Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vacancy Giveth and Displacement taketh away

I picked up a 6 hour trip on overtime yesterday. With my recent (and final First Officer) pay increase it was worth just over $300. Not bad for a day trip.

The report time was 7:45 AM. I dropped off my daughter at daycare and headed to the airport.

The Captain I was flying with is extremely senior. Top 1% senior. This would come into play later in the day.

Back in the cabin was a very senior Flight Attendant.....also in the top 1%. I'd flown with her before. She is very sassy and likes to crack jokes. She complained that the First Officer she flew with previously was quiet and boring. She was happy I was giving it right back to her.

Blocked out on time at 8:30 AM. He wanted me to take the first leg. I get paid the same either way.

Nice flight up.

We talked about seniority and the state of the airline. He looked at my name on the flight release again and asked if I was Communication Chairman. Once I confirmed I was....he had a ton of questions and comments about what's going on with the union. I told him what I could, but with a consistent "I'm just the messenger and don't get to vote on things" tagline.

Smooth and cold landing in Madison.

I grabbed a nice pesto pasta salad for myself and a cake pop for my daughter. Back on the flight deck I noticed I had an email with the bid results.

After opening the PDF I searched for my last name. Turns out I was awarded Captain in the vacancy bid....but was displaced during the displacement bid.

Being the Communications Chairman I sent out several emails on how the vacancy and displacement process works. It was emphasized to have your top displacement choice as where you want to be if something happens. I had my current base and equipment as my top displacement choice. So after all was said and done I am right back where I started.

Another pilot just 3 numbers junior made a mistake. he was also awarded Captain, but had a different base and aircraft as his top displacement choice. Thus he will now go to training and be a commuter until the next vacancy bid. That bid could be in two weeks...or two months....or never.

Just thirty minutes after arriving, we were being pushed out.

As far as the affect on me otherwise I will be more senior in base. I'm currently in the top 22% in base. I will soon be in the top 10%.

The Captain checked out the bid results. He only looked at the top few pilots as he is very senior. Just 3 pilots coming in on top of him. He stays in the top 3% in base.

We finished our trip at few minutes late. I arrived home at 6 PM tired.  I tired myself out with all the thinking of "what could have been" if I had held Captain.

Off today. I start a two day tomorrow....with an overnight on the beach.


  1. You are that much closer... In the next round or two, you'll make it. Then what? Will you stay in-base for QOL (and daughter time) issues, or will you commute as a very junior captain? Only you know for certain... Good luck!!

  2. Hi Again, Geek! I still have to wonder... When your number for CAPTAIN finally comes up, -we'll hope for mid-'15, what are you going to do? Will you commute to another base to sit junior 'Captain' reserve, or will you stay at home and, at least for '15, fly as a waged-out very senior FO? Obviously, the choice is yours - and yours alone - and certainly not easy. I am - and will remain - curious about the How and the Why of your eventual choice. Sell and physically move to a new base? Stay put and commute (probably to a reserve slot)? Stay put as a senior FO and wait for a left seat at your current base? Stay put, as FO or captain and wait your turn to move to your major? These are not easy choices. Good luck and best wishes...

  3. As my airline shrinks due to more pilots leaving than coming in, I have an excellent chance at holding my home base as Captain. Pilots hired in July 2007 are holding my base as Captain with the most recent bid.

    I would never move for this job. My wife has had the same job for almost 13 years. She's still the main breadwinner. That said I will be a very senior FO soon. I will live the good life before trading QOL for another stripe, bigger paycheck and more responsibility.


If you are a spammer....your post will never show up. Move along.