Hey everyone, I am 17 years old working on my private pilot. I want to become an airline pilot, but this one question is stressing me out. My question is that do regional airlines provide a seat for the pilot to travel to the base from the regional airlines’ destination? For example, Envoy Air has many nonstop flights from Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID) to Chicago, IL (ORD) every day. If they assign Chicago as my base, will they let me ride on the jumpseat from Cedar Rapids to Chicago because it’s roughly about 4 hours to drive there and I don’t want to move to Chicago for that… Thank you!
Commuting is a choice and the airlines are under no responsibility to get you to work. Just like ANY other job getting to work is on YOU and no they will not provide you with a seat. Now pilots do have the ability to JumpSeat on virtually every airline in the country (obviously including your own). Thing is again it’s your problem. There’s only 1 jumpseat on many flights and boarding sometimes goes in seniority order (other times it’s first come first served depending). If there are other commuters from Cedar Rapids you have to make sure there are either empty seats in the back or you get there really early or you can have a problem. That often means arriving well before you trip starts, maybe the day before. Also Chicago gets some bad weather in the winter. Again, if they start cancelling flights you better plan accordingly.
If you’re stressing about it now, just wait till you’re doing it for real, show up at the airport and see 5 other pilots at the gate in front of you!
Airlines have jumpseat agreements with each other to help pilots commute to work. Air Wisconsin, Envoy, SkyWest and United all fly non-stop between those two destinations. You would be able to jumpseat on any one of those airlines. Seniority will dictate your chances of getting on.
As a commuter myself, I would strongly encourage you to change your mindset and move to wherever you are based. Commuting will occupy a large amount of your time and will be stressful. With any other job you move to where the job is, flying shouldn’t be any different.