?

Thanks for your help!

Hi Katelyn,

You are correct. It’s great that you have your degree but the Majors want you to have some experience as a pilot before hiring you (can you blame them?). That means flying for a Regional. IF/when you move up to a Major there’s really no way of keeping your seniority. While Regionals like Envoy and Endeavor are currently offing “flow-thrus” to their parent Majors (And remember flow-thrus can be cancelled at any time) even if they let you carry your “relative” seniority (for pass travel) in when you’re hired, you’ll still be junior at the Major when it comes to schedules and upgrades. For now I’d focus on getting trained, building time and getting hired at a Regional vs which Major you have your eyes on maybe 8-10yrs from now. That’s an eternity in this industry and lots can change.

Adam

Hey Adam, when your flying for a regional that is an owned subsidiary of the major you flow through to does your pay seniority follow you or do you start over at the bottom of the pay chart?

Tre,

Your pay will start over when you transition to the major. Typically all of your benefits like seniority for pass travel will also reset as you are beginning your employment with a new company.

Chris