About how long would you say is the longest you have been away from your wife or family? What is the average? Is being located at an airport close to your home a seniority thing?
I average about 15 days off per month, which are usually spreads in groups of 3- days off in a row, sometimes it can be more. The longest that I have been gone is nine days, that was when I was doing international flying. Take a look at my schedule and that of the other mentors in the “Schedule” section, that will help give you a good idea of how much pilots are on the road.
Being located at an airport close to your home is generally about you moving near where you are based. Unless you live in a major city you will likely not have an airline base near to you. But, yes, bases are determined based on seniority with the more desirable bases often being more senior than others. That being said, it doesn’t seem to hard for pilots to move around various bases at their airline, at least it isn’t at United.
At Hawaiian we have 5 day trips but I have friends at Atlas who are gone up to 17 days in a row. That of course is not counting training. For initial and upgrade that usually means close to 2 months.
As for being based close to home, that entirely is dependent on where you call home? For some reason people automatically assume that you can’t get what you want until you’re senior AND that everybody wants what YOU want. When I was hired at ExpressJet EWR was the most junior base and where all the new guys were sent. Well that sucks if your home is LA but I lived 20 minutes from EWR so it was perfect. So again it depends on where you call home and where everybody else calls home and whether they’re both the same. Make sense?