Real Answers from Real Pilots

New to dating a pilot

Hi my name is Sarah, I am dating a pilot and thugs are getting serious I want to know what I can expect for his future schedule as first officer and how long it takes to get seniority? Right now he’s finishing his instrument and then he is going to do his commercial and he needs to build hours so he still has some stuff to get done but I just wanted input

Thanks so much


That’s a question that’s very difficult to answer. Seniority is a relative thing and depends on many factors (size of the airline, aircraft, base, etc). What you (and he) need to know is being a pilot means being flexible. Gaining any real seniority where you can have the exact schedule you want can take years or decades (if ever). You may have to get used to spending holidays apart and him missing more than a few family events. On a positive note being able to jump on a plane and fly anywhere for free does help to balance things out.

If he only has his instrument he has a ways to go which will give you plenty of time to figure out how much this relationship is worth.


Thanks Adam that is helpful! It’s seems scary at this point looking st the lifestyle but I’d does work for most! Right now I only see him 8 xs ( I have 2 kids)a month so anything more than that would be awesome moving forward in our realationship like if we live together


Take a look at our “Schedules” section, it will give you a very good idea of how much we are on the road. Also, if you really want time with your boyfriend, move to wherever he is based. Expecting him to commute from where he is based to where you live can be an absolute recipe for disaster. Trust me on this one.