Commuting to Your Dispatcher Job

ifly

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

Can anyone share their experience or even thoughts about how practical it is to "commute" to your job as a dispatcher. I have a few pilot friends who do this. They live in MSP and stationed in MEM. I have read that some dispatchers do this as well.

I am a few months away from obtaining my license and ideally want to stay put and commute. Of course, it is a bit more hectic with the travel aspect but regardless, appreciate any comments, thoughts, suggestions about commuting to work.
 

N826AW

Snooki's Baby Daddy
My buddy commuted from Utah to Houston for his dispatch job for a while. He caved after a month or two and moved to IAH.
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
It's a lot easier for a pilot to commute than a dispatcher. Think about it...they start their trips in one location, fly for a few days, having their hotel paid for by the company, and then can fly home after their trip is over. Commuters all have "crash pads" they stay at either just before their trips or after it's over, sometimes with multiple pilots living in one apartment but nobody more than a few days per month. As a dispatch "commuter" this would not be a practical option...you'd need an apartment (or at least a regular roomate situation with your own bedroom) because you'd be there 20+ nights per month. I've never known anyone that was able to commute, long-term, for a dispatcher job, but to me it wouldn't be worth the stress.
 

McCrosky

Well-Known Member
I did the commute thing for a few months last year. Well, 07/08. I still live a partial commute life due to my girlfriend being in another city still.

It can be a hassle, even with jumpseat privileges. If you're doing a commute with lots of service from multiple carriers, it helps. I had the option of my airline overnight or DL during the day. And there were times I didn't make it and either didn't go "home" or just drove it. I luckily had a lot of friends who are pilots and flight attendants who would loan me their cars back home while they were on trips. Mine stayed here in SDF for the drive to work.

ANd then there's the creative routings. If you have non stop fligths its great, but doing the connection thing added an extra level of pain in the ass. Even with non stops, during peak flying times I would do some funky routings to get home (SDF-MCO-ATL).

I know dispatchers who did the commute thing for a few years, and seem to make it work. I don't think I could do it. Even the long distance relationship wears me down at times.

And Manniax is correct on the "crash pad" situation. You're essentially paying 2 rents or a rent and mortgage. On a intro level dx job at most places, it'll be a financial stretch.

good luck.
 

mission_aviation

Well-Known Member
I'm probably gonna be in this situation soon. My wife is working on getting accepted into nursing school in PHX, but we live in Elko at the moment where my job is at. We will move to PHX; however, I'm going to have to decide if I should commute or give up the job all together. Since we are a small company, Its pretty easy to work out a schedule with my co-workers. I can work 7 on and have 7 off, that might work, but I'll have to decide whether I can find balance between work, home and school. Keep up the topic fellas I'm reading too.

mission :D
 

ljg

Well-Known Member
An extra challenge starting out is the dreaded Junior Assignment. I commuted to my job as a dispatcher. One pleasant evening I was walking into the movies with family and answered my cell without looking. 5 hours later and two states away...

You only make the mistake once. Commuting as a dispatcher is a difficult situation at best.
 

mission_aviation

Well-Known Member
An extra challenge starting out is the dreaded Junior Assignment. I commuted to my job as a dispatcher. One pleasant evening I was walking into the movies with family and answered my cell without looking. 5 hours later and two states away...

