Project Sky Commute started about four years ago when I (Brian) was following the aftermath of the Colgan Air 3407 crash in BUF. After that event, some stakeholders were suggesting that commuting by pilots be banned, the U.S. National Research Council published The Effects of Commuting on Pilot Fatigue and the FAA established new flight and duty time regulations. Since then, I have talked to innumerable airline commuters (both pilots and flight attendants) and have learned a great deal about sky commuting both in North America and around the world.
It didn't take long to realize that their was a community out there. A community that would love to share ideas and strategies on commuting. Some commutes are easier than others, both on the commuter and their spouse or partner. I've been commuting for more than 15 years. Many factors have played into the equation over the years and now my sky commute is one of the most difficult in my airline's system. I've also learned that some airlines do not allow any employees to sky commute and that commuting is far more common in North America than in southeast Asia. Then, there is the expat who, for the most part commutes POS space. I could go on and on, but I hope that gives you a quick snapshot of what the project is about.
I have a cartoonist working on a caption that will put a sky commuter on a dangerous good label. Some folks have that certain look in their eye when they sky commute. I'm working on something humorous about that one too. I have several others that will appear in my book. I hope it will bring a few laughs.
I'm looking for sky commuting stories similar to the time I came back from Europe. We were about 30 minutes out from destination and the Captain asked me what time my commuting flight was. It was scheduled to depart less than 10 minutes after our arrival time and was the last flight out of town that day to my home airport. Well, when we were in-range, he radioed a "friend" at the company and arranged to have me pre-cleared through customs. I thought he was kidding when he said all I had to do was get off our airplane, walk over two gates and have a seat in J.
He had arranged it all. Well, when we arrived, the door opened, an agent appeared at the flight deck door and invited me to come with him. The Captain said that he'd finish up and that I was to "get moving." I quickly gathered my stuff and followed the agent. No customs, just straight to my commuting flight. After I sat down in J, one of the flight attendants suggested, with a wink, that I change into my sweater. I was looking over my shoulder for a week thinking a customs agent was going to nail me for 'sneaking' into the country illegally. Lol. But, nothing ever came of it.
Brian is also on Twitter @iSkyCommute