ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

For Flight Attendants and Pilots, Commuting is a Way of Life

Updated on November 16, 2013

What is "Commuting?"

Have you ever wondered why there are so many crewmembers flying as passengers these days? It is not uncommon on any given flight, to see three or four flight attendants (and pilots) traveling in coach, first class and even on flight attendant and cockpit jumpseats. Most of these people you see doing this are “commuting,” to or from work. For over 70% of airline crew members, this is a way of life.

How it Works

When a flight attendant or pilot is first hired, he or she fills out a “dream sheet” listing their choices for domiciles. A domicile is the home base where flights will originate and terminate. So let’s say for example that as a new-hire flight attendant, you were awarded Chicago O’Hare (ORD) as your domicile or home base. The problem is that you live in Los Angeles, your husband has a great job there and is not willing to move. Your option then is to “commute.” On the day of your trip (or the day before for early departures), you need to travel to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and travel space-available to Chicago so that you can originate your trip there. After the three or four day trip ending in Chicago, you would then board a flight from Chicago (ORD) to Los Angeles (LAX) and drive home. Commuting is a burden for all of those who endure it, especially for those who have commuted for an entire career. I don’t know anyone in the industry that likes commuting, but it does offer the advantage of living wherever you want. I have known people who have been based in New York (JFK), whose home was in London. Each week, they made the trip from London to New York and back so that they could fly their trip.

Commuting as a "New-Hire"

There are many problems associated with commuting. In the early years as a flight attendant or pilot, you will be assigned “reserve” duty. This means that you will be on call for up to 19 days a month to cover sick calls, out-of-position crews and the like. The unfortunate part of being a reserve is that you will be required to be within an hour or so driving distance from your domicile. Since hotels are cost-prohibitive, most new-hires opt for a living arrangement in a “crash pad,” where up to 12 or more flight attendants and/or pilots share an apartment. Since it is rare that all will be there at the same time, most will only have two or three other roommates on any given day. Commuting as a reserve is very difficult except during your non-duty days.

More Negative Aspects of Commuting

Another downside of commuting is the fact that you are usually travelling standby or space-available which in most cases is based on seniority. If the flight is full, there are usually flight attendant and cockpit jumpseats, but again they are typically based on seniority and can fill up fast. Another downside is the weather. For adverse weather conditions, full flights and/or early domicile departures, many commuters will attempt to get on earlier flights so that they may have a “backup” flight or two in the event that things don’t work out on their initial attempt to get to work. Sometimes it means starting out early in the morning in order to make a late night check-in at your domicile. This makes for an extremely long day. On the other side of the coin, when you have finished your flight and are trying to get home, sometimes your return home flight has been cancelled or delayed, again making for a long day before you finally get home.

Summary

In summary, commuting is not one of the better aspects of having a flight attendant or pilot job. Having done it myself for a number of years, I would highly recommend relocating within driving distance of your domicile. Your life will certainly be a lot easier!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)