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Alaska Airlines info help

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Alaska Airlines info help

Old 31st Mar 2019, 20:23
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Alaska Airlines info help

Hello,

I'm living and working in Canada, in the right seat on a 737NG. My green card and US ATP conversion are well underway (married a dual citizen). I'll have the license in the next month and green card by year's end it looks like.

The goal is Alaska Airlines right now, research says they're a good company and I like the domiciles. Trying to find the time at layovers to bump into a Alaska crew to get some insight on bases, working conditions, moral etc.

Appreciate any help from an Alaska guy or gal.

Cheers,
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 20:52
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https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/alaska/

i suggest this forum. Its for alaska crew members.
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 00:09
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Thanks weasil
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 16:23
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Maybe I should start another thread... Anyone have an idea of approximate upgrade times at the majors in the US?
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 21:11
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Originally Posted by R D K View Post
Anyone have an idea of approximate upgrade times at the majors in the US?
No reliable answer to that question because people can only tell you what has already happened...not what will happen. And what IS happening will be different next year or maybe sooner.

In my 35 years in Part 121 (and observations afterward) I've seen upgrades go from a few years to never. The list of variables affecting upgrade times is almost endless.

While we all understand the interest in this facet of pilot life, upgrade is merely one factor. It's a marathon not a sprint. FWIW, it took my contemporaries and I 15 years (and a furlough or two).
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Old 1st Apr 2019, 21:31
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Thank you for that perspective. I needed to hear that. My colleuges are cheering me on telling me to head south to the US. 'the pay so much more and you'll upgrade faster down there'.

My current job has a wait time of about 12 years. I'm in year five. It's hard to make a move after 5 years with a company I'm finding but the grass does look greener south of the 49th.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 12:15
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Originally Posted by R D K View Post
Thank you for that perspective. I needed to hear that. My colleuges are cheering me on telling me to head south to the US. 'the pay so much more and you'll upgrade faster down there'.

My current job has a wait time of about 12 years. I'm in year five. It's hard to make a move after 5 years with a company I'm finding but the grass does look greener south of the 49th.
In my experience, chasing short upgrade times has rarely been productive. Things in this business change way too quickly and suddenly to do any real planning around seat movement. It took me 10 years and 3 airlines to finally move to the left.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 12:39
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Originally Posted by R D K View Post
Thank you for that perspective. I needed to hear that. My colleuges are cheering me on telling me to head south to the US. 'the pay so much more and you'll upgrade faster down there'.
R D K,

It depends on what your goals are and whether you have the opportunity to pursue them down here. Currently, some regionals appear to have a pretty quick upgrade but a US regional may be a step down from your current situation. Tough call due to the ever-present Wild Card factors in the airline biz. Most of these factors are beyond one's control.

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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 16:24
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Thanks for replies. I'm not simply chasing an upgrade I just have no idea what the attrition is at many of the airlines, it definitely has to factor into the equation though. I'm pretty sure the legacy carriers, like Alaska, have lots of retirements happening. The new younger companies may be expanding fast enough to have short times as well but I suppose the legacy is a safer bet for my career that would be another 25 years or so.

​​​​​​I'll look into some financial analyst stuff I guessto see how Alaska is looking into the future.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 16:39
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R D K,

You may have seen this APC profile of Alaska. Not sure how accurate the info is but their mandatory retirement numbers don't appear as robust as other airlines:

https://www.airlinepilotcentral.com/...laska_airlines
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 17:30
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 17:32
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Thank you for that! This site is a great resource.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 21:29
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RDK - airlinepilotcentral.com has the number of pilots at each airline and the number of retirements by year. We're currently experiencing a large number of retirements in the U.S. airline industry and the number of retirements is increasing.

Life is based on making reasonable assumptions. The assumptions of 2014 indicated, based on retirements that no one has been able to avoid since 1903 since all pilots 'age out' eventually, was that airline pilot upgrades at the largest U.S. airlines would be in the 6 yr (+/-) range. That's happening now. Based on the increasing number of retirements that will drop to 4 yrs (+/-) assuming there's no catastrophic economic event. But even that would only delay the upgrade process slightly.

You mentioned that you're a 737NG FO. Typical new hires have 5000-7000 hrs TT and 3000-4000 PIC, and usually 1000 hrs U.S. 121 PIC time. If you're serious about getting into the U.S. major airline pilot job market flying more as an FO isn't increasing your competitiveness as much as coming to the U.S. would. That would mean getting a regional job, upgrading in 2-4 years, getting 1000 hrs U.S. 121 PIC time, and hoping that you get the call.

