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Flying overseas

Varig

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For those of you who have abandoned ship in the US and moved overseas to fly, are you happy now? I know it depends on where you go and who you fly for but I would like to get some advice on flying abroad. Things like cockpit culture, CRM, way of life, is it worth it, etc.
Thanks in advance,

VF
 

tyuwerty

Quit your whining!
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Very Happy!! If you are left seat you set the tone. I know that where I work the locals, for the most part, prefer to fly with the foreign capts.
 

Say Again Over

With you
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It can be an eye opener, as the "current Position" from dumb pilot eludes, the culture on the flight deck isn't the same, other factors here do make up for it though.

No regrets.

Cheers, SAO
 

d328pilot

flying in asia
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Your happiness overseas will depend a lot on your personality and you and your family's willingness to accept change.

For me. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to work in the US.
 

Bjammin

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I could not be happier! Awesome schedule, great jet, very professional crew, and better pay then just about anywhere. When I first got there, there was a little anit-Americanism and the training department was Nazi-ish, but that has just about all been fixed.
The cockpit culture varies quite a bit depending on the backgrounds of the crew and their nationality, but the airline does a very good job with standardization. I love the countries I visit and long haul flying is not so bad, lots of time in the bunk while getting flight hours.
I'm based at LAX so I can't really speak to living abroad, but I would do it in a heartbeat if my wife didn't have a great job and I could find the right place to live. My pay would be quite a bit higher and they give a very nice housing allowance.
The CRM course was one the best i've had and i'm a CRM facilitator! I also very much like the way they let the FO do EVERYTHING when it's his sector. The Captain even does the walk-around while the FO loads the box.
When we were asked to take some unpaid leave the Captains were asked to take more then the FOs and the FOs more then the SOs. We all agreed and that saved guys from being dropped off the bottom. Pretty good idea for all of us to share the pain and keep pilots from getting furloughed.
It's a great gig as far as i'm concerened.
 

Varig

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Thanks for the reply Bjammin. I liked the way you put it. I hope I end up liking where I'm going. I guess only time will tell.

VF
 

Duke of Ale

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What airline is VAC? Found KAL in the list of ICAO codes but not VAC.

Thanks
 

Sonny Crockett

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Vietnam Airlines
 

fareview

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I could not be happier! Awesome schedule, great jet, very professional crew, and better pay then just about anywhere. When I first got there, there was a little anit-Americanism and the training department was Nazi-ish, but that has just about all been fixed.
The cockpit culture varies quite a bit depending on the backgrounds of the crew and their nationality, but the airline does a very good job with standardization. I love the countries I visit and long haul flying is not so bad, lots of time in the bunk while getting flight hours.
I'm based at LAX so I can't really speak to living abroad, but I would do it in a heartbeat if my wife didn't have a great job and I could find the right place to live. My pay would be quite a bit higher and they give a very nice housing allowance.
The CRM course was one the best i've had and i'm a CRM facilitator! I also very much like the way they let the FO do EVERYTHING when it's his sector. The Captain even does the walk-around while the FO loads the box.
When we were asked to take some unpaid leave the Captains were asked to take more then the FOs and the FOs more then the SOs. We all agreed and that saved guys from being dropped off the bottom. Pretty good idea for all of us to share the pain and keep pilots from getting furloughed.
It's a great gig as far as i'm concerened.


I would agree with the essence of all of the above comments eventhough I am with EK in Dubai.

Regardless of what you read on pprune ...for my family and I it has been a great move.

The number one factor which will determine your happy factor is whether or not you as a family are adaptable.

If the pull of families back home and the yearning for America remain an undercurrent to your personalities...the challenges of being an ex-pat will increase the longer you are away.

If however you are of an ilk that likes to paddle your own canoe get out in the world and embrace the opportunity to see and mix with the wider global view... then jump in and grab this life that is ex-pat living...we were not disappointed - to the contrary. Our friends and experiences from this adventure have been fantastic.

