Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Good and The Bad

Being an airline pilot is one of the best jobs in the world. Imagine having an office with a perfect view of Mount Kinabalu at 18000feet above sea level. You get to fly multi-million dollar piece of equipments and fly to destinations others only dream of. Once in a while, you even get to rub shoulders with the rich and famous.

Sitting in my office one evening, looking at the spectecular view, I ponder about the other side of the job. The one where critics dont evaluate in a pilot's life. Working with an airline company entails us to work shifts. Nothing unusual about that as many other jobs requires working in shifts too. But add in another factor and it becomes a different kind of ball game. The NIGHTSTOP factor....

The publics perception of an airline pilot is fly, booze, fornicate. There is some truth about it as most in the know can tell you. But before you join the large group of critics out there, you must understand the real scenario behind how it end up like this. As a pilot, the job requires us to fly alot and we're often required to go on nightstop ranging from single night stop to sometimes up to 4-5 nights away. Coming back from a lenghty 5 days trip, most probably will earn us a 2 days off. Sound pretty good. But, imagine the airport being a distance from home. Imagine the jetlag experienced by the widebody crew. Imagine the rest needed and recovery time... 2 days?

Okay, I can hear some critics crying out now saying that it's comes with the job. Fine. Fair enough. But let put in the family factor. Let's now say Pilot X has a family with 2 young kids. Now the situation gets worse. Imagine having to grow up with mommy most of the time as daddy is busy flying and probably only sees daddy 8 days a month, the rest of the days being away on nightstops. Young kids need their parents to be there for them especially when their young. Just imagine the side effects affecting the children and his family life. Just the right recipe needed for a family arguement, which could easily lead to dispute and eventually a break-up, with the children again having to face the consequences. Just imagine that.

Again I still can hear faint cries from critics, saying that its part of the job and thats why we're being paid highly. Again, another good arguement. Fair enough. But! Sometimes money is not everything in life. Sometimes what is more needed is the offdays. The rest periods. The much needed family time. Even if money is a factor, some airlines offer salaries which are below the market value. And normally when pilots demand more out of the company, the critics AGAIN come in and cry out foul as if pilots are being paid too much. I always say that we are paid too much because we have NO LIFE! No weekends, No public holidays, No family time and sometimes Unapproved Annual Leave due crew constrains.

So, now you critics out there, tell me. Is this justified? All a pilot wants is a balanced work and off days and to be paid on par as their counterparts overseas. Thats all. Is that too hard to ask for?

2 Comments:

Blogger tharan said...

Well, duffirent peop;le have different perspective on pilots. Some people think that pilots are very glamorous, and very easy.....but they dont tknow the hard work that is put to get there. congrats on achieving your dream.....i wish i could too....maybe next time. By the way, did hear MH might replace the entire fleet of F50 with a newer aircraft....maybe with Embraer or something...

28 September, 2005 17:53  
Blogger avere la meglio su said...

naahh,,save a lot,& lesser time preoccupied in this career,,reward to risk ratio,it'll be too boring & to narrowscope lifeview when reach more than 7 years time,,trust me,,once you married,then u know,,your son smell & smile is much much better than those sunset view from your multimillion dollars cockpit looks,,

25 August, 2011 00:41  

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