Thursday, July 29, 2010

August is going to be rough

My daughter should arrive August 11th. Due to complications during the first two attempts at being parents my wife is high risk. She's had a rough 9 months and is ready to be done. Her Doctor is going to induce her two weeks early. Since I know the date, I attempted to get the day off by moving my reserve days around. Crew scheduling used their rubber stamp, "Denied Due to Staffing Levels." Nice.

I stopped by the Chief Pilot's office today. After explaining I tried to swap days around to get the days off but was denied, he assured me I would have the days off I need. Paid or unpaid. I can either borrow from my two weeks vacation for next year OR get the day off unpaid. I think I'm going to go for the latter. Got vacation plans next year.

Beyond that I am going on vacation next month. My wife and I are joining her family at a resort in the northwest. My vacation starts August 21st. I only get 7 days off. I need more. Thus I had to swap my reserve days around. So instead of a slightly hectic August...I have a REALLY hectic August.

Starting August 1st I work 6 on, 1 off, 5 on, 3 off, 4 on, then vacation. The first 12 days are going to be rough. Especially with the baby on the way.

Traveling with a newborn will be interesting as well. No longer do I have to make sure my wife and I can get I have to worry about the baby. Thus we bought a real ticket for our first trip. Just for her of course. For the first time in years we will be...checking bags. Since she is on a "real" ticket she will have to pay to check bags. Since I'm jump seating I can check two bags free.

Beyond that...flew 58 hours this month. Crazy. Felt like a real pilot...almost. That is the most number of hours I have flown in the last 12 months.

I worked the last 6 days. Off the next two. Going to enjoy them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Small Victory

Been an interesting month. I am set to fly more in July 2010 than in any of the past 11 months. Right now I am projected to fly 50 hours this month. Of that 50, 9 or so are overtime. Still more than my average for the year which stands at 29 hours a month.

Monday I had afternoon airport standby. Due to lack of staffing lately a lot of flights that were originally on smaller regional jets were being flown by larger regional jets. At my airline pilots are assigned to a specific plane.  I fly a 70 seat plane which other's fly a 50 seat while others still fly other planes. The 50 seat jet is the most common and has the largest number of crews. Lately the number of 50 seats crews available each day has been at 0....or even negative. To remedy this my airline has been using 70 seat crews and airplanes. Both reserves and line holders being reassigned.

Sunday I was assigned a turn normally done by a 50 seater. The flight was booked to 45 out and 50 back. The Captain was a junior Captain I've flown with several times. He's a down to earth guy who takes everything one thing at a time and makes the entire crew feel at ease. One unique thing about him...he used to (and still does to a point) carry SEVERAL books in his overnight bag making it deceptively heavy. I've slowly turned him on to e-readers. He is about ready to pull the trigger on a Kindle or Nook.

I finished up at 7PM and sat out the rest of my standby shift until 10PM.

Tuesday I was given reserve at home starting at 10AM with a 2 hour call out. I was called at 10AM on the dot to sit airport standby starting at noon. Four and a half hours in to my shift I was assigned another turn that was normally done by a 50 seater. Why? They were out of crews again. They were down to the LAST 70 seat Captain. Same Captain as the day prior. Great for me.

The flight was a little unusual due to weather. Thunderstorms at both ends and in the middle. We sat on a taxiway for 30 minutes with the engines shut down (APU running of course) before finally being released. It was a nice change of pace to fly through and around weather again. A few jolts here, a few turns there and I landed just fine at the out station. It could have been a little hairy as the right half of the airport was covered by a huge thundercloud and rain. The left side was clear. I was landing to the south. All along the southern edge of the airport....a thick and tall wall of dark clouds. I briefed that if I went around it would be a left climbing 180 degree turn. Wasn't needed.

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One of my flight attendants needed food. She had been going all day long without a break. She was going to run in and grab a bagel. I did my post flight and decided to do the same. Problem. Bagel placed closed. Only a handful of places were open. I saw her in line for a Quiznos. She was number 5 in line. I approached and saw the look of doubt in her eyes. The line wasn't moving and we were supposed to be out in 20 minutes. I offered to take her money and get her food for her.

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This was the slowest Quiznos I have ever seen. The employees (to be fair not Quiznos employees but some random company that operated a Quiznos, Pizza Hut, Ice Cream place and Burger King all from the same counter) just didn't care. Fifteen minutes later (I was number 5 in line!) I had her salad.

