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Commuting questions

Old 03-29-2019, 08:58 AM
  #1  
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Default Commuting questions

Hopefully these aren't questions that have been asked a million times.

I've got a class start date scheduled in a couple months, and I'm trying to prepare myself for what life is going to look like for the next year or so. I have a home and a family that won't be moving, so most likely I'm going to be commuting for a while.

My questions are on the details of how this works. Lets say I'm based at ORD and have a trip starting tomorrow. I'm at home in sunny San Diego. First, do current pilots have a better way to look up flights than joe blow with an expedia account? Can you see which flights are full, or how full? Can you hitch a ride on ANY airline (assuming in uniform and commuting to/from work) or just those SkyWest partners with? How do you go about securing a seat? Anything else I should know or be prepared for?

We can probably skip over all the "commuting sucks" and "move to base" comments. We've all read them before and in my case even if I wanted to move, my fiance wouldn't, and my daughters mother would be overjoyed to not have to share her with me anymore. I also happen to love where I live and own my dream home, so I will just deal with whatever joys commuting brings. Thanks!
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Old 03-29-2019, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by stnkbg1
Hopefully these aren't questions that have been asked a million times.

I've got a class start date scheduled in a couple months, and I'm trying to prepare myself for what life is going to look like for the next year or so. I have a home and a family that won't be moving, so most likely I'm going to be commuting for a while.

My questions are on the details of how this works. Lets say I'm based at ORD and have a trip starting tomorrow. I'm at home in sunny San Diego. First, do current pilots have a better way to look up flights than joe blow with an expedia account? Can you see which flights are full, or how full? Can you hitch a ride on ANY airline (assuming in uniform and commuting to/from work) or just those SkyWest partners with? How do you go about securing a seat? Anything else I should know or be prepared for?

We can probably skip over all the "commuting sucks" and "move to base" comments. We've all read them before and in my case even if I wanted to move, my fiance wouldn't, and my daughters mother would be overjoyed to not have to share her with me anymore. I also happen to love where I live and own my dream home, so I will just deal with whatever joys commuting brings. Thanks!
You can jump seat on most airlines to get to work. Also non rev on various partners. You can check loads on some of the partner websites and list for those flights. However it is always in flux and you won’t really know if you are getting on a flight until the flight has left the gate. Lots of jumpseaters commute and many will be senior to you for a while. Just give yourself options. When you are on reserve, you will be flying out the day before and heading to the crash pad. Hopefully you can get home the last day of reserve, but as you seem to realize, commuting to reserve is tough and gives you very little time at home.

Good luck.
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Old 03-29-2019, 10:36 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by stnkbg1
Hopefully these aren't questions that have been asked a million times.

I've got a class start date scheduled in a couple months, and I'm trying to prepare myself for what life is going to look like for the next year or so. I have a home and a family that won't be moving, so most likely I'm going to be commuting for a while.

My questions are on the details of how this works. Lets say I'm based at ORD and have a trip starting tomorrow. I'm at home in sunny San Diego. First, do current pilots have a better way to look up flights than joe blow with an expedia account? Can you see which flights are full, or how full? Can you hitch a ride on ANY airline (assuming in uniform and commuting to/from work) or just those SkyWest partners with? How do you go about securing a seat? Anything else I should know or be prepared for?

We can probably skip over all the "commuting sucks" and "move to base" comments. We've all read them before and in my case even if I wanted to move, my fiance wouldn't, and my daughters mother would be overjoyed to not have to share her with me anymore. I also happen to love where I live and own my dream home, so I will just deal with whatever joys commuting brings. Thanks!
Honestly the smartest thing you could do is take the CRJ and go for a PSP base. I know, I know, SAN only has ERJs. You will likely get PSP before you finish training or soon after, hold a line faster, and be able to hold a CA position within a few years. Not only that, but if you decide to switch to the ERJ after your seat lock, upgrading in the CRJ will be piece of cake. You won't hold a CA seat in SAN for 5-8 years minimum unless something drastically changes.
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Old 03-29-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by word302
Honestly the smartest thing you could do is take the CRJ and go for a PSP base. I know, I know, SAN only has ERJs. You will likely get PSP before you finish training or soon after, hold a line faster, and be able to hold a CA position within a few years. Not only that, but if you decide to switch to the ERJ after your seat lock, upgrading in the CRJ will be piece of cake. You won't hold a CA seat in SAN for 5-8 years minimum unless something drastically changes.
Solid advice right here.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:26 PM
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There several other sites that people use to see what flights are available such as passrider.com. It works better than Expedia for this.

There’s no real way to secure a seat unless you pay for a ticket, since you will be flying space available. That’s the main reason why commuting sucks, because many people stress out about getting to work since it depends on a seat being available for you to get on. Many people use the jumpseat as a last resort since the paying passengers cannot ride in the jumpseat. Some airplanes have one and some have two. I have been in the situation where there were two jumpseats available but three pilots showed up to the gate and all seats in the back were taken. Good luck and welcome!
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by word302
Honestly the smartest thing you could do is take the CRJ and go for a PSP base. I know, I know, SAN only has ERJs. You will likely get PSP before you finish training or soon after, hold a line faster, and be able to hold a CA position within a few years. Not only that, but if you decide to switch to the ERJ after your seat lock, upgrading in the CRJ will be piece of cake. You won't hold a CA seat in SAN for 5-8 years minimum unless something drastically changes.
^^^ This^^^
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:08 PM
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Keep in mind commuting is not always about finding a base close to home. Try to get a base with more direct flights, better average seat availability, cheaper crash pads/hotels, and move up quick into line holder status. Commuting is easier and cheaper when you know your schedule.
I'm a DTW based, line holding CRJ captain, and live in SLC. Every week is pretty stable commuting and I can bid to come off my trips early on the last day to commute home. The DTW Delta terminal is probably the nicest in the country and easy to get through in a hurry.
Now if you stay on the ERJ, you can probably get SLC as an FO inside of a year after training.
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MidnightHauler
Keep in mind commuting is not always about finding a base close to home. Try to get a base with more direct flights, better average seat availability, cheaper crash pads/hotels, and move up quick into line holder status. Commuting is easier and cheaper when you know your schedule.
I'm a DTW based, line holding CRJ captain, and live in SLC. Every week is pretty stable commuting and I can bid to come off my trips early on the last day to commute home. The DTW Delta terminal is probably the nicest in the country and easy to get through in a hurry.
Now if you stay on the ERJ, you can probably get SLC as an FO inside of a year after training.
He lives in San Diego
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by word302
He lives in San Diego
I know, but SAN is pretty senior for ERJ FOs.
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Old 03-29-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MidnightHauler
I know, but SAN is pretty senior for ERJ FOs.
Which is why I said take PSP. He could make the drive in under 3 hours if he had to. Besides that SLC can be a horrible place to try and commute to, especially for a junior guy.
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