Pilot bases question.

So I know we got a few pilots here, and plenty of other people familiar with the industry. So heres my question. I’m intrested in becoming a pilot, now I got plemty of time (only on my freshman year of HS) but still, trying to be ahead of the curve. I know many airlines (actually all as far as I’m aware) have bases. None of those are in Pittsburgh (for now), so what if any options would you have, I have heard of people comutimg, but would I thne be on a flight to ORD or IAD every morning I would work? Or am I mis understanding this? I mean there are some small options in pittsburgh, Sun Air express, and possibly One Jet if they ever take off, but noting long term. If anyone could kinda explain this that would be great…

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Apparently you can also jumpseat when you comute, is that true?

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A lot of people commute, so like my friend who works up in Alaska he jump seats up and works for two weeks and they provide housing

From what I’m aware, your base won’t and most likely won’t be where you actually reside. This means you’d need to move to the place where your base is located. In your case, let’s say you want to work for Delta which doesn’t have a hub in Pittsburgh but has one in Atlanta. This means you’d need to move to Atlanta to work the job. In addition, you must reside about an hour away from your airport as you might be given standby duty. It’s a downside of being a pilot, I assume, considering that your base can be changed at basically any time, so you’re never living somewhere permanently.

And to your second question, yes, airlines usually allow other pilots to commute in a jump seat - sometimes you might be commuting on a different airline than the one you fly for.

Like most of the above replies… a lot of pilots do commute/jumpseat to work from there base. While you probably won’t life at the base of your liking as soon as you get hired, you will eventually get to move to your base if you chose to do so. I know several pilots who commute to work and don’t have a problem with it. I also have several pilots that live on base and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Just for FYI:Don’t get commuting and desdheading mixed up… commuting is explained above and one doesn’t get paid to commute. Desdheading on the other hand (in the US) is when the airline pays you and your crew to hop on the airline you work for or another airline to fly you from point A to B to work a flight. On those flights, you have an assigned seat just like a normal passenger.

Hope this helps

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If you read the first few chapters of Capt ‘Sullys’ book ( about the Miracle on the Hudson) then there is a good explanation of how commuting with an airline works.

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When I was at Southwest Camp, they told us that many pilots commute to their bases. You can fly out of KPIT to your base as a passenger.

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I will confirm, I have read that book, I I remember it well.

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Yes that’s correct. That is commuting.

Great. Thanks everyone for the awnsers. Sounds like general consensus is that it is possible to fly for a major airline while staying in Pittsburgh? That’s good!

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Of course it’s possible. Just going to have to commute a lot

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Yap, I figured it would be an extra thing. And I figure it’s worth clarifying, is this sort of thing pretty typical in the industry? Like the whole jump seating, and going as a passenger is pretty normal? Like how much does that mess up your schedule?

Commuting/jumpseat omg is on your time. It doesn’t factor into your FAA allowable work schedule.

I would assume going as a passenger you are referring to deadheading… I’m not an airline pilot but I have been on flights were I have seen dead head crews before so I would assume common

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Ya, I was sort of referring to them as the same thing, which is wrong, sorry…

The one thing I was wondering is that since (at least the way I understand) most schedules start with an early morning flight, so would that mean that if I (purely for example) work for United based our of ORD I’d be taking the last PIT-ORD flight of say Monday night, going out on “my” flight on Tuesday morning, and ending up back in ORD by that night, and flying home Wensday Morning?

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Schedule starts depends on the company, when our pilots show up for their two weeks some start at 1am others at 1pm, so you just need figure it out and realize how long it takes to travel to your base

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Cant speak for all airline guys but what my friends do is that if they have an early show time the day of there flight on a monday than they will leave sunday evening. but if they have a later say 3pm show time on monday they will leave monday morning or early afternoon

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I know of a 787 pilot on Instagram that lives in SoFlo and commutes to work by flying. If you do something like that, you will fly 4-5 days and then return home.

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I’d love to fly the 747, but I fear that’s gone be one foot out the door by the time I’m in any position to get a job with those sort of company’s…

787s will still be here when you are a pilot! They are new technology

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