Thursday, June 18, 2009

Living with a regional airline....or any airline pilot

My wife is very patient. She supported me while I quit my high paying job to start Flight Instructing. I haven't paid a bill towards the house in over two years. I can never thank her enough.

Right now she is sitting in a very comfy first class seat on a widebody headed to California. Her cousin is getting married Saturday. I wanted to go, but I couldn't get off from work.

My wife is very well versed in non-rev travel. She has learned a lot about airlines. She can name every aircraft my airline and my mainline partner flies by looking at them. She knows about duty days, legalities and issues surrounding the industry. I keep telling her she should be a part time flight attendant (would make it easier for us to travel since we can both get jumpseats, me in the cockpit and her in the cabin), but she won't do it.

Today I didn't get an assignment. I came home at 2PM. She also came home at 2PM. All the flghts to California were oversold/full the rest of the day. I mentioned there was a 4PM flight that was on a widebody that she should at least try to get on. She listed and checked in. There were 20+ revenue standbys, but only two non-revenue standbys.

Since I am on reserve I have no idea where I will be over the next four days. Since she is going out of town, the dogs have to go to the kennel. She began to worry about driving 20 miles to the kennel, then back home and then having time for me to take her to the airport. Hmmm yeah...

See the dogs are hers. I don't claim them. I agreed to rush her to the airport, then drive her dogs to the kennel.

I dropped her off at 3:15PM. At the time it was looking like she was not going to get on the flight as there were only 4 seats in coach, 1 in first and still several standby passengers to accommodate.

After I dropped off her dogs I checked the standby list. She got the very last seat....FIRST CLASS. She deserves it.

As a very junior pilot at a regional airline, my schedule is always up in the air. I rarely know what I am doing more than one day in advance. All I know is what days I work...that's it. Making plans is very hard as I only know my days off. I have no idea if I will be free for dinner Saturday night. I should be home....but maybe not.

Each day at 5PM I confirm my assignment for the next day. I can already see my assignment for tomorrow. Looks like I get to take a trip to the east coast to an airport I have never flown into before.

Right now we have no kids. We are planning to have kids soon. We will have to be even more flexible. Till then it's living la vida regional.


  1. Its nice being married to a saint. I thought I had snaked the last one 26 yrs ago, but - maybe not.

  2. I'm just wondering how old you have to be for the PPL accelerated training at ATP, is it 17 or 23?
    Thank you!

  3. You have a wonderfully supportive wife! Everyone should be as lucky to have a partner like her!

  4. I believe the minimum age is 18. Be aware though that most airlines won't hire pilots under age 21. If I were you I would go to college first then think about a career as a pilot.


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