Thursday, November 20, 2008

What is a Domicile?

According to Webster's dictionary, a domicile is "a dwelling
place; a place of residence; a home." In the aviation world, the
term domicile refers to your home base station, specifically the
airport from which you will begin and end every trip.

Flight attendants commonly ask one other, "Where are you based?" or "What's your domicile?" Sample domiciles include Boston (BOS), Cleveland (CLE), and Los Angeles (LAX). Each domicile can be described using its 3-letter airport code. For example, a flight attendant based in Washington. D.C. can refer to his or her domicile as DCA (Washington National Airport).

Each airline has its own limited number of domiciles, typically
in the range of 1 to 20. So, if you have ambitions of someday
living in Los Angeles, for example, it will probably make sense
to pick an airline with an LAX domicile.

Unless you plan on commuting, you will need to live in or near
the city of your domicile assignment. This can be a nightmare if
your airline bases you in a less-desirable city. With increased
seniority, however, you will eventually be able to choose your
own domicile.

At some point during new-hire training, you will be given the
opportunity to complete a domicile "dream sheet," specifying, in
order of preference, where you would like to begin your career
as a flight attendant. Domicile assignments are almost always
awarded based on seniority. During new-hire training, initial
seniority is usually determined by age, meaning the oldest
members of the class will often get the best domicile
assignments. However, airlines usually award domiciles based on
the needs of the company. So, even if you are the most senior
person in the class, you may not get your first choice. After
all, there may not be any openings at your preferred base(s),
and the airline may have more serious staffing needs at other,
possibly less desirable ones.

Initial domicile assignment is very important to some people.
Although one of the minimum hiring requirements at just about
every airline is a willingness to relocate, many people are not
willing to do so. It is common for a limited number of flight
attendants to drop out of new-hire training simply because they
do not receive their preferred domicile assignment. If initial
domicile assignment is of critical importance to you, you may
want to consider another profession.

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