Thursday, June 26, 2014

Call me Maybe

Relaxing before a 5 hour day trip on overtime. Crappy weather over most of the United States today with the potential for convective activity. I'm betting my trip will be more than 5 hours.

There are several ways to get extra flying (at the overtime rate) at my airline. As a reserve pilot I had to bid for extra flying. Many times before my bid would be processed a line holder would pick it up through the automated process or a more senior pilot would be bidding for the same trip. The bidding process is all seniority based. Beyond bidding the only way for a reserve to get extra flying was to be junior manned or volunteer for extra flying.

As a line holder I can pick up extra flying on days off through an automated system. I can also add on flying to my existing trips through the bidding process and of course be junior manned.   Finally I too can put my name on the volunteer list for extra flying.

I've covered junior manning in the past. The volunteer thing has not been discussed.

If I have a day off and would like to fly (but there are no open trips I like or no open trips period), I can put my name on the volunteer list.

On the day my name is on the list I will be called before any reserves are used. Trips assigned to volunteer pilots are paid at 150% of the hourly rate. If I am called I am under no obligation to take the trip and have no penalty if I decline. It's a pretty safe bet.

This morning I was called at 5AM for a trip worth a whole 1 hour and 20 minutes. The trip left at 9:20AM. My assigned trip for the day departs at 1:45PM. This meant I'd have a 3 hour or so sit after the 1 hour 20 minute turn. No thanks. Even at 150% pay it's worth about $85. It's extra money of course, but the sitting around the airport for 3 hours is fatiguing. It sounds odd to those who have never done it, but trust me sitting around in a plastic chair for 3 hours in a noisy environment is fatiguing.

I stated I was called, but my phone never rang. I used Google Voice for all phone calls. When scheduling calls it goes straight to voice mail with a dedicated greeting for them. I was notified via text message that they had called. I read the Google transcription and decided to stay in bed.

If the trip had been longer (say 2 hours) and the sit had been shorter (say 90 minutes) I would have done it.

For now I will relax....and maybe go for a bike ride.



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