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aftx91
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Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:28 am

As a mere USAF peasant, perhaps somebody could fill me in on the reason for this.
I regularly see civilian crews, both flight and cabin crew, being shipped from major airports to fancy downtown hotels, instead of staying at a reasonable airport hotel. For the price of a 3* downtown hotel, you could get the same rate at 5* airport hotel minus the location and views.

For example, New York would be a prime example here, crews flying into JFK (Even EWR!?) are shipped into Manhattan, notorious for its extortionate hotel prices, even low cost carriers like Norwegian(and Primera back in the day) has/had its crew shipped into Manhattan from JFK and EWR respectively, which for a low cost carrier must be quite the kick between the legs.
For a flight departing EWR at 6pm, the crew must have to be picked up at their hotel in Manhattan no later than 4 to beat the traffic, right?
Maybe I’m going crazy here, but what’s the logic behind it.

I understand for legacy carriers (BA Worldwide, or Air France for example), these will be tied in to contracts from yesteryear, but what’s the excuse for the others?
A JFK airport hotel for one night will surely save potentially up to hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to a hotel on the sidewalk of Times Square?
 
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Stitch
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:36 am

The airline might have corporate contracts in place where their crews pay significantly less than "Rack Rate".
 
lowfareair
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:45 am

Many airline crewmembers fly to see the world, not to be at the same generic airport Hilton day in and day out. For JFK specifically, part of it is that anything except the TWA Hotel is junk, and then crewmembers (especially for non-US airlines) don't want to stay out there - they want to be in Manhattan for their 26-28 hour layover.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:49 am

CBA's often have requirements as to the location and type of hotels crew members stay at. Often for anything except the shortest overnight stays, will require an in city hotel.

Most airlines I have done work with over the years have all types of requirements, everything from type and quality rating of hotel, its location vis-a-vis shopping/restaurants, hotel facilities such as gym's, 24-hour full menu room service, type of bedding, room amenities such as blackout curtains, TV channels, WiFi speed, neighborhood safety etc.

Larger airlines in coordination with their unions have committees tasked with managing hotel contracts to ensure requirements are met.
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FGITD
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:51 am

For some it’s a quality of life thing.

Those legacies usually run on 24 hour crew turns at the out stations. Leave them at the airport, and there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go. It’s one thing for a regional or domestic carrier, where it might be barely 12 hours to get there and sleep then leave.

Also keep in mind the carriers will contract a block of rooms, every night, all year. The hotel cuts a good deal. In return there are usually some caveats; restaurant must be open late or early, rooms must be away from elevators, not facing streetside, must be above a certain floor level, and so on.

Worked at a foreign outstation once that had to switch for ONE night from the luxury downtown place to the high end airport hotel. The scandal to end all scandals. The captain acted as if I'd just informed him that the shuttle driver would deposit them at the landfill for the night
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:52 am

Perhaps airlines should adopt a different policy, namely each crew member gets a choice of
A) the usual 3 star hotel in Manhattan
Or
B) a 4 star (but cheaper) hotel near JFK, with crewmember allowed to keep two thirds the difference in price between the two hotels which gets added to their end-of-month pay cheque

I'm wondering how much cabin crew who are on more modest pay and who have visited NYC on 6 previous occasions find that they now prefer to earn a bit more money
Last edited by davidjohnson6 on Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
11C
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:54 am

I’ll just say that spending 24 hours at an airport hotel many times per month wouldn’t work well for most people. When a suitable property can be found that offers the opportunity to eat healthy, exercise, and walk someplace other than an airport expressway, it’s a win-win. Have you walked around near a large U.S. airport. Not always a good place to wander around.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:54 am

aftx91 wrote:
Maybe I’m going crazy here, but what’s the logic behind it.


Because crews prefer the attractions of downtown and have their representatives negotiate for it (a concept foreign to ASAF leadership, surely, where 'That's an order,' ends the discussion).

LAXintl gives the long answer.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:55 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
I'm wondering how much cabin crew who are on more modest pay and who have visited NYC on 6 previous occasions find that they now prefer to earn a bit more money


They are welcome to bid for other layovers.

