How do pilots get paid?
Pilots at airlines are typically paid a salary based on their level of experience and the type of aircraft they fly. They may also receive bonuses for flying certain routes or for meeting performance targets. All pilots at major operations receive benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. Additionally, pilots may receive additional pay for working overtime or for being on call. The specific pay structure can vary from airline to airline.
One aspect of pilot pay that can have a significant impact on their income is the bidding process for schedules. This process, also known as "bid line," allows pilots to bid for the specific routes and schedules that they want to fly. The bids are typically based on seniority, with more senior pilots having a greater chance of getting their preferred schedule.
The bidding process usually occurs on a monthly basis, and pilots are given a certain amount of time to submit their bids. The airline then reviews the bids and assigns the schedules based on the pilots' seniority, the aircraft type, and other operational considerations.
For pilots, the bidding process can have a big impact on their income and quality of life. Pilots who are able to bid for and secure desirable routes and schedules can earn more money and have a better work-life balance. On the other hand, pilots who are unable to secure their preferred schedule may have to accept less desirable routes, which can result in longer periods away from home and a lower income.
It is important for pilots to understand the bidding process and how it works, as well as to be familiar with the airline's policies and procedures. This can help them make informed decisions when bidding for schedules and increase their chances of getting their preferred routes and schedules.
At Flex Air, every student gains access to an airline pilot mentor through our Pilot Pathway program. Mentorship allows student pilots to learn about pay, benefits, and bidding before they decide on a specific airline. This allows the student to make the best career decisions for their personal work / life balance goals.
It is important for pilots to understand the process, be familiar with the airline's policies and procedures and make informed decisions when bidding for schedules to increase their chances of getting their preferred routes and schedules.