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In the airlines, whats the hardest part of the work?

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In the airlines, whats the hardest part of the work?

Old 27th Mar 2019, 13:56
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: UK
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In the airlines, whats the hardest part of the work?

I hope I am posting in the right place!

I'm nearly forty with a wife and child. I've given up a great career in favour of one as an airline pilot and want to be prepared as much as possible for the challenges it will present to me, other than the obvious part of flying the aircraft.

I'm hoping to hear your personal opinion on where you feel the hard work really is as an ATP. We are all passionate about the best parts, but where does the energy drain really occur?

Is it dealing with stewardesses? Automation - (are we all control freaks)?! The toilets!?! Health issues?! The hours? Repetition? Your bosses? Delays?

I am aiming for Regional and Short Haul.....

Thank you!
AluminBird is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2019, 14:25
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Join Date: Oct 2018
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Definitely the working hours/ earlies /lates /jetlag / not being home when you want to..
That all depends on your company/fleet though.

Been flying for 4 years and the job is still just real fun for me. I'm always relaxed.
Most of the work is definitely on the ground, especially when dealing with delays/technicals/pax trouble etc but you grow into managing it.
Once up there, it can get a bit boring sometimes. I have seen some people doing nothing in cruise for hours, it's something I can't do but to each his own way of killing time.

Sometimes it really comes down to who you are with, be it in the cockpit or downroute. The right people can make any day really enjoyable and relaxing.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 15:00
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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When you're at work, I think the job is great. I've never really had any major complaints.

For me the biggest issue is lifestyle. Unless you are on a fixed roster pattern, planning to do anything in the future becomes a nightmare. I just had to book a weeks annual leave just so I could book a track day I was given for christmas. Its also very hard to keep up with friends and family as plans need to be made a long time in advance, often of days of the week that don't suit most. Once you've missed several 'events' people just stop asking you. Unless your friends are in the industry they find it all very hard to understand.

I still like my job, and am not considering a change, but I'm suprised to say I do fantasize about being back in a nice office, working 0830-1800, home everynight with every weekend off.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 15:09
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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I would say the same as most. Actual job is quite easy day to day, the flying the easiest part, passengers and ground handling next hardest.
Planning social life definitely the hardest part. Even if you have an early shift followed by a day off never ever ever book an important event on a work day. You will either be extended/get a massive slot delay or go tech and end up down route coming back on a day off.Sods law.
It has taken my misses 2 years to accept this with some disappointing times. I try and surprise her if I finish early with a last minute restaurant booking etc.
I too sometimes wish for 9-5 with weekends off however when the wheels go up and you burst through the clouds into and early morning sunrise for me no other job has come close.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 15:28
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Join Date: Feb 2001
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Agree very much with the two previous posts...you get all the "fun" and satisfaction of poor weather, delays, cancellations, disruptions etc.....your family don't....I'm afraid after a few weeks your tales of daring deeds, Cat 2/3 ILS's and just how you nailed it landing in a crosswind was will pale into significance when compared with the broken car/dishwasher/child....

If you are moving from a career with a stable "roster"/shift/working pattern then your social/family life is going to experience signifcant change - be ready for it...

.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 15:40
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The destruction of your social life, your ability to be there for your family and the continual grind of short haul work. Delays that eat into the little time you have at home are common. For me the challenge is my own mental health. My wife no longer works to ensure we do get time together and I am lucky to have a strong family at home. I think if it broke my family then it would break me and I would be done.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 16:08
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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The hardest thing in aviation is working with small people. They have to overcompensate because of there lenght. A real nightmare. Stay away from small people in aviation!
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 16:28
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Taxying at an unfamiliar airfield;

at night;

in the rain.


(Especially with an over-confident 1,500 hr **** in the right-hand seat who thinks he knows it all.)
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 16:48
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By far and away the biggest hassle is the constant tension between work and social/family life. The best mitigation is part time and planning to retire as early as you are able. The aggravating factors depend on the airline, but poor rostering, inefficient leave systems, commuting, sleep management, job insecurity, stress around sim/medicals and poor management are all to be considered.

I have rarely met a pilot who doesn't enjoy the job between doors closed and doors opening, but I have met some who find any of the above factors unbearable.