Carriers aren't going to fragment crew and drop off/pick up at multiple hotels. That is not a level of choice they can make work.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:02 am

It really depends on the airline, and the contract. "Short Stay" will be closer to the airport, with shorter overnight, Hots, and short-call reserves staying there. "Long Stay" will be near activities, food, and quiet, generally near the city centers. In General, "Long Stay" means a layover of 24 hours or more, but that can vary by airline contract. At some airlines, Cockpit crew and Cabin crew stay in different hotels, with different levels of service. Now this is mainly majors. Some US Regionals do the same, but not nearly as much. For the regionals, the choice of hotel by the Captain's Committee is usually decided by, "Do they have Free Breakfast?"
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:07 am

Stitch wrote:
The airline might have corporate contracts in place where their crews pay significantly less than "Rack Rate".

Absolutely, except in Sell out or IROP situations. Regardless of situation, most US contracts require a certain service level of hotel, in all but the most extreme circumstances, even if it means going 30 miles away.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:10 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
Perhaps airlines should adopt a different policy, namely each crew member gets a choice of
A) the usual 3 star hotel in Manhattan
Or
B) a 4 star (but cheaper) hotel near JFK, with crewmember allowed to keep two thirds the difference in price between the two hotels which gets added to their end-of-month pay cheque

I'm wondering how much cabin crew who are on more modest pay and who have visited NYC on 6 previous occasions find that they now prefer to earn a bit more money


Spirit does something close to that.
Crewmembers can decline the room booked for them within a certain window, and get a $25 spiff to the paycheck for each night.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:14 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
I'm wondering how much cabin crew who are on more modest pay and who have visited NYC on 6 previous occasions find that they now prefer to earn a bit more money


They are welcome to bid for other layovers.

Carriers aren't going to fragment crew and drop off/pick up at multiple hotels. That is not a level of choice they can make work.

Majors will often separate Cockpit and Cabin on "Long Stays". Different service levels required per the contract, so much cheaper to send the FA's to the 3 star Hampton, than it is to send all of them to the Downtown 5 star Marriott. The idea is to keep the cockpit crew TOGETHER, especially at an outstation. FA's are easier to replace on short notice than pilots.
 
jb1087xna
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:14 am

I've often wondered this myself. I live ~2 miles from an hotel that regularly has airline crews there (from just driving by and seeing them in the parking lot and by unknown social apps) and have wondered why they are ~20-30 minutes away from the local airport when there are multiple closer options that aren't just motels. I always chalked it up to contracts with specific brands. The better quality of life argument makes sense to me as well.
 
tonystan
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:20 am

Because believe it or not airport hotels are not always the cheapest option. Infact build in to a contract between an airline and hotel the fact that they are guaranteeing X number of rooms everyday for the duration of a contract (in my experience the contracts are usually made for up to two years) that is a pretty good deal for any property and often comes with a greatly discounted contract.

I am sure there are a fair few hotel properties out there relieved to have ongoing contracts with airlines who are managing to maintain their operations right now.

I’m also surprised at a few of the comments here which seem to think airline crews book and pay for their own accommodation down route!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:32 am

Contracts have a long layover and short layover hotels

Short layover hotels specialize in proximity to the airport, comfortable rooms, frequent shuttles and good sleep opportunity. They usually have a robust dining service in house for later arrivals, early departures, and short stays.

Long layover hotels are usually required to be near some sort of entertainment venue that may be required to be downtown. These hotels usually have contracted out shuttle services because the rides are usually lengthy. In House Food is less of a priority as the Long Stay prioritizes areas with food and drink selections. Gyms, casinos, beaches, pools are all emphasized. In place of a downtown area, a Mall/entertainment area on the perimeter of the city may substitute. You frequently see this in places like DC (Alexandria) or NY (Garden City, Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City, Jersey City) or LA (where being downtown is not what people think of when they think of 24 hours in So Cal)

If there is a safety issue downtown, as there has been lately in many US cities, the long layover hotel can revert to a short layover hotel at a moments notice. The short stay is generally considered more secure as crews are on or adjacent to the airport property.
 
jreeves96
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:36 am

My company bases it off what's nearby. I believe their contract says there has to be multiple food options in walking distance. It also depends on what kind of lay over. 24 hour? Minimum 10 hour? But as a loadmaster we get thrown into the closest Motel 8. Some captains can also pick what hotel they want based on seniority.

