Welcome to my new FAQ Frequently Asked Questions section where I in very short will answer some of the most common questions that I get through my Instagram @pilotmaria feel free to comment below if you have any questions or on my Instagram or facebook.
Can I be an airline pilot and have a family?
The amount of times, on a daily basis that I get this question, is insane, and my same answer will always be the same ´Why not´?
It seems to be a common mistake that you have to choose between family or career? Yes, being a pilot more than often means that you’ll have to spend a night or two…or a couple away from home, but it also means that when you are off you will be there all the time, from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night. If you ask me, I think it´s only healthy to get some alone time away sometimes. But if you are someone who can´t be away from your partner or family, not even for a day or someone who gets homesick after just leaving the driveway, yes maybe then being a pilot isn’t for you, I don’t try to be mean, I just want to share my honest opinion.
All companies have different ´rosters´ working patterns where you sometimes do overnights and sometimes you don’t, if you, for example, fly long haul you’ll most likely be out of hours to fly back home again and end up spending the night in a hotel room somewhere. On the plus side, sometimes they let you stay long enough to actually do some exploring while there. ´Out of hours´ aka flight time regulations read more about EASA regulations here.
Some companies have a fixed working pattern some have a variable, I would say that a variable schedule is probably the most common where you get your flights scheduled on a monthly basis. But remember starting your career as a pilot you don’t get to pick! Not airline to fly for, not working pattern, not type of aircraft, not base, you’ll have to take what you get, and with time you will work yourself up in the seniority list and getting closer and closer to home.
In short, it´s not about choosing between having a family vs being a pilot, you can have both, but it´s not a normal 9 to 5 job and you´ll have to be prepared for that, both you and your family.