Thread: First year pay
View Single Post
Old 08-23-2019, 10:14 AM   #145  
Social Media retired.
FTv3's Avatar
Joined APC: May 2018
Posts: 316
Default UPS Schedule pairings


...Since "night flying" is a blanket term, here is what it actually is, at least at Mother Brown.

Night sort is a big percentage of our domestic flying. Similar to highspeeds, standups, or momma trips. Show up for a van pickup at the hotel around 8pm, fly a quick leg to SDF, sleep for a couple of hours (4 is over exaggerating reality), fly back to outstation (gateway in Brownspeak), get to the hotel around 6am and you are done until 8pm. Few, if any, get 8 hrs of sleep straight at the hotel. Seems most get 4-6 then take another nap before showtime. Those are the clean trips. Often you'll find multiple legs on one end, both, or some E-W or W-E long legs just to make the night brutal. And if you are late inbound your break in sdf can vanish at the blink of an eye nor does UPS bother to take care of you and let you sleep longer when they know your outbound flight is delayed. (*uodate: there is a wake up call system in place now but not sure how it works for these situations). Typical schedule is week on week off with a commercial DH on at least one side. The positioning DH starts Sunday morning or afternoon, you essentially have 24-30 hrs in the hotel before you start. You can deviate to arrive later but risk taking a 3?hr pay hit if you arrive within 18hrs of show time IF you use your CML ticket or UPS JS. Get there on your own and you can show up whenever. On the back end of the trios you usually finish early Saturday am, layover then CML DH out early evening - most people deviate straight out. Damage: disruption of normal sleep pattern, reduction in quality sleep hours, circadian disruption.

AM turns: Show up in SDF around 2-3am, fly to outstation, sleep and hour (or two if you are really lucky; some trips have no sleep opportunity) then head back to SDF. Done by 11am. Rinse and repeat for next 3 nights. Lines of turns are typically 3/4 weeks of 4 on 3 off. To emphasize, you normally get a week off out of a 4 week pay period. No perdiem is paid on these. Sounds good? Ok, a 3 am show time requires you to be at employee parking lot by 2:40 at the latest so you are probably waking up at or before 2am (this is Western Europe bankers hours). Can you be in bed asleep before 1800 to get your 8 hrs...? Sounds easy, reality is another thing. Can't tell you how many times I lay in bed from 530pm to 9 or 10 pm tossing and turning getting more and more ****ed off because all I wanted to do was feel good at 2am and that was out of the question at no fault of my own. But honestly, out of all the night stuff we fly I find these to be the most manageable. Other guys detest them. Damage: reduction of quality sleep hours, possible circadian disruption.

True night flying. All sorts of stuff and mostly on the domestic fleets. It can be multiple flights into and out of the sort with no sleep opportunities, red eyes, a link of flights around the country, etc.. The only positive is that this type of flying isn't common (all I've done is 1 red eye - *update: Iíve done a bunch more) so at worst it will be sporadic. Damage: circadian disruption, circadian flip-flop, reduction of quality sleep, reduction of total sleep. This $hit will kill you. Biggest problem is that these trips are interspersed with other pairings so there's no (circadian) consistency.

International. You start going E or W. SDF is usually a 2-3am show. You can do around the worlds, loops around oceans, intl hub turns, out and backs, scatter patterns, you name it. Trip times can be anywhere from 4 days to 14. The biggest problem is the 24 hour layovers associated with E-W long haul flights. You need to get 2 x 8hr sleep opportunities in a 24 hour period when your circadian rhythm wants to do it in 36. You'll find that despite your best efforts you will show up for a long flight right at the time your body is demanding a long sleep. Needless to say, in flight rest breaks are invaluable. Otherwise it's your standard intl problems which are more circadian based vs length and quality in domestic night flying. The flying is generally easier too. Guys doing certain intl hub turns can stay on US time zones (but this goes senior). Damage: Circadian disruptions and flip flops, reduction in quality sleep.

The counter to all of this is the time off we get and the lower block hours we fly. We talk about these as being benefits but they are actually necessities. Mixed fleets like the Z and MD offer variety of pairings that you can use to recover from your exposure to the bad stuff despite the convenience the night stuff usually brings to you. Regardless, you'll notice when you get a few weeks off in a row with normal sleep just how chronically tired you are during your normal working life despite how good you are at sleep management. I'm starting to dread going to work because no matter what I do at some point during my trip I'm going to decimate my body clock and sleep cycle routine. Doing this once in a blue moon is one thing. Done chronically it will start to kill you.

As for all the questions they were drilling you on: this job is mainly about fatigue management. Your main thoughts are how to recover and be rested for the next assignment. The guys that don't are the ones who look 20 years older than they are. Like boiler said, you have to make a lifestyle change to fly night if you want to survive. It's all about survival.

Last edited by FTv3; 08-23-2019 at 10:39 AM. Reason: Added hyperlink
FTv3 is offline