View Full Version : BA Long Haul Pilots.....Easy Life?

21st Nov 2004, 14:44
As the long suffering girlfriend to a long haul pilot employed by "the worlds favourite airline" I'd like to post the following observation.

Now, I love my Bf very much and we're both very happy but I can't help but think that when you guys ring us from down route or make it back home (eventually) that you're really spinning us girls that have to stay at home a bit of a yarn....always saying how tired you are and how hard done by you seem to be by the corporation...

Take my man for instance, in the last 4 months, several trips to Singapore, well we all know what a party zone that place is, staying out til the sun comes up partying hard, drinking beer and telling tall stories to make sure you've got your n arm in for when you pluck up the courage to call home for your daily interrogation!

Then there's the positioning trip to HKG that turned nto a 6 day hoiday...such an inconvenience that someone had to take 13 hours out to fly the plane back and guess what....we're dead to the world when we get back! (Aren't we dear!!)

Then there's the trip to Cairo, covering for the 777, that turned into a 2 night nile cruise, or the positioning trip to Sao Paulo,first class travel out, 6 days holidaying before having to fly back...god forbid that someone snook a trip to B.Aries in there.

I mean.....need I go on?......the bid list reads like something that would have Alan Whicker drooling and what do we the long suffering partners have to do.....yep...cook, clean, hold the fort until our loved ones return and hold down the odd full time job.....and then you have the nerve to question why we're tired and exactly what we've been doing to make us so tired! ;)

So...come on guys, admit it, life's a party and I don't deny you're all poor old tired souls but you have to admit, some of it is self-inflicted now isn't it boys? !!;)

Now you can't kid all us girls, some of us even know how to fly....so how about you boys coming clean for a change (unlike your underwear (See my previous thread)) ??


Onan the Clumsy
21st Nov 2004, 15:08
some of it is self-inflicted now isn't it boys? Probably not if they're away from home and Momma. :p

21st Nov 2004, 15:17
Sounds like someone is jealous here.

Sure as hell I am!

21st Nov 2004, 15:48
Being a model and a part time helicopter pilot must really suck ass then? :rolleyes:

Erwin Schroedinger
21st Nov 2004, 16:31
One word............Jetlag.

Try shifting your sleeping/waking hours onto his schedule.

Then come back here after a month of that and tell us how you feel.

(We'll ignore the problems due to 8000ft cabin altitude and dehydrating air, shall we? Don't want to make you feel really bad, do we?)

Then there's the stress of counting all the cash and worrying how to invest it. That's what makes me spit blood! Take their Heathrow slots monopoly off them and make them scrape for profits like everyone else, I say. :mad:

21st Nov 2004, 18:06
If you didn't enjoy the lifestyle you couldn't do it for long. It is VERY tiring and your boyfriend must be very senior if he has such apparently good trips. Despite my love of the job and the travel I would nearly always rather be at home.

As for Then there's the stress of counting all the cash and worrying how to invest it. That's what makes me spit blood!Jealousy is such an unbecoming emotion.

andTake their Heathrow slots monopoly off them and make them scrape for profits like everyone else, I say.

I think you will find that we have less proportion of the total available slots at 42% than any other major national carrier at their home base. How precisely can we 'scrape for profits' if we cannot fly our routes?

21st Nov 2004, 18:17
Now now boys, play nicely.......


What I really want to know is ...do any of you guys party hard when you're away? and do any of you admit to it if you do?

Quite where profits, earnings and where you are going to park your toys came into it I don't know....

We all know it's a tiring and often thankless job, but you have to admit, it has certain perks......and I'm sure some of you ut there take every opportunity going to party hard....then tell us girls it's the job that's worn you out and not the 8 hours in the bar partying after an 11 hour flight...c'mon boys admit it!


21st Nov 2004, 18:25
Ask him then.

Or is he away again??

21st Nov 2004, 18:32
away again!


21st Nov 2004, 18:51
Bet his phone is switched off. But i don't want to worry you or anything......!

21st Nov 2004, 18:54
Sounds like you speak from experience!

21st Nov 2004, 18:55
You suggest, Helli-Gurl:
c'mon boys admit it!