Once here (overseas)...there are three factors that need to be observed in order to sustain a postive experience:

1. Do not exclusively socialize with your workers...get out there amongst the wider commumity
2. If you do hang with workers...separate yourself from negative energy..its malignant and contagious...moaners are ten a penny
3. Thirdly and most importantly...you need to have a place to go when you go home that does not involve staying with friends or family. that means having somewhere that is yours which is not rented out where your familiy can go when they want. it doesnt matter if its just a small cottage in the woods or an apt. it needs to be there so as to give you or more importantly your family, a outlet without the stresses of being a guest.
Why, you might ask is this important...its psychological. By being an expat without a physical home available at all times...you close off an important outlet, a way out sos to speak. Its important to have that.

I am a glass half full kind of guy and i know expat living is not for everyone...but I have never looked back.

Good luck,

fareview
2.
 
Last edited:

johnsonrod

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Either VAC or KAL. Any insights?

I have heard some good things about KAL. I am sure you have read about KAL in the various threads on this board. Sounds like not a bad option. Perhaps you could get a 777 slot with your 777 experience.

Good luck!
 

Varig

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Well put fareview. I totally agree with #3 also.
Thanks jonhsonrod. That is what I am hoping for since my last flight on the bus has been over 6 months ago.
 

Father Jack

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Fairview is right on the money, as usual. I know people who love the ex-pat life and wouldn't have it any other way. But I also know some who can't wait to leave. One of my friends here hates it, but his wife and kids think it's paradise, so you never know.

I love the long haul gig, and the people I work with are the best.
But I also like knowing that I have a place to go home to when the time is right.
 

whymeworry?

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This is a purely circumstantial subject.

It all depends on the airline you're flying for overseas vs. the airline you left in the states.

As a general rule of thumb, American pilots get way more time off. Again, this is just a generalization but the CBAs in American insure the pilot will receive plenty of time off. Contrast that with the ME and Asia, it's pretty much up to the pilot to wheel and deal his way into trip swaps in order to insure a modicum of time off.

And that's what it boils down to folks, time off.

I don't care how much you take home as a net paycheck (the main thrust of overseas gigs is the pay), if you don't get loads of time off to enjoy that pay you're just slaving away in this career.

I'm overseas at the moment on leave from my US airline. The net pay here is more than double, but I'm working myself to death. It's ok with me since I know it is only temporary. I'd hate to see my attitude if this was the finality of my career.

There are plenty of things to enjoy overseas, including assimilating into the local communtiy and broadening your cultural experiences. But home is home. No place is perfect, and the US is far from it. But, to me, she is still the best country on Earth.

One more thing: TIME OFF means blocks of time to do whatever you want to do. Even if you end up with time off in Doha, Dubai, HK, or Oman, you're still not HOME. Unless you can get the time to haul the whole family back to America, wash out the jet-lag, and enjoy your leisure time, you're not really getting QUALITY time off. In the US, when I'm off the world is pretty much my oyster. Here, when I'm off in base, the options are limited to deficit spending trips at the mall or a myriad of things I do to fill the time but aren't really considered "fun" to me.
 

Father Jack

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Well said. Those guys that are all star-struck neeed to read it.
 

Bjammin

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Well, you can work for an overseas airline and still live in the great Red, White, and Blue. I live in San Diego and work about 10-13 days a month, and that doesn't include my 6 weeks paid vacation. That's some good times off. BTW my first jet was a 747-400 and my first base LAX.
I'm as proud of American as they come, but many US airlines just don't appeal to me. SWA, would be fine in some respects as well as FedEx and UPS, but I have NEVER looked at another aircraft's colors and thought, "I would rather be there."
 

Dumb Pilot

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And that's what it boils down to folks, time off.

I don't care how much you take home as a net paycheck


For you maybe but after the third time in line to ride the Majors merry-go-round I suddenly realized that at my age it wasn't worth spending 8 years as an F/O just to upgrade on reserve on the most junior A/C in the worst city of the system, that ship had sailed. Now working for my retirement and still living state side. Could I use a couple more days off? yes I could, but for the rest I'm very happy with both the company and the remuneration package. I'm not saying it is an option for everyone, It is just the right option for me
 
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