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View Full Version : QOL - Paid/Unpaid Time Off

01-06-2018, 12:38 PM
I had a couple questions about time off and leave at the majors:

1. Are sick days accrued like vacation days? What happens if you get DNIF (for you mil-types) for an intermediate period of time, i.e. broken ankle in a cast for 6 weeks, minor surgery that puts you down for a couple weeks, etc? It's not really "loss of a medical", but it is a long period of not being able to fly.

2. Is it possible to take "unpaid" time off? Say I wanted to take 2-3 months off to go climb Everest or tour Europe, is that a possibility? I get that an airline job is flexible, which I love, but is it THAT flexible?


01-06-2018, 04:24 PM
You cannot take months off at a time. Every once in a while an airline may offer a leave of absence for a couple of months due to a reduction in block hours for whatever reason. But that’s pretty rare. I wouldn’t expect or plan for it.

01-06-2018, 06:15 PM
Flexibility completely depends upon the airline. One cannot speak for all airlines, only their own. At FedEx, we get 12 sick days per year, if unused, carries over to subsequent years. If you get sick or injured, you use your sick bank, if you run out, you go on long term disability (60% pay for two years). After that, you go to 50% pay, and I think it's on a max salary of 265-270K, something like that.

As far as unpaid time off, sure. You can take that 2-3 months off to climb Mt. Everest as long as you get your 3 takeoffs and landings in 90 days. So go do a 3 legger, steal or beg for all the landings, and then take the time off. If you don't get your 3 and 3, you have to go to the sim, which isn't the end of the world. The caveat is, they have to have enough staffing in your seat position to do it (which can be tough in December), or you can give away your trips. Many airplanes are well staffed. You can use your vacation to get large blocks of time off, paid. Some people like to take the summer off.

But most people here don't use the flexibility to take large amounts of time off, though some do periodically. Most people pick up extra trips, by choice. It's nice to have the option, should one ever get in good enough shape to climb Mt. Everest!

galaxy flyer
01-07-2018, 07:24 AM
Who are you, Ed Viesturs?


01-07-2018, 09:56 AM
Who are you, Ed Viesturs?


Haha, I wish. Maybe Everest is a bit lofty. Denali or Kilimanjaro might be more on my level. I imagine I could finagle 4-6 weeks off using vacation and trip trading. Heck, I meet airline dudes on the airshow circuit who seem to be able to take weeks at a time off to go fly their T-28 or L-39 in shows.

01-09-2018, 07:13 AM
With enough coverage you could in theory take all the time off you wanted, although some airlines might have a monthly min credit since they may not want the overhead associated with pilots who never fly.

In reality, it won't be so easy but will depend on time of year, and what the airline has going on at that moment.

You can also incentive other folks to pick up your trips. This obviously adds up but can be an enabler for lifestyle events off you can afford it.

As others mentioned, you need to do your three cycles every 90 days. Some companies might get annoyed if they have to send you to SIM for that.

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