The Lonely Pilot

Steve came home from his last trip on the eve of Thanksgiving.  Dark had fallen.  The house was clean, pizza was just delivered, Mariachi Beef, my favorite!, cold beer was in the fridge, there was a fire in the fireplace, and the kids and I sported huge grins when we met Daddy at the door.  We had college friends coming in for the night, and we were hosting both families the next day for Thanksgiving dinner.  Anticipation, family, friends and love filled the home.

Steve's Captain went home to a much different empty one, I assume.

Do you recall the blog post "Hey Baby, I'm an Airline Pilot" ... this is the same guy.  What was I calling the guy, Joe?  Ok, let's go with Joe.  Remember that Joe is probably late 40's and divorced with high-school aged kids. Steve said he overheard Joe calling a local restaurant to preorder some dinners for his kids, who were visiting the day after Thanksgiving.  Breaks my heart.  Really it does.  Apparently Steve didn't get along too well with Joe, so he didn't have as much sympathy for him as I did. But still, holidays are best spent with family...not alone.  Well, I guess Joe has a girlfriend, but not much was mentioned about her.  So, maybe she is more of a 'sometimes' in his life, not an 'always'.  Maybe she WAS at his house when he got there...

And this brings me to the lonely pilot.  Being an airline pilot can be a lonely job.  Imagine: walking on the beautiful beaches of Cabo...the waves crashing like thunder...warm sun...beautiful scenery...and you are all wish that your wife was there with you.  This is the truth of when Steve is in these beautiful and tropical destinations.  Or maybe it is just his way of trying to make me feel better about the shitty weather back at home.

Remember this picture:

Steve sent it to me from...Hawaii was it?  The message went something like "wish you were here."  Life is better shared with someone, I fully believe.  No matter where you are, or what you are doing, life is better with someone...a special someone.  So, when Steve is off to these amazing places, alone, it can get to him.  But, he has someone to come home to, times three.  I am sure that can keep him going at times.

And Joe? What did he go home to? A dark house. A quiet house...until Fox News came on the boob tube. I image there be no warmth in his home...people provide warmth.  I feel for him.  I did suggest that Steve invite Joe to our Thanksgiving, and his response was something to the effect of "oh hell no. I don't feel that badly for him."  Did I already mention that they don't get along too well?  I could go on about the multitude of stories that Steve shared about this guy...but that is for another post.

I will say it again: life is better with someone...a special someone.  And every time Steve tells me about a CA that is divorced, it breaks my heart.  And the same goes for FOs.  I usually greet Steve at the door when he comes home.  Maybe the kids are still up and provide extra smiles and hugs.  I usually have some food ready for him.  The house is lit and it is warm, in these cold and dark months.  And then the night may end with appropriate welcome home activities, if you catch my drift.  Sleeping next to someone is so much better than sleeping next one.  I couldn't imagine coming home from a trip to an empty home.  No one to greet you. No one to hug.  No lights turned on. Yet another cold bed to climb into...

I hope that Joe finds someone.  Or maybe Joe doesn't want to find anyone.  Maybe Joe wants to come home to a quiet house.  Maybe Joe was burned by his ex so much so that he swears off women forever.  Who the hell knows.  I just hope Joe is happy.  I wish happiness for everyone, in whatever form it may come.


And I know that with the holiday season upon us, lots of us pilots wives are going to be feeling lonely as well.  Steve was home for Thanksgiving, but will be missing Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  The bitch part about it all is that Ben really gets Santa this year...and it could be so magical for him.  We will just need to be that much more creative with timing and stories.  New Years schedule isn't out yet, so that is to be determined.  Steve will also be missing my company holiday party.  As much as it sucks, and it may really suck badly, take comfort in your friends and family.  Take comfort in the laughter of your children.  Take comfort in your familiar surroundings.  Take comfort in knowing that soon enough your husband will be home from a trip.  AND - make the most of the time that you have together.  I will say it again: absence really does make the heart grown fonder.  So, for all the lonely that will be going on over the next month, that much more lovin' will be happening.  At least that is my plan.


  1. Love the post...a great reminder for me to make that extra effort to welcome my pilot home after a trip. Even if I'm lonely when he's away, at least I'm in my own house and not in a seedy airport hotel. Happy belated Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  2. I have felt this way about some alone pilots too. How can they be happy with no one to go home to? K says they are, and maybe they really are.

    Happy holidays to you and your family! I know how tough it is to have them gone, but like you we figure it out and take advantage of what we do get!

  3. Thanks for the holiday love!

    Emms, I wonder if these guys may just be happier alone? I think pilots can be very introverted...Steve can have his moments, for sure. So, maybe these guys are like this all the time.

  4. Love to read your thread! I´ve been a pilot for 24 years. Divorced and about to get married this summer. My heart has been broken so many times while leaving and beeing away. I really hate this job sometimes. You describe it so well - being places and wishing she was ther, wishing the family was there. I´ve given up because it´s too late for change, too much to loose if I changed careers. Maybe I am a coward, but at least I am in love and I am getting married one more final time. Retirement a few years away. I would never recommend this job to anyone.

    1. Hi, i just came on this website by luck. I am a pilot as well, 37y old. I recently refused a job on the airbus, which is a thing i always wanted to do. Reason? I had to move again. I realized that it is so hard to build some things up in your life. My friends they have a house, family, social life etc. i only have a licence. I took the decision to change my career. I want to go back to my roots and also to start building things in my life. Being a pilot is a very solitary life, i really underestimated this kind of life.

  5. So glad to hear you like my thread! Congratulations on your upcoming marriage. Yes, this job is tough, no question about it. And, I think a lot of pilots would rethink their career option once they know what flying *really* is like. Sounds like you have a great retirement coming up, with your new wife.

  6. If you don't mind me asking, how did you meet your husband? Being a pilot is just about the only thing I've ever wanted to do! But I'm really worried that the lifestyle that comes with it is going to mean that I'll never be able to meet people and never have a family. I couldn't imagine having to live alone all my life!

    1. Hi Sean! Steve and I met at a bar. I was 20 and still in college. He was 24 and working corporate at the time. He really just came up to me out of the blue, and so started our story. He fell for me pretty hard and fast.

      After about 6 weeks I called it off with him. I was still in a cloud from a previous relationship, and I just wasn't fully engaged. I needed to be fair. I basically tore Steve's heart out of his chest and stomped all over it. I was the biggest asshole.

      We still kept in touch that summer and then I invited him to my homecoming dance in the fall. He was actually in training for a regional, but still flew up to come with it. And ever since then we have been together.

      During that summer when we were broken up Steve did a lot of reflecting. Since I was the "girl of his dreams" and it didn't work out he was fearful of having this lonely pilot life...where he would live in his parent's basement. That, obviously, didn't happen. But, I think a lot of pilots must think that.

      My only advice I want to give to you is don't settle. It really takes a special kind of woman to do this who pilot wife thing. Better that you be uber selective now so that you are totally satisfied, than getting into something and then divorcing a bit later.

      I believe there is someone for everyone. It is all just a matter of timing. Keep putting yourself out there, and the girls of your dreams will walk right into your life :)

    2. Wow, thanks for sharing that! I guess I'll just have to keep at it then! Really like your blog as well, thanks and keep up the good work! :D


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