Pilot Lifestyle
A change in scenery (Part I)
March 18, 2013

For over two and a half years, I’ve been based in San Francisco.  Much of the commuting was spent on a two hour flight back and forth from Denver.  The last nine months have been a little more challenging.  Our move to Nashville, while great for the family, added a lot more time to the commute.

With careful planning, I have been able to minimize the stress of the two leg commute.  For those of you who follow on Twitter, you know some of the crazy times I commute to and from my base.  It is long and tiring.  But, completely justifiable to live where I want to live.

Since I started at this airline, they’ve offered one “base” and two locations with “alternate lines of flying.”  Everyone was officially based in San Francisco with the opportunity to start and finish trips out of LAX or JFK.  I’ve commuted to New York in a previous life.  So, even with a shorter commute, it’s hard to get excited about tangling with The Big Apple.  LAX was never an option due to the lack of three and four day trips.  I want to be in company lodging and collecting per diem for the majority of my time away from home… not hanging out in base on my own dime between trips.

So, my plan was to stick it out in San Francisco.  But, a few things happened recently that made Los Angeles a lot more appealing:

  • My airline converted LAX from alternate lines of flying to an official base.  The trip pairings should improve.  Also, when I attend training in SFO, I will receive a hotel room and per diem.
  • Previously, if I bid to fly from another airport, I would have lost my vacation and had to re-bid from what was leftover in open time.  An announcement was made that if we bid LAX for April, we could keep our awarded vacation.  I’ve got plans over the 4th of July.
  • There has always been modest non-stop service on two other airlines between BNA and LAX.  One of those airlines recently added a red-eye flight that arrives home very early in the morning.  (I’ve taken it a few times… but, only when I had time to fly from SFO to LAX before the red-eye.)  Recently, a third airline announced it was offering non-stop service.  For April, there will be five daily non-stop flights connecting Hollywood to Music City.

Those developments combined with the appeal of a one leg commute finally spurred me to pull the trigger.

As of April 1st, I will be based in Los Angeles.

I leave in the morning for the final commute to the Bay Area.

I’d like to bid farewell to commuting delays caused by a few clouds over closely spaced runways.  I’d also like to say goodbye to the Red Roof Inn.

I’m looking forward to the change of scenery.

Maybe, just maybe… I’ll write Part II later this year.

About author

Renewed Pilot

I've endured a roller coaster career in the U.S. Aviation Industry. Currently flying the 737 on my third try with the same legacy carrier, I have also flown for a regional, fractional and start-up carrier. My piloting experience includes the 737, A320, 727, Citation Excel, Citation Bravo, Saab 340 and many light singles and twin engine aircraft. I reside in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee.

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There is 1 comment

  • Ryan Handwerk says:

    Cool Man! I live in L.A, and if you’re ever in the mood to go take a cessna up and grab a burger, It’s on me.. shoot me an email!

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