By the time I reached the plane all the passengers were boarded up and the bags were loaded. Glad they can't leave without me. I gave her the salad and she tossed up a snack bag from the galley for me.

The weather was closing in. We could see a gap to the north east....and that was it. If we took off to the north we would have a 7 knot quartering tailwind. The true tailwind component was 3 knots. When we ran the performance numbers we took the full 7 knot decrement. Our takeoff weight was 68,000 pounds. With the 7 knot tailwind on that runway we could safely takeoff weighing as much as 79,000 pounds. Good to go.

Tower granted our request and we taxied out. During the taxi out the tower came back letting us know if we took off to the south we would go through less weather even though with our eyes the north looked better. We discussed it and decided to line up on the south runway and "take a look" using the RADAR. It looked doable.

Non-eventful. Just turbulence and icing up high.

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Arrived at the gate at 8:54PM. I called scheduling to be released. They TRIED to assign me 6 AM airport standby. No thanks. I wanted 10 hours before my next assignment. They asked if I would take a 6AM reserve at home assignment. I stuck to 10 hours. Finally came back with a 7AM reserve at home assignment. Fine.

Tuesday morning at 7:30AM I was called to sit airport standby starting at 9:30AM. Reason? The morning standby crew had been assigned another 50 seat turn. I sat all day long (walking around the airport, resting in the quiet room and  rumor mongering in the crewroom) until around 3:30PM.

At 2PM the afternoon standby First Officer was there. There was a 4:20PM turn (another 50 seater turned 70 seater) open. I could have legally been assigned the turn. Beyond that nothing else was open.

I sat two gates down and just waited to be called...or see the standby First Officer head that way. Time ticked by. I saw the Captain walk up to the gate and start typing away at a computer. Finally at 3:58 PM he walked away. At 3:59 PM my phone rang. I was assigned the turn.

Scheduling dropped the ball. They didn't notice the flight wasn't covered. Not until the Captain held boarding until a First Officer was assigned did someone realize another pilot was needed. I walked down to the gate and to the plane.

Weather was still an issue. After my preflight I noticed a man in a suit with a SIDA (Security Identification Display Area) badge loading luggage onto a cart (luggage that was too big to fit onboard). Didn't think much of it, but it was out of the norm.

I hopped in the cockpit and tried to pull up a PDC. Not available. I called clearance. I copied down the clearance and expected to hear "read back correct." Instead I heard, "Flight 903 your wheels up time is 22:49 ZULU time now 21:15 ZULU." Nice. Weather at the destination.

The passengers were all boarded by the time the Captain arrived. I gave him the news. He was upset as the gate was giving him grief on holding boarding until a First Officer was assigned. Now boarding was done and we had at least an hour fifteen minute delay. The main in the suit was a Passenger Service Manager who was rushing boarding and thus loading up bags on the cart. After discussing the situation with operations, dispatch and the crew, it was decided to have the passengers return to the terminal.

I began some back of the napkin math. I started at 7AM. My "duty" started at 9:30AM. Per contract I could fly until 9:45PM. The flight was delayed until 5:39PM at that point. The weather didn't look like it would clear up. My best guess would be departing at 7PM arriving at 8:20PM, 30 minute turn and arriving back in base at 10:15PM. Too long.

The Captain didn't think it would work, but I called scheduling. I gave the agent (who sounded a little new) my story and that it might be best to pull me off the flight. To my surprise she agreed and released me from duty. I grabbed my stuff and checked my schedule to make sure, indeed  I was pulled off and the standby First Officer was assigned the flight.

A few minutes later I had a phone call...didn't answer. The voicemail stated that, after further review, I would have been legal for the flight even delayed and to call back. Nope. I was released. I have been yanked around by scheduling for 2 1/2 years. For once I was able to turn the tables. One small victory.

In the end the flight cancelled. Why? Weather at the destination. More likely reason? Too big of a risk of getting fined with all the delays. Passenger Bill of Rights're welcome!

Today is Wednesday. My day off. With a kid on the way I would like a few extra bucks set aside. My wife has been saving a sizeable sum of money for 3 years in anticipation of having a kid. Me....not so much. I picked up a 5 hour turn today on overtime. Leaves at 12:30PM and returns at 6PM. I am back on reserve tomorrow and off the following two days.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How to mail your friends.....non-reving

One of the main draws to working or an airline is unlimited travel. Unlimited. All you can long as you show up to work on time.

