Real Answers from Real Pilots

Family Traveling With You

So I was curious and I was wondering, has it ever happened or is it allowed for a pilot’s spouse to travel with them on a flight, as a passenger, to a layover destination? I imagine this would be supremely impractical on domestic flights, but what about long haul flights? Out of pure curiosity, is it possible for a pilot’s partner to travel with them in the passenger cabin and spend the layover with them? Say, a 3 day trip to Paris and back?

Dan,

I have had two wives (not at the same time) and brought them both on trips. My first wife joined me in San Francisco, Saint Martin, Saint John’s Newfoundland, and Stockholm. My second wife came on an entire four day trip with me to Toronto and Orange County, CA. If I recall correctly, I actually purchased her tickets on a few of the flights that looked full. It is not as hard as you might think, provided there are seats open. If the flight gets full, just remember that you will be going without them and they will need to find a way on their own.

Chris

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Dan,

Not sure why you would think taking family with you domestically would be “supremely impractical” but pilots do it all the time. In fact I’d argue domestic travel is easier as there are more options in the event the flight fills up. That in fact is really the biggest issue when taking your family on trips, making sure they get home with you!

Adam

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I imagined it would be impractical to bring family on a domestic trip as it typically involves multiple segments a day.

Also, on such occasions, is the family or the spouse able to stay in the same room as you, or do they need to find their own accommodations?

Dan,

While some domestic trips have multiple segments many do not. Particularly if they’re longer flights.

I’ve never heard of any airline restricting family members from staying with crewmembers. Only issue is transportation to and from the hotel. Sometimes space is limited, there are liability issues and also passengers usually need to get to the airport sooner. Any time I’ve ever taken family we’ve had to get our own cab or Uber but that’s no big deal.

Adam

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Dan,

I think you might be thinking that the family member must travel on the same flights that you fly? They just get travel benefits and they can go whenever and where they please (if there are available seats), even if you have multiple legs they could meet you at your destination if that’s what you wanted. Not like you can walk to the back and hang out with your wife and kids while you are flying anyway :wink:

Alex

Alex,

While you’re right the family can take other flights there is something very cool about having them on your flight.

Also while you’re not going to go hang out with the family, you absolutely can say hi, particularly on a long flight where there’s a Relief Officer.

Adam

Thanks for clarifying Adam. Yeah I guess “take your kid to work day” is a lot more fun in a jet than in my cubicle :slight_smile:

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Dan,
I grew going on my dads trips. I’d anxiously wait on the standby list and hope I got on. When your family member was working the trip, on United you got a higher priority on the standby list so most times I got on. I thought it was the coolest thing to hear my dad come on over the PA. Although, we did have a few scares. Like the time I almost got left in Dubai when I was 17… I never worried though, even being left seemed like a grand adventure trying to get home.

-Hannah

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