Saturday, July 9, 2016

No such thing as an easy commute

August 23rd...when my commuting will cease.

Until then I, like many flight crew members around the country (and maybe the world), commute.

Each day there are 11+ flights I can pick from to get to and from work. The aircraft seating capacity varies between 140 and 260+ seats. Most are between 140-160. Sounds easy...but most flights are full...and there are lots of commuters and dead heading flight crew.

I am getting more senior. In May I had 4 people under me. I now have 16. When I transfer next month I will have 30.

Being more senior I can get the "better" reserve trips. Trips that start later (allowing me to commute in same day) and end earlier (allowing me to commute home that day).

This week I had a 9PM sign in on day one and finish at 6:30 AM on day 4. I'm only on reserve 4 days.

Getting to work seemed easy enough. Per my contract I have to give myself two flights to get to work on time. This meant a 5:40 PM flight and a 6:30 PM flight. Both were very open.

Well there was weather. Delays. The 5:40 PM flight started with a 30 minute delay...then 45 minutes. I alerted crew scheduling. They said to keep them informed. The 6:30 PM flight was showing on time. I debated and felt the 6:30 PM flight (a 777) would leave before the 5:40 PM delayed flight.

They were in different terminals.

I rushed to the 777 flight...only to see passengers deplaning! They were now an hour delayed. Crap. I rushed back over to the 5:40PM flight which was suddenly boarding. I called scheduling and told them I would miss my sign in time by 25 minutes. To my surprise they were I was the only Captain available.

We left at 7PM and landed at 9:25 PM. My departure was 9:45 PM. I checked on the rest of my crew and they were very delayed.....not arriving until 10:45 PM. So much for feeling rushed.

They arrived and we left. Every leg so far (today is day 3) has had issues....mechanical or weather.

Today is one flight in and a deadhead to an overnight. Tomorrow is one leg to the hub.

As far as getting home the direct flight is almost full....I might two leg it on wide open flights.

Looking forward to August.