Sunday, June 1, 2014

The airline giveth....and the scientist taketh away

Seniority is a great thing.

For the first time ever I scored a CDO as a line. What's a CDO you ask?

CDO stands for Continuous Duty Overnight. They aren't for everyone and definetly not for commuters.

A CDO line has an overnight shorter than legally allowed so. The overnight isn't counted as rest, it's scheduled that the pilot is on duty non-stop. It's like working a long shift...but you get a hotel room for a few hours.

My line has three CDOs in a row followed by 3-4 days off. I only "fly" 24 hours but get paid the line minimum of 72 hours.

The trips vary but the most common trip is as follows:

Report time of 8:20PM. Depart at 9:05PM. Arrive at 9:50PM. Go to a hotel. Depart again at 5:45AM. Arrive at 6:35AM. At that point I go home and report back the same night to do it all over again.

With that schedule I would nap during the day, pick up my kid from day care, eat dinner with my family, put my kid to bed and then head to the airport. She'd hardly know I was gone.

Well life happened. My wife is a scientist and works for a major DNA company. Every now and then she has to testify for court cases across the country. She hasn't testified in months, but it's always a possibility. With a small child one of us must be on the ground locally as we have no family in town so it's just us.

The airline giveth and the scientist taketh away.

One perk of my job is moving my trips around at will.

I scrambled my trips around and traded a few CDOs for traditional 2 day trips that start and finish around the times my wife has to testify.

There is a side benefit of the pay check gets larger.

My line was 24 hours but paying at 72 hours. If staffing was good I could drop all my flying and still get paid for 48 hours (72-24=48). Another trick also works...the trade.

Because each trip is worth an average of 2 hours, by trading them for higher value trips it increase my pay.

If I trade 10 - 2 hour trips for 10 - 8 hour trips minimum gaurantee for the month is 132 hours. Take 72 hours to start...take away the 20 hours (10 trips worth 2 hours each) then add 80 hours (10 trips worth 8 hours each). Not too shabby. In practice it's hard to do. Right now I'm going to get paid for 93 while actually flying closer to 50.

Maybe next month I can get a CDO and just fly it.  I was kinda looking forward to it.

I head back to work Monday. My vacation was very nice. My family was able to score a row together for our flight home. We arrived at 5AM. I stayed awake the entire flight.  I hoped to power through the jet lag and stay awake all day. Nope...we all napped from 7am till noon.


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