Perhaps, it is a career most suited to single people!
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 16:49
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Oh! I forgot, Security, the damn security,LoL
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 16:52
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SkyGod
 
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Night flying long haul. Jet lag, always tired.
Most of the fellow cockpit crews are nice people, 90%, then there is 5% weirdos and 5% arseholes.
makes for a long day to fly with the last 5%..
The weird ones can be entertaining: Flew with a guy who strapped a gun to his hip, a clip board to his right thigh, a table napkin to protect his pants from the pesky seat belt, a torch (flash light) dangling from a string around his neck and finally white gloves for hand flying.
Quite a sight, but nice guy, a bit paranoid perhaps and taking no chances in this world.
F/As can be a mixed bag, some are nice and mature, some are drama queens, of both sexes.
I much prefer flying cargo and was lucky to work for an airline that had both pax and cargo kites.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 16:59
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Having no social life and very few friends, as most I made in aviation buggered off to the sand lands.
dealing with sketchy handling that canít/ wonít provide anything .
falling asleep in the car on the way home .
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 17:00
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Originally Posted by TowerDog View Post
Night flying long haul. Jet lag, always tired.
Most of the fellow cockpit crews are nice people, 90%, then there is 5% weirdos and 5% arseholes.
makes for a long day to fly with the last 5%..
The weird ones can be entertaining: Flew with a guy who strapped a gun to his hip, a clip board to his right thigh, a table napkin to protect his pants from the pesky seat belt, a torch (flash light) dangling from a string around his neck and finally white gloves for hand flying.
Quite a sight, but nice guy, a bit paranoid perhaps and taking no chances in this world.
F/As can be a mixed bag, some are nice and mature, some are drama queens, of both sexes.
I much prefer flying cargo and was lucky to work for an airline that had both pax and cargo kites.
Ha ha ha ha
This has to be one of the best posts I have read on this site.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 17:04
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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Hardest thing for me is getting called out of standby at 6pm for a 2-sector 2-crew night turn and trying to land at 8am having being on duty for 12 hours and awake for nearly 24 hrs.

Otherwise the hardest bit is keeping fatigue at bay and finding time to do all those things which work gets in the way of: eating healthily, exercising and sleeping.

When the aircraft doors are shut it's the best job. When the doors are open you have no authority or control.

Last edited by Priority Club; 27th Mar 2019 at 21:56.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 17:07
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by TowerDog View Post
Flew with a guy who strapped a gun to his hip,
How the hell did he get away with that?
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 17:23
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Sitting with a n8bh3d in the left seat who loves being in charge.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 18:02
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On that last comment, can anyone elaborate?

I have been self employed for over decade and will probably be FO for a good while. I have a huge amount of patience and understanding of all characters. But, are there enough captains who will disrespect me and wear me down that it's worth mentioning? Or are they generally great, humble people who are professional all the time?

Thanks everyone so far. It's offering a good insight for us who are sacrificing a huge amount (and late on) to make what is essentially a lifestyle choice.

Editing to say that, the "lifestyle choice" is that I'm trying to fulfill a certain dream and it's the worse lifestyle that I'm getting prepared for. Also, hoping that the airline companies don't abuse that all day long!

Cheers

Last edited by AluminBird; 27th Mar 2019 at 20:10. Reason: Clarification
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 18:34
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Originally Posted by AluminBird View Post
On that last comment, can anyone elaborate?

I have been self employed for over decade and will probably be FO for a good while. I have a huge amount of patience and understanding of all characters. But, are there enough captains who will disrespect me and wear me down that it's worth mentioning? Or are they generally great, humble people who are professional all the time?

Thanks everyone so far. It's offering a good insight for us who are sacrificing a huge amount (and late on) to make what is essentially a lifestyle choice. Ain't doing it for the money that's for sure!

How longs a piece of string ? Aviation attracts as much a cross section of humanity as anywhere else. If you have a problem with someone , you canít escape, your stuck in 10íx10í for hours......And donít forget not all the aholes are in the LHS...
if you are doing it for the ď lifestyle ď your current one canít be much cop.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 20:01
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SkyGod
 
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Originally Posted by standbykid View Post
How the hell did he get away with that?
There is a program in the USA whereas pilots carry loaded guns to defend the cockpit, after a bit of training, etc.
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Old 27th Mar 2019, 20:08
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Bloated Stomach. The guy/girl in the LHS is in charge let there be no misunderstanding.
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