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I think you're going to find out why the divorce rate is so high in aviation.
Family really takes a hit in this job. You are going to need a very good and understanding wife for the next (ah who am I kidding)...for the rest of your career. Your schedule belongs to the airline - what you do on your days off and your vacation is your business (up to 24 hours before show time).
If you have a really great chief pilot in your company, go to his office and ask specifically for this wedding/honeymoon to be approved. He/she has the power to grant that. Be prepared in the typical business world scenario to have a solution. i.e. you never just take a problem to a supervisor, take the problem and have some workable solutions. For example, when the vacation bid comes up, you will have already exchanged for these honeymoon dates or you will make yourself available to pick up trips for the 6-8 days you will be missing work.
Now, back to your intended bride. You might as well let her know what she is going to be in for. This will not be a typical marriage. She can't plan on you being home on time or making dinner plans. You will be so tired that you will actually consider that beds are more important for sleep than other extra curricular activities. In the 24 hours before your show time, you need to monitor your use of alcohol, modulate your sleep cycle, wash your clothes for the 3-day, 4-day, etc trip. I can't afford to send my shirts to a cleaner, so I iron about 3 shirts. You are going to get interupted everywhere and every moment by scheduling looking for a warm body to man a flight. Your bride will be getting the worst part of this whole aviation adventure and you need to let her know. If she isn't the type that would marry a soldier, cop or fireman, then she shouldn't consider a pilot to be that much more compatible. You don't directly throw yourself in harms way but you are on call and you may not come home for long periods of time.
My wife and I got a very rude awakening when I took this job of airline pilot. It has been and continues to be a tough transition. My wife has my undivided attention for about 7 days out of every month. Yes, I get 11 to 15 days off but with sleep cycle changes, making sure I get bids in on the internet, getting ready for trips, etc. this job takes a whole bunch of time away. Look at your bid packs - 320 hours TAFB (time away from base) - that's 13 days away from base and I'm a commuting pilot!
I wish you guys much success but you are going to have to work very hard on your marriage as well as your job.
I feel your anxiety as well, as I just got engaged last weekend and have set up a June 2003 wedding. Before being furloughed, I had 5 months seniority. Hopefully I will be recalled in time to get the other seven months out of the way so I'm off probation and have some vacation built up. Let's hope for understanding CPs for both of us.
thank you all for the great replies! i will first start out by saying that i have indeed been totally blessed with an understanding woman that wants me to suceed in this career. we have discussed the pros and cons(especially that of a new hire) of an airline pilot. i certainly to hope that i can plead an effective case to my future CP.
how soon after training would you address this question to the CP? granted i don't start class until 8/5 and will have appx 6 mos seniority for a 01/03 wedding.
again thank you for the informative responses.
I would let them know as soon as possible. I had a similar situation when I got married. It wasn't with a airline but it was with a union place. I only had to wait 90 days to get off probabtion. But I was getting married before I could take anythime off. I explained it to my superviser and he gave me a few days off. It was kind of nice because we got married on memorial day weekend. So we had one extra day to go on a short honeymoon. Good Luck.
"How soon after training would you address this question to the CP? granted i don't start class until 8/5 and will have appx 6 mos seniority for a 01/03 wedding."
You become the chief pilot's ward right after ioe. You technically belong to the training department until IOE is over and you are signed off. Class is 8/5- say two months to get to the line. (If you are at an airline where everything is going OK with training.)
The CP isn't really going to entertain you until you get through Sim check rides and are in IOE with good reports at the earliest. So you are going to have to monitor how your airline handles training events.
Six months is meaningless in terms of seniority - you are at the bottom of the list, believe me. Be aware that Christmas and New Years are tough times - a ton of folk want to build weekends off around these dates - so when you say January 2003, I hope you aren't trying to use the holidays because you are the bottom of the list and it just isn't going to work. If you are asking for mid to late January, then things may work in your favor since everybody will be back from vacations and the CP will have a lot easier time telling scheduling to give you a break.