For example, I'm currently in Sharjah, UAE for minimum crew rest. Company obviously wants the aircraft on the ground as short of time as possible and the hotel they stick us in is just right around the corner. No food nearby, but for 10 hour crew rest it's not bad. I dig it.
 
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spinkid
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:54 am

jb1087xna wrote:
I've often wondered this myself. I live ~2 miles from an hotel that regularly has airline crews there (from just driving by and seeing them in the parking lot and by unknown social apps) and have wondered why they are ~20-30 minutes away from the local airport when there are multiple closer options that aren't just motels. I always chalked it up to contracts with specific brands. The better quality of life argument makes sense to me as well.


Those unknown social apps can probably help you meet them in the parking lot.

11C wrote:
I’ll just say that spending 24 hours at an airport hotel many times per month wouldn’t work well for most people. When a suitable property can be found that offers the opportunity to eat healthy, exercise, and walk someplace other than an airport expressway, it’s a win-win. Have you walked around near a large U.S. airport. Not always a good place to wander around.


I got the opportunity to spend the night near DTW a couple years ago during nice weather. I could see a McDonald's and a Wendy's from out front and as I walked along that's all I saw. I decided not to venture past the boarded up Denny's. Las Vegas is the only airport I can think of that really fits being city center and near airport.
 
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PPVLC
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:54 am

It depends, hotels might change from time to time and sometimes the company finds one neart the airport, crews complain, a new hotel is found and life goes on. I personally hated the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport...
Cabin crew L188 707 727 737 757 767 A300 DC10 MD11 777 747
 
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LX015
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:55 am

aftx91 wrote:
As a mere USAF peasant, perhaps somebody could fill me in on the reason for this.
I regularly see civilian crews, both flight and cabin crew, being shipped from major airports to fancy downtown hotels, instead of staying at a reasonable airport hotel. For the price of a 3* downtown hotel, you could get the same rate at 5* airport hotel minus the location and views.

For example, New York would be a prime example here, crews flying into JFK (Even EWR!?) are shipped into Manhattan, notorious for its extortionate hotel prices, even low cost carriers like Norwegian(and Primera back in the day) has/had its crew shipped into Manhattan from JFK and EWR respectively, which for a low cost carrier must be quite the kick between the legs.
For a flight departing EWR at 6pm, the crew must have to be picked up at their hotel in Manhattan no later than 4 to beat the traffic, right?
Maybe I’m going crazy here, but what’s the logic behind it.

I understand for legacy carriers (BA Worldwide, or Air France for example), these will be tied in to contracts from yesteryear, but what’s the excuse for the others?
A JFK airport hotel for one night will surely save potentially up to hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to a hotel on the sidewalk of Times Square?



Norwegian stayed at the Holiday Inn, nothing 5* about that at all.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:57 am

jreeves96 wrote:
My company bases it off what's nearby. I believe their contract says there has to be multiple food options in walking distance. It also depends on what kind of lay over. 24 hour? Minimum 10 hour? But as a loadmaster we get thrown into the closest Motel 8. Some captains can also pick what hotel they want based on seniority.

For example, I'm currently in Sharjah, UAE for minimum crew rest. Company obviously wants the aircraft on the ground as short of time as possible and the hotel they stick us in is just right around the corner. No food nearby, but for 10 hour crew rest it's not bad. I dig it.

Sounds like Atlas?
 
mhockey31091
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:01 am

You've clearly never spent 15+ hours at an airport hotel with nothing but fast food and areas that hotel workers will say "Yeah I wouldn't walk around here".
 
jreeves96
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:04 am

FlyingElvii wrote:
jreeves96 wrote:
My company bases it off what's nearby. I believe their contract says there has to be multiple food options in walking distance. It also depends on what kind of lay over. 24 hour? Minimum 10 hour? But as a loadmaster we get thrown into the closest Motel 8. Some captains can also pick what hotel they want based on seniority.

For example, I'm currently in Sharjah, UAE for minimum crew rest. Company obviously wants the aircraft on the ground as short of time as possible and the hotel they stick us in is just right around the corner. No food nearby, but for 10 hour crew rest it's not bad. I dig it.

Sounds like Atlas?


