The photo you see above, is not of the latest rest stop for tired travelers, nor is it the best Los Angeles pick for folks pulling their RV cross country. It is the actual home of countless airline workers, right at the end of runway 25L.
That’s right – pilots, maintenance workers and other airline employees are paid so poorly, that they spend half their month sleeping in a mobile home or camper van at parking lot B of the airport. And it isn’t just the junior staff members either – even first officers and captains save money by sleeping here.
The combination of reduced earnings and horrible commutes forced many of these people to take this route, and some of them are away from their families for weeks at a time.
One of the residents prefers his $60/month mobile home over renting an apartment or making a 12 hour commute each day. Who said being a pilot was a glorious job?
Of course, living at the end of a runway has its discomforts – every couple of minutes, jets pass above them, spewing out the stench of jet fuel.
I’m really not sure what to make of this – on the one hand it seems like a really smart way to save money, on the other – these are the people we trust to fly us, if they are not being paid enough to afford a hotel or apartment, maybe all our cheap tickets come with a horrible hidden cost we were not aware of.