Questions about commutting

oilcanbland

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I was just curious. How many of you guys are commutters and how many live in your domicle? For the airlines guys, is it more common to commute or to relocate?

I live in Indiana, about an hour away from Indy. I know that FedEx has a base in Memphis, UPS in Louisville, Comair in Cincinnati, ATA in Indy and Midway. Would it be easy to commute to one of these bases from IND if I had a job at one of them some day?

I've heard that commutting llife can be a bit!ch. Is that always true? Does it get easier as your seniority builds up?

I would be willing to relocate when I get my first couple of jobs, but if I could end up back in my home town after I land a job with a major, that would be a plus.

If there are anymore regionals or majors with bases in the midwest, I'm curious to know what they are. Thank you.
 

dav8or

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Chautauqua also has a IND base right now. As far as commutting it stinks esspecially when you are jr. and getting reserve or the out and back lines. If you move to your base Murphy's Law states that it will close or you will be displaced out of it within a month. Every pilot dreams of driving to work but try to put up with commutte until you just can't stand it anymore.
 

Tim47SIP

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I would avoid it if possible. I commute from Fl to ATL. I am lucky that the airline I fly for has 11 flights per day from where I live and I get priority over non company pilots for the JS. Even with the number of flights, commuting is still a problem. Not only do you have to possibly pay for a crashpad at your domicile, and have a car there to get around, your time off is shortened with the commute. The current schedule that most of our pilots are on is 4 on/3off. I have to commute the day prior due to early duty ins, so out of 7 days, I am home 2, and the 2 are usually not the same days my wife has off. So we get to have hallway sex. Now I understand the deffinition of AIDS. Airline Induced Devorce Syndrome.
 

jointops

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Tim47SIP said it correctly!!

Not to "one up" this conversation, but I too commute. We live on an island in the SFO bay and I commute to JFK for work. I may have 12 days off a month but usually spend only 8 days a month at home.

Don't do it, man!! Your quality of life (especially as a new hire and possibly on probabation) is too important to deal with this. The stress alone is enough to give you an ulcer.
 

TriStar_drvr

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Commuting S*CKS! Don't do it unless you absolutely have to. I'm now based whitin driving distance of my home and my quality of life is so much better than when I commuted.

Nothing is worse in life than sitting reserve in a crashpad. You could be there for days on end bored to death. Especially if you don't have any transportation to get around.

As for comuting to Indy, ATA has a two hour callout for reserves, so being an hour away, you could sit reserve at home. By the way, ATA anounced yesterday it is beginning new hire classes again in June...
 

oilcanbland

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Thanks

Thanks for the responses guys. I'm sure I will probably relocate for early and middle stages of my career.

However, what I was more conserned about was the later stages. Does commutting still suck, even if you can pick out your own schedule and you are one of the top guys in the airline?
 

AAflyer

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Just say no

Don't Do It. I have done it for years. The total hours you lose in your life is staggering. There was one time I was flying a trip up from SJU to BOS (living in CLE at the time) pushing to get in early to commute out. On final had a flap problem (would not extend past 15.. B757) We went around performed the checklist and landed. Called MX, filled out the logbook, I looked at the captain, and he said you can make that flight still, get out of here. As I walked out onto the jetbridge I was nabbed to take a random whiz quiz. Another night on a Lazy Boy in ops. If you can avoid it,don't commute. As my father used to say." A smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man learns from other peoples mistakes."
Good Luck!!

AAflyer:eek:
 

ifly4food

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I'll offer a contrast to the other posters. I live about 700 miles from my domicile and commute. I have done so since day one with my company. The truth is that sometimes it sucks and sometimes it's not too bad. It really depends on where you're commuting to/from and who you work for.

When you're on reserve, it sucks because you need a crashpad, however once you're senior enough, you can bid lines that let you commute in the day you work and go home the day your trip ends. I have no problem doing this now.
Also, I usually can use my flight benefits to commute. If I had to rely on another airline's jumpseat, I deffinitely wouldn't do it... too unreliable.

For me, it's worth the commute because I can live where I want to, not where I have to. I'm a Yankee and I don't want to move to Atlanta. I'm willing to put up with the commute for that. It's a personal decision as to whether it's worth it for you.

From Indy, you could probably commute to ORD, DTW, CVG, SDF, or even STL without much trouble, but again it really depends on your situation.
Good luck.
 

de727ups

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Huh?
A different response

Two thirds of the guys at UPS commute. Don't think it would be that way if it was all that hard....or maybe our bases suck.... I only lived in domicle for the first bid period of my career...commuted after that. Lived in WA state and based in SDF.

Quality of life depends on seniority.....I have bypassed upgrades (and money) to give myself the seniority in the seat to make commuting painless. I spend no more than 10 days out of 28 away from home. In some cases I get a company paid ticket to get to work...in others, I jumpseat. Never had much trouble getting around but can cite some nightmares....luckily it doesn't happen often.

I wouldn't mind living in base if it was a place I liked...I'd just rather pay the small price (for me) to commute and live where I want.
 

bobbysamd

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Commuting

My opinion, for what it's worth.