Bingo.
 
myki
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:29 am

If an airline is flying to a destination multiple times a day as a long haul, they might want to book for example 50 rooms a night for every night of the year and will get a bargain rate for it. Then there is the issue of airport hotel with nothing around it, or a city hotel with attractions and amenities costing $1 a night more per room, and you have the difference between crew jumping at the chance to work that flight vs calling in sick at the last minute as they don't want to be stuck for 48hrs with nothing to do.
 
Sokes
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:43 am

FGITD wrote:
Worked at a foreign outstation once that had to switch for ONE night from the luxury downtown place to the high end airport hotel. The scandal to end all scandals. The captain acted as if I'd just informed him that the shuttle driver would deposit them at the landfill for the night

Suppose you own a hotel in a good location.
If the airline agrees to buy a fixed number of rooms for a year the price must be something in between a hotel and ordinary rent.
What if the airline agrees to find alternative accomodation on the 30 busiest (and therefore highest priced) days of the year?

If an airline agrees to find alternative accomodation for 120 days/ year, should the rooms become cheaper than ordinary rent?

Do airlines rent rooms in posh locations for the full 365 days?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
BTV290
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:44 am

As someone pointed out earlier, it's a quality of life/morale issue. Additionally, airlines with contracts in fancy downtown hotels aren't paying street prices. They're paying usually deeply discounted prices for blocks of rooms months at a time.
At my airline, to save money and increase operational efficiency, if the layover is less than 15hrs, the crew stays near the airport. Over 15hrs and they go to a more desirable location (generally downtown, but not always, if there are other cool attractions nearby). In some locations where the airports are very close to downtown, there may only be one crew hotel because it makes no difference. Vegas comes to mind for that, with the runway basically touching the Strip.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:47 am

mhockey31091 wrote:
You've clearly never spent 15+ hours at an airport hotel with nothing but fast food and areas that hotel workers will say "Yeah I wouldn't walk around here".

Downtown Denver??
 
Sokes
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:51 am

Suppose a hotel has 60 rooms, ten of which are permanently rented out to an airline.
Suppose for a conference, wedding or whatever a party wants 55 rooms.
Will the airline cooperate?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
Sokes
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:59 am

One more question:
If the stay over is in developing countries, will the politicians decide which hotel the airline has to rent?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
LASVegan
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:01 am

lowfareair wrote:
Many airline crewmembers fly to see the world, not to be at the same generic airport Hilton day in and day out. For JFK specifically, part of it is that anything except the TWA Hotel is junk, and then crewmembers (especially for non-US airlines) don't want to stay out there - they want to be in Manhattan for their 26-28 hour layover.


Hilton?? Ha! Try Courtyard, or 4 points, or Hyatt Place. These are typical airport hotels for most US airline’s crews for most majors, including Delta, Southwest, Frontier etc. An airlines union contract allows for short stay and long stay hotels. Short stay hotels are usually used if the overnight is below a certain time, my airline contract uses 18 hour block in to block out as the cut off. Short stays are typically decent hotel brands (like the ones I mentioned), close to the airport. Long Stays are typically downtown (or a busy tourist location) and generally higher quality (Hilton, Sheraton, Westin, etc).
 
DualQual
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:02 am

Sokes wrote:
Suppose a hotel has 60 rooms, ten of which are permanently rented out to an airline.
Suppose for a conference, wedding or whatever a party wants 55 rooms.
Will the airline cooperate?


With what? The airline has a contract with the property that the property has also agreed to abide by. If the hotel wants the extra rooms they’re also probably on the hook for the difference in cost to move crews to another hotel for that period. Further, what’s the difference if the 10 rooms were already sold out? Should they “cooperate”?
There's no known cure for stupid
 
deltairlines
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 4:07 am

spinkid wrote:
I got the opportunity to spend the night near DTW a couple years ago during nice weather. I could see a McDonald's and a Wendy's from out front and as I walked along that's all I saw. I decided not to venture past the boarded up Denny's. Las Vegas is the only airport I can think of that really fits being city center and near airport.


There's plenty in the US that have airline hotels in the city center and within a 15 minute drive to the airport. BOS is right across the Harbor; the Seaport is 5 minutes away from the airport; Back Bay is 10-15 minutes. San Diego is 10 minutes from Lindbergh Field. MIA is about 15 minutes from Downtown Miami (though it's a bit more to the more glamourous spots on the beach). DCA is 5 minutes to Arlington and 15 minutes to Central DC. PHX is 10-15 minutes from Downtown Phoenix (although there's not a whole lot there; on the flip side, Downtown Tempe which is pretty active is 10 minutes away). Those are just a few that I can think of.

