Monday, June 22, 2009

Good times are over for a while

So far this year I have had the following monthly assignments:

January - Reserve

February - Morning Airport Standby

March - Afternoon Airport Standby

April - Afternoon Airport Standby

May - Reserve

June - Reserve

July - Afternoon Airport Standby

I am the most junior pilot in my status. After all pilots senior to me bid, I get what's left over....literally. So how did I score regular reserve in May and June? Because someone forgot to bid! Each month one pilot forgot to bid. So instead of getting airport standby, I got a reserve line. It was nice while it lasted. I flew more in May than I did February thru April COMBINED! Next month it's back to airport standby.

Yesterday I was assigned afternoon airport standby for the day. Not a big deal as my wife was flying back from a weekend on the west coast anyway. A note about my wife, she is a non-rev queen. She couldn't get a direct flight on my mainline partner home. Instead she used a ZED pass to fly on another airline then catch a flight on my mainline partner home.

The afternoon airport standby shift is from 2PM-10PM. I just sit at the airport. Not much fun. I didn't get used. Today I was assigned to be available for a 2 hour call out from 6AM till 9PM. I initially thought this was an illegal assignment. I read through the contract and then called scheduling. Turns out I was wrong. I didn't like the idea of leaving the airport at 10PM, driving home, getting ready for bed and being called as early as 6AM to go back to the airport. It's legal. Fair? Eh.

I have reserve for the rest of the month. Good times were great while they lasted. I am still better off than a buddy of mine. He lives near me but is based elsewhere due to displacements. He commutes and held a hard line for 2 months. He has been on reserve for May and June. Till recently he was pretty senior on reserve so he got what he wanted as far as flights and assignments. Tomorrow he is assigned morning airport standby. This means he has to commute up late tonight, buy a hotel room for a few hours and then make his way to the airport to sign in for airport standby at 6AM. Commuting to reserve sucks. Commuting to airport standby....well at least I can drive.


  1. I'm not familiar with what a ZED pass is. Can you explain what it is and how it is used. I assume that it is a discount ticket for employee family members. How much does it cost to use and how many of them do you get?

    Thanks for writing this enjoyable blog!

  2. ZED is a Zonal Employee Discount pass. Only the airline employee and immediate family are allowed to buy/use them. For me it's just my wife and my dad. My wife and I get unlimited ZED's while my dad gets only a set amount...not sure how many as I have never bought one for him. I gave a pretty good overview of ZED on this post

  3. So the ZED ticket is for family to fly standby on an airline other than your own? The prices certainly are attractive. You and your wife would not need a ZED on your own airline since you can non-rev there for free. Hope that I have that straight now.

  4. Yup ZED is a super discount ticket for other airlines. When my wife uses one she is the absolute LAST person to get on, so it can be risky. Most airlines will tell us the loads so we can get an idea. I don't need a ZED domestically as I can jumpseat free. On my own airline and mainline partner you are correct, we need no ZED tickets. Hope this helps. Non-revenue travel can be very complicated.


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