Wednesday, November 28, 2012

rich pilots?

Many people have the belief that pilots make a lot of money. Not true. It may have been true years ago. It still might be true for senior captains at major airlines. For most, though, it is an average middle class wage. Mind you, I am not complaining. We live on Kevin's wages just fine. We enjoy the comforts of life and even get to enjoy free flight benefits which I enjoy greatly. The truth of the matter is that sometimes working conditions are less than ideal. For example, Kevin can make the highest annual wage by flying "stand-ups". These are the flights that leave at night, fly to a destination, and fly back the next morning. they are generally not long flights and rules say you must have 8 hours between flights. However, that 8 hours starts from when the plane touches down to when the plane leaves the ground so it does not translate to 8 hours of sleep. You have taxiing, unloading, post-flight, trip to hotel and check-in, then you must be back to the airport in-time for a pre-flight inspection (at least an hour before take-off). This generally means 5 (maybe 6) hours of actual sleep time if you are lucky enough to get to sleep immediately. Also, pilots are only paid for the actual hours they are in the air. So, this past Monday when Kevin's flight to San Franscisco was diverted to Reno due to fog and they spent 4 hours in Reno before traveling on to San Fran, he wasn't paid for that 4 hours. Well, that's not strictly true. He was paid $1.70 per hour for his sitting time. Yep, less that a babysitter! So, he got home 4 hours later than he'd planned but he was paid $6.80 for his trouble. Still, he loves what he does and it makes him happy. So, I am happy and life is good.

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