Real Answers from Real Pilots

Taxes and Commuting

Good morning,
I’ve been curious about this for a while. Let’s say you are a Georgia resident and you commute to Charlotte to fly your route. Are you responsible for state taxes in both states since you are a resident of one and “working” out of another?

Thanks again!

-Andre

Hey Andre,

State taxes depend on your state of residence. So in your case you would be paying it to the state of Georgia.

Yarden

Thanks Yarden!

Andre,

That’s actually a big deal here at Hawaiian. Pilot’s who fly interisland (due to the schedule) must have a local address and therefore pay Hawaii state taxes (which are on the high side). Widebody pilots who are able to commute frequently do. Many of our pilots have moved to Nevada which has no state income, specifically because the savings equate to tens of thousands of dollars.

Adam

Thanks Adam!

Hi Mentors,

Can you please clarify how commuting works. Do you reserve a seat in advance, do you just show up and wait for an opening seat, can you hope on any airline going to your base etc?

Thanks for you
Jeremiah

Hi Jeremiah,

You can reserve a seat in advance but that would mean buying a ticket like a passenger and that can get VERY expensive. If you plan on commuting on your own company you can usually reserve the jumpseat in seniority order. If there are extra seats in back you’ll get one of those but if there aren’t you’re stuck in the cockpit. We can also jumpseat on most other airlines. Some have a method to list before the flight but others you just show up, wait and hope. As long as you have a few options and the weather isn’t too bad it’s usually not a problem.

Adam

Awesome Adam! Thank you for the clarification and your time.

Jeremiah,

I would add that because commuting is done on a space available basis and because it is on the pilot to make sure that they get to work on time most of us are very conservative in our commuting. This means that we either show up to work several hours ahead of our scheduled departure or sometimes even the night before.

Chris

Thanks Chris for that extra insight. I see that commuting can cut into time
off. I definitely don’t want to get laid off.

Jeremiah,

Getting laid off is a concern in any industry. That being said, the airlines are all doing really well right now and everybody is hiring. I do not see a threat of layoffs anywhere on the horizon, but that is just my opinion.

I meant to say laid off for missing my flight or being late for my flight
due to commuting. lol

That is good news though.

Thanks Chris