Suppose he does. What is your next step?

21st Nov 2004, 19:00
Hey....I've got nothing against people making the most of things...hell..I would ;)

Besides I trust him...

Just wish a few of you would admit some of the fatigue just might be due t a bit of over indulgence every now and again



tall and tasty
21st Nov 2004, 19:09

I lived a long time as a poor suffering longhaul widow! How was the trip what are the places like got dull replies I too tired not interesting and why do you ask!

They live in their hotel room according to him but the photos on the comp show otherwise. They hate it if the 5 star hotel is only 4 star and want everyone to be at their beckon call or mine was like that. But you talk to friends and get a compete different picture to their antics.

Are they frightened to let on? I have traveled extensively through out my life to both the north and southern hemisphere so why should I be jealous of the life style I just wish I had been invited along more often instead of the friends

His loss now not mine but I don know how you feel but i know the time zones wipes anyone out saying all that so I guess you have to be patient too.



21st Nov 2004, 19:21
A-ha..sounds a familiar TnT..but I don't begrudge him a good time given the state of the profession they have to take every perk they can.

I've done the travelling bit to so know how it feels, did some 60 countries in 9 months in my peak, but contrary to popular belief, modelling doesn't afford you sight seeing time, get in do the shoot and off to the next one.....

Nice to hear some finally agreeing that our men never admit to partying hard despite the fact they do!


tall and tasty
21st Nov 2004, 20:24

This will be interesting thought to see if any of them will really admit to partying hard. Nothing wrong with it. When I worked in the airline the only person who admitted to it was the Commercial Director a complete party animal and he never kept anything from his staff.

So come one boys why don't you come clean to Helli-Gurl we would love to hear the antics!

Jet lag affects everyone and is not the only excuse



21st Nov 2004, 20:31
Ladies, tongue in cheek as the original post may be, you are neatly depositing yourselves in the category of spouses/significant others that can ruin the life of a long haul pilot or FA.
And you're pretty unorginal too.We've heard it all before during the periods in our lives when we were shacked up with the wrong kind of BF/GF. The kind that doesn't have a glimmer of understanding about what it takes to live the life we lead and can't see past their own "party party party.. pool pool pool.. drink drink" green eyed monster litany.
What do you propose we do down route ladies? Hmm? What would make you happy? Sitting holed up alone in our rooms with only jetlag and bad TV for company? Sleepless not only in Seattle but all over the globe? Eating pot noodles and old mars bars from the flight bag sitting on the bed? Maybe a bracing stroll alone through downtown Detroit on friday night?

Yes well. Something else you girls should know but probably won't believe. There are plenty flights when all of the above actually happens. No partying, no drinking, just boring and kinda lonlely in a strange foreign city with a crew where there's no one you really feel like spending time with. So you stay in your room with a book and the telly, eating some slimy take-out from the corner shop and trying to catch up on your sleep.
And even then ladies, even then, we arrive home knackered, shattered, cross eyed tired with gritty eyes and bodies aching all over. Because that's what year in year out long haul flying with its accumulated jetlag does to you.
And if a person lacks the ability to understand that, such a person should not get involved on a permanent basis with aircrew. 'Cause the last thing we need is a nagging jealous shrew/bastard waiting at home!

Most flights home are night flights. Your body clock is already totally and hopelessly messed up from the flight out so that your local 'night' consisted of lying awake, falling asleep for short periods, lying awake again listening to all the sounds of the hotel and the street and knowing you're awake at an hour where only drunks, prostitutes and airline crew are awake. Still you know that you got a night flight ahead of you. You go to bed in the middle of the local day and try to grab some winks. Because you know from long experience that the night ahead will be a killer. Staying awake on a dark plane full of sleeping pax ain't easy. The pilots staring into the dark night hour after hour and trying to stay alert. No joy-ride that.
The FAs sitting on a container, shivering in the cold galley desolately hoping time will pass. Bring on the glamour.
And then 2 hours before landing it suddenly revs up. Sun comes up, so the pilots look straight into it, yeah baby, their eyes LOVE it.
The pax need their brekkers served, nothing quite as enjoyable as serving 350 stinking omelettes to 350 smelly people who hate you for waking them up while your own body is screaming for sleep.
Under those circumstances, feeling like something that was puked out by the cat, the pilots peak their mental alertness for the last phase of the flight, the FAs do a 2 hour sprint with the food trolleys while faking happy smiles and looking pretty.
It ain't natural but we do it.

