Are airline pilots required to stay in the company paid hotel?

Weird question here. I have experience in rental property management and I am also on my way to becoming an airline pilot. I started thinking to myself, “What if I purchased properties that were conveniently located in my specific airlines hubs, rented them out through Airbnb, and proceeded to stay in them during an overnight?”

Would that be allowable and how feasible do you think that is?

Hudson,

This is actually a very common practice. There are many commuters who need a place to stay before or after a trip. Most either get hotel rooms (which can get expensive) or find “crashpads” which are shared and basically what your describing as many are owned by crewmembers.

However, the majority of your overnights will not be at your hub but at outstations. When you’re at your base or hub the airline doesn’t care where you stay.

Adam

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Thanks for your reply Adam.

If I’m understanding you correctly, they still don’t care if I skip out on the hotel at an outstation? I’m thinking about living in base, but owning properties in specific outstations that I would bid to try to overnight at.

Hudson,

The airlines only care that your show up on time the next day well rested and are contactable during the trip. Beyond that you can do as you like.

Keep in mind until you build some serious seniority you’ll be traveling where the airline needs you to go much more often than where you want to go. When I was at XJT we served close to 200 cities and more times than not I had little choice as to where.

Adam

Hudson,

I think one rental property at your base is incredibly realistic if you have the financial means. People do it all the time, it’s basically a private crash pad.

As for outstation properties, you’ve got to have a lot of seniority to dictate most of your overnights, plus the trips have to be in the system. Your hotels on overnights are all covered by the company. That would seem to be a bit of an unnecessary expense and headache to me, unless you hate hotels. If that’s the case though, you might need to get over that before you peruse this career because you spend quite a lot of time in them…

Hannah

Hudson,

There is no issue at all with you not using the company provided hotels. I often skip the hotel when I have overnights in ORF or GRR as I have homes near both of those places. All the airlines care about is that you show up for work on time the next day.

Chris

Chris - In those situations where you stay at your own house in the middle of the trip, are you compensated by the airline in anyway for not incurring the hotel costs?

Thanks,
Andrew

Andrew,

The hotels book the rooms based on the trips and known stays and the rooms are theirs and paid for. They will not compensate you if you don’t use it.

Also and btw, I did know a guy who tried to sublet their hotel room to a friend. The company found out and he was fired costing him hundreds of thousands in lost wages, but my understanding is he did make a few hundred before he was caught so I guess that kind of made up for.

If you want to be an airline pilot you get paid to fly airplanes. That’s your job and that’s all the airline is interested in. If you’re looking for a side hustle I would keep it far away your flying job, as those never seem to work out. In fact many airlines have policies that state any outside employment must be approved by the airline.

Adam

Andrew,

No, the hotel rooms are bought and paid for in blocks. The room just goes unused if you do not use it.

Chris

Andrew,

Companies have room agreements with hotel/franchises so that their crews have rooms. I have seen a few of my classmates during my training not use their hotel room or check-in late, nothing was ever said - nor were they penalized.

Brady