Since I started working for my airline, my wife and I have REALLY used my flight benefits. We have flown to:

Washington, D.C - our favorite!

Portland, Oregon

Chicago, Illinois

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Toronto, Canada

Atlanta, Georgia

St. Louis, Missouri

Houston, Texas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Phoenix, Arizona

Denver, Colorado

Dallas, Texas

Santa Ana, California

Sacramento, California

New York, New York

Boston, Massachusetts

Orlando, Florida

New Orleans, Louisiana

Tokyo, Japan

I am sure there is more....too bad we couldn't get airline miles!

Besides my family, I get a few "buddy passes" to share with friends and extended family.

At my airline there is an order to who gets on a plane:

1 - Deadheading crewmembers needed for a flight at the next destination

2 - Paying passengers

3 - Deadheading crewmembers non needed for a flight (deadheading home)

4 - Revenue Passengers standing by

5 - Employee standby passengers

6 - "Buddy Pass" guest

7 - ZED fare guest

8 - Offline (other airline) jumpseaters

It's actually more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it.

A friend of mine wanted to visit a friend in Phoenix for the weekend. She wanted to leave Saturday and return Monday. The morning flights to PHX looked great all last week. Even the night before the first two flights of the day were less than 1/2 full. She was going on the second flight leaving at 8:30AM.

Saturday morning I had airport standby. I checked up on the flights and noticed something bad happened to the first flight. None of the 30+ non-rev's got on! Further investigation showed the flight cancelled due to a mechanical problem. Rut row!

I met my friend at the gate. She was standing in line thinking she would get a seat. This wasn't her first time to use a buddy pass and in her mind the plane was nearly empty. I approached and asked if she brought a book. She had two...which was a good thing because it was going to be a long day.

There was a flight to PHX almost every hour. Things were looking 1/2 way good at first, but more and more revenue standby passengers and employee non-revs were being added to the standby list. Each standby pushed my friend down. At one point she was number 60 for standby!

I finished my standby shift at 2PM and went home. She stuck it out but finally tossed in the towel at 4PM. Turns out if she had waited she would have gotten a seat on the last flight of the night at 9:30PM. Not really worth it.

Her husband picked her up and my wife and I met them for dinner. I let her know that the first flight out Sunday morning had over 100 empty seats and that, as long as the plane fired up, she should be good to go.

Sunday morning I was happy to see that, not only did she get a seat, but she gas a seat in First Class.

She is coming back today on the last flight out of PHX. As of now the plane is 1/2 full.

Buddy passes can be very useful for friends with flexible travel plans and patience. I am held responsible for the actions of all who use my buddy passes. Employees have lost their personal travel benefits (for a short time or permanently!) for the actions of guest on buddy passes. I only offered them to a small group of family and friends. Only a handful have taken me up on them. Planes are fairly full these days and most people can't wait till the last minute to plan a trip. For those that can, buddy passes are a very economical way to travel.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dropping the F bomb

It was supposed to be an easy day. Nine AM sign in. 9:30 deadhead. One flight back to base and done.

The dead head went fine. Once I walked off the jet bridge the craziness started.

The station manager stopped me and said, "Crew scheduling said everyone HAS to check their schedules BEFORE they get on the next flight." I said, "ok," and walked straight to my plane. We flew in on one plane and were flying out on another.

Clearly recorded on paper are the rules/procedures concerning crew contact and assignments. Once I have been given an assignment it can not change unless there is two way communication between myself and scheduling or my chief pilot. That's it. The station manager is not a crew scheduler. He is not a chief pilot. As soon as I walked away I became focused on safely operating my flight.

The plane had been in for scheduled maintenance. Sure enough things weren't perfect. The ACARS was inop....circuit breakers had been pulled but not reset. Taken care of. We loaded up the passengers and started the engines. New problems. "AFT CARGO SOV" status message and a "R PACK FAULT" status message. We called a mechanic. Yadda, yadda, yadda 30 minutes later we were out. The right pack cools the cabin, the left pack cools the cockpit. Interestingly enough the left pack wasn't really cooling the cockpit. Stayed around 80 degrees the entire flight. That temp plus the sun shining bueno.