As for DTW, I've only stayed at the on-site Westin and the nearby Four Points. At the Four Points, I thought about walking to a nearby Bob Evans for dinner, but at 8 pm and it being dark, I figured it was a bit safer just to eat at the hotel restaurant. The Westin was great though.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:56 am

11C wrote:
I’ll just say that spending 24 hours at an airport hotel many times per month wouldn’t work well for most people. When a suitable property can be found that offers the opportunity to eat healthy, exercise, and walk someplace other than an airport expressway, it’s a win-win. Have you walked around near a large U.S. airport. Not always a good place to wander around.


This. A million times this. On CDG layovers, we stay at one of the hotels in a small town near the airport. Half the town is hotels. An utterly soul-destroying place.

mhockey31091 wrote:
You've clearly never spent 15+ hours at an airport hotel with nothing but fast food and areas that hotel workers will say "Yeah I wouldn't walk around here".


Don't forget the drug deals literally being done in the lobby as you arrive. ;)


davidjohnson6 wrote:
Perhaps airlines should adopt a different policy, namely each crew member gets a choice of
A) the usual 3 star hotel in Manhattan
Or
B) a 4 star (but cheaper) hotel near JFK, with crewmember allowed to keep two thirds the difference in price between the two hotels which gets added to their end-of-month pay cheque

I'm wondering how much cabin crew who are on more modest pay and who have visited NYC on 6 previous occasions find that they now prefer to earn a bit more money


The tricky part with that is that the airline guarantees a purchase of a certain number of stays per year at a hotel. Giving the choice to the crew may end up being more costly for the airline.

In some places, we can opt out of the hotel and get some cash back. Of course, this only works in places where the company can get a cancellation refund back from the hotel.

And don't forget allowances. If you stay in a more expensive hotel, your allowance will be better. So even in your scenario, it would pay for the crewmember to stay in the downtown hotel as long as you are frugal about your meals. Cup noodles are the same price downtown as at the airport.


Sokes wrote:
One more question:
If the stay over is in developing countries, will the politicians decide which hotel the airline has to rent?


In most "developing countries", it's the same deal as anywhere else. Some hotels are great. Some are less great. On average, though, you'll get a nicer place than in New York or Paris simply because the country has a lower cost of living.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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zeke
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:32 am

aftx91 wrote:
A JFK airport hotel for one night will surely save potentially up to hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to a hotel on the sidewalk of Times Square?


The hotel needs to be more than just a bed. Many hotels in the US don’t have room service at night, only have central cooling/heating, or even breakfast in the morning. Reconstituted powered eggs and 3 day old sausages and bacon is not breakfast.

Requirements needed often include a certified kitchen so crew won’t all get food poisoning during the return flight, blackout curtains, individual room temperature control (another aspect many US hotels skip on), quiet, clean, and SAFE.

I don’t mind staying at an airport hotel for a short stay so I can spend more time sleeping. However when 12 hours of time zones apart I want to be somewhere comfortable where I can sleep during the local daytime, able to blackout the light, free from daytime traffic noises, and then able still to get a meal at my normal body clock meal times.

Airport hotels are typically setup as a nighttime transit hotels, they are not setup for shift workers.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
FGITD
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 7:41 am

Sokes wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Worked at a foreign outstation once that had to switch for ONE night from the luxury downtown place to the high end airport hotel. The scandal to end all scandals. The captain acted as if I'd just informed him that the shuttle driver would deposit them at the landfill for the night

Suppose you own a hotel in a good location.
If the airline agrees to buy a fixed number of rooms for a year the price must be something in between a hotel and ordinary rent.
What if the airline agrees to find alternative accomodation on the 30 busiest (and therefore highest priced) days of the year?

If an airline agrees to find alternative accomodation for 120 days/ year, should the rooms become cheaper than ordinary rent?

Do airlines rent rooms in posh locations for the full 365 days?


Airlines aren't in the business of finding alternative accommodation. They signed a contract, both parties adhere to it. The hotel gets the benefit of being paid for X rooms per night, regardless of actual use. The airline gets the benefit of having those rooms available no matter what. Usually it's a bulk corporate rate, so nothing to do with high demand season, room avail, etc.

