Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Breaking the airline pilot stereotype, dispelling the myth.

Well, Bf has left today. He was supposed to leave yesterday, to stay at a hotel elsewhere in the UK (far away); so that he could fly today from there.  Thankfully, they transferred him to a flight going to the same destination from his base airport instead.  I’m really going to miss him more than usual during this trip.

This will be his first long-haul trip (without me) this year, and it’s a week long.  Well, it would have been. Not very glamorous though, no week in the sun, lounging around with nothing better to do than dip in the pool and sip chilled drinks…  No, he was due to get a taxi, for a 6 hour drive, with his hands in the life of some minimum wage, foriegn driver, to go to another UK airport yesterday, operate his 10 hour flight to one island in the Caribbean today, get minimum rest there tonight; then get up tomorrow, transfer by plane to another Caribbean island tomorrow, have a few nights there, and then operate to yet another (different) UK airport, get minimum rest there, and then fly home-PHEW!  Not very restful or luxurious huh?

As it is now, he will still have to transfer between islands over in the Caribbean, but he’ll get to fly to and from his base airport without all the minimum rest and crappy internal transfers; which will be much less exhausting and gives us more time together. The only downside of course being: that he’ll miss out on a few days of all important duty pay.

I was feeling rather sad about having to spend time apart for this particular trip. We’ve been getting along exceptionally well recently and I have noticed myself laughing a lot more than usual… I wanted to make sure that he would know I am missing him, so I went out and chose some small silly gifts for him to unwrap each day that he’d be gone, together with some cards.  I like mushy, lovey cards, but I try not to send too many with him because he prefers the ones that make him chuckle.  This is the one he has for today:

I slipped it into his flight case before he left along with a really soft, plush teddy bear, clutching a bag of heart shaped chocolates in pink and red foil.  It was one of the many Valentines merchandise items adorning the aisles of Waitrose supermarket.

Tomorrow he’ll get this card:

Which I know will make him laugh out loud, along witha a cheeky message inside.  Tomorrow’s gift will be a daft little love story in a book called “A lovely Story” about two dinosaurs who fall in love and grow old together.  It’s from the Edward Monkton series (the same as the first, Love Monkey, card above)  I managed to read the whole thing in about a minute in the supermarket, and I know it will make him smile.

Then on Monday he’ll get a mushy card. I had to slip at least one properly romantic card in there! These are accompanied by a bag of jelly hearts (I knew that they wouldn’t melt in the Caribbean heat). and on the final night he gets no card (I couldn’t find any others I liked enough) but he will get another Edward Monkton book.  The following night will be when he returns home.

The strange thing is, that when I got home from dropping him off at the airport, I felt a little ill.  I was putting Baby down for a nap any way, and the boys were quite content to play by themselves. So I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and get a few hours rest whilst baby was asleep. 

When I climbed into bed, there was a card tucked inside for me! It made me smile to know that we were having the same thoughts, and to know that we’re on the same wavelength. He obviously wanted me to know that he would be missing me and thinking about me too 🙂

I got a text when he landed just now thanking me for the card and gift, and texting me all of the details for his hotel so that I can call him when he goes to bed.  He get’s home on the anniversary of the day we met on-line 5 years ago!  We lived on opposite sides of the world back then, and we fell in love before we’d even met in person. It’s good to know that we’re still just as connected in absence now.

I have read a lot of crap recently in forums haunted by ignorant people who believe every stereotype-cast they are exposed to in the media.  I just thought I’d put this out there on the web too-try to balance out the scales a little!


12 Responses to “Breaking the airline pilot stereotype, dispelling the myth.”

  1. Yes not always as glamourous as it sounds with little sleep and time zone changes etc. How sweet that you both bought cards. I’m sure those will keep bf smiling and im sure he’ll be back before you know it x

  2. How sweet ! I love this post , it is so romantic. And it is not even valentine , that makes it extra special.

  3. Our five year online anniversary is April 7!

  4. What a nice way to keep the romance alive =)

  5. I am a pilot to be. I will soon finish my training and will fly with a major international airlines. I always about my girl friend when i am on duty. I dont know how could she cope with my ever changing roster and so little time spend at home with her. I feel very sorry to leave her behind. I feel that i have done something so unfair to her. It’s like i am chasing my dream but at the same time make her suffer.
    At times i almost want to quit the job and wanted to go back to my normal life. I thought i love to be a pilot. But i think i love my family life more now.
    I am struggling and it affects my training. I want to put an end to this and live my normal life.