Some trips are one big wonderful fantastic soul lifting hilariously funny immensely enjoyable party. They are the trips that make all the hassle worth it. And part of what makes partying with colleagues so much fun is that a fellow long hauler is in many ways a twin soul who understands our life, our universe and our everything.
Unlike the bitching home brigade some of us have to put up with. :mad:

21st Nov 2004, 20:54
And that Ma'am Flappy is exactly why anybody who ever gives staff on a flight any hassle should be banned from flying forever.:ok:

incrediable -mirage
21st Nov 2004, 20:58

There are those who understand what you have written here and appreciate it. I too have spent alot of time traveling and the time zones are the worst. You have an internal body clock that kicks in and as you say nothing you can do about the lying awake when should be asleep, sounds that keep you awake when you are desperate for the sleep your eyes long for.

The return to someone who does not appreciate what you have been through can be tough but just a little enthusiastic in sharing the trip good or bad may help. Come on I think that all they are after is a yes we do have fun but it does have its down moments too.

You have illustrated that with your reply but please remember the person who is waiting at this end may just understand too.

Incrediable -mirage


21st Nov 2004, 21:27
Since Flaps puts it so squarely in her first sentence, I'll confess that the original complaint reminded me right away of Tam o' Shanter, where Tam reflects on "home"
Whaur sits our sulky sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm

Helli-Gurl is after all on about long-haul pilots. By definition the other end of the long-haul is far away.

There used to be a job ad here for "Interesting and Stimulating Accountants ...... Well, Okay, Accountants". I'm sure Helli-Gurl could find one of them who does not fly away in a big bird.

21st Nov 2004, 21:45
Besides I trust him...
No, you do not. You have made it perfectly clear that you consider him to be a deceitful person who is less than truthful with you.

21st Nov 2004, 21:50
Having done more than my share of long haul as SLF, I figure Flaps has it about it right. It's not that much fun for us SLF either. To have to keep doing it as crew must be hell - it's bad enough when the travel is part of one's job.

I don't care how much flight crew get paid, looking at what many of them have to spend to get qualified, and then what they go through once they are, I figure the poor bast***ds have earned every penny of it.

Unlike the suits in accounts...........

Feeton Terrafirma
21st Nov 2004, 21:59
No, you do not. You have made it perfectly clear that you consider him to be a deceitful person who is less than truthful with you.

Ms Diamond, surely you wouldn't suggest he be shaggin one or two FA's?

22nd Nov 2004, 09:08
I don't have an opinion on whether he possibly is or isn't, Feets, my remark was limited to the contradictory statements made by the author of the thread who maintained that she trusts him but at the same time was posting such statements as;

... but I can't help but think that when you guys ring us from down route or make it back home (eventually) that you're really spinning us girls that have to stay at home a bit of a yarn....

....then tell us girls it's the job that's worn you out and not the 8 hours in the bar partying after an 11 hour flight...c'mon boys admit it!

... our men never admit to partying hard despite the fact they do!

To my mind, these are not the statements of a person who trusts their partner because when you do trust someone you believe their answers to your questions. It just appears to me that, on the one hand, she is saying she trusts him but on the other, she is saying that he lies to her. Her statements appear to be contradictory.

22nd Nov 2004, 10:00
I think a few of you have taken something that was meant to be a light hearted discussion a little too seriously here, and I certainly don't need any lessons in how to handle my relationship thank you very much...

However posting this thread, which my BF knew about, has done exactly what we both thought it would, attracted two types of response, one from those who dont take it seriously and one from those who do and see it as an opportunity to vent their spleen...that's fine.

No one is denying how tough the job can be, I've done my fair share of travelling and am only too well aware of how the time zone game can take it's toll, but you only have to scan a few of the threads on this site to see just how unhappy a lot of people are with their jobs and how badly many airlines treat their staff these days to make you think why people ever become aircrew or cabin crew in the first place?

