Real Answers from Real Pilots

How often do Pilots experience layovers?

I’m sure it’s far less in the Regionals depending on the number of legs a Pilot flies and other factors, but I was just wondering on average how often a Pilot who only flies domestic can expect to have to stay in a hotel?

I’ll leave International out of this question since it’s obvious these kinds of Pilots will always have a layover.

Thomas,

In my experience most domestic pilots can expect to spend between 8 and 12 nights per month in hotels. Of course some pilots like to fly single day trips and they are home more, but the bulk of the trips that are constructed at my airline are 3-4 day trips that of course involve overnights. A lot of us like the multi day trips better because it is easier to go to a hotel than wait for the employee bus, drive an hour home, etc.

Either way, there are a good mix of trips out there, but expect to be in hotels at least ten nights per month, if not more.

Chris

Thomas,

Funny how you phrase that question like it’s an emergency or something? :slight_smile:

First of all no it’s not necessarily less than in the Regionals. In fact I spent much more time in hotels at the Regionals then I do now flying internationally, but the answer is (as with many of these questions) it depends? It varies from airline to airline and the different operations. When I was at ExpressJet we had 1,2,3 and 4 day trips and 4 day trips were the most common and meant 3 nights in a hotel… Now that I’m flying international we also have 2,3 and 4 day trips but most of the trips are only 2 or 3 days and even a 3 day Asia only means 1 night in a hotel since you’re flying back at night. That means if I do 5 Asia trips I’m only spending 5 nights in hotels vs when I was at Xjt flying 4-4 day trips I was spending 12. Which trips you get (again as with most things in the airlines) depends on seniority. The more senior you are the more you can get what you want. Personally I loved the longer trips at the Regionals because it generally meant you were flying further away and going to more interesting places but that was me.

Adam

Sorry if I offended Thomas, just my sense of humor. The way you said “experience layovers” sounded like it was a malady.

Adam

Nope, regional pilots are on the road a lot. When I flew for ExpressJet we flew all over the country, down into Mexico and up into Canada, all of that flying resulted in a good number of nights spent on the road.

Good question, it is always nice to have a feel for what you are signing up for. Take a look at our “Schedules” section, it will give you a great idea of how many nights we are in hotels.

Chris.

2 Likes

I have a quick question. How long do international pilots layover on long haul trips before they can fly again? Let’s say a trip from Houston to Tokyo…

LaMorris,

Trip lengths can vary greatly depending on the airline, the operation, the season etc. We have PEK trips that only have an 18hr layover and others that have 4 days.

Adam

LaMorris,

Typically pilots stay at least 24 hours at international (meaning across the ocean, not Canada) layovers. However, I have had overnights as long as three whole days before.

Chris