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View Full Version : Mainline schedule flexibility


Theta Dreams
03-15-2018, 07:38 PM
Which carriers are known to offer the most flexibility as far as bidding lower credit schedules or the ability to drop/swap trips?


P Owed Captain
03-15-2018, 07:42 PM
From my research on these threads, I get the impression Southwest and Spirit, but I'd prefer to hear answers from the pilots who are employed at the majors. I am also trying to decide the best place to go.

worstpilotever
03-15-2018, 07:55 PM
At UAL it depends on seniority and staffing. In the slow months you might be able to drop everything (well, not any more as we have to keep50 hours), but in the summer you might not be able drop anything. Also, easier to drop shorter trips, but generally 1 and 2 day trips go more senior.


jcountry
03-15-2018, 08:11 PM
You ainít dropping a damned thing at Merican-unless scheduling screws up again.

(I have gotten about three drops-ever.)

You can sometimes swap for better stuff, tho

Theta Dreams
03-15-2018, 08:46 PM
^^^This^^^

is what I'm looking for. I am at a regional and my only complaint is lack of schedule control/quality of life.

I'm really curious about DAL, UAL (thanks Worstpilotever), and LUV.

at6d
03-15-2018, 10:51 PM
At SWA we do have some opportunities to change up our schedules, but they are limited. We canít ďdropĒ trips, but we can give them away and also pick up giveaway trips from other pilots, including reserve blocks. We can trade with the company for similar length trips (thus ďmoveĒ the schedule), and also trade with other pilots.

Giving away trips here can be difficult.

Al Czervik
03-16-2018, 01:05 AM
You ainít dropping a damned thing at Merican-unless scheduling screws up again.

(I have gotten about three drops-ever.)

You can sometimes swap for better stuff, tho

Youíve got to know how to do it. Iíve never had an issue. Youíve got to move things around to get them to drop.

biigD
03-16-2018, 01:24 AM
^^^ exactly. I drop all the time at AA, and overall Iím really happy with my scheduling flexibility here.

To the OP - it just goes to show that itís not all about the airline, but also the particular equipment and base. Iím not dismissing jcountryís inability to drop at AA, but Iím guessing heís not on the 737 in NYC.

FTFFv2
03-16-2018, 03:15 AM
UPS systemwide:

We still bid hard lines so with a little seniority you can get specific days off fairly easily.

Trip trades: we have a third party trip drop program (pairing pickup by another crew member). Demand dependant and favors smaller trip lengths. We can also do a trip for trip trade between crew members but this requires manual processing by the schedulers. Rarely used based on my observations.

Canít drop to open time but you can trade with it (or do a straight pickup). Success largely dependant on reserve staffing and whether or not you are increasing your block hours with the trade. Iíve occasionally dropped down hours.

For single legs we have a unique program called ďFly no pay, Pay no fly,Ē or FNP. In a nutshell, another guy flies your leg for free and you still get paid. It is almost always utilized with the first or last leg of a trip when there are jumpseaters. The jumpseater ends up operating the flight (he gets a positive space ride home) and the orig crew member gets to go home early. Itís a help each other out kind of deal.

Last option we have is to request PLOA days from the company if we need a particular day or two off for something. Iíve heard and experienced good results with this but admit it can be hit or miss. Or, we have a big sick bank if you really need that day off. Use it sparingly and discretely and it wonít be a problem. Iím just about starting my fourth year here and gotten almost every day off I needed or wanted, sometimes without too much trouble, sometimes I had to pay the devil.

Dolphinflyer
03-16-2018, 06:39 AM
Youíve got to know how to do it. Iíve never had an issue. Youíve got to move things around to get them to drop.


Not much success with straight drops into open time, but do well with other guys picking up posted trips. I could have went to zero time this month, but wife doesn't share my vision of living in a van down by the river.

For dropping trips both ways, you have to be senior enough to get some turns or 2-days during the week, but some guys still grab the weekend stuff. 3 and 4 day straight drops? Forget it. Much tougher when posted, but still works sometimes. Same goes for special qualification airports or divisions, tougher to dump. Don't bid GUA and think it will be droppable.

Go Cards go
03-18-2018, 06:29 PM
I’m at Delta. You can drop as many trips as you want as long as there’s reserve coverage over the days you want to drop the trip. We also have a pilot swap board where someone else can pick up your trip from you. I’ve used both with success. For the past year or so there’s been pretty good coverage to be able to drop most of the time with the exception of holidays. When staffing gets tight, you’re pretty much stuck. You do get one drop a year when reserve coverage is low. That being said, spend some time learning how PBS works and how to bid successfully to get the days off you want. You’d be surprised at how many guys senior to you don’t. In my first three years, I’ve worked one Christmas and that was a 2200 sign in so....I technically worked Christmas, but was home most of the day. You’ve just got to plan ahead, put in some time learning the system, and maybe have a little luck. I had the last two weeks of December off each of the last two years. I think our PBS system works really well to get you the days off you want if you know how to do it Wherever you decide to work, pay attention and take lots of notes the day they talk about bidding schedules (by whatever system you have). Then use any resources you have to learn the system really well. It’s time we’ll spent in my opinion.
Good luck!

