Real Answers from Real Pilots

For pilots who have a job, how much time do you get off?

This is a question that pertains to how much time off do you have to take a break and travel somewhere. I understand pilots are required to work a maximum time due to government restrictions. I know some work more than others so it just depends.

But, realistically, how much time off would you get, if you were flying regional jets per se, to go and travel somewhere. Like to japan or something. can this be done every month?

Brian,

I am not sure about going to Japan on a monthly basis, but travel is certainly possible. Most pilots have 12-15 days off per month, with a bit more during vacation months. Take a look tour schedules section as it will give you a good idea what our schedules look like.

Chris

Brian,
Airline schedules are different from part 135 charter operation schedules. All the other mentors here bid for their schedules and based on their seniority get what they wanted or not. Like Chris said, most have a significant amount of days off. In the part 135 world, every company does scheduling a bit differently. The company I’m at does it similar to Net Jets. We have set rotations of either 15 on 13 off, 8 on 6 off, etc. That guarantees you the same amount of days off after every trip and could be used for travel.

-Hannah

Brian,

If you have enough seniority to do so you could build your schedule to have enough consecutive time off for a trip to Japan once a month but no more than once. We have a pilot at Horizon that flies home to London about once a month.

Tory

Is that in days or hours?

Yeah I will Chris. Thanks for the information. This is definitely very useful for me. I actually used Japan as a better example, but I’m hoping to be able to travel to the Philippines if I’m not working. It’s my place of birth, plenty of family and friends there, and a lot of freedom. One of the big reason why I am pursuing a career as a pilot, because travel benefits, and I will get to fly there one day. Not Japan, but definitely right next to it.

Brian,

As Chris said the airline pilots average about 15 days off a month. What you do on those days is your business so long as you get to work on time and well rested. I actually know pilots who commute from Asia.

Sorry but I have to ask. If you meant the Philippines, why would you use Japan as a “better example”?

Adam

It is just right next to the Philippines and a bigger place to compare it to. I think people are more familiar with Japan and less familiar with the Philippines so they can relate to the question a lot better.

All airline pilots are aware of where the Philippines are.

have you been there?

Once you have some seniority (Reserve or Line Holder), you can get decent blocks of days off without using vacation time.
I’ve been with Skywest for 2 years and as an FO I’m 45% seniority in Chicago.

With my seniority I can usually bid 6-14 days off in a row each month. I can either get days off in the middle of the month (middle of bid) or I can bid to have the end of this month off, and the beginning of next month off. If it works out I could get 10+ days off in a row.

This doesn’t always work though and can lead to a lousy schedule. My favorite bid is just to bid max days off in a row without picking any specific dates and see what Scheduling gives me. Then I decide where and what I’m going/doing during that time.

Chris F

Thank Chris, that was very informative. I really appreciate it.

Flown over it a few times. Never had the desire to visit.

ok, have you ever been to Japan?

No. China, yes.

I’m just saying Philippines is a smaller country than Japan. People would be affiliated more with Japan, since it’s a bigger country.

I just needed the times for vacations to Southeast Asia. And need someone’s opinion on the “time and distance” factor, that’s all.

Good thing we have google maps these days. Just type in Philippines and bam we know the exact coordinates of every city in that country. Moral of the story, any country you name (no matter size) we can all figure out where you’re talking about :sweat_smile: :rofl:

Brian,
Seems we got a bit off topic, it really doesn’t matter where you want to visit. We’re just letting you know the types of schedules you can expect and your options to secure blocks of time within that schedule. It’s totally up to you how you choose to spend your time off.

-Hannah

I know. I used to drive Uber in Dallas. I’m very well accustomed to it.

Just sayin’…

Adam

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