Real Answers from Real Pilots

Commuting To and From

First I would like to thank everyone on this forum for all your help and dedication to reply to our questions. You’ve been very helpful and got so much of my questions answered. I really don’t like the unknown which this forum helped with anxiety. So thank you again.

I did have a question about Commuting. I want to use Endeavor Air as an example because that is the airline I’m hoping to work for since it’s based in Atlanta and is Delta Connection Flights. I currently live in Nashville and will be done with college in 4 years however don’t want to move to Atlanta as soon as I graduate because I want to still build a life in my home town. (Stay close with friends, live with family, get married, etc).

I was wondering how do you commute every morning and what that would look like. Would I have to book a flight or just go into the airport and ask for the earliest flight to Atlanta? Will the commute flight be planned or whatever is available you take? And if the case is “whatever is available you take” could I see from home which one is available or do I have to come down to the airport? Same thing with commuting back.

Thank you, Androu


The airline will let you live anywhere you like but it’s totally your responsibility to get to work well rested and on time.

First off you won’t be commuting every morning. It’s not like going to the office for a 9-5. There are trips that start very early that you’ll need to fly in the day before to do and others that start later and you can fly in that day. If the weather’s bad or is holiday you may need to fly in 2 days earlier. If you’re on Reserve you’ll need to commute in and you might not even fly. You can check the flights at home and it’s up to you to have a plan A and B (maybe a C and D). You’ll need to check the flights, check the loads, list for the jumpseat, etc. If the flight you want is full you’ll need to take a earlier flight or again as I said come in a day early. Same goes for going home. If there are no flights after you get in you’ll be staying in ATL for the night.

If you ask anyone who commutes they’ll tell you they don’t recommend it and they all have at least one horror story. That said the majority of pilots do commute so it’s definitely doable albeit not fun.


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Is it ever heard of to book a revenue ticket for a commute? Obviously more expensive than jumpseat etc but wondering if people do this.




I have very occasionally head of people booking revenue tickets for commuting purposes, but it certainly does not happen often. Generally speaking, it is usually possible to get on a flight around when you need to.


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As Chris said it’s possible but in my experience if someone is really stuck it will magically coincide with them not feeling well :wink:



Generally to commute you would book Non-Rev (standby) tickets on flights that would get you to work on time. You get higher priority on the operated by the regional you fly for or the Major your company flies for. You can still fly standby on other airlines for a small fee via the Zed fare system. You need to leave plenty of backups in case they are full and you don’t get on. You also have jumpseat privileges but that can be tricky since it’s only 1 or 2 seats depending on the airplane.
One thing that is a huge plus flying for Endeavor, they offer their pilots a positive space (confirmed seat) ticket to and from their home to commute to base. It is a new system Delta is trying and using Endeavor as their test run. It’s a big hit for their pilots as you can imagine!


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