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F/A's That Don't Live In The Base City

Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:51 am

I would like to become a F/A, but my home town airport of BTV is not a base city. I was planning on applying to all the airlines that fly into my airport and just fly home when I am done my last flight. I was wondering if others do that too or if it would be too hard to get to the base city. I find it hard to imagine that people would drop everything to move to a base city. Maybe I am just different. Do all F/A's live where they're based?
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:21 am

RE: F/A's That Don't Live In The Base City

Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:28 am

No, they don't. But keep in mind once you are hired you will likely be on reserve for a while which usually requires you to be "on call" on certain days to work flights. Most airlines will require you to be at the airport ready to work a flight within 1-2 hrs of being called in. This would usually mean you would need to live in the city where you are based and some airlines may require you to do that.

All airlines are different. Check with the ones you applied for.

While it is certainly much easier to live in the base city, many crew members live elsewhere. Most airlines have reciprocal jumpseat agreements which allows you to hitch a ride to get to/from your base city. So you wouldn't necessarily have to apply for only airlines that fly to your hometown, because you can jumpseat on other airlines.
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RE: F/A's That Don't Live In The Base City

Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:33 am

I'm a pilot not a flight attendant but lots of similarities in this department.

I don't know how many flight crew move to their domicile city, but not a huge percentage I'd guess. I lived in a resort town when I hired on and they want me to move to NEWARK?

Commuting really sucks. Just about any of us will tell you this, but offset that with the enjoyment you get from the job and the pleasure of living where you live and find the best compromise. Getting home from back east there were two times in one year I had to rent a car in Las Vegas and drive the last nine hours home. Could not get out of Vegas as a non-rev.

It was only a little bit inconvenient when I commuted one on-line leg of an hour or less. It was a major pain when two legs were involved. Worse still with an off-line commute where your boarding priority is above only a notch above Al Qaeda.

It will be worst when you are a new-hire. Zero seniority sucketh mightily! You will probably be on reserve a lot, and that means something like 90 minutes from phone call to you checking in in uniform, bags in hand, ready to go somewhere delightful. This pretty much means you move to the domicile for a year or two or you keep a crashpad in domicile.

Crashpads are another of the many delights of being a crewmember. Someone, maybe a pilot at your company has bought a big old house twenty minutes from the crewbase and rents out rooms. You might pay $300-$400 a month to share a room with one or two other guys and a bathroom/kitchen/living room/parking space with twelve others. Crashpads are also known as "zoos" and other descriptive terms.

So you non-rev in the day before you start your reserve days and you hang out at the crashpad. You will soon know every line from every old "I Love Lucy" show ever taped. Actually most crashpads will have high-speed internet by now and that has improved life for us commuters. The other huge benefit has been the cell phone. Before them it was hard to even get out to the cleaners or a store.

Even regular lines of flying can be uncommutable so you will either need a crashpad or you will get to know the really cheap hotels near the airport. Out of BTV I would surmise that one of the options you are weighing would involve having PHL as a base. The cheap hotel nearby would be The Lagoon just down river from the airport. One of my personal favorites right up there with Rochelles in Long Beach.

Another thing is local access from your hotel or crashpad. Does it require a car? That introduces one of the other status symbols enjoyed by flight crew all over this great land - the "airporter" car. You want mechanical reliability but you don't want to leave expensive iron parked outdoors under the approach corridor with jet engine soot raining down on it around the clock. I have soot stains that will not buff out of my white car.

After you get a little seniority (a year or two at little companies ten years or so at big ones) life gets much better.

That is the broad strokes on it. I'll let others jump in and I'll watch for specific questions. Good Luck
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