How far of a commute is too far?

I understand this is a very subjective question and that there will be varying answers due to a large percentage of pilots choosing to commute and many of them advising aspiring pilots to move closer to base and avoid commuting. But what would you consider a very reasonable commute for work? I am sorry if this has been asked recently but I haven’t found that post.



What job are you talking about commuting for? If it’s flight instructing Id say 30-45min tops. Flying for a Regional? How long will you be there? Your dream job at a Legacy? These obviously factor into the equation.

That said I’ll assume you mean long term and frankly that’s like asking someone what’s their favorite color. Some don’t mind the commute and I have friends that commute from Europe and Asia. Me personally the idea is very distasteful and I literally have never commuted nor will I ever. Your feelings are your feelings and are as valid as anyones. Long short the airlines don’t care as long as you’re on time and well rested to fly.


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Hello, first post. I can only relay what my flying buddy who I will admit inspired me to give this another look has said. Delta, based in SEA, but commutes from OKC, he has a crash pad in Seattle as necessary. I would have to venture based off what I’ve been told it’s whatever you’re comfortable making. I would think trying to get connections would be doable but kind of a pain. Maybe 1 leg with a few flights for precautions? Otherwise just plan ahead ya know.

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I should’ve been more detailed in my question. I am meaning for the regionals and possibly one day moving on from the regionals to a major airline. It seems that each airline and airline pilot’s experiences differ so greatly that’s it’s rather hard to get a grasp on what to fully expect, which is understandable. I am within 3 hours drive of DFW and was curious if most would consider that commute much to far for them and their QOL. And I do realize that starting out, you go where you’re needed but will eventually have the chance to be placed at a closer hub. Thanks so much for the response!


Thank for the response! I’m actually just south of OKC. And that’s nice that’s he’s been able to make that work for him. Does he have plans to relocate or apply to any airlines closer to home? Or just continue to commute? And how many days on average is he away from home per week?

Hi John, small world. I’m in your same boat, also in OKC and working to get onto the Airline Pilot track at PWA soon. Just gotta get through the 1st class medical exam. Would be happy to talk more about what he told me, but let’s connect privately. Maybe we’ll fly together soon!

I don’t see a way to send a private message? I could give you my email?

Yeah, shoot me your email and I’ll send you a message! That program is the same one I’m interested in.

I commute about three hours via car to work. It is not ideal, but it is not awful either. Ideally I would say anything under 1:30 is good.



Awesome, thankyou for the response!


3-4 hours in a car is doable and mostly preferred over a flight since it’s in your control. After that, one leg commutes are preferred with multiple options a day. The more airline service, the better. If one system crashes, you could still hop to the other airline and get to work.

Don’t even bother with 2 leg commutes.


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Thankyou very much for the response!


I’m fortunate that my commute is no more than an hour per Apple/Google Maps. I would say anything that you’re comfortable doing and living with is acceptable - I don’t know if I could hangout in a car for 3 or 4 hours… but if it was to go fly and see beautiful sights, I guess I could make that work too :wink:


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That’s a great way to think of it! Haha thankyou for that response!