  6. Thanks for your comment Cpt J’s Wife! I wondered where you’d got to! 🙂

  7. Tim, I shouldn’t worry too much, it’s a period of adjustment for you both, and it’s lovely to hear you say such sweet things. Why don’t you recommend to your girlfriend that she reads a few of the blogs and maybe joins a pilot girlfriends or wives forum or group. They are a great support!

  8. Partner of a pilot is right, get her involved – It is so good to know there are other people who have survived the transition and actually enjoy the whole lifestyle as there are many positives that can sometimes be forgotten about! 🙂

  9. Oh gosh…the dreaded Carribean bullets!! Just the trip every pilot loves to hate! What worries me the most about these trips are the light aircraft companies which major UK airlines use over there to move crew from island to island. I’ve heard a few horror stories. I remember dealing with one of the companies a few seasons ago, when a schedule service due to take a crew from Caracas to Montego Bay or Miami (i forget the slip now) was cancelled. Our last option was to call the light a/c company to request an aircraft urgently. Urgently in our world and urgent in the Dom Rep where the company is based, are completely different. ‘No problem my friend, 2 hours and we will have an aircraft there’ !! Of course 2 hours came and went and eventually 6 hours later the aptly named ‘vomit comet’ arrived for a very tired and frustrated crew..needless to say they weren’t happy with the wreck of an aircraft and the 3 tech-stops on the way!!

    So, its really not all that glamorous and I do feel sorry for them when things like this happen. Thankfully my guy has never had any issues on long-haul yet or been stuck downroute with a hefty delay…fingers crossed!!

  10. Very Nice – My ex met someone in Scotland and carried on a relationship for months by cell phone. Even claimed the plane was broken so he could spend more time there. Eventually I found out from a text message she left on his phone multiple times when he was home. I tried so hard to work through it with him but he left claiming he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life apologizing for a huge mistake. We were married for 22 years and have three children. He was fired from the job for credit card fraud and for submitting false maintenance reports. I and our children were devastated. I did all those romantic things and hoped someday he would come home and be with us eventually or when the kids grew he would take me with him. He just married that woman and now works for Saudi Air. He never sees the children here in the States but sends a check every month. I’ve survived and have put the shreads of my life back together. The kids and I are a strong family together now and meet each day with new hope and faith in God. For every woman who is the wife of a pilot – you are stronger than you think and if this should ever happen to you – you will move on. Love with all your heart and then you will know you did all you could. I have no regrets.

    • Lonnie,
      You’re story breaks my heart. I am glad to hear you are coping and am sure you’re at the point where you realize you had little to nothing to do with your husband’s choices. I hope you have found peace and I hope I can be there too at some point. Here’s my story.. My husband flies for a major cargo carrier and I found out 2 months ago he had affairs in Asia. I am coping..went from running marathons to smoking cigarets. I can’t get past my anger of knowing he was sleeping with a prostitute in the Philippines 48 hours before I gave birth to our second son. He didn’t spend the nights with me in the hospital because he was so tired. I thought it was jet lag but now know differently. He is sorry and wants to be the father and husband he needed to be these past ten years but I still find it almost impossible to forgive or even accept. He is trying but will it last? Will he decide to grow up? Will he be able to not be the ‘fun guy’ and go to his room when the other pilots go out to the nightclubs? I have been wiping noses, changing diapers, feeding kids and working full time while he flies one leg across the ocean and spends 4 days partying and sleeping around. I’m mad. The one thing that might be able to save me is the understanding that porn runs rampant in his industry and ultimately detaches some of them from a real relationship, gives them a false idea of what a woman should look like and what sex should be like. Poopy diapers and chasing toddlers are rarely part of a porns plot. He wasn’t prepared for reality, he was living a frat boys life.


  11. minimum wage taxi driver is rotten thing to say.Don’t ever complain after that heartless remark.

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