If you are a pilot, you may have a company that is more or less your dream company to work for. Others do not really know which airline to target they just take it as it comes. There are more than a few pilots that have taken the first offer they received. So the big question is which is the best airline to work for? The answer is…..(drum roll please)….the one that is best for you, here is why.
Each airline has their own pilot bases and being based where you live is a definite plus in quality of life. If you want to live in a certain part of the country, you may choose an airline that has a base nearby.
Some people have it in their mind to choose an airline based on equipment. If you have always wanted to fly international, then choosing a domestic based carrier like Southwest would not really work for you.
This is one area that really gets overlooked and should be examined more closely. A airline managements style should be examined so that you can get a feel of how you will be treated. Certain management groups are more prone to make deep cuts without much regard to their employees opinions or lifestyles. Some are more prone to furlough at the first sign of economical crisis. This can have so much impact on your career over the long run. A look at management style can show you whether that group truly values their pilot and flight attendant groups. A lot of them have the traditional view of employee groups and a good indicator of that is the presence of unions in a company.
Perks such as employee travel and benefits use to be a big deal in the airline industry. Today it is not that big of a deal. One of the reason it is not that beneficial is that planes are more full than they were a few years ago which make it hard to travel on a non revenue basis. If you are trying to travel with a family of four and the flights are always full, it can take some of the shine off the apple.
Pay use to be one of the major factors in choosing an airline. Pilots use to make some handsome salaries and have a good quality of life. Now today, everything is about companies returning to profitabilities and pay has gone down. Gone are the days of make 300K flying the wide body overseas a couple times per month. Now its about long hours and long trips just to get your time in. The money is ok, but you can make a lot more money in other industries without all the hassle (my opinion)