Having kids as a pilot

Gents…two questions for you about the practicalities of having kids while employed at an airline.

  1. How do male pilots ensure they are present for the birth of their children? Seems to me that unless you take vacation time as the due date approaches through the date of the birth, there’s a chance it could happen while you’re on a trip and you’d miss it. Is that just a reality of this life?

  2. In your experience, do airline CBAs provide for any kind of paternity leave benefits (i.e., paid leave)? Or do you just get whatever leave is provided by the FMLA?

By the way, I just reserved my start date for LGB, starting in April. This forum has been a great resource, so thank you for all your continued input.

1 Like


Good questions, let’s get to them.

  1. For my first child I took vacation around the due date and was thus home for his birth. My twins decided to come a month early, while I was in a check ride in Denver. Needless to say I missed their births by a few hours. Generally speaking the airlines are pretty understanding about things like this and will sometimes give personal leave or emergency drops to help a pilot get the time off that he needs.

  2. In my experience the airlines do not provide any sort of paid paternity leave, but you can of course exercise your FMLA benefits. At United a pilot can use their sick time and vacation time to offset the time off, essentially paying them for the time off.

That is great news about your start date! Please keep up up to date as to your progress and thanks for the positive feedback. :slight_smile:


1 Like


I’m at Hawaiian and as Chris said there’s no formal paternity leave. It’s vacation, FMLA and sick days. Unfortunately that’s one area the airline industry is still rather old school.


1 Like