Pilot life vs. Private life How does this work together?

Pilot life vs. Private life How does this work together?
30/10/2016 pilotpatrick
pilot life vs private life

In my last aviation related blog post “How I became a pilot part II” I told you about my first flight training phase in beautiful Croatia. Now I want to show you how a pilot life and private life work together. 

Pilot life vs. private life

In the past many of you wondered how I can have a social/private life as pilot when traveling so much and being absent from home a lot. Especially those of you who strive to become a pilot in the future asked me this question and told me their concerns-

Here are examples of two snapchat users.

This solely depends on you dude. But do not worry if you want, you can have both options. 😉 

It is true that I am absent from home for about half of the month. Usually I am on duty for a  maximum of eight days in a row. The operation in the Business Aviation requires to overnight at those locations wherever the last flight of the day takes you to. Whereas the flights of many low cost airlines end at their home base, which equals basically to a 9 to 5 job. At this moment I would not be a fan of this kind of operation since one reason for me of becoming a pilot is to travel and get to know new places. But I could imagine that an operation, which allows you to sleep at home every night, can be a big advantage once you want to build a family.

As you can see it really depends on the type of operation and airline how many days in a month you actually spend at home. A minimum of 8 days are granted by the aviation authority.

I have arranged myself with the absence from home quite well. I have a social life with friends and private activities like everyone else. Unfortunately I can not attend all events (like birthdays, concerts, parties and family events) but due to good organization skills I get the best of my free time and I never have a big feeling that I miss out on something.

Enjoying my off days! Here on top of Montserrat mountain in Catalonia, Spain

Pros and Cons of my pilot life:


  • Getting payed well to travel, to see new places and to fly airplanes
  • I leave work behind in the airplane and so I can use my off time at the fullest 
  • More than 3 days off in a row without taking leave (sometimes even 6 days)
  • Per diem are paid for every hour I am being away from home
  • I do my paper work during my work so I can enjoy my off days without distraction
  • Hotel gyms are free of use and I do not have a contract for a gym at home
  • I have more off days than a full time job (about 12 days)
  • Some passengers pay a tip to the crew for the flight and inflight service


  • Great flexibility expected and the schedule might change at last minute 
  • I only have either Christmas or New years off at home
  • For important events and appointments I have to take leave 
  • I can not attend classes or courses which take place on a regular basis
  • Irregular working hours and sometimes only little sleep during busy months
  • It is hard to keep a special diet while traveling 
  • Especially in the Business Aviation there is a lot of waiting time

Those are my subjective impressions about my life as a First officer and other pilots would definitely mention different aspects.

Ready for boarding the VIP passenger at the pole position in Olbia

As much as I enjoy being at home, after a couple of days at home my wanderlust kicks in and I want to go on a journey again. Striving for a position of a crew member you have to make sure that you have this desire as well. If not you might not be happy in the long term.

Which aspect would you do not like being a pilot? Comment below.

Please have a look on my aviation related Links, which may you find helpful!

Your Pilot Patrick

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  1. anetaciechanowska 4 years ago

    Great post Patrick 🙂
    I think that if you have basic organizational skills, normal life and pilot job is easy to coordinate 🙂 But also everyone who wants to have a job like this has to take into account pros and cons. I’m wanderlust type of person, so being out of my house is easy, but I can understand that some people would like to have shifts as low cost airlines, but it won’t work well for a long time 😉 I think for me the hardes part will be long waiting time, I don’t like wasting my time, I love action 🙂 Other are acceptable 😉

    Blue skies!

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      Thanks a lot! The waiting can be quite annoying at some time. But as long as you use the time wisely you do not really waste it. This way I have more time to take nice photos for you as well 😉

  2. Alper Mehdi 4 years ago

    why didn’t you reply my snapchat… 🙁

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      Hey there, I receive too many messages there. I could not keep track of them. Please comment here or on my instagram. I try to read all comments there. 🙂

  3. alifewithtrials 4 years ago

    Its sounds like a wonderful lifestyle, if it is something that you enjoy doing with your life then the cons don’t matter.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      Well said! There are always cons true. But with my pros I could arrange to life with the downsides. I wanted to share my thoughts with those who think about becoming a pilot. The cons are hard to imagine if you have not flown yet!

