Pay and Benefits

Pilots at most commercial airlines in the United States and Canada are unionized. This means that each pilot group negotiates the pay, work rules, and benefits for its members. As there is no cookie-cutter approach to collective bargaining, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is working to strengthen collaboration among ALPA and non-ALPA pilot groups and develop favorable bargaining patterns across pilot group lines. Every pilot group has its own set of contract goals. Prior to bargaining, each pilot group typically conducts a comprehensive analysis of the environment then establishes the goals, objectives, and initiatives of the collective group.

Take a look at the two charts below that show salary estimates and bonuses for first-year pilots at regional airlines in the United States, and current career-progression models.

First-Year F/O Salary Estimates and Bonuses

Notes: Estimated wages use hourly pay rates (as of April 2017), reserve guarantee per month, and available first-year bonuses.
* Amount includes $10,000 as a retention bonus payment in year one, as F/Os receive a $20,000 retention bonus paid in installments of $2,500 per quarter over a two-year period.
** Amount includes a new-hire bonus of $10,000 for E175 pilots (Q400 pilots are eligible for a $15,000 new-hire bonus).
*** Amount includes a new-hire bonus of $22,100 for CRJ pilots (E-Jet pilots are eligible for a $30,000 new-hire bonus).

Career-Progression Opportunities

Airline Program Type Program Terms
Air Wisconsin Career Pathway Program (CPP, United)
A participant who successfully meets CPP criteria will be offered conditional employment as a United Airlines pilot at the earliest available opportunity, subject to all program requirements and limitations. (Note: ARW will begin flying for United in September 2017 and will not be eligible for CPP until after that time.)
Commutair
Career Path (CPP, United) A participant who successfully meets CPP criteria will be offered conditional employment as a United Airlines pilot at the earliest available opportunity, subject to all program requirements and limitations.
Endeavor Streamlined Selection Process (SSP) & Delta Guaranteed Interview (DGI) Program
SSP—For 2013–2016: 12 positions; 2017: 15 positions; 2018 and beyond:  20 positions.

DGI—New-hire pilots are eligible for this program. After meeting all criteria, a pilot will be eligible for an interview at Delta.
 Envoy  Flow (American)

824: 50% of positions in American Airlines (AA) training classes (Envoy to release no fewer than 20 pilots/month if AA is hiring; upon delivery of first EMB175, flow will increase to no fewer than 30 pilots/month).

Protected Pilots: 35% of each new AA new-hire class, upon delivery of 40th EMB 175, 50% of AA training class (no fewer than 25 pilots/month). Pilots hired after 10/11/11: At the point in time when the first pilot hired after 10/11/11 is offered a flow opportunity, 35% of AA new-hire training class (no fewer than 15 pilots/month). Pilots hired after DOS: At the point in time when the first pilot hired after DOS is offered a flow opportunity, the lesser of 25% of AA training classes or 5 times the number of months in a calendar year in which AA hired pilots.
 ExpressJet  Career Pathway Program (CPP, United)
 United has committed to hiring 25% of new-hire pilots or 25% of ExpressJet’s eligible pilots each year, whichever is lower.
 Piedmont  Flow (American)
Lesser of 25% of new pilot positions or 3 new pilot positions per each month American is hiring. No interview required. Pilots on the seniority list prior to the amendable date are eligible.
 PSA  Flow (American)

2016 and beyond: Lesser of 5 per month or 25% of class must be PSA pilots flowing to AA. Provision to increase up to 8 per month based on PSA captain staffing. A pilot with less than 12 years of service who declines the flow will cap at 12 years of service and continue to receive annual April 1 scale increases.