One of my great arguments back when it was my responsibility was with hotel management who were overbooked during the holidays and asked one of our crews to share rooms. Suffice to say, they did not share.

Assuming a flight is daily, then yes, they'll have that block of rooms daily. I speak only for International out stations. I've never worked with domestic.
 
VMCA787
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:10 am

I did volunteer work when I worked for a 121 carrier and again when I worked for an Asian carrier. Surprisingly, the methodology of hotel assignments was virtually the same and the "must-haves" were almost identical.

The basic determining factors are the length of the layover. If the layover is 15 hours or more, the crew (cockpit) was sent to a hotel "downtown". That definition is a little flexible because in some cases there is no such area. The general requirements for the cockpit crew were there had to be a 24-hour restaurant available as well as 24-hour room service. Laundry had to be such the crew on a minimum layover could send their laundry out and receive it back within 8 hours, ideally 4 hours. Reliable internet and international channels had to be available and there was a minimum size of the rooms. The cockpit crews were to be housed on the "executive" level or something similar and the rooms had to be "non-smoking" and I don't mean no ashtrays! And there had to be blackout curtains and the rooms were to be located in quiet areas of the hotel, not next to the elevator. Finally, the rooms were required to be ready upon crew arrival. If the rooms were not available after one hour, the crews could walk and the hotel was responsible for the costs of the rooms.
As is always the case. For instance, in TPE we had a layover of 15+30. So it was off to the downtown hotel but given the bus ride and traffic travel time was over an hour each way. So, in that case, the company and union agreed we would stay at the airport hotel. Hotels in the mid-East are particularly problematic. A non-smoking room is simply an ashtray is missing but the room reeks of smoke. So, the simple solution was to just spray deodorizer. As time went on, the hotel finally got the idea regarding what non-smoking meant.
I have hundreds of stories about incidents in hotels after 35 years of flying. Some are extremely funny and some are not so funny. But, it's a no-win situation. You will never get everyone to be happy with all of the hotels.
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VSMUT
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:35 pm

We flight crew are human beings as well. We don't get to return to our own families, pets, beds and kitchens every day. We have to spend the waiting time doing something. There is nothing wrong with putting flight crew up in comfortable and well located accommodations to make up for that. Remember that for us it isn't just a holiday when we go abroad. We do it day in and day out for several weeks in a row.

Airport hotels are often of worse standard than city centre hotels, even for hotels that are in the same chain. Rooms are smaller and more basic, more run down. Fitness centres are smaller and less well equipped. Options for eating are often limited to the hotels own expensive restaurant. There are barely any activities to do. There is 24/7 noise with travelers lugging suitcases around and staff cleaning the neighboring rooms.

We are also expected to get a proper nights rest. If we are fatigued, we are well within our rights to refuse to fly. A cancelled or delayed flight will offset the savings of putting the crew in a worse hotel for a long time.


Starlionblue wrote:
11C wrote:
I’ll just say that spending 24 hours at an airport hotel many times per month wouldn’t work well for most people. When a suitable property can be found that offers the opportunity to eat healthy, exercise, and walk someplace other than an airport expressway, it’s a win-win. Have you walked around near a large U.S. airport. Not always a good place to wander around.


This. A million times this. On CDG layovers, we stay at one of the hotels in a small town near the airport. Half the town is hotels. An utterly soul-destroying place.


Is that in Roissy? The street with all the hotels? I've spent god knows how many months in the Novotel there :banghead: At least there's a park and golf course behind it if you want to stretch your legs.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:46 pm

VMCA787 wrote:
I have hundreds of stories about incidents in hotels after 35 years of flying. Some are extremely funny and some are not so funny. But, it's a no-win situation. You will never get everyone to be happy with all of the hotels.


Please share. :D

VSMUT wrote:
We flight crew are human beings as well. We don't get to return to our own families, pets, beds and kitchens every day. We have to spend the waiting time doing something. There is nothing wrong with putting flight crew up in comfortable and well located accommodations to make up for that. Remember that for us it isn't just a holiday when we go abroad. We do it day in and day out for several weeks in a row.