You only make the mistake once. Commuting as a dispatcher is a difficult situation at best.
Everyday that I sit here at the desk and plan flights for the pilots to fly, I stop and think how great the view must be and how fun it must be to get paid to travel all over the place. Its too bad that dispatchers can't have the same luxury. The FAA should make it mandatory to have a dispatcher fly at least once a month with different crews to further develop CRM with the pilots we talk to everyday and have the company pay for it. My company does as little as possible for us to get by. Only then will I might consider myself more than just petty to these people. My guess is commuting is a possibility if the workplace was in a major city where there are many options getting inn and out of, but I can see how it can get pretty old, especially if the company considers it "on your time and dime." I now that commuting will not work for me being way the f*%k up here with the little pay I get now and with Skywest being the only airline flying inn and out of here and only four times a day. I think that if you work for a great company, commuting might be worth having best of the both worlds but this place is hardly one of them. I dunno, is there anyone who works for a good company and is willling dedicate a part of their lives to commute back and forth for it? :whatever:
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
Everyday that I sit here at the desk and plan flights for the pilots to fly, I stop and think how great the view must be and how fun it must be to get paid to travel all over the place. Its too bad that dispatchers can't have the same luxury. The FAA should make it mandatory to have a dispatcher fly at least once a month with different crews to further develop CRM with the pilots we talk to everyday and have the company pay for it. My company does as little as possible for us to get by. Only then will I might consider myself more than just petty to these people. My guess is commuting is a possibility if the workplace was in a major city where there are many options getting inn and out of, but I can see how it can get pretty old, especially if the company considers it "on your time and dime." I now that commuting will not work for me being way the f*%k up here with the little pay I get now and with Skywest being the only airline flying inn and out of here and only four times a day. I think that if you work for a great company, commuting might be worth having best of the both worlds but this place is hardly one of them. I dunno, is there anyone who works for a good company and is willling dedicate a part of their lives to commute back and forth for it? :whatever:
One of my co-workers knew someone from his old carrier that had a house in the ATL area and got a job dispatching with JetBlue. He commuted back and forth for about two years before getting burned out on it...and he was going to and from a city with lots of jet service. He eventually got a job with DL...not in dispatch, but that's where he hopes to get to eventually, and he'll already be living in ATL if/when that happens.

Oh, and as regards to flying being fun...I'm sure it is, for some people, but I like being able to sleep at home every night. Flying can be a hard career if you have a family and you're gone all the time...especially if your employer does not treat its pilots well.

The reg is only a requirement for dispatcher jumpseating to fly 5 hours per year, but there's nothing stopping you from jumpseating more often either if you want to....you just have to do it on your own time. I have known people that did it more often, on their days off, for fun. I personally don't find it that wild of an experience having done it so many times so I usually just do my annual required time and that's it.
 

mission_aviation

Well-Known Member
One of my co-workers knew someone from his old carrier that had a house in the ATL area and got a job dispatching with JetBlue. He commuted back and forth for about two years before getting burned out on it...and he was going to and from a city with lots of jet service. He eventually got a job with DL...not in dispatch, but that's where he hopes to get to eventually, and he'll already be living in ATL if/when that happens.

Oh, and as regards to flying being fun...I'm sure it is, for some people, but I like being able to sleep at home every night. Flying can be a hard career if you have a family and you're gone all the time...especially if your employer does not treat its pilots well.

The reg is only a requirement for dispatcher jumpseating to fly 5 hours per year, but there's nothing stopping you from jumpseating more often either if you want to....you just have to do it on your own time. I have known people that did it more often, on their days off, for fun. I personally don't find it that wild of an experience having done it so many times so I usually just do my annual required time and that's it.
I know I can certainly do it on my days off however; I usually spend my off days with my wife. When I fly, I mostly like to fly for pleasure, but because this company is so small, we don't fly to very many places, and the places we do go, most of the time its full.
 

manniax

Well-met in the Ka-tet
I know I can certainly do it on my days off however; I usually spend my off days with my wife. When I fly, I mostly like to fly for pleasure, but because this company is so small, we don't fly to very many places, and the places we do go, most of the time its full.
Can't blame you there! The folks I've known who do extra jumpseating for fun were single. One guy took his wife along with him on a jumpseating trip one time and she almost got bumped off one segment because of a clueless gate agent, but I think overall they had fun.
 

mission_aviation

Well-Known Member
Can't blame you there! The folks I've known who do extra jumpseating for fun were single. One guy took his wife along with him on a jumpseating trip one time and she almost got bumped off one segment because of a clueless gate agent, but I think overall they had fun.
I discussed the possibility of commuting from PHX to EKO as a service to the company with a co-worker of mine. But the more I talked about it, the more it seemed like a disadvantage to me. My DO is real stubborn and is the controlling factor in the company. Dispatch is highly neglected when we really should be taken care of since we operate under the Part 121 operations exemption as long as there are qualified, certified dispatchers at the desk. I think if I were to commute, that would just be doing the company a favor, but the way the DO is, I highly doubt this guy would want to foot the bill for hotel and extra pay as an incentive for me to stay. Nope, I just don't see that happening. Good bye Elko!
 
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