February 24, 2016 started out like any other work day for me. I woke up early, got ready to look my best, and headed out the door. I showed up for work a bit early, only to find out my flight was delayed- bummer! Delayed flights are just as inconvenient for the pilots as they are the passengers. Thankfully, however, the plane was on its way to Seattle and would arrive in the next 20-30 minutes. Instead of hiding out in the crew lounge, I decided to walk to the gate and wait with the passengers, incase the plane landed earlier than expected.
I was in a great mood that day, though I don't remember exactly why. I met up with the rest of the crew, got to know each of them, and then decided to chat with some of the passengers. I find passengers don't mind waiting as much when the pilots are there waiting with them as well. When our plane finally arrived, I headed out to get the walk-around and preflight inspection completed so we could begin boarding and leave as close to on-time as possible.
A snippet of my CRJ cockpit. She's a beauty. :)
We were able to get the passengers boarded without wasting any time and were on our way to Portland- a nice short 30ish minute flight to start the day. Halfway through the flight, the fight attendant called me to say there was a man from the major airline (that I have dreamed of working at since the day I got into aviation) that wanted to speak with me afterwards, if I had the time. Of course I had the time! He was kind enough to be the last one off the plane.
He introduced himself as the Manager over Pilot Selection (No Way!) and wondered if I had an application in. At this moment, I was so glad I had taken the time years ago to submit my application and that I could say, without hesitation, "Yes." We chatted for a few minutes, and then he gave me his business card and told me if I was really serious, I could email him that night and he would have his team review my application to see if I scored among the competitive candidates.
After he left I immediately called my husband and told him what had just happened. Now something I didn't mention before is that I was very pregnant at this point- more than 7 months pregnant, so I was a bit worried about the timing. Maybe it wouldn't work out? Maybe I should keep my seniority and stay at the regional carrier? How would my quality of life be if I had to start over, but at a major airline with a baby? So many doubts entered my mind, but my husband had none of those doubts. He told me it was something I had to do (he knew how much I wanted this), so I just went for it. Having a supportive spouse in this industry is a must!
That night I updated my application again, and then emailed the Pilot Selection Manager to give him my information so his team could look at my application.
On March 5th, just over a week later, I received THE email saying I was invited for an interview! Words cannot describe the feelings I had reading that email. Even thinking of it now gives me the chills. It was wonderful. When each of you get to experience that, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
This is only part 2 of my series of how I got hired at a major airline. Stay tuned for the rest of the story. Until next time, Happy Flying!