Real Answers from Real Pilots

Time Away

Hi guys I just wanted to know about how much time are you usually away from home/spouse?
Also, after getting the CFI job with ATP, are the monthly payments towards the loan manageable?
Last but not least, if I am an instructor working at ATP with the housing, could I live with my spouse?

I ask these questions since I am also thinking about asking my girlfriend to marry me and I just want to be best prepared. I know this career can be difficult as time away can be hard on a relationship (good thing we’ve talked about it). I want to be financially more stable if I’m going to pop the question. Any insights? Much appreciated

Hello Angel and welcome,

How much you’re home (or not) depends are a variety of factors. The airline, plane you fly, the operation itself, your seniority etc etc. I fly for Hawaiian and when I was flying Interisland I was home every night with 14 days off a month. Now that I fly Worldwide I’m gone up to 4 days at a time but I’m off 17-18 days a month. I have many friends who fly for Atlas and they can be gone up to 18 days straight. Most Regionals have 1,2,3 and 4 day trips. Which ones you get (usually the 4 days) will vary by seniority. As you gain seniority you gain more control over your schedule.

I financed and paid my loan off under different circumstances but a number of pilots have said that with the new pay scale for ATP instructors (and the tuition reimbursement), while it’s tight, they’ve had no issues making the payments. Yarden can give you more specifics.

Unfortunately no, the housing is only for ATP instructors. No spouses, etc. It’s dormitory style and that wouldn’t be appropriate.