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If he got lucky, a more senior pilot would be out for the week and he had a “line”, which meant he knew his flight schedule for five consecutive days and was in a different hotel each night. S., Alex would be away for five days at a time and home for two. Now, flying for an international carrier, Alex is on duty and away flying for 23 days, then home for 8-9 consecutive days. Pilots are stationed at a base airport and often choose not to move their entire family there, thus the idea of Crash Pads.
That’s right ladies and gents, I see my husband for about a week a month. destinations are limited, so he pays full fare to meet his airline in New York, Atlanta or Dallas, and then spends 16 hours to get all the way back to Taiwan before he can be the flying pilot. A Crash Pad is an apartment or home filled with bunk beds that holds as many pilots as possible.
Being a pilot isn’t as glamorous as one would think. While I have exposed a lot of the nitty-gritty, I will tell you that there are plenty of benefits of being in the airline industry.
On his days off, I have 100% of my husband to myself.
However, where my husband currently works, the flight attendants are told to “keep an eye on” and report pilots for misbehavior.
It just doesn’t make sense, your time with a company counts for more than time in the air.
So basically, once you get to a good place in your aviation career, stay there so you can grow; bouncing around is not ideal.
Once I learned of this shocker, I started chipping in a lot more. S., Alex was “on reserve”, meaning he sat around the airport all day waiting for a pilot to call in sick so he can fly.
There were days he’d sit at the airport for 12 hours in uniform, pacing between the terminals, eating the same eatery food and trying to catch a few minutes of sleep here and there.
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This sounds reasonable, until you understand that taking cookies from the galley without asking a flight attendant or being in the restroom too long is means for a write up. If the passengers aren’t offered food, neither are the pilots.