Letter from the Publisher

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Dear readers,

One of the reasons I became an airline pilot was because I love to travel. Seeing different cities, countries, cultures and sceneries was inspired in me by my parents while growing up in an airline family. I was very fortunate to have had that as a child and to be able to continue that as an adult.

There is a negative aspect of traveling for a living and that is missing family events, birthdays, holidays, etc. Our homes away from home are the hotels where we stay. Being made to feel welcome and valued is huge for us as we check in to our “home” for the evening.

The company I work for partnered with a major hotel brand and we usually stay with that hotel chain while at work. Most hotel brands, like all large corporations, have a loyalty program to encourage customers to stay with them on future visits. Some hotels will give their guest pilots credits and/or points if they purchase a meal or drinks at the hotels’ restaurants and charge it to the room, but most will not. But for corporate pilots, all hotels will give stay credits and points regardless of whether they purchase food there or not.

So why the big difference between what we get depending on for whom we fly? My understanding is that the airlines provide a lot more pilots and flight attendants staying at the same hotel every night which translates to higher guaranteed occupancy. The airlines are therefore able to negotiate a lower rate. The flipside is that crew members are not credited with the stay because the hotel hasn’t budgeted their rewards-program costs into what they charge the airlines. For a corporate flight crew, often there too few stays to put the company in a position to negotiate with a hotel. Those companies are paying a higher rate and have no problem crediting each stay to the occupant of the room.

A friend of mine just shared his company’s hotels policy with me. He remediates kindly by telling them that If the hotel doesn’t offer airline pilots stay credits or points, he will not be buying any food or drink at their hotel. He reports that at least one hotel manager has inquired of him, “Is that why pilots don’t eat here?”  Yep!

Fly Safe,
Craig Pieper




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