Work life balance and marriage


I am transitioning out of the Army at the end of the year and I am recently married. I am wanting to know what the work life balance is like and what some struggles may be for married folks?

Thank you for any advise or information on this topic!


There are many threads on the subject but the short answer is this. EVERYTHING at the airlines is based on SENIORITY. EVERYTHING.

What that means is in the beginning when you’re jr and have no seniority you’ll fly when, where and how often the airline needs you to with minimum control over your schedule. As you build seniority things will improve. That means you can count on missing holidays and other family events for a while but eventually it will improve. As for how long that will take there’s simply too many variables to know for sure.


Thank you so much for the information. I’m between a rock and a hard place as I am getting out of the Army soon and finally having options. Flying is what I really wanted to do in the Army but getting out and starting my next life is very important. I am glad I found ATP, and a great source and mentor group to ask important questions.



You will need to make sure that you have a spouse that is very understanding of your schedule and is rather independent. I would strongly encourage you to look at the schedules section of this forum with your spouse, especially Brady’s section as his schedule is the most reflective of what you can initially expect.

I personally think that while I am gone several nights per month, I have more actual home time than most people do. I also get large stretches of days off that are really nice and enable me to spend quality time with my family.




While I am not married, nor do I have any kids. What I have seen is relationships can be difficult, if you make them difficult. Both you and your partner/spouse have to be understanding of the goal and pathway it takes to become an airline pilot and what entitles you as an airline pilot. As Adam mentioned, seniority is everything in the airlines, your first few years, you may not get the “best” schedule (“line”) or having to miss special occasions. The vacation bid that you tried to snag was picked up by other colleagues. These are things that will obviously change with time and seniority, and every airline is different.

Time is a virtue.


1 Like


Having a supportive spouse is critical to your success in the industry. Flight school is incredibly demanding and will take your full attention. Once you build your time and finally become an airline pilot, you’ll think the worst is behind you… and it is, mostly. A junior regional pilot schedule is tough. You’ll work most holidays and weekends but you’ll gain seniority rather quickly. If both you and your spouse can see through the first few tough years to the amazing career and benefits you will have, you’ll be okay.


1 Like


Thank you so much for the advice, means a lot.


Any information and situations are helpful. Being in the military still she is starting to understand the separation part gets easier…kind of lol