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View Full Version : Summers in Europe

07-08-2018, 10:27 AM
As a recent hire, this isn't consuming a lot of my mental bandwith, as I'm more focused on making it through OE, but I was curious. I'm half German, and would like for my two young daughters to eventually get a little exposure to that part of their culture. Would doing a summer over there while they're out of school be feasible? I'm thinking 2-2.5 months near Frankfurt/Munich where I commute back to the states a few times for trips.

Is it possible to work the schedule to maybe frontload one month, backload the other and combine a couple of trips into one long block in the middle? Maybe throw in some vacation? Wait until widebody FO?

Not looking for all the details, just if this is even feasible at AA. Or is it one of those "sure you can do it, when you're 63 and have the seniority to work your schedule that way." Thanks.

07-08-2018, 11:39 AM
I've gotten 14 days off just by front loaded the first month and end loading the second month. Over the summer you need to realize you'll be struggling to get time off over the July 4th holiday.

Me? I'd bid June - "max time off end of month", July "max time off end of month", August "max time off beginning of the month."

That would minimize the holiday conflicts (July 4th, Labor Day). If you can get a week off in the end of June and the beginning of August, along with the end of July, you'd be looking at 7-10 days off June/early July, and roughly two weeks the end of July/early August. Perhaps 30 days off in 45-50 days?

The better the trip you can hold the easier it is to get rid of them. W/B is even better. That's not in your immediate future.

I flew with a guy that commutes from Germany. He was a fairly junior n/b FO. A w/b FO commutes from Italy(it had been Paris before Italy).

Everything's possible but it will be a long summer for you while you're commuting.

Ich war fruher Berliner.

Arado 234
07-08-2018, 12:18 PM

Ich war fruher Berliner.

Ich bin ein ehemaliger Berliner. ;)

I agree with what Slice posted. It is possible, I also know Captains and F/Os that do the commute from South America. Do what YOU think is best for your family.

Remember that the summers are busy and the winters have reduced frequencies and stronger headwinds. My sister almost got left behind in FRA on a AA 773 with over 100 open seats due to weight issues. I got almost left behind on LAA metal in AMS, same reason. We used to have a weight protection for the jumpseater but some real men of genius decided that they should give it awAAy.

(Yes, I AM still ****ed about it! F you TW, soll Dich die Krätze holen, Du gottverdammtes Arschloch!)

Wenn Andere es schaffen, dann schaffst Du es auch!

07-08-2018, 12:32 PM
Wow, all these former Bears. I PM'd this to Sliceback, but I remember playing them in middle school football a couple of weeks before the Wall came down. They smoked us (Sembach Middle School).

If it's doable to get a few decent chunks off over there through schedule manipulation and grouping trips together, it would be okay. Understand there will be some commuting pain, but it would be worth it for a couple of months. However, if I basically only got to spend a day or two before I'd have to head back to the states for another trip, that wouldn't be worth the effort.

Blau Weiss Bayern!

07-15-2018, 03:31 AM
My family is in Europe now. I send them over as soon as school is over and they come back a week before it starts again. As a way-junior Gp III FO, I've only been able to get over for a couple 7-12 day blocks during most summers. But I'm switching to GP II now and I expect to be able to spend a lot more time there next summer. We plan to send the kids to school full-time there maybe the 19-20 or 20-21 school year in order to get them a better academic grounding in language, etc. Shopping for an apartment now. I think that commute will suck and not be sustainable long-term, but it's worth a tough year to get the kids the experience.

07-15-2018, 12:19 PM
I commuted from Europe to nyc for 4 1/2 Years. Only used my commuting claus 3 times so yes it’s doable. However, loads are much higher then they used to be and I have been in the jumpseat that past couple of times across the pond.

What made it manageable for me was being able to get upgraded almost all the time. That extra space and being able to sleep made all the difference in my ability to function both at work and at home. Upgrades are few and far between. Even our D1s are just barely getting on these days

07-18-2018, 10:09 AM
Eminently doable. For the last three summers in a row I've taken my family of six to central Europe and deposited them with my in-laws. First time I did it was when I'd been with UAL only 15 months. I bid my schedule exactly like Sliceback describes, to include min time off between trips. So, I don't try to commute back and forth to Europe between them but rather get all my work done for the month as quickly as possible. I've typically bid the entire last weeks of June and July off, followed by the first week of August (so 14 or so days off in a row Jul/Aug).

Admittedly, UAL has more metal going to central Europe than AA. Also, we come out from the west coast, which gives us a lot of routing options through whichever UAL hub is likely to have seats to Europe available (I've actually found it more challenging in the summer just to get from home to one of our hubs, getting out of a hub to Europe is generally easier). EWR is the toughest place to get seats out of to Europe, as they fill up at the last second with senior nonrevs. The last two years we've actually flown in to Heathrow and continued on to the continent a few days later via pre-purchased tickets because UAL has so many summertime seats a day to LHR (over 4000). We fly home via Munich or Frankfurt, but have found Munich to be easier and more predictable since there aren't as many misconnects there to fill up flights at the last second. Since FRA is not a OneWorld hub, it might not be too tough to get out of there on AA.

First time around, I spent a lot of time tracking flight loads in the weeks up to our planned departure. I even created a spreadsheet which helped highlight early on this year that loads out of ORD and IAH were looking good... so I made flexible hotel reservations there in case we went there and got stuck. I still spend time tracking flight loads, but a lot less than I used to as I've built experience. Bottom line is with some preparation and forethought, you can definitely make it happen.