There's something irresistible about a man who can make a hundred tons of metal soar through the air, who travels to exotic locations on a daily basis and who knows what every blinking light in the cockpit means. I should know — I've been dating one for the last three years. Besides the pilot mystique, there are plenty of more down-to-earth reasons why pilots make excellent boyfriends (or husbands, if you're so inclined).
If you've been dating long enough, there's a good chance your pilot will put you on his travel benefits. This means you get to jet around the world for prices frequent fliers would kill for. (People in aviation call this non-revving — as in, the airline derives little or no revenue from having you as a passenger.) You know you've hit the boyfriend jackpot when you can fly first class to Paris for $200 round trip!
However, it's not all lifestyles of the rich and famous. You're essentially flying standby — so if the plane is loaded with real, profitable passengers, don't expect to be leaving the airport anytime soon. You also have to observe a dress code because you're somehow representing the company. Still, it's a small sacrifice to make when you're chowing down on herb-crusted salmon while fully reclining in your private pod on the way to Tokyo.
No matter how much you love your significant other, there will come a time when you just want to be alone and when some annoying habit — chewing with his mouth open, leaving the toilet seat up, forcing you to watch The League — really gets under your skin. Well, if your boyfriend is a pilot, this is almost never an issue. Most pilots alternate between a few days at home and a few days in hotels. So by the time his penchant for leaving sock lint on the bed starts driving you insane, he's off on a three-day trip to Vancouver.
Do you hyperventilate during takeoff and landing? Wheedle a Xanax prescription out of your doctor before every flight? Well, traveling with a pilot by your side makes it pretty hard to panic. After all, he's been doing this nearly every day of his adult life, and he's no worse for wear. If your nerves start acting up, just squeeze his hand (or burrow into him, like I do). He may roll his eyes, but his complete and utter nonchalance is bound to reassure you.
His office is THE SKY. The view from the corner office is nothing compared to the view of the Eastern seaboard from 30,000 feet. Your boyfriend is responsible for the lives of hundreds, maybe even thousands of people each day. In other words, your boyfriend is a superhero.
On special occasions, your pilot can rent a two-seater and take you up for a joy ride. What could be more romantic than flying off into the sunset with your man at the helm?
OK, the uniform may make him look a little like a doorman, but still. Epaulets, close-fitting jackets, sunglasses and hats with wings on them can turn even the homeliest boyfriend into a stud. Quick lesson, in case you didn't know: Three stripes on the epaulets mean first officer, four stripes mean captain.
We now come to the inevitable question — how do you meet a pilot? In my case, the answer was online dating, and I didn't even know he was a pilot until our first date. Under job description he had written, "Definitely not 9 to 5." Ah, a man of mystery! Or you could just spend your days in the airport, hitting on every man with epaulets. Just stay away from my guy — those travel benefits are mine!
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