My husband has been back and forth about the airlines for a while. He usually leans towards the corporate flying, but he’s getting a job offer from a regional airline (Mesa Airline). I’m use to having him home most days, and love it… so I’m nervous about it. We do have a one year old daughter and our second child is due later this year… my question is… if he were on a trip, what would the likely hood of him being home for the birth of our baby be? Thanks all. Hannah
First off as a new first year FO your husband will have very little control over his schedule and there is no chance he’ll be home every day. Most Regionals have 1,2,3 and 4 day trips with the day trips being the most popular. Seniority rules so the senior pilots will grab the 1 and 2 days leaving the 3 and 4s for the newbies. You can count on him being gone 3-4 days at a time.
Now when it comes to the birth of child most airlines do have at least a little heart and most also offer some version family medical/emergency leave. Now that’s great if you’re having a scheduled C section but if you’re going natural I’m sure you know babies don’t always come on schedule and I’m sure you also know that labor can range from a few hours to many hours. What I’m saying is if the new addition happens to come a early and hubby is on the other side of the country and it’s 11pm and the first flight isn’t out till 6am… well you get the idea. That said the same thing could happen flying corporate.
I was able to be home for the birth of my first son because he came right on time and I had planned for it. My twins were born early and I was in Denver, so I missed their birth by a few hours.
I would point out that being home for a birth or not is really only a small thing on the timeline of life. What is more important is there opportunities that your husband’s career will afford over the next twenty years for your family and those opportunities are far better at the airlines.
Missing out of special occasions is something I’ve heard as a downside for being an airline pilot. My wife and I have discussed what that looks like and what we can do to still celebrate when I’m home. So this is really good to know about having kids.
If you are on a trip, in y’alls experience, is it pretty easy to cut your trip short to head home?
Also, what about being at ATP? My wife and I just found out that we are expecting later this year. According to my program outline, the birth would fall in the middle of Instrument Scenarios. I’m assuming I can take a couple days to be with my wife, but need to keep up with studying. Is this something I need to discuss with my instructor when I start or let someone in ATP know ASAP?
It is very difficult to get out of a trip while in the middle of it. Unless there is a true emergency, the airline will not release you. Even when they do, often times the flight that you were scheduled to fly is still the fastest way home. Europe is a prime example of this, most cities there have service once per day, so there really is no rushing home when something happens.
You need to discuss your situation with the admissions department before signing up for the program. I am sure they can work something out, but they really should know in advance.
We actually found out about being pregnant a week after registering and paying deposit. I’ll give them a call today to discuss it. Thanks!
In my experience with both my Regional (Xjt) and my Major (Hawaiian), both have been fantastic when it comes to family emergencies and situations (wife giving birth is a great example, wife wanting to go to Buffalo Wild Wings for 10cent wing night is not, just saying). As Chris said the only issue can be getting home logistics if you’re far from it.
@Adam, I swear you give the best answers:joy:
So I talked to Training Support and wanted to give an update to anybody curious about time off while being in ATP. Basically as the time get closer, within a reasonable amount of notice, you submit a request to Training Support and discuss it with your Instructor.
@Adam and/or @Chris, in the Airlines, what does the process look like for requesting time off for something like a birth or some other emergency? Is it an online form? Who do you talk to, etc? Just curious.
We just call or email our Chief Pilot, not much else to it if it is an emergency. It is is something that is planned, we fill out a request for leave form.
If in fact you have an “emergency” (which implies it’s time critical) a form probably won’t cut it. As Chris said it’s usually a call to the Chief Pilot who as a rule are available 24/7.