Airport hotels are often of worse standard than city centre hotels, even for hotels that are in the same chain. Rooms are smaller and more basic, more run down. Fitness centres are smaller and less well equipped. Options for eating are often limited to the hotels own expensive restaurant. There are barely any activities to do. There is 24/7 noise with travelers lugging suitcases around and staff cleaning the neighboring rooms.

We are also expected to get a proper nights rest. If we are fatigued, we are well within our rights to refuse to fly. A cancelled or delayed flight will offset the savings of putting the crew in a worse hotel for a long time.


Starlionblue wrote:
11C wrote:
I’ll just say that spending 24 hours at an airport hotel many times per month wouldn’t work well for most people. When a suitable property can be found that offers the opportunity to eat healthy, exercise, and walk someplace other than an airport expressway, it’s a win-win. Have you walked around near a large U.S. airport. Not always a good place to wander around.


This. A million times this. On CDG layovers, we stay at one of the hotels in a small town near the airport. Half the town is hotels. An utterly soul-destroying place.


Is that in Roissy? The street with all the hotels? I've spent god knows how many months in the Novotel there :banghead: At least there's a park and golf course behind it if you want to stretch your legs.


Roissy indeed. As mentioned a soul-destroying place. We stayed at the Crown Plaza next to the Novotel. At any arbitrary time you could go down to reception and there'd be crew checking in or out out. And other crew being yelled at for "stealing" a banana from the lounge.

The trick was at arrival to book the shuttle bus to the Aeroville mall for the next morning. The grocery shopping at Auchan mostly makes up for the rest of the layover.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VSMUT
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:19 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
The trick was at arrival to book the shuttle bus to the Aeroville mall for the next morning. The grocery shopping at Auchan mostly makes up for the rest of the layover.


I just walk to the aeroville. It takes more time, so you have to spend less time waiting in your room later on.


By far the worst I had on a regular basis was in Poland. The hotel was located in a run down barracks building on the site of a former airbase in the middle of nowhere. There was an old MiG-21 parked/abandoned in the corner of the parking lot. The air conditioning didn't work. The rooms were small and not sound insulated. The breakfast was best avoided. The cleaning staff didn't respect that we were sleeping, knocking on our doors to ask if we wanted cleaning (despite the "do not disturb" signs) or even entering with the master key to ask us in person. Once in the winter I had a window that wouldn't close properly. On the positive side, the restaurant was both cheap and fantastic.
 
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:42 pm

I've always said since they went bankrupt, if Primera didn't spend what I can only imagine as a fortune, putting their crews in fancy hotels like the W Boston or the Moxy Times Square, they might have survived a little longer.

EDIT: Granted, the Moxy isn't exactly the Ritz, but transporting crew to/from Newark must have been both costly and an inconvenience for a LCC.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:30 pm

I doubt that hotel budgets bankrupted the airline. If it did then going to cheaper hotels wouldn't have kept them afloat much longer.
 
mattyfitzg
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:47 pm

CosmicCruiser wrote:
I doubt that hotel budgets bankrupted the airline.


No of course not, but it certainly wouldn't have helped.
 
N965UW
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:47 pm

I used to travel to Albany (NY) regularly and stayed at one of the hotels right down the road from ALB. Regional crews came in and out all day, but I don't recall ever seeing a mainline crew there. Possible reasons I can think of:

- Close proximity to ALB (5 mins via the hotel van as opposed to 20 mins from the city center)
- Good food options for an overnight dinner, but few surrounding attractions
- Cheaper (regionals don't need to pay extra to house their crews with the elite next to the state capitol)

I spend a lot of time at HPN, and my observation is that instead of staying in the city of White Plains proper, crews and passengers alike will go to Tarrytown (which requires driving past White Plains for 20-30 mins). I've also heard of B6 putting crews up deep inside Connecticut. Again, probably due to cost, since White Plains hotels are geared toward the premium market. There's arguably more to do and see in Tarrytown, and it has a larger concentration of hotels than the city. The only issue is when I-287 is backed up. Hearing a "your captain is stuck in traffic" announcement before boarding happens.
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VSMUT
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:58 pm

mattyfitzg wrote:
I've always said since they went bankrupt, if Primera didn't spend what I can only imagine as a fortune, putting their crews in fancy hotels like the W Boston or the Moxy Times Square, they might have survived a little longer.

