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Do Commercial Pilots Prefer Long-Haul or Short Haul-Flights?

Short answer: Yes. I do both, and I like the mix. I think that's really ideal for me. I do short-, medium-, and long-haul passenger services as well as freighter runs. ( More...

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chalet 1
A freind of mine an ATP rated on the 320 and 777 does both more or less on alternative months o bimonths and his reasoning is that short hauls allow him to keep his landings "touch" well honed even though the planes handle quite differently.
onjuku20 0
I flew the 747 for 10 years and the DC8 for 12 years. I'm now on the A-300 and hate long flights. I got off the 747 and went back to the DC8 to do short flights because I could not go 10-11 hours without a drink. I have since completed the HIMS program for my Alcoholism and still I enjoy the short flights. My current line has a flight of 1:10 each way once a day. This gives me a whopping 9:10 for the week or 18:20 per month. Thank God we are paid a salary. The most Junior plane, in the company is the 747-400 and the most senior is the A-300. When you take pay out of the question, pilots prefer short flights!
josh homer -1
I'd much rather hear the opinion of the pilots here, active and retired.
PhotoFinish 1
The answers were provided by commercial airline pilots.
preacher1 1
I'll have to agree with the author; it is a matter of personal preference. You have more work on short haul and 3-5 takeoffs and landings in a day, which in most cases, you'll have a day's layover on long haul. It was not uncommon to leave FSM at 0600 and return about 4-5pm after making several stops. On a lot of short haul, you normally just about get on top and level and have to start descent. Consequently, if you go to either coast, you could either layover a nite or turn back same day, hence just a couple t/o/landings. Tossup
Could an individual's pref be dependent upon who they work for and how they are paid? I would assume that a pay difference for the same amount of time invested might influence some.
PhotoFinish 1
Must be a factor.

But the most common element of most pilots' answers seems to be related to what else is going on in their lives. Like whether they prefer to get home each night, or prefer to spend time having fun at away bases.

Some pilots have low seniority, so get what everybody else didn't want. The question is most interesting for higher seniority pilots who have a real choice of which lines to fly.
preacher1 1
As a general rule, your older, more senior pilots, will like the longer haul on account of less work. Fewer landings and takeoffs. Kids are grown and home every nite is not that big a factor. After I retired the 1st time, I had a truckline and senior drivers preferred long haul running rather than short or regional, as it was generally 1 loading/unloading per week, if they ran the West Coast.


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