Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Rules of Engagement

Today is my last day of reserve for the week. Tomorrow evening my wife and I plan to be on a cruise ship headed to the Bahamas. I just have to get through today.

I am assigned a reserve call out period from 10 AM until 11:59PM. There are several rules that come into play when given this assignment. Crew scheduling can't call me before 10AM. Once they do call me I have 2 hours to get to the airport. Once I get to the airport I have 45 minutes to prepare for my flight. Realistically this means the first flight that can reasonably be assigned to me would depart at 12:45PM. Since I have tomorrow off they can't schedule me for an overnight unless every other reserve who works tomorrow is unavailable. Right now there are 6 other pilots in my status that are available today and to work tomorrow. Of those 3 of them have a RAP starting at 10AM as well, but they go until 2AM (max 14 hour duty day).

So I will feel safe assuming any overnight flights will be given to another pilot. The last flight that is a turn (meaning goes to an outstation and comes back to base) leaves at 5:10PM. Using my rules above the latest they can reasonably call me is 2:25PM (2 hour callout + 45 min preflight). After 2:25PM I can feel safe that I won't be called out today. I will give a call to crew scheduling around 4:30-5PM to ask if I can be released for the day.

My wife and I need to be in Florida by 3PM tomorrow. Seems easy enough. Problem is flights to the city we need to get to are very full today and tomorrow. We needed to get creative. We are going to attempt to get on the last flight out at 8PM tonight. If that doesn't work we are going to spend the night in Tennessee and then fly to Florida in the morning. We will have to pay for a hotel in Tennessee, which is fine as we would pay for a hotel in Florida anyway. I'm glad my wife is very laid back and flexible. Non-rev travel can be rough. We get on after all paying passengers get on. As airlines cut back schedules, flying non-rev get's a little more difficult. At one point I had us staying the night in one of two airports. The reason being we would fly in at 1AM and depart at 6AM. Looks like that won't be necessary.

But first I have to get through today.


  1. Hang in there man! I hope everything goes smoothly for you and your wife tomorrow... Enjoy the mini vacation...

  2. hey that's cool your going to the bahamas.....I actually live their....are u going to Nassau
    I hope have fun, be sure to check paradise island out

  3. We are cruising the Nassau. We barely made it on a direct flight. Thanks to weather a lot of passengers missed the direct flight leaving 2 open seat in First Class for my wife and I. Too bad I was in uniform....could have had free cocktails!


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