Reader’s Digest is running a couple of articles that should be of great interest to future airline pilots. The magazine interviewed 20 pilots and flight attendants and condensed their responses into 3 articles: 50 Secrets Your Pilot Won’t Tell You, 13 Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You, and 10 More Things Your Flight Attendant Won’t Tell You.
The articles are excellent reading for any air traveller, but should really interest those seeking jobs with the airlines. They offer a real inside look at pilot and flight attendant jobs from the people that know them best: pilots and flight attendants.
Several of the “secrets” told by the pilots aren’t particularly surprising, like scheduling and pay troubles, given the amount of press those issues have gotten lately. One pilot in particular indicated that he didn’t appreciate passengers complaining to him about other aspects of the airline experience, because his “retirement was taken to help subsidize your $39 airfare.” Take that as you will, but it says something about the current state of many airlines-no area is safe when it comes to cost-cutting. Some of the cost-cutting that goes on at some airlines, as indicated by the pilots in the article, is mildly concerning. Namely the thought that airlines are cutting fuel margins close enough that deviations are sometimes required due to fuel.
While the rest of the content in the articles is informative, the final tip offered by a pilot in North Carolina completely sums up the airline pilot experience. The pilot states, “Here’s the truth about airline jobs: You don’t have as much time off as your neighbors think you have, you don’t make as much money as your relatives think you make, and you don’t have as many girlfriends as your wife thinks you have. Still, I can’t believe they pay me to do this.”