Real Answers from Real Pilots

General questions that i cant find answers too

Hi my names michael, ive been browsing this website for some time now as i was considering Atp. I just have a couple questions that I’m hoping someone can asnswer for me.

  1. What are crash pads and how do they work? Do i personally pay or dose my airline help? Do i share rooms with people? Are they like hotels? If airlines provide hotels what’s the point in having a crash pad?

  2. I live in florida and dont plan on moving when i do get my job at a regional so how dose commuting work? Do i get free flights back home or do i have to pay for them myself?

  3. I wont have a cosigner for my loan unfortunately, what kind of credit score do you recommend before i apply for the loan?

  4. I occasionally experience motion sickness in the back of a car but rarely on on an airplane. Im worried that once i begin ill start to experience motion sickness on a daily bases and it’ll be unbearable. Dose anyone here have expierense with motion sickness and how it can be overcome as a commercial pilot?

  5. How important is It to have a four year degree, can i make it with a two year at regionals? Is a two year degree required at regionals?

Thank you reading this post and i apologize for all the questions, i just couldn’t find either part of an answer or an answer at all for most of them. Thank you.


Welcome to the forums, let’s get to your questions.

  1. Airlines provide hotels when you are away on trips, not when you are in your base. Crashpads are for pilots who chose to live some place other than where they are based. When that pilot needs to spend the night in their base, say inbetween trips, many chose to get a crashpad for this purpose. A crashpad is basically an apartment or house that a lot of pilots get together and rent out, then fill with beds so that many people can spend the night there at once. Think of a crashpad as a college dormitory and you will get the idea. The airlines do not pay for this as it is your responsibility to provide housing in your base. Crashpads can range from $200-$350 per month. The best way to avoid these places is to live where you are based, which I highly recommend.

  2. If you plan on commuting from Florida you will most likely need one of the above mentioned crashpads. You do get free travel to anywhere you want to go, the only caveat is that you will need to find a flight with empty seats on it.

  3. I am going to recommend that you call the admissions counselors at ATP and ask them that question. They are the experts on such things, I would really just be taking a guess at it.

  4. I have never heard of a pilot having problems with motion sickness. I have had it when in the back of a car on twisty roads, but never in the airplane. Have you ever flown in a small airplane before? If not, I recommend that you take a discovery flight and see how you handle the motion sickness.

  5. To work at the regionals you do not need any degree at all, to work at the majors you will need a four year degree.

Feel free to ask any other questions that you may have, I look forward to working with you.


So I’ll be able to take flights back to Florida with any airline for free or only with the regional I’m working with? I’m sure I’ll end up moving where I’m based but until then how would that work? At the end of a day I’d just jump on a flight back home? Or do you have to live where you are based?


Once you are hired at a regional, you are assigned a base. You can either choose to live in base, or live elsewhere (Florida in your case) and make the commute in for work.
With regards to air travel, a benefit to being an airline pilot is stand-by travel. Basically, depending on your company’s agreements with other airlines, you will be able to occupy any empty seat that is available on your desired flight. The problem with commuting on stand-by travel is obviously that there must be an empty seat first of all, but also that you must be the most senior person requesting that seat. If any pilot senior to you also requests it, you get bumped off. (Based on seniority, not first come-first serve)



Pilots are also able to ride in the “Jumpseat” at most airlines. Most cockpits have 1 or 2 “observer” seats which pilots can take in a pinch. Again provided no one senior grabs it first!