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Bicoastal biweekly/weekly commutes?

Bicoastal biweekly/weekly commutes?

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Old Feb 3, 14, 5:34 pm
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Bicoastal biweekly/weekly commutes?

Hi wondering thoughts

Last edited by ricvaflyer; Feb 13, 14 at 8:58 pm Reason: long
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Old Feb 3, 14, 5:56 pm
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I did SEA-WDC about every ten days for 14 months. I don't recommend it, especially if you have a family. You'll be totally out of sync with your winf and kids, you'll miss innummerable kid events even when you plan to be there because of flight delays, and every time you want a shirt, it's in a closet on the other coast. I wouldn't do it again. No airline status tier is worth the permanent state of discombobulation that comes with this work model.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 6:09 pm
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I did on again off again NYC-SJC and NYC-MAN commutes, albeit every other week, for a few years. If you don't have kids and have an understanding spouse, it's not particularly difficult. It was great for accruing miles.

Honestly, I miss it, as I was easily guaranteed top level status every year.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 8:18 pm
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Bicoastal biweekly/weekly commutes?

Would your family consider moving to SFO for a couple of years? I'm sure you've considered this but seems like this might work better... Probably the expensive rent would be cheaper than the flights!
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Old Feb 3, 14, 8:21 pm
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Originally Posted by gonzalesflyer View Post
Would your family consider moving to SFO for a couple of years? I'm sure you've considered this but seems like this might work better... Probably the expensive rent would be cheaper than the flights!
Have discussed but my wife doesnt want to pull my daughter out of school for two years and then have to move cross country again...would almost be easier if it was permanent rather than doing two cross country moves in two years.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 9:39 pm
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I did PIT-SFO for 27 months, and did SEA, LAX for 6-9 months at a time each. I would leave Monday morning and was back by dinner on Friday, so to my family, it didn't really matter where I went.

I'd block out 5:30p every afternoon for a call/video conference home, and as long as the kids were OK with me sleeping in on Saturday, it wasn't too much different than the other 15 years of travel.

I had the advantage of CP status on US, so I was in F, or at least an exit row just about every time.

4-5 hours on a plane isn't really too bad, as long as you have a non-stop and a good seat. If I needed to connect, I think it would have been a very different story.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 12:19 am
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Originally Posted by ricvaflyer:22280403

I'm used to being away from home during week and working a lot but two weeks seems to take it a lot further (I have two small kids, my wife stays with them). Only considering given how great of an opportunity it is and the ability to be home permanently after finishing the stint.
I think the answer (for me) is easy: unless you are getting compensated to such a degree that missing seemingly unimportant but truly important events / milestones of your children gets outweighed, it's not worth it. Just tonight our young son did something patently special that I would have missed otherwise. This is why I now take redeyes (that force me to connect) - - so I can put my children to sleep. I would suggest thinking long & hard about what is important to you & then the answer will become clear. Perhaps the permancy of not traveling in the future could be important enough in the calculus. However no one promises tomorrow & this age goes oh so fast ...
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Old Feb 4, 14, 12:12 pm
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I have commuted for seven plus years LAS-ORD, with occasional other destinations. I leave Monday mornings and am home every weekend, or my spouse comes to chicago or we go elsewhere. I do think being together on the weekends is very key. We don't have kids, but just from the spouse perspective, I think that if you are in SF two weekends a month, and your spouse is home with the kids, it will be tough to maintain a connection (not impossible, but tough). I also think that it can be very isolating for both spouses and breed some resentment in the stay at home spouse (no matter the best intentions).

It's true that people routinely do much longer stretches of separation: think the military, the north slope, oil rigs, and some expat assignments. I think in many of those cases, however, people 'knew the deal' going in; and also, in many of those cases, there is a culture of support from people similarly situated, which may not be available to you or your spouse.

So although I agree it is much more taxing to go home every week, I would still make it the default if you do go ahead, just based on my own experience. Best of luck; these are never easy situations or decisions, and I think the best policy is to try to be very honest about the costs, the benefits, and the emotional impacts.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 12:27 pm
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Another thought, if it were viable for you, would be to have your wife and kid fly out once a month or so - interesting for them to see the new city, and you could work it around long weekends / school vacation time, that way all the travel isn't on you.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 1:33 pm
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Originally Posted by emma69 View Post
Another thought, if it were viable for you, would be to have your wife and kid fly out once a month or so - interesting for them to see the new city, and you could work it around long weekends / school vacation time, that way all the travel isn't on you.
+1 to this

about three months after my son turned 8, I began what turned out to be about two years of active Reserve duty ... after a 5-month stint at Travis AFB CA, I spent most of the rest of my time in Dayton OH and Washington DC ... the longest we went without them traveling to wherever I was, or me returning to Seattle for a long weekend, was maybe 5-6 weeks ... it wasn't fun, but we survived as a family (and built up our mileage balances as well)
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Old Feb 4, 14, 2:41 pm
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Some years ago, I did BUF-JFK-DEN-LAX and back on a weekly basis for over eight months. I was working for the airline, so it was almost always in F, and in those days domestic F was much more comparable to intl F.

Since then, I've been pretty much home->somewhere Monday AM and back on Friday night. That all pretty much ended with the Great Recession, and I've gotten to the point where I'm not looking to work anyplace where I'd have to get on the airline merry-go-round anymore.

The above posters are correct: unless you're a pretty special type of person, or have no particular ties to where you're coming from, the constant commute can get to be a personal drag after a while. Divorce, strained relationships, problems with the kids, etc. are not that uncommon.

I know there are those couples where both spouses have burgeoning careers and it's not a big deal, but someone somewhat old-fashioned (as I am) wonders whether it's a marriage or more of a business relationship.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 4:41 pm
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Honestly, that connection to RIC could turn out to be a big time killer. I did PDX-NYC weekly or biweekly for a long time. Still do it at least monthly. That's a route with plenty of nonstops and easy (MSP, DTW, DEN) connections. If I had to add on another hop at the end of the day, I might not think it worth it .
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Old Feb 5, 14, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by ricvaflyer View Post
Have discussed but my wife doesnt want to pull my daughter out of school for two years and then have to move cross country again...would almost be easier if it was permanent rather than doing two cross country moves in two years.
How old is your daughter? If she is middle school or younger, I think that living somewhere else for a couple years might be a great experience for her, and at that age they adjust and make new friends fast. You don't have to fully "move" to San Francisco, you can just take some of your things there and come back home for a month or so whenever you want.

If that is not possible, then I would not recommend this at all. It's going to be hard on you, and in my eyes there are some things more important than money. Your sanity, your stress level, and your family are some of these things.
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Old Feb 5, 14, 2:37 am
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I had a junior colleague when I was working in London who had a serious gf in NYC. He'd fly out every Friday on the 8pm and arrive back Monday on the redeye. This went on for about 18 months until he was fired. Not sire if there was any connection between grumpy Mondays and his performance...

The problem for the OP is that his commute is the wrong way round to take advantage of the time change.
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Old Feb 5, 14, 4:03 am
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I did MAN-ORD for two weeks a month and MAN-HKG for a week every month simultaneously for just over two and a half years. Not married and no kids and I still found it a pain. I also felt that it must have been a coincidence that my two colleagues who had a similar lifestyle were both divorced.

If you're going to do the 'staying over' piece I seriously suggest that you get an agreement that you can stay in a nice hotel in a convenient location for both business and leisure. 150+ days in a HIE will wear thin very quickly.

Also take up something to occupy your time. I've done both a MBA and Masters by distance learning with the vast majority of the work done on flights and in hotels. Now in year one of a PhD!
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