Two years ago at this time, I was just settling back in America from my 3 month excursion to Europe, hanging out with friends in San Diego and getting ready to head back to Fort Lauderdale to hear the fate of gamble at a startup cargo carrier. With all the negative news surrounding what regional carrier would have a future, anything really seemed better than what we were faced with: pilots with over $100k in debt, no idea where to go next and what to do. Then, we got a departure stipend from the failed company (a meager amount to just barely cover costs of recurrent training at our previous flight school) and all of a sudden we were preparing for an interview with one airline when another swopped in the to interview us two days earlier. The rest is history as we all started on the 27th of December here at Atlantic Southeast Airlines.
We all couldn't' have been more thankful and gracious to our directors of the program for helping us move on. It was the best Christmas as we virtually never lost any pay moving from one place to the next.
Now, in an industry where furloughs (layoffs) are inevitable, wages barely livable with loan payments and rent taking more than 50%, it's something that we have all come to live with. Having never flown out of the base that I thought I was going to be domiciled at (LAX), I'm also coming to the slow realization that I will be stuck here in Atlanta a little while longer. As more pilots are finding themselves without a job and competing with the rest of us for that next step, it's not necessarily a dire position to be in, but it's not the best to start a new life. 2008 was full of improvements and 2009 should be edge more towards the second step in the changing of guards -- cutting overall costs. Until then, I have a great schedule for December as I have Christmas Eve and New Years' off and will just reflect on the current obstacle: finding a living situation in Atlanta for February 2009; to crashpad or not to crashpad.