EDIT: Granted, the Moxy isn't exactly the Ritz, but transporting crew to/from Newark must have been both costly and an inconvenience for a LCC.


I can't speak for that particular hotel or city, but all the Moxy's I've been in were pretty lousy budget hotels. I've found myself in a multi-bedroom suite in an Intercontinental more often than a budget chain like Moxy, and I've not exactly worked for airlines that were swimming in cash.

Looks like it takes 25 minutes to drive from Newark Airport to that hotel, which is well within normal standards.

Saving on hotels is risky, along the lines of saving on maintenance and pissing your pants to stay warm. Sooner or later a pilot is going to report unfit for flight due to fatigue, and you will have to deal with a couple of hundred passengers who need to be rebooked, put in a hotel and receive their €600 EU261 compensation. It just isn't worth the savings. I'm not saying that you need the suite at a 5-star hotel, but Moxy is already at the low end of the scale.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:01 pm

Of course length of layover often determines where you stay. We had airport hotels for layovers less than 24 hrs and other hotels in the city for longer layovers.
 
11C
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:53 pm

VSMUT wrote:
mattyfitzg wrote:
I've always said since they went bankrupt, if Primera didn't spend what I can only imagine as a fortune, putting their crews in fancy hotels like the W Boston or the Moxy Times Square, they might have survived a little longer.

EDIT: Granted, the Moxy isn't exactly the Ritz, but transporting crew to/from Newark must have been both costly and an inconvenience for a LCC.


I can't speak for that particular hotel or city, but all the Moxy's I've been in were pretty lousy budget hotels. I've found myself in a multi-bedroom suite in an Intercontinental more often than a budget chain like Moxy, and I've not exactly worked for airlines that were swimming in cash.

Looks like it takes 25 minutes to drive from Newark Airport to that hotel, which is well within normal standards.

Saving on hotels is risky, along the lines of saving on maintenance and pissing your pants to stay warm. Sooner or later a pilot is going to report unfit for flight due to fatigue, and you will have to deal with a couple of hundred passengers who need to be rebooked, put in a hotel and receive their €600 EU261 compensation. It just isn't worth the savings. I'm not saying that you need the suite at a 5-star hotel, but Moxy is already at the low end of the scale.


Well said, and I gave up trying to stay warm that way.
 
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Wed Nov 11, 2020 6:06 am

Sokes wrote:
Suppose a hotel has 60 rooms, ten of which are permanently rented out to an airline.
Suppose for a conference, wedding or whatever a party wants 55 rooms.
Will the airline cooperate?


In that situation where ten of the 60 total actual rooms are already contracted to a paying customer, the hotel would advertise itself on all media as having a maximum of 50 rooms available, not 60, thus avoiding the problem entirely.
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Sokes
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Wed Nov 11, 2020 8:39 am

TSS wrote:
In that situation where ten of the 60 total actual rooms are already contracted to a paying customer, the hotel would advertise itself on all media as having a maximum of 50 rooms available, not 60, thus avoiding the problem entirely.

But if a customer likes that specific hotel and wonders if arrangements can be done?

Yes, I get it.
Airlines don't want or can't adapt. I suppose many employees don't like to adapt.
I wonder how that fits to overbooking seats in a plane?

I like that airlines overbook. It makes flying cheaper.
Similar crews could enjoy better average standards with increased flexibility.

Are there hotels which maintain a few very small rooms to be used only in peak season?
Would airlines agree to good rooms 300 days/ year, tiny rooms for 65 days/ year?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:40 am

Sokes wrote:

Are there hotels which maintain a few very small rooms to be used only in peak season?


what an incredible waste of (potentially) revenue producing space for most of the year. Don't get into the hotel business.

Sokes wrote:
Would airlines agree to good rooms 300 days/ year, tiny rooms for 65 days/ year?


You don't travel much for work, do you?
 
Bostrom
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Re: Why do aircrews stay in cities and not near the airport?

Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:40 am

It has been mentioned that for short layovers, crew usually stay close to the airport. But there are exceptions. I once arranged a small conference at an inner city hotel, about 30 min from ARN and the hotel seemed to have a deal with Lufthansa as there was a lot of Lufthansa crew arriving and departing during the conference and the hotel even had a "Lufthansa crew lounge".

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