Thursday, March 5, 2009

The shell game

Right now I am the most junior First Officer in my status. Earlier this week a displacement bid closed. During displacement bids lot's of things can change. Pilots who are not displaced, but wish to change bases are allowed to submit a bid. Even with just 20 or so displacements over 60 pilots are getting a new status. This new status might be a new base, a new plane or a new base AND a new plane.

At most airlines the more senior you are the better QOL you have. Bidding is all done by seniority. Each month I bid for a schedule. Each year I bid for vacation. Eventually I will bid for a Captain seat. All based on seniority. Displacements are based on seniority as well.

I was pretty sure I was not going to be affected much and I was wrong...but in a good way. There are two First Officers in my status that are senior to me who are moving out of my base. There are also two First Officers junior to me moving into my base. If everything holds true I will no longer be the most Junior First Officer in my status. Nice.

One of the First Officers coming in below me is a good friend of mine. We went through training together. He is the one currently commuting through my base to go to another base as he can hold a line there. I called him to let him know the news.....he wasn't happy. Instead of being a line holder he will now be 2nd from the bottom and will likely end up on ready reserve. This is his own doing though as he had a standing bid to change bases. The same thing happened to me a few months ago when I was supposed to be displaced. I had a standing bid in and bounced from my current status to a new one (on paper...I never started training) and back to my current status. I was upset for a few days as I too would have been a line holder versus bottom of the list. I quickly learned to only have bids in place for things you actually want at the time. I learned the hard did he.

He can always bid back to a different base, but it may take a while. In the mean time I can look forward to not being the most junior First Officer for a while.

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