Life After Compass: How Pilots Thrive as they Move to the Majors


Compass is the perfect launching pad for your career. On average, our pilots remain with our company for three and a half years. Many often move onto major airlines like our mainline partners, American Airlines and Delta Airlines.

Our quick attrition can be attributed to our reputation, training footprint, quick reserve and upgrade time, our aircraft and stellar on-the-line performance. There are many opportunities outside of flying to add to your resume.

Read stories below from our former pilots to learn more about where they currently work and how Compass attributed to their success.

Angelo Bautista:

Angelo Bautista_cockpit
Top: Angelo when he was a Captain with Compass. Bottom: Angelo currently as a First Officer with Delta Airlines.

Angelo Bautista worked with Compass for more than three and a half years before transitioning into a Delta Airlines First Officer. Angelo felt that Delta would give him a the best lifestyle quality and variety to choose from out of the three major airlines that he interviewed with.

“Working with Delta provides me with the perfect work and personal life balance and I’m at my best every step in the flight deck.” Angelo said.

Compass provided Angelo with an excellent work experience for him to be eligible to transition to Delta. While his environment with Compass was fast-paced it taught him how to stay on his toes and ensure that the operation ran smoothly.

“I was highly sought after when I worked for Compass. I experienced a lot of growth during my time there, which included me upgrading to Captain after 1.5 years and accumulating 1800 Pilot-In-Command hours in two years as a Captain,” Angelo said. “Compass also gave me the opportunity to become a Pilot Recruiter and participate in various community service.”

What Angelo misses the most about Compass is the stellar crews. He made a lot of great friends along the way that he still stays in contact with today.

“If I could make any changes, I would take the time to shake everyone’s hand a little longer, laugh louder and enjoy the ride a little longer,” Angelo said. ” I would have enjoyed my time with Compass a lot more since we honestly have the best crews this industry could ask for.”

Ryan Davis: 

Ryan Davis_Engine
Ryan Davis in his United uniform in front of  his new aircraft Boeing’s 757/767.

Ryan Davis worked with Compass for four and a half years, before he started working with United Airlines. He interviewed with another major airline, but decided that United was the best fit.

“I wanted to work with an airline that continually invests in its company and employees,” Ryan said. “I wanted to be proud of who I work for, an airline with a vast international expansion and robust wide-body fleet with future growth.”

During Ryan’s tenure with Compass, he flew on the line as a Line Check Airman, worked in the Recruiting Department, and as the Central Air Safety Committee Chairman for ALPA. Ryan strongly believes that his heavy involvement at Compass made him a more well-rounded candidate among his competition of other pilots in the applicant pool.

“Compass allowed me to grow as an aviator and develop a new skill set coming from a Part 135 carrier to a Part 121 environment,” Ryan said. “One of the benefits of working for a Regional like Compass is the opportunity to be involved in positions outside of just flying the line.”

Joel Peterson:


Joel Peterson_Plane
Top: Joel in his Hawaiian Airlines uniform. Bottom: Joel in his Captain uniform at Compass.

Joel Peterson had a dream of flying for Hawaiian Airlines since he was 12 years old. In order to achieve that dream, he only interviewed with one airline and stayed at Compass Airlines longer than most, just under 5 years, waiting for a start date at his dream carrier.

“Looking back, I am so glad I chose Compass. Between the West Coast bases, the E175, and more importantly the people, Compass is comprised of great people. The chief pilots are incredibly approachable, the flight attendants are caring and the aircraft mechanics help create a solid network of teamwork. I firmly believe that the Compass’ pilots are some of the best. Working at Compass has for sure prepared me for Hawaiian. Compass’ standards for flight crews are incredibly high and flying the Embraer 175 made the transition to the A321-NEO almost seamless.”

For any pilot looking to start the process, Joel advises pilots to gather all of their information and get organized during the application process.

“It’s important to treat your present carrier as the one you plan to stay with,” Joel said. “Stay positive, fix your hair and keep your shoes shined.”

Chris Royer:

Chris Royer_Cockpit
Chris Royer when he was a Captain with Compass.

Chris Royer was at Compass for less than three years before making the transition to First Officer at Southwest Airlines. He chose Southwest Airlines because of their commitment to their employees and their impressive business model.

“Compass was instrumental in helping me get to the majors. The nature of the flying at Compass allowed me to gain experience flying into many major US airports. Additionally, the quick pilot turnover meant that there were plenty of opportunities for leadership experience with the airline.”

Having gone through the process of moving from a regional airline to a major airline, Chris highly suggests that pilots keep up with their logbooks and stay in contact with their coworkers.

Tyler Norton:

Tyler Norton_Cockpit
Tyler Norton when he was a Captain with Compass.

Tyler Norton has been with Compass Airlines just under three years and has recently accepted a class date with Delta Airlines for March 18, 2019. Tyler says his choice of starting his airline career with Compass Airlines was an easy one.

“I got really lucky. I went to University of North Dakota, graduated in 2014 and only had about 300 hours to my name. The Compass recruiter working a [SAMA] event was also UND alumni,” Tyler said. “I interviewed and got hired. After doing some research I realized how lucky I was to even get an interview and Compass became my first choice regional.”

Tyler came to Compass Airlines hoping to eventually move on to Delta. However, when starting the application process, he realized how focused he was on Delta Airlines and wanted to make sure he didn’t pass up any other opportunities. He considered another major airline, but chose Delta instead.

“Delta, in my opinion, has always been a leader of industry. They take care of their employees and I have a lot of friends from Compass that have moved on to Delta,” Tyler said. “They are acclimated to their communities, volunteering, which is something I do as well. I think it is cool to volunteer on their behalf.”

Tyler’s recommendation for other pilots going through this process is to get involved and network.

“Don’t feel like you have to submit your application for the majors the same time you apply for the regionals,” Tyler said. “Don’t be shy about your app, keep reviewing it. There is a very clear difference between an application that has been looked at and reviewed.”

Click here to learn more about Compass Pilot careers!


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