SlipKid
03-19-2018, 05:42 PM
At SWA we do have some opportunities to change up our schedules, but they are limited. We can’t “drop” trips, but we can give them away and also pick up giveaway trips from other pilots, including reserve blocks. We can trade with the company for similar length trips (thus “move” the schedule), and also trade with other pilots.

Giving away trips here can be difficult.

Weekday turns don't last long on the Capts side. Weekday 2 days take a little longer to unload. Weekend turns will usually go, 2 days too. 3 and 4 days any day of the week are really hit or miss. I've been surprised at some of the stuff that people picked up and vice versa.

I've also had good luck splitting trips in domicile as well as my commuter city.

aa73
03-20-2018, 09:06 AM
Iíve successfully dropped close to 100% of my AA schedule every month since holding a line last summer, and rebuilt to 90hrs using out of base trips. Itís very doable here. Like Al Czervik said... ya gotta know how to do it.

Al Czervik
03-20-2018, 02:03 PM
Iím at Delta. You can drop as many trips as you want as long as thereís reserve coverage over the days you want to drop the trip. We also have a pilot swap board where someone else can pick up your trip from you. Iíve used both with success. For the past year or so thereís been pretty good coverage to be able to drop most of the time with the exception of holidays. When staffing gets tight, youíre pretty much stuck. You do get one drop a year when reserve coverage is low. That being said, spend some time learning how PBS works and how to bid successfully to get the days off you want. Youíd be surprised at how many guys senior to you donít. In my first three years, Iíve worked one Christmas and that was a 2200 sign in so....I technically worked Christmas, but was home most of the day. Youíve just got to plan ahead, put in some time learning the system, and maybe have a little luck. I had the last two weeks of December off each of the last two years. I think our PBS system works really well to get you the days off you want if you know how to do it Wherever you decide to work, pay attention and take lots of notes the day they talk about bidding schedules (by whatever system you have). Then use any resources you have to learn the system really well. Itís time weíll spent in my opinion.
Good luck!

With that good coverage are green slip trips still around?

EMBFlyer
03-21-2018, 03:23 AM
With that good coverage are green slip trips still around?

The three-day I'm currently on turned green for a good hour on Sunday in the middle of the day.

Al Czervik
03-21-2018, 03:45 AM
The three-day I'm currently on turned green for a good hour on Sunday in the middle of the day.

I donít think you understood my question.

BKbigfish
03-21-2018, 10:27 AM
Which carriers are known to offer the most flexibility as far as bidding lower credit schedules or the ability to drop/swap trips?

The schedule flexibility at Spirit is fantastic. You can drop/swap with open time down to zero credit depending on the reserve grid. Each month must start with 75% green days (adequate reserve coverage) so dropping here has never been an issue for me. Some of that depends on seniority and how early in the month you submit your drop requests as the grid usually turns more red as the month progresses. You can also drop/swap with other pilots if the reserve grid is red. All in all itís a great system and itís one of the main reasons I have stayed at Spirit as a commuter. In 5 years Iíve worked 1 holiday I didnít want to and that was when I was really junior. PBS is coming so thatís a bit of an unknown but could very well lead to even greater flexibilty (for line holders at least) IMO. Itís certainly not a reason to come to NK as pay and upgrade times will be more favorable elsewhere but if you end up here for whatever reason I think youíll be more than pleased with the schedule flexibility.

EMBFlyer
03-21-2018, 01:11 PM
I donít think you understood my question.

I just reread it. I hadn't had my coffee yet this morning. Nevermind.

Go Cards go
03-21-2018, 02:16 PM
With that good coverage are green slip trips still around?

Few and far between. Even on a day like today with all the weather cancels and reroutes there are very few.

P Owed Captain
03-24-2018, 11:48 AM
The schedule flexibility at Spirit is fantastic. You can drop/swap with open time down to zero credit depending on the reserve grid. Each month must start with 75% green days (adequate reserve coverage) so dropping here has never been an issue for me. Some of that depends on seniority and how early in the month you submit your drop requests as the grid usually turns more red as the month progresses. You can also drop/swap with other pilots if the reserve grid is red. All in all itís a great system and itís one of the main reasons I have stayed at Spirit as a commuter. In 5 years Iíve worked 1 holiday I didnít want to and that was when I was really junior. PBS is coming so thatís a bit of an unknown but could very well lead to even greater flexibilty (for line holders at least) IMO. Itís certainly not a reason to come to NK as pay and upgrade times will be more favorable elsewhere but if you end up here for whatever reason I think youíll be more than pleased with the schedule flexibility.

I had seen a lot of NK pilots expressing fear that schedule flexibility was going away with the new contract, so I'm happy to hear things are still good for you guys!

lowandslow
03-24-2018, 01:19 PM
I had seen a lot of NK pilots expressing fear that schedule flexibility was going away with the new contract, so I'm happy to hear things are still good for you guys!

For reserve pilots it has gone away wrt ability to drop at will. Currently restricted to 1 block outside in and after PBS once a year via vacation float. This should be positive for lineholders' flexibility.



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