After we pulled into the gate my Captain called to get released. He is also reserve. He was advised he had another turn leaving in 15 minutes. I would be his FO. He put them on hold and asked if I needed a lunch break. It was 12:05PM. I did. Done.

The flight was already delayed. I had not eaten since 7AM at breakfast. My plans were to do my simple deadhead and one leg in and  then go home and eat. No longer.

I grabbed lunch and headed back to the plane. The terminal was crowded. Didn't feel like finding a place to eat.

The ground air cart was connected but the cockpit was still hovering at 85 degrees. The cabin was 80 degrees...with no one on board. Cooling on the ground is normally done with cool air from a ground air cart. For whatever reason our carts....are horrible. When I fly on mainline the entire plane is very cool. Don't know why we can't use the same carts. Cooling can be helped by turning on a recirculation fan. Caution is needed as once people start boarding, if the fan is left on, the cabin temp will start to rise as their warm bodies and breath warm up the cabin. Circulating the air increases the air flow, but also the temp.

Not wanting to eat lunch in a hot cockpit, on went the APU.

Captain came down. I finished my lunch. People boarded. We pushed out at 12:40PM. Not bad at all. We could have both taken a solid 30 minutes eating out in the terminal. I did them a "favor" by eating in the cockpit while setting up the plane at the same time. I set the cockpit temp at 72 degrees fahrenheit . It never cooled below 80.

At 2:00 PM we pulled into the next out station. The ground crew connected external power....but NOT external air. It's summer's all or nothing. The APU was left on. During the turn I checked my schedule. Nothing else had been added. Yadda, yadda, yadda we pushed out at  2:30PM.

On the way back a message came over the ACARS that I had been assigned another turn. Once again it's not an official form of communication as it's one way only.

Hot cockpit and the previous delays were wearing on me and the Captain. I was tired physically. But not yet fatigued. I could see being fatigued if I had to do another turn.

After pulling into the gate the Captain and I both called to get released. Of course we were advised we had another turn. The flight was originally to be flown by a smaller plane. But they were OUT of pilots to fly the smaller plane and needed our plane and crew. I have been in this situation before. I would likely have been fine to fly to the outstation, but once there I knew I would be unfit to fly. I was off the next day. Even though I would loose money, I called in did the Captain. The flight then cancelled.

Last year several airline CEO's testified before Congress about regional pilot duty times and training. One stated that pilots at his airline can call in fatigued with no repercussions from the company. This is true at my airline except the damage is in my pocketbook.

Each month I am gauranteed pay of 75 hours based on being available each reserve day. The airline divides that 75 by how many days there are in a month. Each reserve day is worth 4 hours.

I only flew 3 1/2 hours yesterday. Since I called in fatigued, and thus didn't complete my duty day, I lost .5 hours of pay and it goes down on my permanent record that I called in fatigued on July 21, 2010.

There have been pilot staffing issues for a while around here....time to increase the number of pilots they are hiring.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Really easy two day

Picked up a 2 day trip on overtime. Looked good when I picked it up. One leg to the overnight then 3 legs the next with the last being a deadhead.

Yesterday I got an email telling me I was being displaced off the first leg. Reason:  an IOE Captain needed time in the right seat. I was going to deadhead. This would affect my pay as we don't get paid 100% for deadheads.

I'm overnighting in a city with a pilot I've been trading emails with for a while. Most of the time I don't know my overnights till the last minute. Since I knew this was coming I was able to arrange to meet up for dinner.

He's in a really good spot. Nineteen, 200ish hours and working on his CFI. With 46 years of airline flying ahead of him he has plenty of time. We talked about my job and the transition from CFI to an airline. He's doing is training at a local FBO. Right now that's the best way to go as not many airlines are hiring right now. Also being 19, he's a bit too young anyway. By taking his time he should have more than enough time for any airline when he is 21.

After about 2 hours I headed back to the hotel. Four Forty van tomorrow morning. Five forty departure to the hub. Quick turn and a 2 1/2 hour flight to the outstation. Once there I hop in the back for a 2 1/2 hour deadhead home.

All said and done it's worth about $240 before taxes. Not too bad for 4 legs...with 2 being deadheads.

4 days, 3 nights and 19 hours

I haven't had many  4 day trips this year. This is mostly due to me being assigned monthly airport reserve.

Four day trips can be grueling. The one I was assigned was built nicely. Nineteen hours of flying, little sitting around and long overnights.

