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Crash (Pad) Landing

By Amanda Dickman in Miscellaneous on Apr 6, 2007 8:00PM

Many a pilot and flight attendant will be looking for somewhere else to sleep on their layovers at Midway; an anonymous tip led to an investigation into forty "crash pads" located within a mile of the airport.

The airline employees use these crash pads to do just that, crash overnight on layovers. They are "two- and three-flats that rent furnished rooms to pilots and flight attendants who live in other cities but fly in and out of Midway."

2007_4_plane.jpgThe apartments are converted to, essentially, dormitories, with some housing twenty people per floor. The employees pay a monthly fee (around $150) to have a bed available for them instead of paying for a hotel.

The stink is over how many people are staying at these apartments at any one time (fire hazard) and how the landlords are structuring the sleeping areas. Over thirty crash pads have been slapped with violations for functioning as illegal "transitional shelters."

Chicagoist has some pilot friends so we've heard plenty about these crash pads. According to said pilots, the crash pads are an absolute necessity in the aviation world. Pilots, especially in their first few years, aren't rolling in exorbitant amounts of dough (starting out, they make anywhere from $20-50,000/year, depending on the airline). While one can certainly live comfortably on that salary, that doesn't mean that they have fistfuls of cash to throw around. If they have (on average) four layovers each month and pay for a hotel each time, that adds up to a few hundred bucks. And, no, airline carriers do not cover layover costs like hotels; that comes out of the employee's pocket.

While we appreciate the necessity of following the rules as a property owner, we can't help but ask, really? The neighborhood resident who provided the tip, complete with names and addresses? Someone actually had their panties in a wad because too many people were sleeping in a house on their block? We're talking about professional, grown people holding down good jobs and needing somewhere to sleep. No word (yet) of them bringing down the neighborhood with their crack houses and prostitution rings. Aren't there more important issues to tattle on than lots of pilots sleeping in the same house? Sounds like a party to us.

(Thanks for the info, D!)

Image via Chicago Outfit.