By Paul Plawin
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Extra resources for Careers for Travel Buffs & Other Restless Types, 2nd Edition
Their flying may be on a single short route, such as ferrying supplies and workers to offshore oil platforms or to construction sites. Although flying does not require that much physical effort, the mental stress of being responsible for the safe flight of an airplane full of passengers, in all kinds of weather, can be taxing. The most stressful time for pilots is during takeoffs and landings, when they must be super alert and quick to react if something goes wrong. And, especially on international routes, pilots often suffer jet 3 8 • C A R E E R S F O R T R AV E L B U F F S lag—disorientation and fatigue caused by many hours of flying through different time zones.
Like travel agents, travel writers also go on familiarization trips that are sponsored by these suppliers. S. publications say this arrangement is a conflict of interest and refuse to buy travel stories from writers who accepted free or reduced-rate accommodations. But because few publications pay the travel expenses for freelance writers to get to a faraway destination to collect firsthand impressions and interviews, these discounts are a necessary evil. Those who object usually feel that special treatment and discounts will obligate the travel writer to give favorable reviews to their hosts, but this is not necessarily the case.
Night and international flights sometimes bring a pilot extra pay. Pilots earn more flying jets than prop planes. Pilots who work outside the airline industry don’t make as much. Average salaries for these pilots range from about $24,290 to $92,000. The median is $43,300. The higher salaries usually go to pilots who fly jet aircraft. S. and Canadian airline pilots are members of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (AFL-CIO). A handful of flight engineers are members of the Flight Engineers’ International Association.