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Commuting In Aus?

Old 1st Dec 2022, 00:30
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Commuting In Aus?

Hi everyone,

I know our brethren in the USA and elsewhere enjoy a lot of flexibility in terms of commuting to and from their hubs.

I was wondering if Australian operators are as supportive of the concept? Love to hear any examples of how/if people have made this work, either here or via PM.

I'm trying to get a feel for how things could look for me in the next few years, and whether or not I can help my other half out career-wise by taking the hit of a commute.

TIA.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 01:15
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Absolutely not. It is seen as an added business cost and is avoided at a costs. It might make an appearance at Virgin later down the track if they continue to have crewing issues.

I know one Virgin pilots who is doing it at the moment, it’s incredibly draining and they are looking at exit options before it all falls apart.

You are better off just moving to such a base, rent an apartment, and head back home during days off. I did that about 15 years back when I switched employers, we purchased a docklands apartment and I flew back home every second week. Worked well for a few years until I got the command slot back home. The company was not supportive by any means if I wanted to pax to work. I was even warned about HR consequences should my paxing to/from shift not go to plan and miss my sign on. I took the advice and didn’t even bother with it.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 03:09
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On the other hand, yes.

I would not contemplate it in shorthaul, but on the longhaul fleets its quite doable, but not optimum.
Also be aware that you would likely have to buy into a commuter flat co-op close to the airport (ie:shittsville) for those bid periods when you are on reserve, assuming QF.

Obviously fatigue risk management comes into play, which will preclude a long commute on 1st day of duty. Load factors are high too which might make staff travel as a junior pretty risky.

By no means is the commuting scene anything like jumpseating in the USA. Or any T&Cs really.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 04:43
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Unlike the US where domestic airlines may only have 4 or 5 bases throughout the entire country, in Australia both major carriers have bases in all 5 major cities. As most of our population resides near one of these cities then there’s little need for commuting at least in the domestic arena.

Long haul flying commuting is a bit more common, as the trip lengths are longer but you can plan on spending one extra day away per trip to commute over.

Most pilots who commute say it is not the best situation, they obviously would rather be based in their residence but most of them tolerate it and some do it through their entire careers.

And then some commutes are easier than others. Being a long haul pilot based in Sydney but living in Brisbane is quite doable.

I know pilots who’ve lived overseas and commuted to Aus, mostly from Asia or NZ but some from even further.

Depends on the individual situation you plan to commute in and your tolerance for a few more disruptions. Wouldn’t plan to do it in domestic flying for an extended period, but may be a long term option in long haul flying if you’re aware of what it will entail.

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Old 1st Dec 2022, 09:18
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A few Virgin F/Os needed to take a Melbourne base when they upgraded and decided to commute rather than shift the whole family. Commuting for them is out of necessity rather than choice and they will shift back home as soon they can.

Some airlines want you in the departure city 24 hours prior to flight to avoid fatigue which isn't unreasonable. Airline staff sometimes rent out rooms to crew needing a bed for the night. The USA has a well developed "crash pad" system for commuters but the accommodation on offer can get crowded and might involve having to reserve a bathroom slot for the morning.

Commuting works best for long haul pilots who only go to work a few times a month, ideally they should have a room available in the city they sign on in, home shouldn't be too far away and there needs to be multiple daily flights between the two locations.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 10:46
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Originally Posted by dr dre View Post
Unlike the US where domestic airlines may only have 4 or 5 bases throughout the entire country, in Australia both major carriers have bases in all 5 major cities. As most of our population resides near one of these cities then there’s little need for commuting at least in the domestic arena.

Long haul flying commuting is a bit more common, as the trip lengths are longer but you can plan on spending one extra day away per trip to commute over.

Most pilots who commute say it is not the best situation, they obviously would rather be based in their residence but most of them tolerate it and some do it through their entire careers.

And then some commutes are easier than others. Being a long haul pilot based in Sydney but living in Brisbane is quite doable.

I know pilots who’ve lived overseas and commuted to Aus, mostly from Asia or NZ but some from even further.

Depends on the individual situation you plan to commute in and your tolerance for a few more disruptions. Wouldn’t plan to do it in domestic flying for an extended period, but may be a long term option in long haul flying if you’re aware of what it will entail.
Would commuting from NZ to Sydney for qf for a few years be doable? Just debating when to up sticks.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 10:52
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I did short haul commuting in Europe,but after 2 years it was enough.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 13:11
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Originally Posted by On Guard View Post
Would commuting from NZ to Sydney for qf for a few years be doable? Just debating when to up sticks.
I believe it’s been done before. There’s plenty of commuters to/from Perth which is further than NZ (I assume somewhere like AKL where it’s not far from the airport).

Definitely LH only. Try and get the longest trips (they usually are the least popular anyway) to minimise amount of times needing to commute. Come over the day before a trip, leave straight after getting back.

A few years probably won’t do your head in.

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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 10:05
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Commuting is a fantastic single blokes game.

if you’ve got a wife and kids, that you’d like to keep, forget it as anything other than a very short term option.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 10:26
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If you have a place to stay commuting Shorthaul is pretty bloody easy, but it depends on the company I guess. Jetstar would be a pain, Virgin a bit better, Qantas easiest.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 10:36
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Dear Moose 36,

NFW.
Get a different “other half”.
Why should you be the one to reduce your lifespan?
Their wants are unlimited.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 20:03
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There’s at least one Qantas 787 SO that commutes from NZ.
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Old 2nd Dec 2022, 20:45
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Originally Posted by engine out View Post
There’s at least one Qantas 787 SO that commutes from NZ.
worth noting of course, commuting is not free - and particularly to NZ with ludicrous staff travel costs, it is not cheap.
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Old 3rd Dec 2022, 01:31
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Originally Posted by engine out View Post
There’s at least one Qantas 787 SO that commutes from NZ.

Thanks, does he/she seem happy enough with it?
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Old 3rd Dec 2022, 02:57
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Airlines in OZ will NOT help with a commute, in fact many actively discourage it.
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Old 5th Dec 2022, 05:20
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ex cc

As a f/a living mel, based in syd with qf longhaul I did 9 years of commuting. I mainly did trips to lhr, fra, jfk and any trip 8+ days so 1 trip per fortnight. Only issues were reserve but I often bid leave at that time. Other issue was industrial action/ atrocious weather but a call to scheduling usually meant an upgrade to my onloading category or sometimes confirmed seat. This also applied with tech crew
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