For the previous bid period I was assigned morning airport standby. I developed a routine of signing in to work at 6AM then sleeping till 10AM. I was only called for a flight between 6AM and 10AM once during the month. Whenever I woke up...or 10AM...whichever came first, I would wander up to the terminal for coffee and breakfast.
Since I spend so much time in the airport I know everywhere there is to eat. Coffee is a great friend of mine. I love coffee. Plain old black coffee. Once a quarter or so I get a froo froo coffee drink.
If I am in a hurry I get Starbucks. Not my favorite...but it does the job. When I am lazy I get Dunkin Donuts. The coffee there is much better than Starbucks....full of flavor. Most mornings I would grab Einstein Brothers coffee. The coffee at Einstein's is better than Starbucks...on par with Dunkin Donuts...with one extra point in it's favor. Refills!
I would make my way to Einstein brothers and buy a large coffee. If I forgot to bring my own breakfast I would snag two bagels as well. From there I would sit down at a table, fire up my laptop and enjoy a rich cup of perfectly brewed coffee. After my first cup I would get one refill and then head over to an under used part of the Terminal and waste the remaining portion of my shift on the Internet. Most of the time I watch movies via Netflix streaming service and play ATC at www.atc-sim.com. Sounds glamorous eh?
This month I have the 2PM-10PM shift. After signing in I spent a few minutes chatting it up with two friends of mine. They went and were CFI's at the same ATP location I was at. They were hired one month after me and are on a different airplane. I am at the bottom of the list in my status and they are near the bottom of the list in their status. Tomorrow another displacement bid is coming out. I am pretty sure I am safe as those getting displaced are at at different domicile and are all junior to me. After a few minutes I headed up stairs to the Terminal.
I made my way to Einstein Brothers. Closed! Apparently they close at 2PM. Hmmm...yeah. Looks like I will be sucking down Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts this month.
Displacements are used to move around pilots when a particular status is over-staffed. For example the airline might have 200 Captains in Denver flying the 737. Due to a reduction of flying out of Denver the flying schedules have been reduced. The airline forecast needing only 150 Captains in Denver. The most junior 50 Captains now have to find a new status.
Displacements are all seniority based. Pilots set up a list of statuses they would like to hold if they can no longer hold their current status. For the most part Captains are more senior than First Officers. If the airline only flies 737's out of Denver the bottom 50 Captains could choose to displace to First Officer on the 737 in Denver. For each Captain that chooses to do so a First Officer on the 737 in Denver is displaced. That First Officer's displacement list is used to see what his seniority can hold. If the First Officer can hold Airbus 320 First Officer in St. Louis he will get awarded that status. There might even be First Officers in Denver who can hold Airbus 320 Captain in St. Louis! If there are no available slots for Airbus 320 First Officer in St. Louis then the most junior Airbus 320 First Officer is displaced. Their displacement list is used to see where he goes next and so on. Hopefully when the dust settles everyone still has a job. They might not have a job where they would like to be based...but they still have a job. Sometimes there are more displacements than statuses available. In that case the most junior pilots are furloughed. I have more friends than I would like to say that have been furloughed.
I was supposed to be displaced once so far in my career. Thankfully it was going to be on a different aircraft in my current domicile. At the last minute a bid came out and I was able to hold on to my seat.
When the displacement bid comes out tomorrow the process described above will happen. Displacing as few as 50 pilots at a large airline could end up displacing as many as 350 pilots depending on how senior the original 50 were. Displacements are very costly to airlines and are only done when absolutely required. Training pilots to fly new airplanes, paying for moving expenses (some airplanes will pay to move a pilots furniture and things from the current domicile to the new one), and the loss of the use of the pilots cost money. I am pretty sure I am not going to be displaced tomorrow, but just in case I reviewed my displacement list. I used the seniority list and my basic math puts my worst case scenario on a different airplane in my current domicile. The good thing is I will be senior than the majority of First Officers currently in that status. Of course if I am displaced I will displace someone else.
For now...enjoying my Starbucks coffee while watching a movie.