Recently, I wrote an article dispelling 10 misconceptions about pilots. When I gave the draft to my pilot husband to read, his first response was “I want to quit my job,” then followed by, “but there are so many good things too.”
Let me be clear, the intention wasn’t to bash pilots or their profession; it was meant to bring awareness to things we don’t naturally know. With that said, there are many WONDERFUL reasons to be a pilot and many AMAZING qualities that they hold.
1. Pilots are super smart
Not anyone can understand the intricacies of operating an aircraft with precision and skill. If I let him, my husband could talk for hours about mechanics, physics, climate and anything else even remotely related to aviation.
2. When they aren’t working, they aren’t working
When pilots aren’t at work, they aren’t working. Their profession doesn’t require them to make phone calls, catch up on e-mails, or deal with office drama. This allows them to maximize their time off and really be present in the life of their loved ones.
Pilots need to take ownership of their life and know when to get good rest and when not to drink alcohol. They know they can be called for random drug tests at any time and, more importantly, that they need to be alert and coherent to fly us all around!
4. That uniform
5. See the world
They can fly themselves all over the world and stay on layover for free! My husband’s passport ran out of pages after one year of flying internationally and he had to get the double-stacked passport.
6. Flight Benefits
If you have time to spare, pilots can fly standby for free or super cheap. They can pick a new destination for each vacation, take last minute weekend trips and visit family and friends all around the world.
7. Bond of friendship
Pilots train together, work together, and many of them even live together in corporate housing, crash-pads, or pilot ex-pat communities. They and their families form strong, lifelong friendships. It truly feels like a brotherhood.
8. Not all the rules apply
When in uniform, pilots can take any and all liquids and foods in their carry on. It’s happened to us all before… we buy a $4 coffee drink only to be told to throw it out at security. But if you had your own personal pilot, you can just hand it to them to take through for you. I walk through security with zero bags and my husband two. Figure it out.
(Note, this doesn’t apply to all international countries/airports, but it’s definitely a go in the U.S.)
9. They hold power
Say something rude to or around a pilot? Careful, they can decide not to let you board their flight or kick you off if you’re already on.
10. It works in reverse, too
Pilots are the boss of the aircraft. If you are nice and friendly, you might get something in return. I’ve gotten free seat upgrades, drinks/food, shout outs on the PA and toiletry kits from First Class… And my husband had nothing to do with any of these.
WE SAID THIS: Check out Zeina’s original article, 10 Misconceptions about Being a Pilot – By a Pilot’s Wife.