The trip started with a deadhead to another domicile. At my airline I have the option of riding in First Class if there is space. I always ask. On this trip I got First Class and an airline paid for First Class breakfast.

After landing I had 2 hours to kill. I had not been to the crew room at that domicile in a while. I wandered around for a bit before calling a buddy who was based there. I didn't want to end up looking suspicious walking around aimlessly. He helped me out.

Once there I remembered why I had not been there in a while. Depressing. Thankfully it wasn't long before I was in the cockpit. One leg to the overnight.

The crew was very nice. Trip was normal until landing.

Once we touched down the 'call' button lit up associated by a ding. The forward flight attendant is very senior. I have flown with him several times and knew that if he was calling right after landing it was important.

Seems a passenger went into the lave about 5 minutes before landing. And never came out. Repeated knocks on the door went unanswered as did calling for his attention. The flight attendant knew we were landing and returned to his seat, he then heard "500" from the GPWS and knew it was too late to call us.

I asked if he thought the passenger needed assistance. He had no idea. I discussed the situation with the Captain and we decided it was best to call Police and Fire in case the passenger had a heart attack or was simply being a security risk. Just as I switched over to ground the flight attendant called back. The passenger opened the door as if nothing had happened and tried to walk back to his seat. The rear flight attendant instructed him to take an empty seat in the back. He wasn't drunk, disabled or in need of medical attention...he was just stupid. Spoke perfect english. Just stupid.

After arriving we all went to dinner together. I love crew dinners. Always something to talk about. I had only flown with one of the flight attendants prior. The Captain and other flight attendant were new to me. Awesome seafood, beer and conversation. The Captain paid for well more than his share of the bill. I plan on picking up the tab for a few meals when I finally get seat on the left.

Day 2 was rough. Five AM van. Four legs and 6 1/2 hours of flying later we were at the next overnight. The Captain deadheaded back. Our next Captain was already there.

It was July 3rd and we were overnight in our nations Capital. The Captain flew his family in as we had a double overnight.

Being a little tired I hung around the hotel the first night. Tired.

Day 3 started with a 5AM van. Easy day. Just two legs and we were back in the hotel at Noon.

I decided to head to the National Mall area to the Air and Space Museum. Mistake. Being the 4th the area was swamped. Lines for all the museums were over an hour. I found a tree and read a book for a while. After wandering around the National Mall I headed to the Pentagon City Mall for dinner and window shopping.

Keeping busy on overnights can be a challenge. Some cities have tons to do (Washington, D.C, New York, Miami, Las Vegas). Others have very little to do (Savannah, GA, Rogers, Arkansas, Eugene, Oregon). I tend to explore each city as long as it's not a reduced rest overnight.

The night of July 4th I headed up to the roof of the hotel to watch the fireworks. The view was awesome. The fireworks were going off by the National Monument. To my amazement flights were still landing at DCA on the river visual to runway 19! I can't imagine trying to find the runway at night with huge firework displays going off directly in front of the cockpit. I tried to get a few shots of the planes, but they ended up being streaks in the sky.

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The last day was 3 legs to home. Everything went perfectly. When I was finally in base I was beat...Seeing as I fly an average of 25 hours a MONTH flying 19 in 4 days was new to me. I did enjoy the flying though.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Great for a commuter...not bad for a local

My airline sent out an email offering up a TDY for August. TDY is a Temporary Duty assignment. They are offered from time to time when staffing levels in a particular base are forecasted too be low.

At my airline a TDY assignment means working out of another domicile for one month. The airline pays for a hotel room for the entire month as well as pays the pilot per diem 24 hours a day. This equates to over $1200 in tax free per diem. By comparison I normally get $200-$400 a month in per diem....half of that is taxed!

If enough people bid for the TDY assignment, those awarded the assignment are placed BELOW the other pilots already in the domicile for bidding purposes. If there are not enough bidders and pilots are FORCED to the TDY, then they hold whatever line their seniority would get as if they were based there.

For me I am the most junior in my current domicile. In the TDY domicile I would be the in the top 10%. If I am forced there I can bid and easily hold a line.

Now I had been hoping for a TDY for a while. The extra money would be nice with the kid on the way. Having a hotel room for an entire month is nice as I could easily fly up family to visit the city. If I were a commuter I would surely love a TDY as it would mean one month free of hotel and crash pad expenses!