Afterall, if what I do for a living was as bad as some of the tales I read on this site, I wouldn't be doing it for a living that's for sure....therefore there must be a good side to the job would be nice to hear a few of you out there admit it and as TnT said, it'd be fun to hear about some of the antics you guys get up to and some of the laughs you've had rather than the usual air of apathy in so many of the threads.


22nd Nov 2004, 10:26
Nice picture of sleepless in HKG, Flaps40, but what about the parts:

"Then there's the positioning trip to HKG that turned into a 6 day holiday...."

"Then there's the trip to Cairo, covering for the 777, that turned into a 2 night nile cruise, or the positioning trip to Sao Paulo,first class travel out, 6 days holidaying before having to fly back..."

For me jet lag has become less of an issue after many trips to the Far East.

22nd Nov 2004, 10:39
you're awake at an hour where only drunks, prostitutes and airline crew are awake.

....kindred spirits, perhaps?

22nd Nov 2004, 10:51
Och - ye'll go tae Hell fer tha!

22nd Nov 2004, 12:48
Trumpets :ok:
Reads well though doesn't it? ;)
It's also how the media like to portray us, it's what many pilots' wives say about flight attendants and how a fair few FA husbands like to view pilots.
We usually accept the stereotyping from people who don't know any better with good grace. Try and educate our partners is hard enough, never mind Joe Public.

Here on PPRuNe though, the number 1 website run by and for people involved in this wonderfully complex enterprise called aviation, there is no need to smilingly accept all the [email protected] Jane Public likes to dish out in her ignorance.
On PPRuNe everyone is welcome, but it's our home base and for sure the wrong place to come and diss aircrew unless you can live with getting an answer that doesn't conform to your preconcieved petty little prejudices.

Helli-Gurl, registered since october but already an expert on "the usual air of apathy in so many of the threads"??
Attagirl, you're obviously not prone to making snap-judgements. :ok:
Oh and for a less "apathic" forum, why don't you enroll with the British Womens' Association. I'm sure it's a lot of fun and you're bound to meet some kindred spirits. :rolleyes:

22nd Nov 2004, 14:07
Trumpet. You missed out the SLF. I assume the checkin staff omission was deliberate though (I was there - they weren't).

22nd Nov 2004, 14:24
Ms Helli-Gurl, you write:
I certainly don't need any lessons in how to handle my relationship thank you very much...

but it was you who invited us all into your "relationship". Why? I repeat my earlier question: If he does "admit" as you suggest, what then? You must have some motive in asking, and some consequence in mind for an answer, affirmative or negative. Do you look on this as "spleen"?

22nd Nov 2004, 14:44
Perhaps it would have been better if this had been posted in the Agony Aunt forum than here. They're a little more sympathetic over there.

As it's here though.........

There's a lot of generalising and sweeping statements going on here. Now as Bluey points out, in one breath your asking for validation of your suspicions regarding what happends down the road, yet you also mention you trust him. Then your mate T&T jumps in and throws down the gauntlet with "Are they frightened to let on?" (It should be also noted there is a very biased view that "the boys" would be the only ones who party on).

Then the truth comes out.
However posting this thread, which my BF knew about, has done exactly what we both thought it would

An admission of a fishing expedition then?

Biggles Flies Undone
22nd Nov 2004, 15:32
Do I see the flash of a lure in the water and hear the click-click of a ratchet slowly reeling in? :hmm:

22nd Nov 2004, 15:45
And it was THIS BIG

22nd Nov 2004, 16:26

Biggles Flies Undone
22nd Nov 2004, 16:30
http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/mica/fishead.gif http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/mica/shk.gif hook, line and sinker, methinks :p

22nd Nov 2004, 16:39
And you should have seen the one that got away. It was even bigger. But, we ran out of beer, so we had to go home. Where's Fishtits? This sounds like his sort of game.

(Nice shark Biggles!)

