Scheduling has been interesting this week.
Monday - 4 legs with a 3 hour sit in between
Tuesday - off
Wednesday - Morning airport reserve
Thursday- Late morning reserve at home. They didn't realize they had no one to cover afternoon airport reserve until it was 2PM...the time the shift starts. They called me at 2PM to sign in at 4PM. Released at 10PM
Friday - Once again no one assigned afternoon airport reserve. They didn't realize it until 3:30PM when they needed a reserve quick. They scrambled and called me at 3:50PM to come sit ready at 5:50PM.
That's where this blog starts....5:50PM. I arrived and attempted to sign in for airport reserve. The computer rejected my sign in stating I wasn't assigned airport reserve. Whatever. I was there. I went and sat down with a buddy of mine in the crew room. I did notice a 6:30PM overnight that was open (due to the First Officer who is based elsewhere, being reassigned during the 3:30PM scramble!) I know the Captain...didn't feel like screwing him over so I stepped up to the plate. I called scheduling and advised that I wasn't able to sign in and that I saw a 6:30PM flight open. "Oh yeah, First Officer Smith, yeah okay I'm going to assign that too you then you have one leg out in the morning and a deadhead back."
I was okay with it, except they had a 20 minute connect time scheduled for the deadhead. Impossible as my flight arrived at 7:50 AM. The deadhead left at 8:10AM. There is 15 minutes of duty scheduled at the termination of each flight for debrief leaving 5 minutes for the flight. She fixed it. I did state, "Good thing I called or the flight would have likely left late." No response. Whatever.
The Captain and I flew together about two years ago. I didn't remember it till I brought up my previous profession in the IT field. A light bulb went off in his head and he recalled how I helped him with his computer problem. Oh yeah.
Flight was fine. My leg. I was being super lazy and didn't feel like putting in a fix 30 miles out at 10,000 feet (to help with Vertical Nav/fuel savings). I just winged it from FL 360 down to the 2500 altitude at the FAF. Same with the approach. Clear night. All worked out. Even landed on the 1000 footers for the first time in a while. Overnight short. Just 9 hours.
Many hotels have these waffle makers. I am a pro at them. If I get furloughed I am going straight to Waffle House!
The other base gives me Tourette's syndrome. I don't like it. The ground controller asked where we were parking. He gave simple instructions, "Ok taxi Hotel to Mike 2 then Lima to the gate." But then he continued, "If the gate is occupied, Hotel to India, India to Foxtrot 2, Bravo, Charlie then Double back on Lima and hold short of Mike 9". I think. Honestly I have no clue what he said....he spoke way too fast. The Captain got it all. Thankfully the gate was open.
The Captain had a 2 hour sit and offered to do my post flight. Nice. Off I went to my deadhead.
I was assigned a middle seat in the back...better than the jump seat. Prior to leaving my schedule had me terminating in base after the deadhad. I texted my wife my flight number and my ETA as she dropped me off yesterday, I would need a ride home.
Yadda, yadda, yadda I land in base. I called scheduling to get released. Nope. Assigned another overnight leaving in 45 minutes....from the other side of the airport. As the scheduler rattled off my assignment all I could hear was, "No you can't go home, now back to your hole flyboy!" Over dramatic yes. But it's the weekend and it would be nice too see my wife.
My wife was already on the way to pick me up....had to tell her to turn around.
Being in the back of the plane, it took a while to get off. I made it to my gate with 25 minutes to spare. Flight attendants on board, no Captain.
After greeting the flight attendants I fired up the APU. For whatever reason the ground crew didn't hook up power. Not my gas. Not my problem.
The Captain arrived with 10 minutes to spare. He was called from home and was actually early as they called him late. We blocked out 1 minute late. I was hungry.
The winds were gusting from between 100-120 degrees to the left of the centerline. Captain managed a nice gusty, slight tailwind, light weight landing.
Once at the gate, he was deadheading back. I was staying the night along with the Flight Attendants.
The airline is short on Captains. He is heading back for a 4 hour sit for an overnight. Another Captain would be deadheading up to fly out with me in the morning. What a mess.
I did go to lunch with the Flight Attendants to an awesome seafood cafe for awesome fried catfish. Almost made this craziness worth it.
Leaving tomorrow morning on a 4:45AM van for a 5:40AM departure.