Real Answers from Real Pilots

What is a Bid period?

Whenever I go through Airlinepilotcentral website to look at different airlines, for example American, southwest, United. I notice each have a pay rate, credit time, and percentage. But I don’t understand what the bid period does ? Could someone explain to what that does and how that may affect the pay.

Hello Luke and welcome,

All a bid period means is the length of time a pilot “bids” for their schedule. Typically it’s a month at most airlines since each time you bid it’s for the following month (some cargo carriers have 2 month bids). Since we use a solar calendar and the months are uneven day wise (30 days has Sept, bla bla bla) airlines will shorten or extend a month day wise so each “bid period” is more even. Doesn’t really effect your pay since your pay is really based on the hourly rate and hours you fly within that “bid period”.

Adam

Thanks Adam

I still don’t understand because every time I readjusted the bid the salary would go up on the Airlinepilotcentral website. typically does it just stay at 1 ?

Luke,

Don’t get hung up on that calculator. Just take the hourly rate, multiply it by how many hours you think you might work in a month (somewhere between 73 and 95), that will give you a monthly salary. Then simply multiply by 12 to get an annual salary.

Chris

Luke,

As Chris said don’t get hung up on the calculator. But again to explain, treat the bid period as a month. One bid period is one month SOOOO if you take the 75hrs x $100 per hour (for example) and set the bid period at 1 you get $7500 per bid period or month. Move it to 2 on the bid period and you’ll have 2 months of 75hrs (150hrs) and the pay doubles. Move it to 3 etc etc etc.

Make sense?

Adam

Thanks Adam and Chris,

Yes that makes sense,
but when would moving up the bid to 2 or 3 be necessary? Does the airlines do that?

Luke,

The calculator that you are looking at is just a tool for helping you determine annual or monthly salary. The “bid period” options should really only say 1 for monthly or 12 for annual.

Chris

Thank you Adam and Chris. I fully understand.

Luke,

Just to wrap this one up, pilot’s are silly and as a rule LOVE to play with numbers especially when it comes to pay. All that bid period slider allows you to do is say “oooh, let me see how much I make per quarter, per 6 mos, every 2 mos…” etc. It’s silly but it’s easier than breaking out another calculator.

Adam

Adam,

Thank you for the wrap up, Im so interested in becoming a commercial pilot that I just like to ask questions and figure out everything I could about it. three questions I have is

  1. what software do y’all use when flying, is it foreflight ?
  2. what do they look for on a resume? or do any of y’all have an example of an excellent resume?
  3. Do y’all know any hiring managers for either regional or commercial airlines ? Id like to reach out to them.

Luke,

  1. ATP does use ForeFlight in their training. ForeFlight is generally for general and corporate aviation. Commercial carriers use a variety of other vendors.

  2. Obviously every pilot’s resume will vary and what they look for at a Regional won’t be the same as what they do as a Major. In many cases airlines won’t even require a resume as most applicants apply online. That said all airlines have hiring minimums so the number one factor is you MUST meet them just to apply and most also list “competitive” minimums. If you visit http://pilotjobs.atpflightschool.com/ you can look at a variety of airlines hiring criteria. Beyond that it’s the typical education etc.

  3. With all do respect Luke if I started passing out contact info for the people in hiring at any airline I’d probably find myself unemployed or at least friendless. There are channels to getting hired but before anything you must get your licenses and ratings then build your time. At that pint you can apply to a Regional and start your career. Once you’re at a Regional you can begin to do some networking will help you in the future. Now is not the time to be contacting anyone.

Adam

Thank you Adam,
1)Could you tell me what those other vendors may be?
2)Great link thank you Adam
3) I understand your point

Most airlines use one of the products from Jeppensen or Lido. Again though I really think your cart is on Rte 66 while your horse is still asleep in the barn.

Adam

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hahah, Thanks Adam. I like to overload myself with information and learn about the aviation path. The more I know now the better I can prepare myself after college while going through ATP flight program.

Ok? I’m no one to tell anyone else what to do. I just feel your time, energy and brain storage would be better spent on things more relevant to where you are. Studying or reading about aerodynamics or even human factors in flying are things that will benefit you throughout your career. Knowing what software an airline may or may not be using? Not sure where that fits in?In fact, while I could tell you Hawaiian is currently using Lido I couldn’t tell you much more about it. To quote my instructor who was actually from Airbus “you turn it on and it works and that’s really all you need to know about it”.

Adam

alright, I will be my studying into aerodynamics and human factors. Adam what is your position in the commercial airlines?

Adam I really appreciate your advice. I think you bring a good point, Im just an excited aviator and Im graduating shortly from college. I am just ready for ATP school

Luke,

I’m an Airbus A330 First Officer and a Ground Instructor with Hawaiian Airlines.

No worries Luke. Excited is a good thing. Work hard and you’ll get there… just relax a little :slight_smile:

Adam

Adam,

That is awesome, how long have you been working for Hawaiian ? I live in Texas so I’ve not heard a pilot work for Hawaiian, why did you choose them? did you apply for other airlines as well?

Luke,

I’ve been with Hawaiian for 4 yrs and couldn’t be happier. I chose Hawaiian for a number of reasons. It’s the oldest Major in the US but it’s also the smallest which I like. With all of the consolidation most of the Majors have 10,000 plus pilots and it’s easy to become lost and just a number. Working in an environment where everybody knows everybody is something I enjoy. Even though it’s a public corporation most of the employees are local Hawaiians and they take a great sense of pride in the airline which I also appreciate as well. Finally one of the best features at Hawaiian is the fact that they have both Interisland and Worldwide operations. What that means is you can fly Interisland and be home every night or if you want to fly heavies all over the globe you can do that too. As I said I’m very happy here.

No, I knew for a while this is where I wanted to be and Hawaiian was actually the only airline I applied to. Fortunately I was able to get my first choice.

Adam

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