Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I could have held it...but

Bids are out for December. I'm working on Christmas day, but I didn't have to.

I put a higher priority on having 3 day trips working Sunday thru Tuesday than being off Christmas day. If I had stuck with 4 day trips I could have easily been off Christmas day as pilots junior to me were given those lines.

I'm content with it. I think I've only been away from home one Christmas which happened my first year on the job.

Back then I was sent out of base for my initial training on the aircraft. I had an overnight in Indianapolis, Indiana. Yup very boring as everything was closed, it was snowy and...well I was away from home.

Since then I've always been at home. I think the 2nd Christmas at my airline I was on reserve on Christmas day but never used. The 3rd Christmas I was off as I took two months off to hang out with my daughter (FMLA).

Last year I held Christmas off no problem.

As is I think I can trade my trips around to still have Christmas off. If not I finish my trip on Christmas day so we can just have a late Christmas.

My line is only worth 72 hours so it's a very low value line. I will likely trade the trips anyway to get a few more hours.


  1. Working schedules in your business are both complicated - and often hilarious. While seniority always rules, you've obviously learned to finesse the system to your advantage - and that is a very good thing! During my own career in a very different 24/7 profession, I learned to prioritize the days off, exactly as you obviously do. As an example, I've always enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday much more than the other big ones. I used to trade holiday coverage with colleagues such that I could have TG day - and the preceding Wednesday off, and was delighted to work on Christmas, New Years Day or whatever. In later years, when I had more than enough seniority to hold all holidays off, I often worked so that others, who were interested in those other holidays could have the day off. Another trick that I've practiced more than a few times is to simply reschedule the holiday celebration as it happens in my home. If I could not 'hold' the Thanksgiving Thursday off - for whatever reason, we gave our thanks and enjoyed our feastage on Wednesday, Friday or whenever it was convenient. With those tricks and methods in practice, I don't think I've *ever* missed spending an important holiday with the people that I care about. And yes, in the end, the work still has to be done. While you may be working on Christmas day, it looks like you'll have shorter trips for the month and be able to spend more total time with your family. It sounds like a great program to me! Happy Holidays, -C.

  2. I think I would have more trouble sussing out the scheduling than actually flying the plane! Certainly sounds like a fine art.....(says he currently "virtually" flying from CYYR to CYOW in an E195 - anyone care to explain Flight Path Angle to me??)

    We don't celebrate Thanksgiving over here in the UK but here's wishing you and your US readers a happy holiday!

    Personnally, having worked in the leisure industry and not having a family I quite enjoyed working the holidays, people were generally in a good mood, the money was good and I got time off when everyone else was working so no queues!

    All the best

    Dave from the UK (Hi to Cedarglen too!)

  3. Megan@FlythefriendlyskiesNovember 26, 2012 at 5:43 AM

    Being home at least part of the holidays is always better than nothing at all! My husband flew Thanksgiving but made it home that night so we celebrated a bit later on in the evening but it worked for us! It's nice you haven't had to give up too many Christmas days to the job! We are feeling lucky over here as well as we are both off again this year. (Well I'm off on Maternity leave but I'm still off!) Have a great holiday no matter what you decide to do. :)


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