In my day there was no such thing as getting to the airlines without at least five to ten years of groveling, even with good connections and so on. If one didn't want roommates and live like a rat the helicoptter world actually paid much better. Obviously the pilot deficits are changing the game. If I had it to do over I'd go airline but the boredom of sitting for hours on end inspecting the inside of clouds would be really really difficult for me. No wonder air line pilots make sure to get a life outside plugging routes.