Having 737NG time doesn't make a candidate more competitive at an airline that flies 737NG's. In the U.S. they don't care. You're going to the bottom of the list and what you get assigned will be based on you seniority within your new hire class (typically done by age) and what aircraft are available. A class of 20 might have 10 guys with 737 time and 10 guys with Airbus experience. But the 737 guys are senior and want to get assigned to the bases where the Airbus bids are. Guess what, 10 737 qualified guys will be going to Airbus school while 10 Airbus guys will be going to 737 school. It doesn't matter because every new hire will be going to a full school even if they have 10,000 hrs in type as Captain.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 21:40
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At the U.S. majors, due to the quality of life a large w/b FO has, n/b CA's go fairly junior as a percentage of the overall seniority list. Right now it's about 70-75%. So the junior CA out of 10,000 pilots might be seniority number 7000-7500. At some airlines it's almost 80%. That's at the junior bases. At the senior base it's about 70% right now. That's about 2 yrs later than the earliest upgrade at the junior bases.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 22:01
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Misd-agin- I've those experience levels you mentioned with the exception of the 121 experience. It's airline experience in Canada that I bring. I have an opportunity to upgrade on the 737 B scale at my airline this summer which I'm planning to take whistle waiting for my green card application to complete. It will be a decrease in quality of life but I was thinking it would help me get on with a major US carrier. I do not have a four year degree but I do have a two year diploma. Il'l will have to re-evaluate this move if I would have to go to a regional first. Thank you again folks.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 00:51
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I think you'll need the 4 year degree to stand much of a chance. I completed one at an accredited school in the U.S online in about a year. I was able to use some credits from my Canadian two year and FAA ATP. Check out degreeforum.net
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 02:34
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Originally Posted by R D K View Post
Misd-agin- I've those experience levels you mentioned with the exception of the 121 experience. It's airline experience in Canada that I bring. I have an opportunity to upgrade on the 737 B scale at my airline this summer which I'm planning to take whistle waiting for my green card application to complete. It will be a decrease in quality of life but I was thinking it would help me get on with a major US carrier. I do not have a four year degree but I do have a two year diploma. Il'l will have to re-evaluate this move if I would have to go to a regional first. Thank you again folks.
Canada airline 737 FO and CA time is good time of course. But itís certainly not as valuable as you think it iis in the eyes of a legacy or major recruiter in the US.

Just to put things in perspective. Thereís plenty of good candidates in US operations flying 777, 767, 737 as CA and not getting calls from majors.

Thereís also a LOT more stranded in the Middle East with thousands of hours left seat in heavy metal.

Honestly, you have to swallow the fact you will probably end up at a regional first and then either side step to a place like Omni or Kalitta and then to a major.

Slim chance you MAY get picked up right off the bat with your fresh green card in hand but I highly doubt it. I genuinely hope you can prove me wrong though!

just keep in mind that aviation in the US is MUCH bigger than anywhere else in the world and as such, what you think is valued highly in your country, is really normal or even below par in the US.

best of luck!
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 02:48
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Originally Posted by havick View Post


Canada airline 737 FO and CA time is good time of course. But itís certainly not as valuable as you think it iis in the eyes of a legacy or major recruiter in the US.

Just to put things in perspective. Thereís plenty of good candidates in US operations flying 777, 767, 737 as CA and not getting calls from majors.

Thereís also a LOT more stranded in the Middle East with thousands of hours left seat in heavy metal.

Honestly, you have to swallow the fact you will probably end up at a regional first and then either side step to a place like Omni or Kalitta and then to a major.

Slim chance you MAY get picked up right off the bat with your fresh green card in hand but I highly doubt it. I genuinely hope you can prove me wrong though!

just keep in mind that aviation in the US is MUCH bigger than anywhere else in the world and as such, what you think is valued highly in your country, is really normal or even below par in the US.

best of luck!
I totally agree I thought I'd be a shoe in with 5 type rating, many thousands of hours including jet Pic and my fresh degree and green card in hand
After a few job fairs and lots of applications I realized it was a regional or nothing
I still moved to the US and love it. No regrets I am commuting to China though !
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 03:07
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Ah well this has got me down a bit. Glad to know what the realities are, appreciate it.
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Old 3rd Apr 2019, 03:35
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Commuting to Canada and living in the U.S initially is a decent option. I did that for a couple of years. There's others doing it as well..
There are some big tax advantages depending on the routes you fly. You will have to figure out health insurance. I used Obamacare.
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