Author Topic: Have you “commuted” by plane?  (Read 3575 times)

ETBen

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Have you “commuted” by plane?
« on: September 23, 2018, 08:51:33 PM »
My dream job is going through a merger. There is a 90% chance I will keep my job, with a promotion. HOWEVER it will require me to travel to the new location 2-3 weeks per month (go Monday, come back midday Wednesday). At my cost. It’s cheap flight and 1 hr away.

If you’ve done this kind of “commute” any thoughts?

- It’s not expensed but the increased salary will cover it. Plus mad travel points lol
- work from home all other days. I’ve worked from home for the past 8 years, except for meetings and clients. So this isn’t a change.
- I’m a high earner. To make this locally would likely require giving up some flexibility.  Going to an office 8 hours a day, etc. And I probably still would take a pay cut from what I make now, pre-raise.
- I currently save 50% of my take home income.
- The culture of the combined new company is still unknown
- Was my dream job, would still be that but higher. Except I honestly wouldn’t be trying to climb any higher if the situation had not arose.
- I could get a local position with the company  but not guaranteed. And would still require a 2 hr drive once a week. The flight is only 1 hour.
- Time and fatigue. How exhausting is this really going to be?  My kids are with their father the days I would be gone. But every time I step off that plane I’ll be right back in the middle of soccer scouts baseball homework etc.

Altons Bobs

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2018, 10:00:37 PM »
I did that once for 3 months only and I couldn't handle it anymore. I didn't have to pay for the travel, it was paid by the company I worked for. I'd fly every Monday, and then come back on Friday. We didn't have any kids then, but it was very tiring. I was in my 20s. I just couldn't do it anymore. Good luck to you on your decision!

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2018, 10:57:53 PM »
I did this for a few months earlier this year and might do up to another couple of months, having started back up 2 weeks ago. Flight is 1 to 1.5 hours each way and trips range from 1-4 days in duration. It gets old kind of fast (was fine for the first month, felt more tedious after that). How much driving/commuting is at either end of your trip? I've been able to finagle my way onto the company jet each time which is good since flying commercial from here would add over 2-3 hours of driving plus time at the airport and having to be occasionally groped by TSA.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 07:38:51 AM »
I did this for a few while & it was no sweat. Direct 2hr flight, small airports w/ minimal transportation time on both ends. I would have happily kept doing it indefinitely. Used travel time to get some distraction-free work done usually. My case might have been easier because I had a home in both places so I was in familiar spaces and not hotels.

ETBen

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 07:41:48 AM »
I think the other thing is I really don’t want to change jobs again. I’ve been here just over a year. Also, I’m saving a ton every month.

Uber once I get there and it’s minimal. And yeah, I’m over 40 so the travel might get really tiring.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2018, 07:44:44 AM »
The days that the plan doesn't go on schedule become very long. I have colleagues in another part of the country who visit here very often for several days at the time. Some days they have 5 hour delays. I get the impression they don't enjoy the travel much. They also feel that their evenings are wasted and therefore they often work in the evenings.

Your last point about fatigue sounds timesome. When are you supposed to have some time for yourself at home? Or do you feel like you will have this time when you stay abroad?
Do you need to pay for your stay there or can you sleep somewhere for free?
Is there a chance that airline fares will go up in the future? Climate tax?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 04:02:25 AM by Linda_Norway »

mm1970

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 11:21:55 AM »
One of my coworkers flies into work almost daily, from Bay Area to So Cal.  He joined a new private airline group several years ago, and pays $1400/month.  He flies in every morning and home every night, and bikes to work from the airport (3 miles).

If there is weather, or cancellations, he sometimes has to take a different flight (later in the day or earlier in the afternoon to go home).  And sometimes he doesn't get a seat if there are too many people, so he works from home those days.  All in all, it's cheaper than renting a place here when he's already paying rent in the Bay Area (he's married).

Gremlin

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2018, 05:39:01 PM »
I did it for a couple of years.  Not exactly as you've described but similar enough. 

