Commercial pilots make good money. At the majors they start out at around $25,000, but once off probation their salaries skyrocket with many topping out around $200,000. I’ve even heard of some making closer to $300,000. And yet they’re known for being cheap. This might have something to do with the fact that so many will dig around inside seat pockets for discarded newspapers after a flight. Or they’ll wait around to eat whatever is left after the flight attendants get first dibs on first and business classs passenger leftovers. I can’t figure out why they refuse to purchase food and reading material in the terminal when Dockers and Florsheim shoes are usually on sale somewhere in the US. Some flight attendants will joke that they have to support a girl in every port, while others will just assume they’re paying for alimony, child support and a boat. Then again it does cost a lot to own your own expensive airplane.
One of my flight attendant friends dated a pilot who took her to a McDonalds drive-thru so they could get to an event in time for free parking. Then he threw a fit when they didn’t find it. Another flight attendant dated a pilot for eight years and said he would have rather walked barefoot uphill in a snowstorm before paying for the convenience of valet parking. That same pilot looked for a coupon to take her out to dinner on her birthday. A different pilot wouldn’t buy ice cream for the flight attendant he took out on a date because the store had a minimum amount for credit card purchases. He went to search for an ATM machine but then refused to take any money out because it charged a fee.
Even I have had quite a few experiences with cheap pilots. One guy, I call him Captain CZ, couldn’t understand why a woman would prefer a diamond to cubic zirconia when it was impossible to tell the difference. He even bragged about giving his mother a used CD and a cheap bottle of perfume from the grocery store for Christmas one year. After dating him for three months, we broke up in Deauville, a picturesque seaside resort in the South of France, after he refused to give me a bite of his ham sandwich. I actually took a photograph of that damn ham sandwich. That way I wouldn’t forget and make the same mistake twice. Okay okay so it may have been more than twice, so what! I blame Captain Gary for that. First impressions count and he really was a great guy. The point I’m trying to make here is I learned my lesson and never dated pilot again!
(Guess it might be important to point out I have yet to run into Gary again either.)
Photo courtesy of Ti.Mo