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Pilots And Flight Attendants!

Tue Oct 30, 2001 7:52 am

I always felt like asking the pilots and the flight attendants, how do they manage to attend Family gatherings, Family weddings and occasions, and if they ar married, how does that affect their lives?

Both seems interesting jobs and i guess, that Pilots and Flight attendants Sacrifices alot of their life time just for the sake of the job..

How does the schedule work?

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RE: Pilots And Flight Attendants!

Tue Oct 30, 2001 7:55 am

What Can I say!

well, I am a flight attendants on Emirates Airlines and my love to aviation, made me give up many things just to be on board and work my job! its a wonderful job.. I gave up going to college for the sake of the job, I am always out of town for the sake of the job. Simply, I cant imagine my self away from the job.. I know that i missed many events such as my cousin's wedding because i was out of town on Duty, but the moment you slip on your Uniform for the first time, nothing else would matter to you.
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RE: Pilots And Flight Attendants!

Tue Oct 30, 2001 9:57 am

Like Fly_emirates just said, you do give up part of your private life when you decide to become a pilot or F/A. There are events in all of our lives that we have missed because of the job, but at the same time having the job is exactly what are a lot of people are jealous about. When I got hired, out of almost 1000 people interviewed only 1 person was hired-this info came from the person that interviewed me. But to answer your question, to get a specific day off, I had to know of it in advance so that I could "bid" for the day off. Each month we bid for a schedule we might like to fly and are granted a schedule according to our seniority. So even if you want it very much and bid every schedule that would give you that day, your seniority might not be enough and you would have to fly. Just part of the game, but belive me it is well worth it.
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RE: Pilots And Flight Attendants!

Tue Oct 30, 2001 10:33 am

Exactly, seniority is everything. You might see a very old looking pilot flying the right seat of a 757 for an airline operating 777's and 747's etc. He just might be so senior in the company that bidding the co-pilot's seat on the 757 allows him to always be able to get the days off he wants every month. He might only fly two trips a month and earn well over 120,000 a year as a senior 757 first officer with years with the company and a wonderful quality of life. His overall seniority might also allow him to hold a captain's seat in the DC-10 at 250,000 a year but he'd be number 130 out of 160 captains in the base for the DC-10 and not get many days off much less the days off he needs to live a semi-normal life. Some go for the biggest aircraft and paycheck as soon as their seniority will allow. Others go for quality of life and have businesses and family to tend to and want to have lots of time off. That's the beauty of the airlines. As for flight attendants, it all goes by seniority except they are not paid differently for working different aircraft types and are typically checked out to work the cabins of all fleet types the company operates. The pay and days off go by date of hire seniority by base however some bases might be more senior than others allowing a flight attendant with 5 years less seniority with the company to have the same number of days off as another attendant in a senior base. International flight attendants for U.S. carriers do recieve a bit more pay and per diem I believe but unless you speak the required language for the Intl. base, it usually goes very senior.
Hope that helps. Seniority is very complex at airlines and is something you learn very slowly in the business.
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RE: Pilots And Flight Attendants!

Tue Oct 30, 2001 10:50 am

It seem sto me that there is alot of comraderee (sp?) with flight crews and that is something I miss at my own job. I know these are tough jobs,but the feeling of being a real team must help.
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Tue Oct 30, 2001 11:24 am


I agree with everything you said. But at least at UA, when pilots are senior and nearing retirement, they ideally want to be on the 744 or 777 for retirement purposes. I understand what you are saying about some pilots who wish to do minimal flying, but from what I've gathered, most retirement-minded pilots want to be at the "top of the ladder" for their last years since what you fly towards the end determines (in part) your retirement pay. Is this the same at CAL?


I've tagged along with my dad on many of his trips and the camaraderie is definitely strong among the crew. For the most part, the crew even interacts during their layovers. I know whenever I go with my dad on a trip, we'll usually go out to dinner with the co-pilot as well as getting together with some other crew members for a bit of sightseeing or the like. I'm very impressed with the professional relationship a crew develops during a trip. I always look forward to the layover; that's when I get to really know the crew and have some fun with them.
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RE: Iaherj

Wed Oct 31, 2001 1:12 am

You are right on about the last 3 years of a pilots career. That is a detail I thought was a bit too technical for the question asked. At CAL it works about the same as United. Your last 3 years income determines the lump-sum payout etc. Most guys are senior enough to actually hold a good line on a wide-body their last 3 years but some have a miserable time sitting reserve and flying a whole bunch on reserve in order to maximize the "look back" period for retirement pay.
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RE: Pilots And Flight Attendants!

Wed Nov 07, 2001 4:22 am

I used to fly as an FA for a Canadian International charter carrier for 5 years. And believe me, you would be surprised of how many private and family functions we were ABLE to attend! What a lot of people don't realize is the fact that a Flight Attendant and Pilot fly on monthly schedules called "Blocks". At my airline (like many other carriers), we had a maximum flying hour limit of 80 hours per month. Now, that may not sound like a lot of work-time, but remember the toll international flying takes on the human body! In short, I was "off" approximately 13 days out of each month. Plus, the more my seniority climbed, the better I could arrange in advance to bid for and receive needed days off. By my 4th and 5th year of flying, I never missed one Christmas, Thanksgiving or family birthday.

Many of the female F/A's I flew with were mothers, and believe it or not, they spent more time at home with their children, due to theior bidded "block", than many of their 9-5, Monday-Friday contemporaries.