Sex and the Long Haul Pilot

5 Dec 08 7 Comments

“A layover in Singapore,” he wrote in his blog. “A dream come true!”

He is a commercial pilot working for a major airline and has just started doing the major international routes. What surprised me was the deluge of comments he received, asking him about the after-hours fun, how many air hostesses he’d slept with and even a few snide comments referring to the naivety of his wife. He tried repeatedly to deny the accusations that a pilot’s night life was all about fine dining and cheap sex but to no avail. The commenters knew better, he was just covering up.

I suppose it is the allure of travel – exotic locations and the scent of foreign spices. How could you not be excited and aroused? The concept that someone might pay you for the pleasure of travel – well, for most of us, it’s just a dream come true. And while we are daydreaming, why not include those fantasies of high life and easy conquests?

But it really is just fantasy – like gynaecologists having only beautiful sexy patients and McDonald’s staff getting all the hamburgers they can eat. It’s not the way the job really works! I decided I wanted to write a rebuttal.

I have quite a few friends who are pilots so I started to write up a quick questionnaire. Have you ever slept with a crew member? Did a layover ever turn into a hotbed of passion? Give me the real scoop!

“What are you doing?” Cliff asked me. “Is it really appropriate to be asking our friends about their sex life? I don’t understand.”

I explained about the layover fantasy, the people who seemed to think that a pilot’s life was a great sexual adventure.

“Well, not commercial pilots so much,” he interrupted me. “But there is some truth to it.”

I frowned, even my boyfriend believed the stories! Could it get any worse?

“No, really,” he said, “isn’t that what you do?”

“What? What are you talking about?” I was squeaking.


He had a funny little half-smile. “Travelling to exotic locations, finding the best restaurants, boozing it up before retiring to a hotel to have sex with the crew.”

The crew? I paused for a moment and then it clicked. “That’s you!”

I thought about his words for a moment while my mouth opened and closed again.

“I do, don’t I,” I said. The truth of the matter now laid plain for me.

You’ve got to feel sorry for commercial pilots – yeah, they get paid to fly but they work hard for the money and ask any one of them and they’ll say that a lot of the destinations are simply a place to rest up ready for the next flight. Chosen at random, just another route, a good place to get fuel.

Whereas we PPLers, we’re living the high life. Choosing our own travel routes and hand-picking our passengers – all optimised for maximum pleasure at our destinations.

So it seems that those commenters have got it right after all – they are just targeting the wrong pilots. In this particular case, it’s the amateurs living out the fantasies.

Category: Miscellaneous,


  • Excellent article!

    I was told that the first thing they do when you start working at the donut place is “eat all the donuts you want”. I assume the hypothetical strategy is that you’ll be sick of them in a week, as opposed to eating donuts on the sly for as long as you work there. Not sure what this has to do with having sex with flight attendants, but maybe that’s the association I have with eating donuts.

    (That’s why I’m a computer programmer. I get all the hot, sexy bytes I want.)

  • I’m sitting here with my fingers over the keyboard wondering what to write. This entry basically caught me in a funny way. Anyway, if it helps at all, I’m a captain here in the USA and fly for SkyWest airlines. I can honestly say there has never been one instance, in five years, were it has been an issue. However, it could be because I never, ever look for it or promote it or imply it. My wedding ring never leaves my finger, plus, I’m pretty much a “slam-clicker,” i.e., into my room, slam the door and lock it. I only adventure out when I need nourishment or when I go for a run. Pretty boring.

    Keep up the fun entries. I’ll check back soon.


  • Great article. Very well done. I’m impressed.

    As a (former) airline pilot, I have to say that although I never engaged in any funny business (same philosophy as Jeffrey), I knew plenty of crew members (on both sides of the cockpit door) who did. It was a given that if you had over 20 years seniority, you were on at least your second (maybe third) marriage. Professional flying can be VERY hard on families and marriages and often people reach out to others when discouraged. There was nothing exotic or sexy about it, just lonely people who happened to be on the same schedule that month. Sad, but true.

    Keep up the good work Sylvia.

    Paul´s last blog post..Where is the source for the “W” in A.R.R.O.W?

  • Thanks for the comments – I’ve fallen a bit behind! I think there are of course people for whom being away from home is a license to play away but I wouldn’t think it’s any more than any other industry (dentists at conventions or writers at workshops)?

    I bet a lot of marriages struggle – both the amount of time spent apart and plans cancelled as a result of being on call definitely would add to the strain.

  • I have been in a relationship for just over 6 months with a pilot. He is only very new to the industry (completed his training two years ago) and I’m only now having to get used to the “pilot life”. We live in Australia and he is about to move to the other side of the country to work there for the next two years to build up his hours and hopefully then get an airline job. I am just about to start studying Medicine so am unable to follow him. The separation part of this particular career is very difficult but I do find that it means we spend much more quality time together when we do see each other. With regards to the cheating.. It is something that has terrified me greatly but I have had to put those feelings aside and just trust that he is a decent guy and wouldn’t do that to me. I also have to believe that it wouldn’t be his particular career choice that would have driven him to cheat but rather that he would have been that kind of person regardless. It’s great to read the comments from pilots who fly for airlines and say that although a lot of sly business can go on you can choose not to be a part of it.

    Sorry about the rant! Really enjoy your blog :)

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