Real Answers from Real Pilots


Hi Adam,

Flying jump seat on any airline is standard across the board? How does the process of riding jump seat work??



I thought I would jump in here and answer your question. On US airlines jumpseating is pretty standard. As far as I know there is not a single US airline that prohibits it. Typically one shows up for the flight about an hour prior to departure and asks the gate agent to list you. On United the jumpseat is awarded in seniority order amongst UAL pilots. Pilots from other carriers are granted the jumpseat on a first come, first serve basis. Even though the 737 only had one jumpseat we will take as many pilot jumpseaters as we have seats available on the airplane.

Jumpseating is a pretty useful tool that enables us to travel all over the country and even internationally. There have been many a time when that extra seat in the cockpit was my only ride home after a long trip.


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Hey Andrew,

As Chris said jumpseating is a pretty standard (and awesome) perk for pilots in the US. Different airlines have different procedures, some easier than others. Recently my airline has developed some relationships with other airlines and we can actually book the jumpseat online. Pretty neat.



Is jump-seating also provided by the regional airlines? and if I work at a regional can i jump-seat in a major airline?


You can provided the Regional you fly for has JumpSeat agreements with those Majors. Most do but not all.


Ok. thank you Adam

Hi Adam and Chris,

Newcomer here and just wanted to say I’ve really been enjoying reading the forum. For the commuting pilot, how often is one left without an available jump seat/cabin seat to get to and from work?




Chris is the commuting pro but since I frequently visit family in NY and now live in Hawaii I’ve gotten ALOT of experience. Personally I’ve never gotten stuck but I have on more than one occasion had to go to my plan B, C or D. It’s all about doing your homework and being creative and that can mean 3,4 flights and traveling in the wrong direction at first but ya gotta do what ya gotta do! :slight_smile:



I have only been left behind a handful of times, but I always give myself two backup options. I have had to drive to EWR before, which is certainly not fun.


Thank you both!