Real Answers from Real Pilots

Airline Lifesyle


(Garrett Fagen) #1

This forum is obviously all about the airline lifestyle. However, when you have a hold over, do you get a chance to see the sights and sounds of the place you are visiting? Can you go out with the crew and see the city or town you visited? Just wondering if that’s a possibility. Thanks


#2

Garrett,

There is no “however”, the Category is “Airline LifeStyle” so why wouldn’t your question qualify? I assume you’re asking about “layovers” (or overnights) since “hold overs” refer to the time that aircraft anti-ice is effective during Winter Ops so going out and seeing the town wouldn’t be practical or recommended and would be frowned upon during a hold over :slight_smile:

What you do on a layover really depends on how much time you have. There are long overnights and short overnights. The minimum legal is dependent on how much flying you did that day but it can be as short as 9hrs. That’s literally just enough to get to the hotel and get some sleep. On the other end there are 2,3 and 4 day layovers where you can see the town and then some. It’s really one of the best perks of the job. When I was at ExpressJet I had amazing trips to every city in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Since I’ve been at Hawaiian it’s been Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. I’ve been to countless museums, temples, landmarks, hikes, concerts, State fairs and anything else you can think of. I’ve also eaten and almost every restaurant and food truck ever featured on The Food Network and Travel Channel. Sometimes I go with the crew, sometimes it’s solo but it’s never boring and I’ve done and seen things that I never would have if it wasn’t for this job.

That said there are a couple of caveats. First and foremost you are responsible to get your rest. If you’ve got time by all means go do and see but if not your first priority must be rest. You have a responsibility to your passengers and crew. In the unlikely event you do have a “bad day” at work the NTSB WILL investigate how you spent your rest time and if they find you were out partying at 3am when you needed to be sleeping all your hard work can go right down the toilet. Second, we’ve all seen the news reports where the pilots get caught at the gate with alcohol on their breath. Though this is actually quite rare it does happen and in most cases these guys are not alcoholics just stupid. By spending time on this forum you’re beginning to realize the amount of time, money and effort it takes to make it to the Majors. I don’t care how much you like beer, I’ve yet to taste the one that’s worth my career. Pilots also on occasion get into trouble doing other stupid things. I’ll tell you my thoughts, when I’m on an overnight I’m at work and while we’re allowed to have some fun and enjoy I’m still AT WORK, I conduct myself as such and I’ve never had a issue.

Cool?

Adam


#3

Garrett,

I have had plenty of opportunities to go out and see the places that I am flying to. When I was on the 757/767 fleet we had layovers that were very long, sometimes three whole days. I have seen most of the major tourist attractions in Paris, Amsterdam, London, etc and all while on the company’s time. Our contract requires that the company put us in a downtown hotel, so we are always right in the heart of things.

You will find that after going to a city so many times you start to have a routine there. My father is a retired pilot, every time he went to Dublin he would go see his favorite Irish singers perform. I always used my Dublin overnights to go hiking out in Howth.

On my long Phoenix overnights I like to rent a car and drive up to the Grand Canyon. I am a rather fast hiker, so I can actually get down to the Colorado River and back up in a day, this is one of my favorite things to do “at work”.

Of course some overnights are much shorter and rest does become a bigger piece of the planning. Right now I am on my way to San Francisco for a 12 hour overnight. While I plan on sleeping a good chuck of that before flying a red eye tonight, I am also planning an hour or so walk along the bay.

So, yes, you will definitely get to see the cities that you fly to.

Chris