Real Answers from Real Pilots

What Should I do next?

I am 30 years old and my only hope for becoming a commercial pilot is American Airlines Academy. So far I have 60hrs and 5 hrs solo all paid for with money I earned doing lesser jobs that I have no interest in doing. Right now I am a motorcoach operator (think greyhound bus driver) which I hate doing because I feel like a failure who settled for a lesser similar type job. Also this work limits my ability to schedule flight training because I always get called to drive on my scheduled off days to which if I refused would cause my company to give me little or no work assignments in retaliation which has happened at 2 companies causing me to have to change jobs and stop and restart training altogether. Also i have tried 10+ times to be a flight attendant but always fail at the video interview despite losing weight and working on so many aspects such as my appearance etc.

Since I don’t have anyone to ask to co-sign a loan, I don’t know anyone with an airplane, I’m not signed up for aopa or obap and cannot take advantage of their limited scholarships, what, if any options do i have to be a pilot? Right now I am so desperate for this dream that i even collect cans off the side of roads and out of trash cans for extra money. I’m willing to work hard to achieve my dream but I’m not getting anywhere. I need some advice or maybe just a little hope or encouragement because honestly I don’t know where I’ll be in 5 years. Right now I’m feeling negative, pessimistic, and cynical because I’d be happy as a flight attendant if given the chance. I feel like people just say find what you want and get it. As if I am too lazy and stupid to know what I want and go get it. I know what I want but am struggling to achieve it.


What’s wrong with being a motorcoach driver? Why is that a “lesser” job? I’m an airline Capt and I’m proud of the job I do but I was just as proud when I was a laborer digging ditches and driving a cement truck. There are no lesser jobs. There are people with mental and physical handicaps or other issues who think your job is a dream. You should take pride in ANY job you have and always do your best. That’s how things improve. I can tell you from working at the airlines for 14yrs that becoming a Flight Attendant has little to do with your weight and looks but has EVERYTHING to do with your attitude and how you present yourself. I also have to say if you have problems with getting called or scheduled on off days being an airline pilot (or FA) is definitely not for you.

If your only hope for becoming a pilot is the AA Academy because of their financing options then you should apply but I have to tell you they too will be looking at how you present yourself and your attitude. Sure some people are very privileged but there are far more that aren’t. I don’t know you but I can tell you all this negativity helps nothing.


1 Like


If you would be happy being a flight attendant, I would focus your efforts there. As you know, flight training is rather expensive, I would not try to do that when your goal is really just to be in the industry.

Furthermore, whatever is holding you back from being successful in flight attendant interviews would also likely prevent success in a pilot interview. I suggest looking into Flight Attendant schools or finishing schools as a way to polish your public persona.


Another thing to look into would be using a college, its not the fastest way to do flight training and usually more expense but it helps with getting student loans if you can’t get approved another way. Theres also republics LIFT academy which will assist in getting you a loan.

You are absolutely right that my negativity is what was holding me back. I failed to see it, but I was jaded and bitter since I felt that I failed at my late age. I changed my outlook and will keep trying. I have hope for Lift Academy or American Airlines Cadet Academy. Otherwise it likely will never happen in time for the 65 year retirement.

P.S. Working on off days isnt a problem unless my goal is to get my pilot’s license and I need time away from work to perform flight training.

Just an update: i interviewed and tested at Lift Academy in late February and was accepted and approved for funding. My training in Indianapolis starts in June. I take back what i said about motorcoaches being a lesser job. Driving buses is likely what i will be doing to pay my rent once i relocate to indianapolis, indiana. I am so excited.


Glad it worked out for you. Feel free to keep us posted on your progress.