Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Good Month if I Squint

February is almost over. By tomorrow afternoon I will have flown 14 hours. If I don't fly a single flight for the rest of the month I will be paid for 90 hours. This is due to my reserve guarantee + overtime. I have picked up 3 overtime trips, but two cancelled. Thankfully my contract has cancellation pay (full value of the trip). Not all airlines have this. So I was paid for 2 trips I never had to do. Unfortunately for both I did drive up to the airport. Eh.

Tuesday I was sitting airport standby. I saw another First Officer I know in the crew room and remarked, "you look tired." I said this because I knew he was a on a 5 1/2 hr sit and if he completed his assignment he would have a 14 hour duty day and just a 9 hour overnight. I wanted his overnight.

If he called in fatigued I would get the trip. This was I could fly and get out of airport standby Wednesday. He wasn't sure, but said he would let me know well in advance.

Fast forward to an hour to departure. My phone rang. I was indeed assigned his flight....but as a deadhead.

There was a plane in the out station that needed to be ferried to another domicile. The original First Officer assigned the flight was removed. My turn.

The trip would be long. It was a 6:30PM departure for the deadhead and a 8:00PM departure for the ferry. The ferry flight was 3 hours long. I was looking forward to it as ferrying planes is a little more fun than revenue flights as the plane performs very differently.

Two minutes to departure, all passengers on board the agent began to pull the jet bridge. I saw the jet bridge move back, and then forward again. Hmmm.

I later learned that at 6:27PM at the outstation one of my airlines smaller planes went out of service for a mechanical. The plane was to fly to the same city my ferry flight was headed to. At 6:29PM the powers that be realized that they could use my ferry flight as a revenue flight, but they needed an additional flight attendant. My deadhead flight was being held from departing while a reserve flight attendant was located.

Finally at 6:50PM the reserve flight attendant was on board. Away we went.

Once at the out station I headed over to my plane which was now a revenue flight. If scheduling had not found another flight attendant then 40 passengers would not have been going home that night.

The reason for the extra flight attendant is that the plane I was to fly that night has more than 50 seats. The original plane/flight has less than 50 seats. For every 50 passengers, 1 flight attendant is required.

Sitting in the flight deck was the Captain I would be flying with. He was a very new Captain, just 28 hours of Captain time. He had previously flown as a First Officer on the smaller version (fewer seats) of the same plane so moving to the left seat had been pretty easy. Still he was a new Captain.

After a minor (but 10 minute long to clarify) paperwork issue we were on our way.

I had not flown in two weeks so I was more than willing to offer up the leg to him while I got reacquainted.

Smooth flight over all. We arrived 8 minutes past midnight. So much for same day service.

After 8 1/2 hours in a hotel, I headed back to the airport for a 4 hour deadhead home. Thankfully in First Class.

If I squint and ignore all of the time I sat standby this month, then it's been a good month pay wise. For March I was awarded afternoon airport standby. Eh.

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