Real Answers from Real Pilots

Tuition and sign-on bonus

I have a question. My parents are thinking about financing my ATP schooling themselves and then I would pay them back later. Would the tuition reimbursement given to me by the airlines still apply even though it is not through a bank?
Also, in regards to sign-on bonuses from an airline: If I understand the process right, I begin to interview with the airlines at 500 hours, correct? If I am hired by an airline then I make an agreement to fly for them, but until then I am still instructing for ATP until that magic 1500 hours. If the airline has a sign-on bonus, would the airlines give the bonus to me while I am instructing, or will they wait until I finish instructing and am actually flying for the airline?

Lynn,

Great questions. The Tuition Reimbursement would be paid directly to you whether you self-finance or go to a bank so in your case, yes you could pay your parents back. You’re understanding of the way it works (continue to instruct) is correct however the Tuition Reimbursement only comes from a Regional that you’ve agreed to fly for at approx. the 500hr mark. By accepting the Tuition Reimbursement you are in effect taking a portion of the sign-on bonus early as that’s where the money is coming from.

Adam

Actually, it depends on which regional hires you. Some regionals will
deduct the sign on bonus from the tuition reimbursement and others give you
both. I couldn’t tell you the details of each regIonal’s contract. Even if
I could things could change. That will be a conversation to have once you
are nearing 500 TT.

Tory

Great! If I make it through the program and instruct for ATP, do you know when the interviews would begin? I believe on the website it stated around 500 hrs, but I read elsewhere that it could start as early as 350 hrs. Also, will I have the opportunity to interview with all the airlines that are partnered with ATP, or just some of the airlines who choose me to interview? Thanks!

Lynn,

I believe you answered your own question. Most interview around 500hrs but it could start as early as 350. Since all the Regionals are aggressively recruiting you should have the opportunity to interview with all ATP’s partners.

Adam

Lynn,

You should have the opportunity to interview with all of the airlines, but of course there are no guarantees.

Chris