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US Based Flight Crew Living In The EU?

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Well-known member
Apr 19, 2002
Anyone venture to guess how practical it would be for a US based pilot (or even FA) to commute to the US from the EU (specifically the UK?) The Flight is about the same as West Coast- East Coast, and I'm sure finding space would be easy with so many flights across the Atlantic. Of course, being based in the NYC or IAD area would be crucial.

It Depends!

It depends!

It depends on just about everything....based on circumstances, it could be easy or it could be impossible.

It depends on your schedule, it depends on your airlines missed trip or sick policies, it depends on when and where your trips start, and it depends on getting to work. Yes, there are a lot of flights across the pond, but reciprocal jumpseat agreements are unlimited usually only for domestic flights. International jumpseat priveleges are negotiated separately, and often do not exist for airlines that allow domestic jumpseaters on board.

You cannot make that type of decision (realistically) until you know who you are working for and their specific circumstances.
Yes, it is possible. In the past, I have known pilots in the US who have commuted from England, France, Latin America and even India. Schedules play a big part - most flights across the Atlantic leave in the late afternoon / early evening, arriving in Europe early the following morning. They then leave there mid - late morning for a mid afternoon arrival on the US East coast. If you have a schedule that works with this (eg: standups would be perfect) it could be done.

However, as pilot141 mentioned, your specific airline's policy regarding missed trips, late shows and reciprocal jumpseats will really be the deciding factor. Bear in mind that during the peak travel season across the Atlantic (the whole summer and Christmas/New Year), flights will be very oversold and as you can't sit in the jumpseat on pax airlines any more, you will have little chance of getting on the flight.
I flew in the UK for three months last year under a contract. A lot of the guys jumseated back on their days off. It was no big deal it just took a day out of their lives. That was pre-911. I was lazy, I had my wife come over every 3 weeks on frequent flyer miles. After 911 the tickets were so cheap I just bought her one.
What are the rules for international flights and commuting? I understand (for the most part) you can fly most any carrier if there is open space on the flight if the purpose is commuting to and from home and work. Is this still valid for international flights? Does it work with foreign airlines, or would you only be able to use US based carriers?


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