I wouldn't have commuted. Too much stress and risk. Too many variables to consider, such as weather, not getting on a flight, whether my pass or I.D. would let me on a particular carrier, whether the captain of a particular flight is mad at my union or company, etc. Airline flying is one job where you absolutely, positively cannot be late to work. That is accentuated if you're a new-hire.

Perhaps if you work for a regional and you want to live in a hub or outstation it serves it can work, but, once again, you have be at work on time OR ELSE.

Once again, just my .02. Good luck with whatever you choose.
 

oilcanbland

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The more posts I read, it seems that the UPS and FedEx guys commute more than the pax guys. What is it about those places that makes them so "commutter friendly?"

As for another question, if you upgrade, do you lose your seniority or something?
 

bobbysamd

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Seniority

You will always have the seniority number with which you are issued. Seniority improves with time at your company. The higher your number the better your lines and aircraft you hold and the more immune you become from furlough. For example, you might become a senior FO and hold a good line and domicile. Then, your seniority allows you to upgrade to Captain. At that point, you've become a very junior Captain and, although you are a Captain, the lines and domicile you hold might not be as good as what you held as an FO. Of course, you're making more money and getting that all-important turbine PIC time. In the meantime, those who are ahead of you will move on and you will move up the list to the point where you can bid and hold better lines and domiciles.

Hope that helps.
 
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PurpleInMEM

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Commuting at FedEx

I'm a commuter and I'll probably commute for my entire career, mainly because we don't have an extensive choice of bases. Numbers thrown around the company indicate that 70% of our pilots commute to work. While that number may seem really high, the truth is that most of us come and go on our own aircraft. "Off-lining" has become cumbersome at best and at the current time we can't even reciprocate our jumpseats to everyone else. Putting yourself on a FedEx jumpseat allows you to schedule the seat 2 weeks in advance. Flying to and from the airport within 100 miles of your home on FedEx provides discipline protection if for some reason you don't make it to work or you're late because of an aircraft or weather problem. There are a few restrictions (maximum length of the duty day, staging status, etc.), but if you follow the rules and travel to work on the company equipment it's a pretty safe bet. And talk about easy....no rude screeners, no lines, no uncertainty about pax loads. Another added benefit by travelling on the company is that your arrival times typically jive with the next outbound hub push. It minimizes the wait between your arrival and the showtime for your trip.

In addition to using the company jumpseats many of our trips start/stop with commercial deadheads. If you don't want to travel to or from your domicile you just let the company know that you'll find your own way to work, and use the value of the scheduled airline tickets to pay for your transportation. These are particularly useful if you live in the city that the trip begins and ends in. Lines like that in any seat are pretty senior.

FedEx is probably the most 'commutable' company out there. It provides maximum flexibility and protection. With all of our postal flying most larger cities are served by daytime and nighttime flights, most are 6 days a week. Not a bad gig if you can get it. Hope this helps.

Fly safe.

PS: Many thanks to all those offline crews out there that do allow us to get back and forth to work. Your assistance is greatly appreciated and we're working hard to get our reciprocal agreement up and running again.
 
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bssthound

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I agree with ifly4food. I commute from the New Orleans area. It's worth it to me. I love where I live and would NOT want to live in ATL. It's just too gosh dern big.
Yes, commuting is a pain but it's worth it for a lot of us. We all have different circumstances and are very fortunate we usually don't have to pull up our roots and move to parts unknown for a new job.
 

oilcanbland

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While we're on the subject of FedEx, it sounds like an awesome place to work. I would love to get on with them some day.

Since I'm just starting my training, what is all I can do to better my chances of landing a job with them some day? I know that is kind of a broad question, but are there any specifics that I can try work on, that they require so I can get that job?

Thanks again.
 

bobbysamd

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Internship

I'd try to get an internship with FedEx. Now's the time to do it, while you're in college; the idea being that you will meet people and make contacts. Plenty of pilots have leveraged college internships into interviews and jobs. There's nothing wrong with that. Check with your college placement office about internships. You may have to do some legwork of your own to get to the right person at FedEx.

Another thing to consider is taking a job with FedEx, and not necessarily an aviation job; the idea being the same as above, to get your foot in the door so that you're known in its system. I know of a pilot who got on with Continental using a similar strategy. This gentleman started with Continental throwing bags. Then, I believe he became a CSR. All the while, he was training and building time. He got on with an CONEX commuter and finally got on with the mainline. The fact that he had been an employee undoubtedly helped him.

Don't foreclose on other companies or internships with them. There are plenty of other good companies besides FedEx.

Good luck with your efforts.
 

Caveman

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I commuted from LAS to CVG for a year. It was horrible. I never had any problem getting a ride but the length of the commute and the 'what if' stress wore me out. Now that I live in CVG my quality of life is 1000% better. I'm not particularly crazy about this area, especially when compared to Las Vegas, but I'm glad I made the move. I would have to think long and hard about commuting again. There would have to be some compelling reason to do it. My .02.
 
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