Be aware that the costs are often more than just the cost of the flight.  Commuter travel at both ends, accommodation, living expenses, food (I'd find it'd be hard to maintain my food budget at the pre-travel level when I was effectively "living" in two locations).  I also found there was a personal cost - my routines became disrupted.  It was harder to find the right time for exercise and personal down time and easier to have another couple of beers with colleagues after work.

Also be aware that a 1 hour flight is not the same as a 1 hour commute.  I had a 1.5 hr flight but it was much closer to 3 hours door to door.  And depending on your airports and security requirements, that could be much more.  And that was on days where it all went smoothly.

In itself, the travel does become part of a routine of sorts after a while and you do get used to it.  But it's not glamorous.

pk_aeryn

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 11:21:31 PM »
Why aren't they paying for it?!

historienne

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 08:33:38 AM »
I'm doing a version of this right now, except that it's a 3 hr train ride each way.  Probably a reasonably similar total travel time, since I work walking distance from one train station and live a 10 minute bike ride from the other. 

It's working ok, but a few caveats.  First, I am taking the train during the workday.  This is key, because it means that I don't have to get up at 5 am or get home at 9 pm.  I work on the train.  Second, I find that I have pretty much no appetite for big trips on the weekends.  We were going to go camping last weekend, and canceled because it just felt like too much.  My kids are 2 and 5, and they are plenty happy just playing in the park across the street, so it's fine.  But I'm only doing this for a year, and I think it might get old in the long term.

ETBen

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 10:45:01 AM »
I did it for a couple of years.  Not exactly as you've described but similar enough. 

Be aware that the costs are often more than just the cost of the flight.  Commuter travel at both ends, accommodation, living expenses, food (I'd find it'd be hard to maintain my food budget at the pre-travel level when I was effectively "living" in two locations).  I also found there was a personal cost - my routines became disrupted.  It was harder to find the right time for exercise and personal down time and easier to have another couple of beers with colleagues after work.

Also be aware that a 1 hour flight is not the same as a 1 hour commute.  I had a 1.5 hr flight but it was much closer to 3 hours door to door.  And depending on your airports and security requirements, that could be much more.  And that was on days where it all went smoothly.

In itself, the travel does become part of a routine of sorts after a while and you do get used to it.  But it's not glamorous.

Yes I did the math calculating out Uber, food etc. Travel delays are also a concern. I have hit every weather delay possible this year lol. 

ETBen

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 10:45:42 AM »
Why aren't they paying for it?!

Because they expect you to relocate. So if you don’t, you can negotiate into your comp.

Goldielocks

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2018, 07:24:16 PM »
This is not that uncommon.  Some points:  (I did not have a regular location that I travelled to, but lots of away from home work travel with kids).

1)  Kids under 6 years don't really understand it.  My 3 y.o. slapped my face and told me not to do it again after my second 2-wk trip away (gone 4 our of 5 weeks).  I then chose to cut drastically back on overnight trips and ended up with a lot of 20hour work / travel days.  Kid was happy knowing that mommy was coming home after he went to sleep.

2) After they got older, you do lose touch with homework, interests, etc.  It is a bit hard to fully turn off and turn on for the family in the week you are home because you are used to relaxing in a different way than around people.

3)  The thing that drained me, however was two-fold -- working from home / local weeks -- my team was distant, and eventually I reduced the travel to about 1 week a month, and having a distant team makes you feel a bit distant, too.  AND...

4) i really hated never being able to sign up for an exercise class, PTA, weekly meetup hobbies, volunteer commitments.  I rarely entertained when we were home because I was trying to fit in so much family time or my schedule was erratic.   Because I had differing destinations, I could only make dr  / dentist and hair appt at my home location, so pretty much stopped doing that because my time at home was too short to take off from family to spend the saturday going to the medical clinic or dentist  (ok, I did start to randomly go to different hair places, but the other appointments stopped, I have almost never taken work off to go to a "routine" medical appointment)

I did make a lot of money by being able to focus on the career, though.  I could have gone to bigger and better promotions because of it.  Instead I FIRED last year.  Now I have TONS of time with my teenagers.

