Sunday, June 22, 2014

Getting paid to commute home

Last week was tiring.

Monday I had a 2 day trip worth 12 hours 15 minutes. It was to be a trip of musical Captains.

For the first turn I had Captain 'A' whom was reassigned to do a simple 2 hour 40 minute turn versus a much longer overnight. He gets paid for the overnight even though he flew much less as its part of the contract. He was reassigned as there were no other Captains available.

That 2 hour 40 minute turn spawned into 3 hours twenty minutes as we had a small delay on the outbound but a major delay on the inbound. We landed 10 minutes early...and then waited 30 additional minutes for a gate to open.

The next flight was the overnight flight. The Captain assigned to the flight had changed 3 times that day. Forty minutes to departure it was showing unfilled. No Captains available. Thirty five minutes prior a very senior Captain (call him Captain 'B') was assigned to the flight. It appeared to be a Junior Man. I thought for sure he wasn't going to show up.

To my surprise he was at the gate before me. He was HAPPY to be flying the trip. Reason? He was commuting home anyway in the back as a passenger. When he saw there was no Captain he called scheduling and volunteered. At his pay rate he was paid $450 to fly the trip. Four hundred and fifty dollars to fly home. Well played. Captain 'B' had no desire to fly back to base the next day.

My flight attendant and I went to the hotel and Captain 'B' went home.

The next day I met Captain 'C' on the flight deck. She was a very junior Captain whom I'd never met. She had been deadheaded out to fly back with me. Meanwhile the First Officer that flew the aircraft out was deadheading back. Very odd.

Full flight. We had a 777 Captain from our mainline partner in the jump seat. He'd never been on a RJ jump seat before. He was out visiting family and was headed home. He asked quite a few questions about my aircraft and was interested in the differences between the two. The 777 Captain is in the top 1% seniority. I did some quick math and said , "Ya know you make more money taxiing to the runway than the both of us make combined for an hour flight." We all laughed as it was meant to be light hearted. It was eye opening though.

Once in base Captain 'C' went home. I then met up with Captain 'D'. Long turn. Once back in base we had another 35 minute wait for a gate to open. All in all my 12 hour 15 minute two day trip ballooned into a 13 hour 45 minute trip. Wow.

I then had two CDO's in a row. Same one as last week. Same Captain even.

Next month I am back to 4 day trips. I didn't preference CDOs and could not hold 3 day trips. I despise 4 day trips, but it is what it is.

Four Captains for 6 legs. My airline cancels an average of 10 flights a day for lack of crew. There is no pilot shortage right?




  1. "My airline cancels an average of 10 flights a day for lack of crew." Out of interest, how many flights a day does your airline do?

  2. I honestly have no idea. I know we have a few hundred per day at the minimum.


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