Piedmont president Lyle Hogg tells a compelling story about the day he was hired as a pilot for US Airways. Hogg flew for a regional airline in 1984, but was looking to land at a mainline company. Returning home late one afternoon, he learned that US Airways was trying to reach him. “It was 5 p.m. on a Friday, but I called back immediately,” said Hogg. The woman on the phone apologized for the late notice, and asked if Hogg could start in a US Airways training class on Monday morning. “I didn’t even hesitate,” said Hogg. “And my whole career was better for it.”
Hogg understood that in the airline industry, seniority is key. Over the next three decades, everything from his upgrade time to base location to the equipment he flew depended on that number. “If I had waited and opted to attend class even two weeks later, I would not have advanced as quickly as I did.” It’s a lesson he shares with all prospective pilots. “Choose a company and get in as soon as you can. Even two or three spots on a seniority list could make all the difference over the course of your career.”
Piedmont chief pilot Scott McGuigan agrees. A decade ago, McGuigan was one seniority number away from furlough. “It’s amazing to think that a number can affect where you live, the schedule you have, how much money you make, but in the airline industry, that’s exactly what happens.”
Pilots who are considering Piedmont Airlines have another reason to jump in quickly. The no-interview flow to American Airlines is strictly based on seniority. “A pilot who is hired for a September class, but defers until October, for example, will lose 25 spots on that flow list. That’s a lot of mainline income to give up,” says Hogg.
Piedmont is adding pilot training classes in August and September to meet demand. The current Piedmont upgrade time is about 18 months. New pilots can expect to flow to American Airlines within the next five years (based on seniority, of course). To learn more about getting a Piedmont Airlines seniority number, contact Heather Bowers at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Campbell at Michael. email@example.com. Apply to Piedmont at AirlineApps.com.