Unfortunately I have vacation and a baby on the way for August. I will not be bidding on the TDY. If I am forced into it, well I won't be there much.

Still working on a write up covering my 4 day trip last week.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Questions Answered: Commuting

Are airline hubs where every flight will start. so if i lived in San Diego and "crash-N-burn airlines" hub was in Seattle i would have to commute to Seattle every day to start my trips?

Crash N Burn Airlines.....CBA....catchy!

I don't commute and so far never have. I do however have several friends that do so. Some commute for a lifestyle choice....some by force.

One great perk of working for an airline is that you can live anywhere in the world. There is one pilot at my airline that commutes from from Romania! That's a 2 leg minimum International commute.

Now back to the question. Yes you can live in San Diego and commute to Seattle.  How easy is the commute? Well lets take a look.

Looking at today there are 7 flights a day between SAN and SEA. All on Alaska Airlines. The first flight leaves SAN at 7AM and gets you to Seattle at 9:20 AM. On the reverse trip the last flight BACK to SAN leaves at 8PM getting to SAN at 10:30PM.

I'm going to look at this as if I was a line holder at CBA airlines who lived in SAN and was based in SEA.

When bidding trips I would look at " commutable" lines. The definition of commutable all depends on where you live. Some cities have 15 flights a day starting at 5AM ending at 11PM. Most have less.

At my airline I have to sign in 1 hour prior. So I would need a trip that started after 11:30AM. On the backside I need a trip that terminates before 7PM. The earlier the termination the better as 30 minutes late could mean I miss the last flight.

My current airline does a decent job of creating a variety of commutable lines. Late starts and early finishes. If I were to be awarded a line that was only commutable on the front end (meaning it terminates after 8PM) then I would have to:

1) Plan on paying for a hotel each week

2) Hope to drop or trade the last flight/turn

Paying for a hotel week isn't desirable. All hopes would be to trade the last flight or turn. Commutable on the back end only has the same issues.

Of course San Diego is a suburb of Los Angeles (I think everywhere in California is a Suburb of Los Angeles or San Francisco).

Driving to SNA would net another 6 flights to SEA. Driving all the way to LAX nets over 20 flights a day across 3 airlines. That would be my best bet.

There is another issue with commuting. Unless your airline has a base from your will be paying for parking on your own. This could get very expensive. I know some pilots who park at hotels (with the hotel permission of course) and take the hotel shuttle to the airport. Others park near subway/rail stations and use public transportation. If you're really lucky your spouse will be at your beck and call to drop you off and pick you up. That will last until your commute flight home is delayed and gets in at 3AM.

With that covered there is another "issue" with commuting. Time. From SAN to SEA isn't too bad....same time zone. To catch the 7AM flight I would get up at 5:30AM. Once I started my trip at 11AM I could legally work until 1AM extendable until 3AM with weather/mechanical delays. Worst case scenario for sure, but it can happen. Commuting west to east is tough. If I were IAD based the first flight out of SAN is at 8AM arriving at IAD at 3:30PM. The last flight from IAD to SAN leaves at 4:55PM. I would be amazed if there was even one commutable line to fit that schedule.

East to West commuting is much easier. I will say I have a friend that commutes from PHX to ATL. She is able to hold lines that start late and finish early.

At the start of this post I said commuting is a lifestyle choice. Picking up and moving to the city where you are based may not make sense. If you have a family with kids, moving them out of school, selling a house and having your spouse get a new job is a lot to ask. Also many bases are in high priced cities (ORD, IAD, JFK, EWR, LGA, The Entire State of California). Moving might be financially prohibitive. I know many pilots who started off living in base, but due to airline management changes, they had to pick between commuting or quitting as their base closed/ shrunk. A Captain told me to never move your family for this job as it could be one move after another.

This covers line holders. What about reserve pilots? Simple. If you commute plan on spending $250-$600 on a crashpad.....each month. That's several thousand dollars a year spent on an apartment with other airline employees. Don't forget $9-$15 a day for parking!

Right now I am on reserve. I get 11 days off a month. Commuting to reserve could easily eat up 4 of my days off each month as I might not finish/be released from scheduling until late at night. Additionally I might have an early report. If I have to be available at 6AM, I would likely have to commute in the night before. It's ugly. Doable....but ugly.

A lot of information. Hope it makes sense.