Just wondering but since pilots are constantly going in and out of your home country how does service and communicating work?
How do you keep in contact with your managers just in case something happens, talk to family from back home, and deal with important calls if you phone won’t be able to receive them or let you know what calls you missed since your number will be inactive?
Is there a line service that works internationally for every country?
Thank you, Androu
Most cellphone carriers have international plan which some pilots use. Most of the pilots I know however simply use the hotel wifi and apps like Viber, Skype, Whatsapp, etc.
I’d like to add onto Adam’s topic of Hotel WiFi and Hotspots Internationally.
I am not a conspiracist when it comes to the federal government tracking and knowing what exactly we’re doing and searching because, well, we all know it’s true…hence the movie Snowden being produced [Must I say it is a good movie if you have not seen it]. I would recommend for traveling (in general) to get a VPN provider (i.e., Surfshark, Nord VPN, etc.) to help protect your data against the Wi-Fi providers (i.e., hotels, restaurants, etc.) when using free public Wi-Fi. Even when I travel in the US, I use a VPN to change the location of my IP to better protect my data when surfing on public Wi-Fi.
I also find use out of the VPN if traveling internationally because things like HBO Max, Netflix, and Hulu may not be accessibly internationally or shows/series rights may not be allowed in that country.
For pilots that hop the pond frequently, most have international plans. You can get away with not having one because of the broad availability of wifi these days. As for company communications, most airlines have built in Wi-Fi networks available to flight deck crew only. It’s basically a hidden network that passengers can’t access to allow unrestricted use to flight crew.
Something to note, when I worked for a charter company we were given $50 a month for a cell phone per diem since our personal phones were used for company communications. It isn’t standard but definitely appreciated among the pilot base.
Pilots have managers, but unless you are causing trouble, there is almost no reason to be in touch with them, ever.
Most pilots use wifi calling, which works reasonably well. You can also just use your phone and pay by the minute for super important calls. Most cellphones will work in any country these days.
What vpn recommendations do you suggest?
Also thank you sm for the advice!
I dont want to be a stick in the mud, but aren’t you starting training Aug 1st? I’m thinking you have less than 3mos and would be much better served studying and taking the 6 knowledge exams vs worrying about VPNs and how you be might be making international calls 5-6yrs from now. While it’s not required, taking the exams prior will most certainly increase your odds of success. Sporty’s Study Buddy is free and you could start NOW working on the PAR. Just saying…