  4. Arthur 4 years ago

    It sounds like the pros outweigh the cons. I have been blessed to have traveled 4 different continents. As I got older the need for family started pulling me home. I still love to travel and always will, but I wouldn’t trade my life now for anything.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      Hi Arthur,
      yes definitely. But others might give you different pros and cons. really depends on the individual. Then you need to start traveling with your family 😉 All the best!

  5. Admirator 4 years ago

    Hi Patrick, I love your page. I am a 29 y.o. guy, with some curiosity about planes. You are a very handsome captain when I saw your picture the first time I wasn’t even sure if you could be classified as a human beauty or not. You are so beautiful that I couldn’t decide if you look like an angel or a prince from the storied we usually tell to children. I would like to know something about the lifestyle. For a serious of reason, I believe that occasional “fun” is very common amongst pilots due to the changing schedule all the time. Do you miss the idea of having someone constantly present in your life and there with you. I don’t care if male or female, I am just curious if you are 100% satisfied with your life or if you feel that there is something missing, e.g. someone who really cares about you, or that special person in your life. I move countries a lot for work, and I know how extremely difficult can be to connect to people (I really mean the word connect, not just random chat or randomly knowing someone).

    I wish you all the best, you are probably the most handsome guy I have ever seen in my life. Have a good life.

    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      Hi there. Thanks for your comment. I don’t have the feeling to miss out on something even when gone from home quite a lot. I can say that I am satisfied with my life. That’s what I want to deliver with my instagram page and additionally with this blog. Of course there are always things which could be different and better, but I guess this is more than natural. Thanks a lot! Hope to see you around here again. Save travels and alway happy landings.

  6. Hannah 4 years ago

    Which airline do you work for?

  7. paradiiiso 4 years ago

    Hi Patrick,

    – Does your company accept application from non-German?
    – Did you self fund your TR?
    – Are you planning to apply for airline ? Like RYR, Norwegian, EZY,.. ?
    – Can you give me an idea of gross salary of pilot into business jet with your type of aircraft ?


    • Author
      pilotpatrick 4 years ago

      1. Yes they do, but you should be able to speak german
      2. Yes I did self fund my TR to get hired
      3. Yes, I could imagine to fly for an airline but low cost airlines would not be an option
      4. This really depends on the company and the flight experiences and you negotiation skills. Salary might be less than of an airline at the beginning of your career.
      I hope I could help. Gerne!

      • paradiiiso 4 years ago

        Thank you!

  8. ily 4 years ago

    Hi Patrick, a quick questions. do you have a gf? if you do, what your gf feels bout you be up in the sky more than on the groud 😀 and if you are single, do you have specific plan on when you are going to focus on having a partner or family of your own? okies…. happy flying and safe landing ^_^

  9. Astrid Bernier 4 years ago

    Great post Patrick, Grettings from Dominica Republic, i love it!! I’m aviation lover.

  10. Chandra 3 years ago

    Hi Patrick

    Hello my name is Chandra, I accidentally found your Instagram through searching and then read your blog (on progress to read one by one). I think your blog story really interesting to me, even iam not a pilot. i admire to how you can organize your busy working life and private life, you have habit called foodie pilot and how you manage that and many more. i can say you are spirited person and can manage 100 percent using your time very well for doing something useful. I hope I can do it too like you do.
    have you ever feel lazy time especially during private life, like you already schedule to do something but you delayed that so the schedule become a mess?


  11. chanhuang 3 years ago

    Hi Patrick

    my name is Chandra, I accidentally found you through searching on Instagram and then read your blog story. your story really is interesting even Iam not a pilot. I am a office worker with schedule working days and working hours.
    i really admire to you, to how you can manage your pilot life and private life very well, you have foodie pilot habit and how you manage that, and etc. I can say you are a spirited person, you manage 100 percent to do anything very well…
    have you ever feel lazy time to do anything during your private life, after done the pilot life job? like in your private life you already schedule to do something but you delay it and make that task become pending, because you are lazy on the bed or watching television something like that lol haha


  12. Hayden 2 years ago

    Hi Patrick,

    A few questions to ask and I hope this will not take too much of your time:

    1. I was wondering if your company accept any American pilots? That is, being a citizen of the U.S. and having an FAA commercial pilot license? P.S. I heard that it is difficult to convert to EASA license, is this true?
    2. Is it even possible to fly/work in Europe as a non-EU citizen?

    Thank you so much for reading this. I hope to hear back from you.



  1. […] Think about the pros and cons of a pilot life could mean for you. Especially at the beginning of your career you should be quite flexible in […]

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