My two cents -- try it out for 8 months.   A lot of companies change what they want from you about 6 months after a merger, and you may be able to negotiate a new "close to you" office, or even that 2 hr commute one at high pay (and you rent a room close to work that you stay at 2 nights a week and live / work from home the other 4 days).

BussoV6

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2018, 04:53:02 AM »
Did it for a while. Overnight flight (11 hours) Johannesburg to London or Frankfurt on a Sunday evening and back on a Friday evening. I didn't mind it as I sleep like a baby on a plane.

Mind you I was a few years younger. Not sure I'd want to do it now.

Unique User

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2018, 06:00:48 AM »
I work for a consulting company and travel is M-Th every week for consultants, usually by plane but not on their dime.  Some people get used to it, but eventually everyone burns out.  DH used to travel Mon-Th or Mon-Fri and even though it was also not on his dime, it was really hard those years.  I had our routines and even with just one child in middle/high school school, I felt like a single parent a LOT.  After five years he was completely burned out on the weekly travel.  Took a toll on his health also which we didn't expect.  If you are the type of person that gets freaked out about weather delays or cancelled flights it might not be the thing for you.  But if the increased salary works out to cover it, I'd probably go for it. 

I don't travel that much, but once after a two week trip I walked into the airport to find a TSA line of probably 100 people.  Lots of grumbling around me, but I was just so happy to be going home I didn't care how long it took. 

ETBen

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 07:40:49 PM »
I’m going to try and negotiate the travel to only be on the days of the week that my kids are already with their father. I do it now but not weekly. And it is tiring sometimes for sure. I did discover grocery delivery so I don’t have to come home and then go stock up. I definitely think I’ll burn out if I do it for too long.

cchrissyy

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2018, 08:28:50 PM »
I would do it because it's only 2-3 nights at a time and 2-3 weeks out of the month, and working from home the rest of the time is a big deal IMO.  also I think goldilocks has a good point, just give it a try and see how it goes and besides after maybe 6 months the new/merged company may let you return to your old routine.

You don't mention hotel costs. Since they're making you pay the flights and uber I've got to imagine that you'd be paying a hotel or airbnb and restaurant meals on those days, so don't forget to account for that.

ETBen

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 08:33:30 PM »
Yes the accommodations have the potential to cost more than airfare!  I priced out AirBNBs and luckily there a lot of good (and cheap!) options. Even if I factor in all my Marriott points. I’m thinking after a few time I might be able to set up something with the Airbnb owner for regular stays. The other option is that I’ve been perched to venture into rental properties. Condos are also quite affordable there. Depending how it goes, there could be an option there.

pbkmaine

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2018, 08:56:14 PM »
I lived in NJ and worked in Minneapolis for several years. The company paid for everything. DH would fly out or I would fly home weekends. It was fun at first but got to be exhausting.

eliza

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Re: Have you “commuted” by plane?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2018, 09:13:35 PM »
I did consultant level travel for a few years on there dime.

I just recently moved to something like what you are talking about.  I have been living and working full time in DC.   I want to be living and working full time in a mid-sized Mid-Western city (MWC) where my family is.   I ended up buying a home in MWC and negotiated my schedule to be able to be in MWC for ~10 days a month.  For now, the math works out in my favor by keeping the DC salary even with the costs of maintaining a second home in DC (cheap house-share), flying back and forth twice a month, and the expected increase in food/entertainment/misc costs associated with this level of travel.  I love to travel, so I hope to be able to do this for a year + without burning out enough that the extra salary doesn't seem worth it any more.  Ideally, I'd stick it out for the fourish years to FIRE, but I think there is a good chance that I'll burn out before then and decide to take a lower salary job in MWC even though it will push FIRE date out a bit.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 09:22:42 PM by eliza »