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Old 02-01-2020, 03:47 AM   #1  
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Default Insight into 121

I知 looking for some insight into the 121 world. My goal would be to start at regional where I could pick up IAH as a base to allow a one leg commute. I would hope to eventually end up at United in a few years. My location has 2 flights in and out a day. Arrival at IAH at 9am or 5pm. Depart IAH at 2pm and 5pm. How hard would this be to commute? I知 already struggling with idea of being gone 4 days every week from the family. Adding an extra day on the front and end to commute would probably be unbearable. Any insight from the commuters at regionals and mainline would be appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:56 AM   #2  
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I'm not at XJT, but that sounds like a horrible commute and more like 5-6 days gone per week.

Is IAH drivable?
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:00 AM   #3  
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Plan on being gone more like 6 days a week especially not living in base. If your struggling with it 121 might not be your cup of tea. The lifestyle isn't for everyone. The regional flying is gone much more then the majors with only 11 to 12 days off a month. Sometimes as a commuter you get in to late or a early show and have to fly in the night before.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:40 AM   #4  
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It痴 close to a 4 hour drive. Doable but not ideal.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:46 AM   #5  
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Train to work?
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:29 AM   #6  
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As others have said your looking at 5-6 days away from home. A 4 day trip with two travel days and a solid day at home.


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Old 02-01-2020, 11:54 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldog08 View Post
I知 looking for some insight into the 121 world. My goal would be to start at regional where I could pick up IAH as a base to allow a one leg commute. I would hope to eventually end up at United in a few years. My location has 2 flights in and out a day. Arrival at IAH at 9am or 5pm. Depart IAH at 2pm and 5pm. How hard would this be to commute? I知 already struggling with idea of being gone 4 days every week from the family. Adding an extra day on the front and end to commute would probably be unbearable. Any insight from the commuters at regionals and mainline would be appreciated.
As a Houston line holder for years, I can say it's doable with our system. You will probably end up spending a night or two in a hotel every month. Your commuting flight times are not ideal, the 5 pm departure from IAH will make it harder with typical pairing end times. You will have to work the ILIW to massage your schedule to accommodate your same day commute. Might have to give up other desires like weekends off and avoiding any particular overnights. You'll have to be more flexible in your choices of pairings to trade for to get a same day commute. Hard, but doable. Also, you may consider dropping an especially difficult pairing as part of another trade and sucking up the loss in pay initially. Some folks can't afford that of course. If you do drop a 4 day (for example), you can keep an eye on open time and pick up something commutable later in the month during the secondary window. If you miss a commute, a 4 hour drive might be worth it, depending on your personal situation. There are many variables to consider, only you can decide if it's worth it in the final analysis.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:08 PM   #8  
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Quote:
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...
I知 already struggling with idea of being gone 4 days every week from the family. Adding an extra day on the front and end to commute would probably be unbearable...
As a future commuter, you need to seriously evaluate your family situation.

1. Do you have special needs children?
2. Do you live in a remote location?
3. Do you have extended family nearby to help when needed?
4. Is your spouse dependent on you for everyday things? Does your spouse have a strong friend network?

Number 4 is especially difficult for some pilots. If you have a spouse who pines for you during every 4 day trip, your life is not going to be enjoyable. I've seen this with other pilots I've flown with. You can see the frustration, anguish, and sometimes anger when they are on the phone with their spouse. Before and after every flight. It's not pretty.
I was lucky to find someone who is independent and willing to suffer(?) me being gone for days at a time. I made sure to educate her about what life would be like before I proposed to her, so she would know what she was getting herself into. She is smart and can handle things in my absence. She still misses me (believe it or not) but she knows how to occupy her time while I'm gone. It's a little harder for her now, since the girls have grown up and we have an empty nest.
On a side note, I am gone from home way more as an airline pilot than I was while active duty in the military. Food for thought for all of you current military folks looking to make the jump to the airlines.
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Old 02-01-2020, 01:29 PM   #9  
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Thanks for the valuable info. I知 currently working for a 91 operator only working 10-12 days a month with maybe 5 max overnights. They are about to move our flight department about a 2 hour drive away. Keeping my fingers crossed that they will just let me commute. Sounds like the commuting life is pretty brutal. Might have to look into cargo, our a home based 135 gig instead.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:13 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldog08 View Post
Thanks for the valuable info. I知 currently working for a 91 operator only working 10-12 days a month with maybe 5 max overnights. They are about to move our flight department about a 2 hour drive away. Keeping my fingers crossed that they will just let me commute. Sounds like the commuting life is pretty brutal. Might have to look into cargo, our a home based 135 gig instead.
Look at your work/retirement timeline. Are you close to retiring? If not, you can do worse than working for an airline. QOL at work is pretty good. You tend to get spoiled as a 121 pilot. 91 and 135 both require more work other than flying the plane. Also, in general there is less stability and benefits compared to 121. Of course, there are always exceptions to this. The trick is to find a good operator who will treat you right. If you prize time at home above all else, then airline flying is not for you. Personally, I'm used to commuting now. I would be hard pressed to trade what I have for a 91 or 135 gig. To be fair, it would take an exceptional 91 or 135 operator to match my W2 and benefits. 121 has a lot to offer overall.
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