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Anyone think commuting is not that bad?

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Well-known member
Sep 26, 2005
I have read all the people talk about how hard commuting is. I respect those opinions, but was hoping thier were some that dont think it is all that bad.

Any help would be great. I would be commuting out of MSP to maybe ORF for Air wisconsin or maybe to any Chautauqua base.

Bottom line is to determine if there is any positive (or at least tolerable opinions) to offset the bad. Thanks in advance.
it sucks, period.

commuting is kinda like a fat chick, they give the best h**d not because they want to but because they have to.
I personally dont have a problem with commuting but it depends on many things. For instance I commute for JAX to IAH the majority of the the direct flights are on my airline with a few on mainline so if the flights were full I can usually get the jumpseat no problem, there a few other commuters for JAX to IAH but we usually never run into each other. Once we are awarded a line if it's not commuteable( start late and end early) we have the ability to make it so in our line improvement windows with trading trips or dropping legs if there is reserve coverage. If you have to make two leg commutes or off line commutes then I think that could suck.
Depends, my commute is one leg. Online, flights run every hour between cities. Actually more dependable than some bus schedules.

Don't do two-leg or transcon, those I heard get old real quick.
I know you're looking for positives, but I have to tell you that I've always found it very hard to commute in and out of ORF. So many ex-mil pilots that still live there makes for a lot of other jumpseaters to "compete" with.

A one leg commute on your own airline, with several flights a day would be a reasonable scenario, but MSP-ORF would probably be pretty tough.
Depends on what is important to you. I lived for a while in SoCal, where I was based, and it was and OK place to live, but the traffic was probably just as stressful as an airplane commute. At least on the airplane, I can fall asleep and let someone else drive!

Seriously, though, LAX is about the only domicile I would consider living in (wouldn't be caught dead living in DFW), so I commute. My lifestyle is important to me, and my home (WA state) fits the life I want to live, so unless I get hired by Alaska, I will commute.

As someone already says, it depends on several factors.

I commute and I don't mind it too much. However, I have several things in my favor.

1. My commute is only an hour and one leg.
2. I commute out of a large non-hub city with plenty of options.
3. Between CAL/XJT and a competitor, there are 13 direct flights a day. Discounting those that overlap, it's still 9 or 10 flights.
4. I can hold a commutable line.
5. We have a pretty good trip trade policy. While it doesn't always work out, you can usually trade for commutable trips.
6. And the most important part... I have a forgiving wife who understands that occasionally I might not make it home that night.

I can hold a commutable line in IAH, but there are fewer flights, they're almost always full and it's 2.5 hours either in the middle seat or in the jumpseat. No thanks.

Would it be better to live in base. Sure. But we like where we are and with the options being IAH/EWR/CLE, commuting is a worthy tradeoff.

MSP-ORF is touch. There are plenty of ex-military guys who will be senior to you, especially since you'll be from "another" airline and therefore on the bottom of the JS list. Plus, MSP-ORF is probably about a 3 hour flight. That's a little too long for my taste.

Unless you have something really keeping you in MSP, or you can get a better base like PHL or DC, you should consider moving to ORF, at least temporarily.
From that area originally, lots of military folks. If I lived in MSP and commuted to ORF I would try and go MSP-IAD, IAD-ORF. The loads aren't usually too bad at all. I've taken a bunch of wisky guys to and from MSP. Also you have the backup of PHF, if your going to have a car in ORF. Either way connecting through PHL or CLT has always been the best for me.
After having lived in base (30 minutes front door to cabin door), and now commuting, I can say that living is base will ALWAYS be better than commuting. That said, right now I'd prefer commuting than moving into base. It's a cheaper cost of living here, and with plenty of flights per day, it doesn't give me that much heartache. I keep a crashpad, since it's cheap, even if I don't use it. I can say the only thing that commuting has allowed me is more time to read and listen to music. All that free time sitting on gate holds, in the crew room, or flying enroute is "down time" that I probably wouldn't use at home.

I say find a place to live that you really enjoy. But make it reasonable. I'd enjoy living in some places that would just be hell to commute. So I picked the best alternative.

There was an old airline captain who told me one time, while I was complaining about the three hour ground stop during a commute: "Pick a place to live, and stay. Commute. It's hard, but it's better than trying to move every time you get a new job, a base closes, or you bid to new equipment. You'll probably end up commuting anyways. Might as well do it from somewhere you enjoy."

Also realize this is the perspective of a young single guy, not a 40-yr old married pilot with three kids. For situations like that, who knows, it might be better to take the risk of base closure to live in base. Trust me, if I had kids, I'd be flying day trips in base in a heartbeat. Maybe.

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