22nd Nov 2004, 16:51
Biggles, you might be right, you might be wrong.
But my fish is still prettier than yours. ;)

On a more serious note, even if you're correct and this was a fishing expedition, it doesn't change the fact that the attitudes displayed by the thread starter are very prevalent among ill-informed people who do not fly for a living.
People who all think that they are the very first to make a *funny* remark, BFs/GFs/spouses who put in the snidy little comments at every opportunity.
I know girls who loved their job but chose to take a ground job because their other half made their life hell before and after every trip.
I know pilots who dare not bid for a wide body aircraft because they know their wife will ruin their home time with her jealous carping.
In many happy homes it's a fairly uncomfortable issue, and plenty of people do not 'let on' when a trip has been fun precisely because of this attitude. Which is a great shame.

So while I might have been hooked lined and sinkered, being able to write a few home truths and highlight some ugly prejudices has been hugely satisfying. :ok:

Trouty :)

22nd Nov 2004, 16:51
Yeah - my life sucks too......

For starters - my wallet's too small for my fifties & my diamond shoes are too tight...


22nd Nov 2004, 16:59
Fishy mate, go open your window. Hear that? That's me laughing. You crack me up.

22nd Nov 2004, 19:25
Well said Flaps! (wind up or not)

Whilst neither pilot nor fa, I'm aircrew who frequently works away from home and all the above sounds depressingly familiar.
As the only female in my unit in the time I have been doing my job the biggest 'problem' I have had is bitchy sniping from the insecure partners/wives of some colleagues - not sexism. Eventually they also become an embarrassment to their partner.
Luckily there are other colleagues with partners who more than make up for these jealous insecure witches and have become good friends in their own right.


22nd Nov 2004, 20:03
Through trial and error I have the personal relationship side of being away sussed.
It cheeses me off however when I am having to deal with crap from sources outside of my relationship for the simple crime of being the opposite sex.


22nd Nov 2004, 20:13
Well I think all of us in this industry have suffered from A.I.D.S. if one has been on flying status for any length of time, pilots and flight attendants.

A.I.D.S. you know Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome.

I had it, all better now!

24th Nov 2004, 14:39
I guess Helli-gurl figures she hooked Trouty........sorry, Ma'am Flappy, and thay her job is done.

24th Nov 2004, 14:52
Well written, Thank you.

Mr Chips
24th Nov 2004, 16:11
Isn't it funny how often on any board like this, when someone gets torn apart.. they come back and claim it was all just a wind up...... :hmm:

Biggles Flies Undone
24th Nov 2004, 16:12
Yeah, it foxes me too, Mr C ;)

24th Nov 2004, 16:16
Come on now...........sounds like she had a legitimate issue.

Nothing a therapist couldn't help with :E

B Fraser
24th Nov 2004, 16:43
Quote "Now, I love my Bf very much and we're both very happy"

I just hope my new girlie doesn't read this thread or I'm in deep sh*t :uhoh:

24th Nov 2004, 21:02
Flaps, you hit the nail on the head! I will print out your post and frame it!

BF- it's good you care if your new girlie reads this or not, it would be a terrible pity to get into deep poopoo just over a misunderstanding, wouldn't it?

hellegirl- flaps is right. It all looks great on paper, but most of the time Crew would rather be at home, surrounded by their loved ones, being able to be in a routine, do everyday mundane chores, may be even feel appreciated, just for a change. It is great to travel, but it's important to get the balance right.
I for one can't wait to see the world, go places with my wonderful, hilariously funny, interesting, lovely and drop dead gorgeous BF, but on the other hand, if I step into yet another smelly, hairy hotelroom (the fourth this week), I think I'm gonna

:yuk: .

And remember: why don't you make the effort in taking some interest in his job? You don't know: he might be dying to tell you what happened to him on his travels, but doesn't dare for reasons flaps mentioned.
It is wonderful if BF has an interest in what you do. Don't be Jane Bloggs who doesn't appreciate, what it all involves, good and bad bits.
From my experience it's bloody awful if your other half resents you, thinks you have the time of your life, sitting next to "another" man (or in your case all the FAs) for a length of time.

So: you don't need advice, I give it to you anyway: It's about give and take, the C word (Compromise that is!!), listen to his stories (even if they might bore you to tears), be happy with him enjoy him, when he's around and don't make him think: Thank god I can go to work now.

phew, x