Do Pilots Get Free Flights?

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Being a pilot is an exceptionally rewarding experience. There are many perks that make the job even more enviable.

Many airlines offer free flights in their own planes for their pilots. But this is not true for all airline companies.

But some form of a price reduction or upgradation is always on offer for all pilots allowing them to save money on air travel. In many cases, these concessions may also extend to immediate family.

Do Pilots Get Free Flights For Their Family?

Yes, pilots usually get great deals when it comes to flights for their friends and family. There are a few companies that give free passes for their pilots’ friends and families and they can travel for free

But in most cases, the family members have to pay some amount which could include taxes. These discounted prices for the tickets mean the whole family travels for cheap when there’s a pilot in their mix.

So even if the tickets are not free in all companies it is certainly a lot cheaper to travel if you can get a discount from the pilot in your family. This is an important point to consider when you are thinking about becoming a pilot.

Do Delta Pilots Families Fly Free?

Delta in recent years has been proving great travel benefits to all its employees. So pilots also have access to these facilities.

Families of Delta pilots can travel for very low prices or for free in almost all Delta flights. There are several pass codes the pilot can opt for to use these benefits.

Depending on the situation the pilots can keep their family members on standby for any Delta flight. The priority of seat allocation can be chosen by pilots based on certain options they can use each year.

Do United Pilots Families Fly Free?

Yes United pilots can have their families on standby to fly for free on any United Airlines flight. There is a cap on the number of such passes allowed for each pilot per year for friends and families.

Being on standby for a flight means that they can get on a flight if it has empty seats based on how high they are on a priority list. The more senior the pilot, the higher their family is on the priority list.

Some charges like taxes for international flights and charges for upgrades are always payable. Pilots also have to pay for booking to get similar benefits on other airlines through an “inter-airline” travel system. 

Do Retired Pilots Fly For Free?

When pilots retire they usually continue to be eligible for a lot of perks. This includes reduced charges or completely free flight based on the company they work for.

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For several companies, the pilots can be eligible for free flights based on their age and number of years they have served. If they qualify then they pay for taxes for international flights or upgrade to business class.

The only privilege that a retired pilot loses for sure is deadheading. During active service, a pilot for various reasons will often deadhead or travel for free in the cockpit of flights.

Do Pilots Get Free Food?

Yes, pilots usually do not have to worry about paying for food when they are on duty and in flight. There is usually catering allocated for the pilots along with the rest of the crew.

Due to timing of flights and sometimes due to airline policy some flights do not provide catering for the pilots for the crew. In such cases they are paid an allowance for their meals.

Pilots also receive allowance for meals during layovers for which they do not have to pay taxes at home. This means their food is paid for by the airline company tax free whether they are flying or they are on a layover.

Do Pilots Get Free Flights For Friends?

If you choose to become a pilot you can offer discounts to your friends when they fly. This varies from company to company but usually, there are some ways to use reduced charges for flight.

Unlike for family, the option to fly on standby is not usually applicable for friends. But flying on standby does not always mean that you get to fly on the plane you want if there is no space available in it.

For friends, pilots are allotted “buddy passes” which they can distribute and can be redeemed for huge discounts in flight fares. These may be limited in number or unlimited for each year depending on the airline’s policy.

Do Pilots Fly First Class?

If pilots are on duty they can be ferried from an airport to another in any seat available including first class and for free. But if it comes to the free flights they are eligible for then the answer depends on the airline’s policy.

In some companies pilots are eligible for free flights in business class. But in most cases they have to pay to upgrade out of their own pockets.

In a few companies a limited number of free business class tickets are assigned to each pilot for every year. Often the pilots receive large discounts on the fees they have to pay to upgrade to business class as well.

Can Pilots Sleep In First Class?

Pilots sleep in their own assigned sleeping areas which are most commonly bunk like other in-flight crews. But for many airlines the pilots have their own compartments with some luxury like first class pillows, duvet, lights, temperature control and an entertainment screen.

Pilots do not have to sleep in first class because they have their own sleeping compartments. These can be accessed through the first class in some aircrafts.

Based on the design of the aircraft the sleeping area for pilots may be located in different places. But they are always private and accessed through secure doors.

Do Pilots Get Free Hotels?

Pilots never have to pay out of pocket for hotels when they are on layover. The airline usually has contracts with local hotels and arranges the stay for their pilots.

If an airline does not have contracts with local hotels then they can provide a credit card for expenses incurred during performance of service. So the company takes care of the hotel charges by paying for the credit card.

If the pilot has to pay for the hotel himself during his duty, then the company reimburses him. Some airlines also provide discounts to their pilots for staying at hotels during vacations.

Flight Benefits For Pilots

There are many benefits that pilots receive especially when it comes to flight. Here’s a list of all the perks related to flight that pilots have on offer:

  • On duty all flights for pilots are free no matter what class they have to travel in.
  • Pilots fly for free in their own airlines during vacations and even after retirement.
  • They receive heavy discounts for friends and family if they have to buy tickets.
  • Friends of pilots can travel for free with a limited number of buddy passes’ every year.
  • Pilots can have their family travel on standby for free sometimes for a limited number of times each year on their own airline.
  • Pilots receive some free business class tickets each year and get discounts on upgrades at other times.

FAQ Relating To Do Pilots Get Free Flights

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If you are thinking about becoming a pilot then you have a lot of questions regarding getting free flights as it is a chief benefit you will get. Let us try to answer some of the most common questions that people ask about this.

Can Pilots Fly First Class For Free?

During the performance of their duty the pilots fly for free. If this has to be in first class for some reason then it is also free.

Pilots in some airlines receive a limited number of free business class tickets each year. They can usually fly for free and pay for upgrades to business class.

How Can I Fly Free As A Pilot?

You can deadhead in the cockpit or fly for free on any available seat on a flight of your own airline when you have to travel for your duties as a pilot. Otherwise, you get to fly free with some minimum charges for taxes and upgrades even during your vacations.

In fact, you get to fly for free even after you retire. But you might have to pay charges to enlist for other airlines or wait indefinitely for flying on standby.

Do Pilots Get Flight Discounts?

Pilots get heavy discounts on flights in their own airlines. They can get these discounts for their friends and families as well.

What Flight Benefits Do Pilots Get?

Pilots get a lot of flight benefits from free flights to paying only for upgrades and taxes depending on their destination. They can also get these same benefits for their friends and families.

Can Pilots Deadhead?

During their service pilots often have to deadhead or fly in a free seat inside the cockpit. But besides being ferried for service they can sometimes be allowed to deadhead by the airlines when they are on standby for emergency travel.

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