Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Someone else's overnight

I sometimes forget that my domicile is someone else's overnight.

A buddy I worked with at ATP had an overnight here last night. We arranged to go out for dinner. My wife and I picked him and his flight attendant up at their hotel.

During an awesome Greek dinner we discussed our jobs and my wife made the comment, "So it really is that bad out there." His stories as just as bad, and some worse, than mine. I quizzed him on a few work rules, even though mine aren't great, quite a few are better than his. This is of course like having an only slight psychotic girlfriend instead of a mildly psychotic girlfriend. Both companies are crazy, one only slightly less so.

He was on an interesting trip. His crew had a deadhead here and then two legs today. His Captain never arrived for the deadhead. The same Captain last week never showed up for his trip. On that flight the passengers were boarded and he had everything ready to go. It took 50 minutes for a reserve Captain to arrive. Another hour to leave the ground. He pondered calling scheduling last week and last night about the missing Captain....but didn't want to do someone else's job. If no Captain arrived last night he would have misconnected and would end up deadheading to his next overnight. I checked just now, flight went out on time.

His flight attendant last night thanked me for allowing her to tag along. She said most pilots at her airline don't want to take flight attendants along. I was a bit surprised. I enjoy going out with my crews. The problem I encounter at my airline is most of my flight attendants are older and mostly "slam clickers". A "slam clicker" means you get to the hotel, go to your room and lock the door. Not being social. Long overnights can get boring. Eh.

Beyond work rules we discussed pay. His is significantly lower than mine. He picked his airline based on a quick upgrade that went away as the industry slowed down. If things had stayed status quo it would have been perfect as he would be a Captain right now. As of now there is no upgrade in sight. Same for me.

I posted a link on Twitter yesterday ( http://industry.bnet.com/travel/10006322/regional-airlines-try-different-strategies-to-survive/ )about an article showing an overview of the regionals in the United States. Of the regionals mentioned, only Skywest, American Eagle and Horizon appeared to have a good outlook. Expressjet was described as being in a tough spot along with Mesa. Who knows...tomorrow things could change.

Nothing is changing for me. Just sitting in the bowels of the airport. Waiting for...well change.

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