Real Answers from Real Pilots

Will there be more US airlines doing day trips like European LCC's and Allegiant for pilots?

aspiring pilot here and wondering/wishing if more US airlines would follow the model of Allegiant and other European LCC’s to do almost all day trips for pilots?

i’m wondering if there is a foreseeable trend going in that direction because it just seems like a no-brainer to GREATLY enhance quality of life for pilots. if not, would greatly appreciate insight into why not



I really don’t think so and there really is no “trend” to do so. In fact my airline Hawaiian, who’ve had only interisland day trips for over 20yrs just started adding 2 day trips to gain efficiency. LCCs have very different business plans than the Majors and even their Regional partners.

While quality of life is obviously very important to pilots, profits and efficiency are considerably higher on the airline’s priority list. Further there are many pilots who prefer longer trips.


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thanks for the response. wow Hawaiian adding overnights to interisland travel says a lot

I see zero chance for this happening. Many pilots actually like the longer trips, they can be more productive pay wise and sometimes it is just easier to stay on the road than to take the shuttle to the employee lot, drive home, and then repeat the process in the morning. Furthermore, airlines like Allegiant have primarily day trips because they tend to do shorter flights. There is no way possible to fly long, five hour plus flights across the country and then turn around and fly back.

With international flying, there is zero possibility of this happening.


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Unfortunately I don’t think the primary concern of airlines is the quality of life of their pilots. It’s a business and economic efficiency is the top priority. It’s also not ideal for pilots wanting maximum credit hours for time away from home. However if this is something you desire, luckily airlines like Allegiant operate this way and maybe that’s a place you’d want to end up.

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Juast to add a bit more to this, switching to all one day trips might be beneficial for some, but would be horrible for others. I am a commuter, which means that I do not live where I work. I like getting into position at work, then going on multi day trips. A nice four day means that I am in company provided hotels for three nights and not having to get my own hotel room back in the base for the night. Longer trips also take you further from the base, meaning you have more time to explore new cities and enjoy one of the primary perks of the job, traveling.