Oh commuting....is bad. Commuting to reserve is worse.
Readers who've been around for a few years (like 5+) may remember I was a forced commuter for 5 months straight...and hated it. I swore I'd do everything to avoid it....yet here I am....commuting. At least I'm being paid better.
This week I had to do something I really didn't like. I had to commute up the night BEFORE reserve.
My 5 day reserve block started on Friday. Thursday evening my daughter had her belt test for her Martial Arts class. I didn't want to miss it. The test was at 6 PM. The last flight I could catch was 8:15 PM. My report time was 7:15 AM. The earliest I could get a direct flight in the morning wouldn't put me on the ground until 7:30 AM. I had to go in the night before.
She earned her orange belt at 6:35 PM. I hugged her, congratulated her and headed to the airport. The flight was oversold and I was planning on sitting in the jump seat. Thanks to the TSA and their inept screening process I was able to get a real seat! I feel bad for passengers, especially those with children as the lines are the worst I've ever seen.
I got to my hotel room at 11 PM. The 7:15 AM show time came quickly.
Thankfully it was just one leg to the overnight. The overnight was actually to the airport I flew out of as a passenger many times as a kid. It was very cool to by the Captain of an airliner flying into the airport I first flew out of as a kid.
What made it more special was seeing my wife and daughter waiting in the window of the terminal. They flew down as I had a 20 hour overnight.
I told my crew I'd meet them at the plane in the morning. I joined my family and headed off to a rental car.
We had a great dinner and visited the Johnson Space Center for the day. A bit of weather moved in. This caused a flight to cancel...which caused the next days flights to get full. My family was going to have a problem getting home.
Thanks to the TSA again my family got on. All of us have TSA Precheck so they zoomed through while I used KCM.,
Day 2 of my trip was long but easy. It was 3 legs with the last being a dead head on the same aircraft I flew in to an out station.
I arrived in base at 4:00 PM. Normally scheduling has the next day assignments done by then. There was nothing for me. I called and asked if they had any open overnight flights ( to avoid possibly having to pay for my own hotel in base). They had nothing, so I headed to a hotel.
As I was checking in I saw my assignment for the next day....a 6:15 AM deadhead to my old base (also where I live!). If I had known that I would have just gone home that night and slept in my own bed. It was 5 PM...I was tired. I checked the direct flights and they were all full...I just checked in to the hotel.
This morning I woke up way too early. The deadhead left one time. The lines for security at 5:30 AM were ridiculous. Lots of passengers missing their flights.
Just one leg to the overnight again. I have two flights tomorrow and two the next. All are in and out of my old base.
I can deal with the commuting for now as it will be short lived. In August I go back to training to train on another jet to be based at home again.
Commuting is not for the faint of heart...or those that have busy families. When I get a job at a major I will either move to the new base if there is no hope of being based at home. It's just not worth it to be a lifetime commuter. I can handle it for 3 months.